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Random fashion thoughts - Page 6281

post #94201 of 99139
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post
 

Having more money in the bank/invested gives one more options and more time (ie, if I have enough saved to last me until the rest of my life I have opened many more doors through freeing up time, etc) - that money was gotten through work and sacrifice, but it buys me freedom.

 

While you're right, earning more money requires more time and sacrifice - possessing more money provides far greater utility than having spent it (which is simply opportunity cost, a choice unmade means there are more opportunities).

 

You cannot have one (saved wealth) without the other (servitude and sacrifices).    There are exceptions, of course.   

 

Money is money.  Freedom is freedom.  I think most people with life experience would tell you that they're more often than not poorly correlated.

post #94202 of 99139
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
i thought i'd follow up on my part of the most recent wisfw post with some further thoughts about self-presentation and ambivalence about (caring about) style. i'd be genuinely curious to hear others' thoughts on the subject.

i assume that for most of us on this forum, our interest in clothing is one aspect of a broader of interest in aesthetics and design. but while it's pretty easy to recognize and applaud the value of the latter, general interest-- after all, for those with a particular sensibility, it's a large part of what makes life worth living-- the worth of the former, specific interest is more fraught. i take it that's largely because having a serious interest in how one dresses pulls one deep into the realms of self-presentation, while admiring the beauty of a painting or the graceful geometry of a mountain (or the sleekness of one's macbook, or whatever) paradigmatically involves focusing on the object itself, rather than on oneself. (the same point holds even if we think about aesthetics in terms of how the subject perceives and interprets the object in question, as opposed to positing some intrinsic aesthetic quality in the object, e.g., beauty, harmony, etc.).

so, this is the first strike against taking an interest in one's personal style of dress: it involves focusing on oneself. and this is supposed to be troubling because that focus may easily manifest as a kind of narcissism. but things get even worse. caring about how one dresses does not primarily concern being a certain way, but rather concerns appearing to others in a certain way. this distinction is tied to the kinds of ethically-significant contrasts that have long troubled reflective people. some of these contrasts: inner vs. outer, reality vs. mere opinion or mere appearance, what is deep vs. what is superficial, and so on. while we may be tempted to chalk these contrasts up to a kind of puritan squeamishness, they occur over and over in a wide variety of philosophical and religious traditions.

in any case, one might worry that focusing on mere appearance not only amounts to spending time and energy on a pursuit that is basically worthless--thereby wasting time that could be better spent on something actually worthwhile-- but that doing so is also positively damaging, since it corrupts one's ethical sensibility. for instance, here is pascal: "we labor incessantly to embellish and preserve our imaginary being, and neglect the real one." and again, "we are not content with the life we have in ourselves and with our own existence; we wish to live an imaginary life in the thought of others, and we consequently force ourselves to appear."

now, i think this is very ripe territory, and that it touches on some of the most fundamental (and sometimes, uncomfortable) aspects of what makes us human. my question for you all is this: to what extent do you feel the pull of these ethical considerations when reflecting on the role that your interests in clothing and personal style play in your life? do you have other values that you find it difficult to reconcile with (the extent of) your interests in clothing, or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, do you find these interests wholly unproblematic on reflection?

I work for a do-goody non-profit, so I give myself a free pass to be a narcissistic asshole the rest of the time. (5)

I have other rationalizations related to the stores I buy from, the manufacturing process behind the goods, &c., but those are peripheral concerns unrelated to the heard of the matter.

I'm fundamentally ok with playing dress-up, recognizing that it is an end unto itself. While I realize that this particular hobby has an influence - possibly a strong influence - on others' perceptions of me, is it all that different from going to the gym to maintain a certain physique? I may enjoy acquiring and owning a certain garment on multiple levels - an appreciation of the intrinsic qualities of the garment; identification with the ethos, practices, or branding of the manufacturer or vendor (by 'branding', I mean the public representation of the brand, not logos and the like); the idea that it may help 'complete' my wardrobe; positive feelings or improved self-confidence while wearing (anyone who owns a ToJ leather can identify with this); the aforementioned positive influence on others' perceptions of me; and even, to some extend, sf e-cred.

Don't many of these same principles apply to other hobbies? The online gamer may be fascinated with the mechanics of a game, admire the designers and programmers, feel a sense of accomplishment as he realizes certain goals or achievements within the context of the game, and enjoy recognition from his peer group of gamers as he advances in abilities, levels, or acquisition of items. Is gaming any less shameful than clothing as a hobby? Then again, maybe that's a bad example.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingJulien View Post

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I feel this same conflict, not due to ethical considerations, but because of my eventual desire for financial independence.  If money = freedom, how much freedom is a pair of baller sneakers worth?
The ethical considerations don't actually bother me much, because I find when I'm actually trying to impress someone (i.e. on a date), I dress a very specific way and avoid most of the clothes that I really love, which are silly and fun.  In other words, I know what I'd wear if I were really concerned about the impression I give off, and it's not normally what I reach for.

I would probably do the opposite and wear the clothes I enjoy most, both for the enjoyment of those clothes and for the feeling of presenting the best representation of myself that I can via the clothing I wear. Then again, I'm not into particularly weird or esoteric stuff, so it's less likely that my preferred articles of clothing would
post #94203 of 99139
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
 

 

You cannot have one (saved wealth) without the other (servitude and sacrifices).    There are exceptions, of course.   

 

Money is money.  Freedom is freedom.  I think most people with life experience would tell you that they're more often than not poorly correlated.

 

If your current annual expenses are some amount X, and you're happy with that lifestyle, there is some amount Y that you can have in the bank that ensures you'll never have to work again.  As long as your income is substantially higher than X, Y is attainable.

