Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Real World

I was having a conversation with my hubbie the other day when it ended abruptly with the comment that I didn't live in the real world.

Now there are lots of reasons someone could look at me and say I didn't live in the real world. The most obvious reason might be the fact I write fantasy so I spend a lot of time thinking about things and people who don't exist. Or maybe the fact I don't work a regular nine to five in an office, but spend ungodly amounts of time in the spare bedroom I've converted into a office/studio unless I have to run out and see a client face-to-face. Being able to go to work in my PJ's tends to earn some people's scorn. But neither of these reasons is why my hubbie accused me of not living in the real world.

Why then?
Because I think paying $100 for a pair of shoes is absolutely preposterous.

I've always been under the impression clothes should be inexpensive and last forever. (Which I'm reminded is not true every time something wears out after only a year.) I still have a pair of jeans I used to wear in high school (they were slightly baggy in high school and are considerably not baggy now, but no holes, so still good pants, right?)
I know women are supposed to own closets of shoes and go out on expensive shopping sprees, but that's just not me. I'm a bargain hunter, and I typically aim for clothing in the $10 range. I might spend up to $30 on a nice dress or full suit, and though my "scrawl a name brand over my ass" companions might not realize it, those prices are not terribly hard to find during season changes when stores put clothes on major clearance.

Now don't get me wrong, there are situations where it is either unavoidable or important spend a lot on clothes. A ladder climber who needs fitted suits obviously isn't going to be able to gamble on clearance racks if he needs something now, and of course, there is that dress that you only wear once (hopefully) that quickly sucks up a couple hundred dollars (and one of my friends dropped honey mustard on mine during the reception.) But come on, who needs a pair of jeans that cost a hundred dollars or clogs that cost two hundred?

One of my very best friends regularly walks around in clothes that between hat, shirt, jeans, and shoes, costs the same as a seven day cruise. Me? I'd much rather take the cruise and not be a walking billboard for Tommy/Ambercrombie/or whoever, and I think I'd look plenty cute on the deck in the sandals I found in a sidewalk sale and the swimsuit I bought last August.

But, that's just me, and it apparently marks me as not in touch with reality. So what about other people out there? Are you on the top of the fashion world and ready to drop $100 for those cute peek-toe shoes to show off your new pedicure? Are you a bargain hunter like me? Or maybe something in between? Throw in your two cents about why you wear what you wear.


Rachel Vincent said...

I'm frighteningly low-maintenance. In fact, until last month, I hadn't had my hair cut more than just a trim in 12 years. So no, I don't pay $100 for shoes either. ;-)

Kalayna-Nicole Price said...

oh cuts...that's a whole different story.

I was one of those very poor college students who didn't live on campus and yet rarely left campus.

It's really easy to find someone who will put you up for the night, showers are easy enough to come by, even alcohol is easy to find if you're female and people want you to drink with them, food is impossible to acquire unless you luck up on a university club feeding people for some reason or another. So, I ended cutting hair in exchange for dinner on several occasions. And no, I never went to cosmetology school, but I was a dog groomer for a couple years and one guy decided that was good enough and then suddenly I had tons of people asking me for haircuts.

Spend enough time cutting other people's hair, and spending money to have your own trimmed sounds ridiculous. So, the only professional cut I've had in years was the one before my wedding.

Misty said...

When I graduated from college and got my first real grown-up job, I bought myself a pair of $150 Italian leather pumps. I loved those shoes dearly. Wore them all the time. One morning I got out of bed and discovered my dog, Maxx, had eaten one of my expensive shoes.

I haven't spent anywhere near that kind of money on shoes since.

I will spend a lot on bellydance garb, if it's something I need that I can't make myself. But ordinary clothes? No way. There's always something affordable that will do the job nicely.