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How do you justify spending $500+ on shoes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JezeC, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, no disrespect intended but I am curious...why do you read or post to SF then?

    I just don't understand the impulse to challenge people who are earnestly and sincerely trying their best to help. Or who pretty universally, across the board, hold a world view that is at odds with your [generic] own beliefs. It's not like people are being forced to listen or believe.

    It's kind of like the vegans or the PETA folks who show up in the shoe or leather threads every now and again to chastise us all.

    My attitude is that...at a certain point...if I don't share a somewhat similar view of the world with the underlying assumptions of a discussion or a forum--for instance a respect for the concept of quality--then it makes no sense to jump in and try to re-define the issues.

    If you join the Catholic church you have to accept the principle of Papal infallibility or nail your theses to the door on your way out.

    --
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
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  2. SurfSteam

    SurfSteam Member

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    On used shoes: I find the paranoia over used shoes rather amusing. To each their own. I respect those that have no issues re-using shoes, similarly, I respect the opinions of those who choose not to, citing public health concerns.

    The amusing part is that no one has a problem dining at a restaurant and putting a public fork in their mouth, putting their lips to public drinkware, and wiping hands and face with public cloth napkins.
     
  3. jaywhyy

    jaywhyy Well-Known Member

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    Shoes, especially English, don't really have seasons per say i.e. not like F/W 2013 but more like just F/W, so most aren't included a lot in clearance sales. Usually when they do have their sales, the selection is extremely limited. And EG now won't let you order anything by phone or e-mail. It sucks.

    I don't buy used shoes because #1 despite trees, there's always gonna be nasty sweat and soil in the insole and lining #2 the insole is all molded to somebody's elses foot and the creasing has also already been set.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
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  4. emptym

    emptym Well-Known Member

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    I've never been at ease with the "I buy whatever I want and can afford" answer, since there are so many things one can do with money. Buying things for oneself is just one. How about scholarships for poor children? How about medicine for them? How about food for the ones dying of starvation?

    This is not to say that I haven't spent over $500 on shoes. But it is a struggle. I have to justify it to myself more than to anyone else. And I think it should be a struggle for us all. If we are to be truly responsible, we need to think long term and about others. "I buy whatever I want and can afford" just seems too short-sighted and selfish to me.

    I don't want to put words in d's mouth, but I was in a similar situation during my first few years here: I spent less money after joining than before.

    His reason for viewing the forum seem to be the same as most people: to learn about high quality goods. Because he uses this info to find such goods used, he can spend less money than when he didn't have this info.

    The same was true for me several years ago. And like him, I often prefer to buy used goods over new, due to environmental/conservational reasons. The difference is that I use the money I save buying used things (and some more money, I'm sure :embar:) to buy custom goods from highly skilled artisans.

    A quick note about papal infallibility, as it is commonly misunderstood (not necessarily by you, DW):

    It does not mean that the pope makes no mistakes. On the contrary, popes confess their sinfulness at every mass along with everyone else ("I confess my sins to almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters…"). This particular pope said, "I a sinner," when asked who he was in an early interview. A recent pope said he went to confession at least once a week.

    So, again, papal infallibility does not mean they can do no wrong. It means that on a very rare occasion, the popes can create binding doctrine. This is so rare it has only happened twice in the over two thousand year history of the church.

    It's based on the following theology: God is truth. To the degree that a person is inspired by God, that person knows revealed truth. This is true of all the faithful, since faith is a graced, inspired knowledge. Bishops, as the successors to the apostles, can on special occasions, when gathered together, speak for the faithful and write doctrine. Such are the church councils (Nicea, Chalcedon, etc.). On a very rare occasions, the pope, as the successor to Peter, can speak for the bishops who are speaking for the faithful who are inspired by God. On these very rare occasions, the pope is called "infallible," and again, it has only happened twice ever.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
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  5. Claghorn

    Claghorn Well-Known Member

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    M, what are you, some kind of theology professor? ^_^
     
  6. mkarim

    mkarim Well-Known Member

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    True. Sometimes, after a certain point, you are not paying for more quality, but for exclusivity.
     
