Clothed in Good Sense

At the behest of a friend of mine, I checked out a blog today that offers advice for women about how to dress at work. I thought it would be a site with some advice about how to dress your figure and when you should or shouldn’t wear open-toed shoes. What I didn’t count on was it being filled to the brim with adorable dresses, coats, and shoes so cute that I considered going out and finding a high-paying job just so I would have an excuse to wear them.

As I’ve said many times, working in sweatpants is fantastic. I love that I can take breaks to fold laundry, cook dinner, and play with my puppy if I so desire (and I frequently do.) I wouldn’t trade that freedom for anything.

However, cute shoes will not be ignored.

There, now that I’ve just spewed girliness all over your monitor, here comes the pragmatic side that Wes loves so well. Some of these dresses cost upwards of $300.

Wait, that figure needs more emphasis…$300

When I first saw that price-tag, I wondered if the dress came with a personal valet who would handle its care and mending. I mean, wow, that’s just a lot of money for clothes.

The way I feel about clothes is pretty conflicted. I love clothes, I love shoes, and I have been known to squeal when confronted with cute purses, but I think there could not possibly be a worse use for money than expensive clothes.

Think about it: One wrong turn o’the wrist with some red wine, one unfortunate sharp edge on an open drawer, one ice cream too many and your $300 dress is now useless. It’s too much of a gamble to have nice clothes because there’s no guarantee you’ll get your money’s worth before the garment becomes unusable.

Shirts in particular bedevil me because shirts seem to incur the most damage of all, don’t they? They catch all your crumbs, they absorb most of your sweat, and they are usually the first to tell you that perhaps you should consider switching to sorbet. I love cute blouses but I just can’t, in good rationale, justify spending loads of money on the untrustworthy shirt.

Pants are a bit different, because a good pair of jeans is worth its weight in gold, but not by much. I’ll never, ever, spend hundreds of dollars on jeans because, really, what is the point? I can get jeans from Old Navy for $30 that cover my bits just as well and no one but maybe .005% of the population can tell the difference. No, no, will not spend loads of money on pants, which at a moment’s notice can rip at the knee and leave you debating whether anyone can possibly pull off cut-offs in this present age.

Don’t even get me started on expensive jewelry. I have trouble seeing the point here as well because there’s no guarantee your umpteen thousand dollar jewel isn’t going to fall off after your ring/earring/necklace catches on an unfortunate piece of cashmere. I’d much rather fly to Paris for the weekend than have a diamond necklace.

How about you, are you a clothes-horse or do you consider an expedition to Ross the ultimate big-game hunting?

3 thoughts on “Clothed in Good Sense

  1. Thanks for the link! Re: $300 – I remember days not so long ago where $300 was a lot for a dress. I have always had a system where I “price” clothes based on this system: $1 for every time I can wear it, $5 for every time I get a compliment on it, $5 for every season I can wear it. So a $15 dress where the hem falls after one wearing isn’t worth it. Whereas, a dress you get for $300 that you can wear to 2 or 3 weddings and another few cocktail parties, fits you like a dream, and garners you comments of “ooh, where’s you get THAT” all evening long is actually worth it. (Although, I will admit, you can frequently find a $300 dress on sale for under $150 — see my post on “Shop It To Me.”)

  2. Haha! Erika I liked you post. I completely agree; When I enter a store,I barge straight to the collection of clothes on sale. I love wearing good clothes, but I can never spend so much money on them. You wash them once and they start looking old to me! The same goes with jewelery! :)

  3. -Corporette, I like the way you think! That’s a really good point about clothing quality. I completely agree that a dress is not worth much if it won’t survive a few wearings.

    -Ganga, Don’t you just love clothes on sale? I particularly love stores like Nordstrom Rack, where they show the original price along with the sale price. It kind of makes you feel like you’re getting away with something, doesn’t it?

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