 

As a concrete example, I have enough in a savings account set aside for this purpose to do a backpacking trip around southeast asia for 6-9 months (I'm waiting for a time when I can go away for that long without screwing my career plans).  I could have blown that money on clothing instead, which would have been freedom lost.

 

@LonerMatt kinda, I think MMM is a dick who oversimplifies things... but I also realize that's necessary to run a successful blog.

post #94204 of 99139
Quote:
Originally Posted by notwithit View Post

I would probably do the opposite and wear the clothes I enjoy most, both for the enjoyment of those clothes and for the feeling of presenting the best representation of myself that I can via the clothing I wear. Then again, I'm not into particularly weird or esoteric stuff, so it's less likely that my preferred articles of clothing would

 

I alternate between dressing like you, in jeans, a tee, and a knit/jacket (which is what I'd wear when worried about what others think, or if I just don't feel like thinking about what I'm wearing), and wearing, like, satin floral shirts under a blazer.

post #94205 of 99139
If you can't embark on your trip when you like then how free are you anyway, it's held hostage to your career...

The perversion of an interesting discussion and in such short time by capitalist pigs!
post #94206 of 99139
There's narcissism in any art ("look at my painting!" "listen to my song!"), so that's never bothered me about fashion. Some strikes against fashion that might not apply to other arts are that as a customer your expression is limited to choosing the clothes you buy/wear (rather than actually making stuff yourself), and that the goal could be construed as "looking cool" which is a little shallow. KingJulien makes a good point that there's a difference between looking cool to yourself and looking cool to other people, and imo it's the latter that's looked down upon.
post #94207 of 99139
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingJulien View Post

I alternate between dressing like you, in jeans, a tee, and a knit/jacket (which is what I'd wear when worried about what others think, or if I just don't feel like thinking about what I'm wearing), and wearing, like, satin floral shirts under a blazer.

This sounds like an awesome outfit for a first date.
post #94208 of 99139
Quote:
Originally Posted by the shah View Post

If you can't embark on your trip when you like then how free are you anyway, it's held hostage to your career...

The perversion of an interesting discussion and in such short time by capitalist pigs!

 

I was just going to say this.

 

Though, time between jobs is a good time to do this, however most of those lags are like a month or two at most.

post #94209 of 99139
Quote:
Originally Posted by notwithit View Post


This sounds like an awesome outfit for a first date.

 

For the right girl :inlove:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by the shah View Post

If you can't embark on your trip when you like then how free are you anyway, it's held hostage to your career...

The perversion of an interesting discussion and in such short time by capitalist pigs!

 

I think you're being facetious, but I mean I could book a flight tomorrow, or in two weeks, it's just not an ideal decision because I'd be losing future earnings (and future freedoms).  I have enough to take a vacation like that, but not enough to take a vacation like that any time I want ;) 

 

But anyway, we're getting off-topic from ghostface's question, which was a really good one.

post #94210 of 99139

where's scott.m when you need him to remind everyone to just "wear dope shit"

post #94211 of 99139
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingJulien View Post
 

 

For the right girl :inlove:

 

 

I think you're being facetious, but I mean I could book a flight tomorrow, or in two weeks, it's just not an ideal decision because I'd be losing future earnings (and future freedoms).  I have enough to take a vacation like that, but not enough to take a vacation like that any time I want ;) 

 

But anyway, we're getting off-topic from ghostface's question, which was a really good one.

 

Till you get to a point where you realize that you have potential future freedom, but your youth is behind you and the feasibility of such a trip diminishes substantially.

post #94212 of 99139
I have to wonder if people who don't think that there's a correlation between money and freedom have ever been poor? There's a huge correlation, but I guess it depends how you define freedom. For me, freedom is not having to worry if my basic necessities will be met next week; being able to grab a bite with friends without stressing over a $20 bill; being able to take a small trip to do something I enjoy. It's not a freedom I had until recently having been able to forge my own path.

That said, I am not a person who demands a lot of this kind of freedom. Traveling doesn't have a lot of appeal for me. At the point I'm at in my life, I'm happy to enjoy small things with friends near home, and I'm therefore willing to pay the price of freedom in order to buy things that, honestly, make those moments more enjoyable for me. And of course, it's my hobby – I get intellectual stimulation from it, I get satisfaction from it, and it enables me to do other things.
post #94213 of 99139

People just have different meaning for the words freedom.  For some it's the freedom to buy what you want and go where you want (travel), by working for the man.  Others it means not having to work for the man.  

post #94214 of 99139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbear View Post

People just have different meaning for the words freedom.  For some it's the freedom to buy what you want and go where you want (travel), by working for the man.  Others it means not having to work for the man.  

OK, but both of those end goals require some degree of financial comfort, unless you're wanting to go full Thoreau.
post #94215 of 99139
The minimum amount of money needed to remove the lowered happiness brought by not having it has been shown to be significant, when viewed through the prism of worldwide economic level (i.e. most people on earth don't meet it and suffer accordingly, a great shame for us all) but from the point of view of a 20-something westerner with a lower-middle class and up background it is entirely met.

I find it interesting that freedom seems to be defined by SF users through the same process as the one we use to assign social roles and validation: we used to be defined by our belonging to the main social classes (nobility, peasantry, religious orders) than by more fragmented social classes, than by our role as producers and now by our role as consumers. Freedom for some posters is thus to be find in consumption, be it of experiences or material goods. The question of freedom is a very complex one, let just give you one of the competing ones offered by a single philosopher (Nietzsche):
"Freedom is the will to be responsible for ourselves. It is to preserve the distance which separates us from other men. To grow more indifferent to hardship, to severity, to privation, and even to life itself."

Not much about Kopping travel plans is it?
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