  7. Maximus Rex

    Maximus Rex Well-Known Member

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    Emptym, very well put.
     
  8. YRR92

    YRR92 Well-Known Member

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    Lot of F/W '13 shoe styles out there, just, you know, that apostrophe stands for "19," and you can replace those last two digits with pretty much any number you care to think of.

    Not that I've ever bought $500 shoes. That's a lot of money for me. If it were ever merely a lot of money (no italics), it would come down to "Do I want this more than the discretionary stuff I won't buy because of it?" And, I might. I like having nice shoes.

    I don't think I'll hit the point where where $500 isn't a lot of money, but if I do, I'll probably be repeating the same process as above but with costlier shoes.

    Not that most of that's particularly new. But hey, anything that mentions patent, python, and scotch grain must be great.
     
  9. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    I think I knew that but it is a metaphor for the Catholic church just as incense, rosarys, and Latin masses are. I suppose I could have listed all those aspects too, ever now and again I am compelled to at least pay lip service to brevity.

    :D

    --
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  10. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Well, for one thing it's simply not the same kind of issue--every restaurant in the US...and I suspect most Western countries...has to pass inspections by government health agencies in order to operate. Napkins, dishes, forks and drinkware are generally sterilized and cleaning operations, as well as premises, must pass muster too.

    That said people do get sick from contaminated food or other organisms and some restaurants ignore laws and restrictions.

    However, if you're eating from utensils that have food caked on them (the equivalent of wearing used shoes)...you're begging for trouble, nothing short. And hanging out in some very unsavory places.

    But shoes are much harder to sterilize or even fully clean than glass or stainless steel or porcelain. I would even go so far, knowing what I know about leather, as to say that you can never sterilize a pair of shoe completely...short of burning them.

    Beyond that I know from personal experience that you can pick up diseases by buying and wearing used shoes. And it only takes one pair.

    "Tobacco won't always kill you...sometimes it just takes a lung." Or your voice box or parts of your tongue.

    --
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
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  11. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Well-Known Member

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    Very well said. I tend to buy shoes in the $350 to $600 range and definitely think about this. I'm okay with having a decent sized collection of quality shoes that I wear regularly and take good care of, but this sort of thought process is one thing that has stopped me from buying expensive watches or bespoke vs. MTM clothes.
     
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    mtm,

    BTW, I know this is your bailiwick --it certainly isn't mine--and, as a result, I automatically defer to you in these matters. But I find it interesting that if you google "Doctrine of Papal infallibility," you get a very different perspective...at least from Wikipedia. I'll let you do that search yourself but I would make one quote from it:

    Now I don't know if this is counter to your explanation or not --I may be misinterpreting one or both. What interests me (aside from spuriously validating any mistaken assumptions I had) is that...knowing you and deferring to your expertise, and if what I'm reading on Wikipedia is correct...it calls into question the validity of all sorts of information being quoted from various sources on the 'Net. Information that has little or no first hand, real-world substantiation. Information that has no connection to the the person posting it and hence no reason/compulsion to take responsibility for the validity of it.

    In other words, as a general rule, quotes from the Internet are nearly always suspect (and should be), IMO...unless you're the author or someone who can personally vouch for their truth.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  13. in stitches

    in stitches Well-Known Member

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    i think this is an excellent point, and while i do not quite disagree, i look at it as follows.

    i do place a great value on charitably using ones money to help others. however, as long as the money one is spending on their clothing is not infringing on what amount they would be using to help others, i think its fine.

    certainly you could argue, well by very definition if you spend $500 on shoes and could get different shoes that would be just fine for $200, than you are spending $300 that you could be giving away. but i dont see it that way. by that logic should one never eat out at a fancy diner? should we be buying smaller homes and cars and never sending our kids to private school so we can give every extra penny to others?

