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If you have nice clothes, do you need a nice car?

post #1 of 292
Thread Starter 
I was having a discussion with a friend the other day and he kept insisting that if you have nice clothing, you need to have a nice car to go with them or it just looks silly. I disagreed saying that while they usually go hand in hand, neither are mutually exclusive to each other. Having bought a new car, I have to admit that personally, it brings me so little joy that I regret purchasing it. Clothing on the other hand is much more exciting and interesting. Thoughts?
post #2 of 292
I agree with you. The best dressed guy I know drives a two door smart car. I can't wait to be rid of my car, I never drive it.
post #3 of 292
Balance seems to be the idea in play. If you have a ridiculously expensive car but dress like a slob, it'll look incongruent. Similarly, if you dress very well but putz around in a K-car, people might wonder whether you're spending yourself into ruin for nice clothes to the exclusion of many other things. All based on whether you care what others think.
post #4 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
I agree with you. The best dressed guy I know drives a two door smart car. I can't wait to be rid of my car, I never drive it.
I'll drive it for you.

It depends on your lifestyle how much your car needs to represent you. Personally I'd think better of a well dressed guy stepping out of a well-loved Bavaria with 175k miles on it than one stepping out of a brand new M5. The latter, I might think, was only representing money, while the former, signified taste and understatement.

Sorry, I've been brushing up on my Vaclavian.

Anyway, this is one of the reasons I want to replace my car (a '94 325is). Though I bought it on its merits (RWD, enough power, plenty of comfort, appealing (to me at the time) styling), I loathe its implications and associations. It looks dbagish and arriviste to most people, and with some years on it now, I look like a dated dbag instead of a dbag-au-courant (who would be in a leased '07).
post #5 of 292
Hi-Val hit it on the spot, IMO. It's about balance, but also about presentation. Then again, it's at your disgression as to what a "nice car" is. In the summer, I drive a 1980 VW Scirocco. I've had multiple experiences where someone catches a glimpse of the side (and the person isn't any older than 23, as you pretty much need to be to know what the car is) and thought it was an exotic vintage sportscar. It's clean, restored, no rust...etc, so it's considered a nice car to me....which brings me to my second point. It's all about how the car is presented (this only goes to some extent...IE: excludes Geos, K-cars, etc). Here in Minnesota, the dumbasses at the DOT use salt on the roads in the winter, which brings rust to cars. If you drive a nice, clean rust-free car.....it will look nice. Compare a 1985 Toyota Supra from Calif. that a older guy babied to a 1998 BMW 5 series what had a rough life in MN with paint damage, rust spots, curb-rashed rims.....the Toyota will def. look better than the Beemer. You don't have to drive a Mercades SLK to go with your Kiton suit or your Domenico Vacca shirt. I wear everything from LVC jeans to Jil Sander suits and I've never gotten an odd look stepping out of my winter car, a '99 Saab 9-5 Aero wagon. It's subtle, yet has a slight touch of luxury. It'd be a different story if I was driving a rusted out Geo Metro with red tape over the tail-lights and a garbage bag over the back window.
post #6 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by hi-val View Post
Balance seems to be the idea in play. If you have a ridiculously expensive car but dress like a slob, it'll look incongruent.
?!

Do you live outside the US?
post #7 of 292
I like the concept of beautiful cars. I don't think I would enjoy owning one, especially since you cannot vary your cars as much as you would your clothes.

As a matter of fact I don't have a car and don't see myself buying one in the foreseeable future. Very occasionally I need one, and rent it.
post #8 of 292
This is a very interesting subject. At a very high level, the emphasis placed on clothes vs car (vs house) depends heavily on culture. In the West, where people virtually live in their cars, the car is seen as virtually defining a person; I suspect there are people who identify more with their car than with their ethnic group or religion. In the East, particularly in the big cities, the emphasis is much more on clothes. Car is not entirely irrelevant, and there certainly are some car lovers, but the dramatic difference in time people spend in the car makes it less of a defining characteristic.

The "need" for a nice car is really only valid if you are in an industry where appearances are important and where clients may see your car (e.g. financial advisory services.) Other than that, some people in the dating world may care what car you drive, but I am sure there are plenty who don't.