    maybe for a select few people out there that works, but i would not say that is what should be expected of the vast majority of people out there. the way i see it, everybody is comfortable with a certain level of charity. some people give 10% of their earnings, so more and some less, and as long as ones luxury purchases do not infringe on what they feel comfortable giving away, i do not see it as selfish.

    now, what a person may personally struggle with is their own private business, and if a person does not feel right spending copious amounts of money on clothing, when there are people out there who live in cardboard boxes, that is their own personal decision, but i do not think that is a justification that every person should feel the need to make as long as they are comfortable with the amount of money they use for others as compared to how their spend for themselves.

    just my opinion.
     
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  14. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the two explanations are that different at the end of the day. The doctrine of papal infallibility does state that the Pope can speak without error on certain matters of faith and morals. It's the, "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church" that is critical and may seem like a lighter condition than it actually is. So the pope must (1) speak ex cathedra (when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority) to (2) define a doctrine (3) concerning faith or morals and (4) say that the doctrine must be held by the whole church. Anything said also cannot contradict prior doctrine defined infallibly. There's a lot there and it almost never happens. More than 99.9% of what a pope says does not meet this standard and for many popes it is 100%.

    So when the Pope gives an interview, writes a book, writes an apostolic exhortation that the likes of Rush Limbaugh declare "Marxist," or even writes a teaching doctrine such as an encyclical letter, he is not defining doctrine infallibly.
     
  15. AlexE

    AlexE Well-Known Member

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    I praise the thought you put into this and the concern you have about the well being of others. However, I actually believe that by buying high-priced products manufactured by qualified workers who receive decent wages as employees of mid-sized businesses in Northampton or Middleborough (and those are ultimately the companies we talk about here) you do as much good as by saving up your money in order to donate it for scholarships for kids of unemployed manufacturing workers.
     
  16. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    OK...again I accept, and defer to your expertise, as well (I'm Lutheran). But I need to draw attention to the fact that the Catholic Church is rife with idiosyncrasies that are almost unique among Christian denominations. The pantheon of Saints, for instance.

    The point I was making was that when you join the Church (or SF), you make a choice. One that tacitly embraces the canon and the foundational philosophies. In some sense you petition to be accepted as a like minded pilgrim, as who should say.

    If you join with the intent to challenge or disrupt an institution...esp. one as structured and grounded in doctrine and Tradition as the Catholic Church...you do a disservice and a disrespect to everyone and everything that constitutes that organization. It's disruption for disruption's sake.

    Similarly if you join and then decide it is not for you, then the gracious thing to do is move on to associations that are more consistent with your own beliefs.

    The issue of Papal Infallibility is one of those defining idiosyncracies and I used it as a metaphor to draw attention to the fact that SF too has a canon and those who don't feel entirely comfortable with it, might be better off elsewhere. Again, the example of vegans who periodically excoriate all those people who wear leather shoes, comes to mind. Same same...in my opinion.
     
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  17. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Well-Known Member

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    I get where you're coming from with the analogy and suppose the papal infallibility digression was a bit of a tangent. I do agree with the premise that you make a choice to join either a particular church (the Catholic Church in your example) or a place like SF and that joining with the intent to disrupt does a disservice to and is disrespectful to others. Same idea with joining and later deciding it's not for you but remaining (though I understand inertia a bit more than joining to disrupt).

    I guess the more interesting questions are (1) what are the particular idiosyncratic elements of a place like SF and (2) are they so clearly defined that we can really be making the analogy to the Catholic Church? Obvious trolling is one thing, lack of interest in clothes is another, but beyond that I am not sure where I'd go about drawing the line on this one.
     
  18. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Probably one that is critical, if not central, in this context at least..

    For me, and the reason I hang in here... despite the fact that this place is no less (and maybe more) full of mis-information and unsubstantiated opinion than any other place on the Internet...is that people are at least willing to entertain the idea that not all things are equal and that appreciation of quality and nuance are pursuits worth cultivating.

    [Parenthetically, there is an implicit rejection of "relativism" here...regardless of the intent...that I find most welcome.]

    Someone (Socrates?) once said that the unexamined life is not worth living...which, IMO, extends to much more than mental navel-gazing. It involves analysis, of course, but also study, learning,objectivity, discrimination and a progressive refinement of the senses.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  19. emptym

    emptym Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Max and Archi.
    As DW mentioned, forks, etc, can be cleaned much more easily and thoroughly than shoes. I own a few pairs of used shoes (all bought several years ago), but I don't think I'll buy another pair. When I was in grad school though, it was a good, cheap way of experimenting so that I knew better later what to buy new.
    Yes, as you guessed and Archibaldleach mentioned, they are compatible. The part you quoted fills in some things I didn't mention, such as that the pope's authority is grounded on the particular apostolic succession from Peter to whom JC gave the duty of feeding his sheep and the authority of keeping the keys. The Wikipedia passage also adds a further restriction to infallibility that I failed to mention, that it only applies to faith and morals (not science for example). The fact that it has been defined "dogmatically," to which you added emphasis, simply means that it became clear, official teaching at that point. There are of course, levels of dogma, with the highest, most binding being the articles of faith contained in the creed ("I believe in one God, creator almighty…").

    Other thoughts from Wikipedia on how limited papal infallibility is:
    In July 2005 Pope Benedict XVI stated during an impromptu address to priests in Aosta that: "The Pope is not an oracle; he is infallible in very rare situations, as we know".[16] His predecessor Pope John XXIII once remarked: "I am only infallible if I speak infallibly but I shall never do that, so I am not infallible".[17] A doctrine proposed by a pope as his own opinion, not solemnly proclaimed as a doctrine of the Church, may be rejected as false, even if it is on a matter of faith and morals, and even more any view he expresses on other matters. A well-known example of a personal opinion on a matter of faith and morals that was taught by a pope but rejected by the Church is the view that Pope John XXII expressed on when the dead can reach the beatific vision.[18] The limitation on the pope's infallibility "on other matters" is frequently illustrated by Cardinal James Gibbons's recounting how the pope mistakenly called him Jibbons.
    I agree with you, with a caution about "comfort": Remember the scene in Schindler's List, in which he's lamenting the fact that he could have saved more lives if he had sold his ring, his watch, his car? I think we all need moments discomfort, even extreme discomfort like that…

    To put it into a larger context (the one we pm'd about recently on another issue), I'd say it's a matter of virtue as defined by Aristotle and improved upon by Maimonides and Aquinas.

    Virtue ethics is a moderate position between the extremes of relativism and legalism/fundamentalism. And it stresses that moderation is the key to virtue. So courage is not having no fear, but having the right amount, something between recklessness (too little fear) and cowardice (too much fear). The moderate amount is unique to each person, even to each situation. And one must have practical wisdom or prudence to make a proper judgement in each situation. To gain prudence, temperance, other virtues, one must experience (or at least know of) the extremes. So it's probably good to go through periods of extreme self-denial, as well as extreme self-indulgence, to learn the virtue of self-control.

    Thomas, building on Paul's "faith, hope, and charity, and the greatest of these is charity" (1 Cor 13) would add that to really do the right thing, we need not only prudence, temperance, and other natural virtues, but also the graced virtue of charity. Charity too is commonly misunderstood. It doesn't mean handouts. It means loving whom God loves, how God loves. God loves everyone. And God's love doesn't think people are perfect, it wills them good. Willing all people good (across space and time, Seventh Generation, etc.) is another principle I would add to "comfort."

    I agree. Even better might be to purchase one's shoes from independent artisans who have dedicated their lives to excellence, like DW.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
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  20. in stitches

    in stitches Well-Known Member

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    excellent stuff, emptym. when i have more time i will reply in greater length.
     

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