And are you implying that the Smart car is somehow less stylish? That car is stylin', I tell you, stylin'. Best-looking car since the El Camino.
post #9 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by j View Post
It depends on your lifestyle how much your car needs to represent you. Personally I'd think better of a well dressed guy stepping out of a well-loved Bavaria with 175k miles on it than one stepping out of a brand new M5. The latter, I might think, was only representing money, while the former, signified taste and understatement.

yep, I think it's an extension of your lifestyle and taste to drive a *nice* car to go along with *nice* clothes, but that doesnt mean it needs to be an expensive car.
post #10 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by j View Post
I'll drive it for you. It depends on your lifestyle how much your car needs to represent you. Personally I'd think better of a well dressed guy stepping out of a well-loved Bavaria with 175k miles on it than one stepping out of a brand new M5. The latter, I might think, was only representing money, while the former, signified taste and understatement. Sorry, I've been brushing up on my Vaclavian. Anyway, this is one of the reasons I want to replace my car (a '94 325is). Though I bought it on its merits (RWD, enough power, plenty of comfort, appealing (to me at the time) styling), I loathe its implications. It looks dbagish and arriviste to most people, and with some years on it now, I look like a dated dbag instead of a dbag-au-courant (who would be in a leased '07).
You want to take over the lease? I've had it for 2 years and put 4k miles on it . It is a really fun car to drive, but I walk more than I drive, and when I do drive, I am usually with more than one other person. Thankfully it is a 3-year lease, so the punishment is not as bad as if it were longer. Actually, if I lived outside a city, I think it would be the perfect car, but cars and cities don't match up well unless that city is LA. I think the Euros really have it right with the smaller, simpler cars.
post #11 of 292
One other factor to consider is the major, MAJOR difference in maintenance costs between cars and clothes. It was a surprise for me to discover that expensive clothes, properly maintained, actually don't have very high maintenance costs; mostly just time in brushing, washing, polishing, etc. Occasional costs for dry cleaning and shoe reconstruction, but that's about it.

Contrast that with a car, which is the greatest ongoing liability ever invented by mankind. And maintenance costs and taxes go way up with exotic and imported cars. It's so expensive that, other than in states that have a fixation with cars (read: California), there is a strong argument to be made that a practical, low-cost car is acceptable as long as it's kept clean and functional.

If I were to meet someone very well-dressed and then come to find out that they drive a regular old Honda Accord, albeit clean and maintained, it wouldn't strike me as incongruent, and I suspect I'm not the only one.
post #12 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
You want to take over the lease? I've had it for 2 years and put 4k miles on it . It is a really fun car to drive, but I walk more than I drive, and when I do drive, I am usually with more than one other person. Thankfully it is a 3-year lease, so the punishment is not as bad as if it were longer.

Actually, if I lived outside a city, I think it would be the perfect car, but cars and cities don't match up well unless that city is LA. I think the Euros really have it right with the smaller, simpler cars.

You should have little trouble offloading it here:

www.leasetrader.com
post #13 of 292
I think it's really just a matter of having a vehicle that is congruent to your style. My brother has two vehicles: a '97 Mustang and an '83 Volvo 240 sedan. The Volvo is mint condition and gets constant compliments and double takes from strangers. The Mustang on the other hand has an engine transplant from an '01 Saleen and runs something like 600hp to the wheels. Yet, it doesn't really garner many compliments.
I think the Volvo wins style-wise just on having a bit of soul.
post #14 of 292
Fora vs non-fora...

I believe it's fairly common for a WIS with some incredible watch or clothing forum maven with a great personal style and wardrobe to tool around in a sensible midsize sedan.

I think there are, however, plenty of people -- probably most people -- who think that an expensive car would come before an expensive wardrobe.

Anyway, I have no desire to pose in the automotive equivalent of a TAG Heuer. I got nothing to prove.
post #15 of 292
I take the balanced view. I think it would be pretty absurd to show up to a formal event where one would need to drive, in a beater wearing a Brioni tux. That would signify that person should probably balance their spending. I liken it to when I was younger and into car stereo equipment, you would see someone driving a beat up civic with its bumper being held on by duct tape, with pounding bass, and plenty of trunk rattle. I would rather balance the money on a modestly better car with a mediocre stereo system, giving a decent balance.
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