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Luxuries you can live without

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ambulance Chaser, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Well-Known Member

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    Are you one of the individuals this article is talking about?
     
  2. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Well-Known Member

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    I do without all the luxuries mentioned, except that I would not want to have a "discount" watch (no, don't have a diamond- encrusted Cartier tank-just a steel Rolex Air King, a law school graduation gift from parents-watch is now quite old). Items mentioned don't seem very useful, but then again there's the matter of private school tuition for my daughter.
     
  3. gorgekko

    gorgekko Well-Known Member

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    I suppose if I had the money I would be buying those things but they seem like very silly purchases if you're not wealthy. Frankly, my cotton sheets do the job nicely every evening and I don't know what their thread count is.
     
  4. tiger02

    tiger02 Well-Known Member

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    There might be a worthwhile point or two in there, but the whole article sounds somewhat bitter to me. The way I understand the recent trend of middle-class Americans buying somewhat pricier goods has to do with the fact that the middle class is actually more affluent, not more aspirational. The graph I'm thinking of was a sharp parabolic curve in the 1950s but has somewhat fattened out now. Companies like P&G exploit the new buying power of the middle class by offering the Swiffer at $16 instead of a plain 'ol mop at $4. To take a case the author barely touched, why even offer Acuras when Hondas run perfectly well? As has been said before, some people choose to spend their money differently than others do. Maybe they see that a public education all the way up through University can now be as good as or better than a private education, so they don't feel the pressure to save as much for their children, or whatever.

    I've also never understood the problem with enjoying the money I make now, "instead of being invested in a way that might truly enhance your quality of life someday." Economic disingenuousness of that statement aside, who's to say that the quality of my life isn't being enhanced now?

    Tom
     
  5. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Well-Known Member

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    A bit better than yesterday, all day vomiting for
    A split decision for me.

    * Pots: guilty
    *\tJeans: not guilty
    *\tKnives: guilty
    *\tCosmetics: not guilty (although my kids make me an abettor)
    *\tStrollers: not guilty
    *\tSheets: not guilty
    *\tSneakers: guilty
    *\tWatches: guilty
    *\tChocolates: not guilty; we do, however, have Danish kringle expressed in about once a month
    *\tScotch: not guilty
    *\tBathrobes: not guilty
    *\tTV: not guilty
    *\tWine glasses: not guilty

    None of this makes me particularly pleased with myself, btw.
     
  6. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Well-Known Member

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    The bitter tone invites a puritanical response, because the items are characterized as unnecessary. Who really wants to admit buying the unnecessary?
     
  7. Bradford

    Bradford Well-Known Member

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    Actually I agree with this article - while it's OK to enjoy the money you have now, there are numerous people purchasing items like this in order to live up to some media-driven, marketing-based idea of the luxurious life - and the availability of easy credit has allowed many to do so.

    If you can afford it - great. Unfortunately, if you look at the huge increase in credit card debt, rising number of bankruptcies and incredibly low rate of savings in this country, it becomes obvious that many people cannot actually afford these things.

    It's one thing if you can pay cash for the $125 All-Clad Omelette Pan, but it's quite another to end up paying 2 to 3 times that amount, i.e. $300-$400 for that pan, if you carry a balance on your credit card and just pay the minimum each month (as studies have shown that many people do.) And additionally, the real question would be, does the omelette taste any better if it's cooked in this pan?

    Bradford
     
  8. topcatny

    topcatny Well-Known Member

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    My wife and I are some of the people they are talking about, although I like to think we are at least getting all of these unnecessary things at good bargains.

    *Pots: guilty (wedding present)
    *Jeans: not guilty (We get all our jeans from my work at steep discounts if not free)
    *Knives: guilty (wedding present)
    *Cosmetics: guilty (My wife actually buys the La Mer mentioned, although we do have a friend who works at Saks and gets it for her with her employee discount)
    *Strollers: guilty (We don't have the bugaboo stroller, we did look at it though. Instead we have 4 different strollers. All were gifts though)
    *Sheets: guilty (frette sheets bought at a sample sale in NY)
    *Sneakers: used to be guilty, not any more
    *Watches: guilty (received as a gift, need to get my wife one soon though)
    *Chocolates: not guilty
    *Scotch: not $250 a bottle guilty more like $75 - $100 guilty
    *Bathrobes: guilty (Frette bathrobes, also purchased at the sample sale)
    *TV: not guilty
    *Wine glasses: guilty I only have the bordeaux Riedel glasses . But i am hoping to add to the collection.
     
  9. tiger02

    tiger02 Well-Known Member

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    I have no problem saying that some purchases are, strictly speaking, unnecessary. After all, water will boil in a $10 pot as well as and sometimes faster than in a $100 pot. My problem is with the way she ties such purchases to economic irresponsibility. If her whole point was simply to invoke a response then fine, I'm just going to refrain from engaging.

    Full disclosure, my Fissler pots--German equivalent to All Clad--ran me about 30 euro per, on sale from 150-250. My first and so far only Wusthof knife came for about $20 on ebay.

    Tom
     
  10. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    greater chicago
    I'll tell you what the problem is, or whether it is a problem or not. I lived very very well in my 20's and early 30's, being pretty sure that my values would never change. I saved a little money, but mostly I lived very well, not wastfully, but if I wanted to fly for the weekend to vienna to see an art show, for instance, I didn't think twice about it.

    At one point, my value system changed. I used to always say that I would prefer to go to the Carnival and the Octoberfest every year for the rest of my life rather than own a house - it never dawned on me that I would want to stop renting apartments and buy a house with a yard. now, of course, it would have been very nice to have started with buying ahouse 15 years ago, like some of my friends.

    on the other hand, I myself have no regrets. but keep in mind that it can happen.
     
  11. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    greater chicago
    * Pots: guilty
    *\tJeans: not guilty
    *\tKnives: guilty
    *\tCosmetics: not guilty (although my kids make me an abettor)
    *\tStrollers: guilty
    *\tSheets: guilty, but bought where they were relativly cheap
    *\tSneakers: guilty
    *\tWatches: not guilty
    *\tChocolates: guilty in moderation
    *\tScotch: not guilty (bourbon, guilty)
    *\tBathrobes: not guilty
    *\tTV: not guilty
    *\tWine glasses: not guilty

    I think that the trick is to have a few nice things, only what is important and will add to quality of life, and to shop carefully for them.
     
  12. joshuam

    joshuam Member

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    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Miami
    I find it interesting that they don't mention my vice: wine. Yes, I'm guilty of the wine glasses; but the wine itself creates the sucking sound in my wallet. I'm also guilty of pots and knives (I'm now into Japanese blades). I place some of the 'blame' on FoodTV that has brought cooking back into being chic and not just something that the guy slaving over the fire in the restaurant does. I have a strong feeling that this surge will die down amongst the trendy and only the base market will remain. As for watches I'm semi-guilty there as well. I suppose on all the watches that I've bought (mostly online, preowned) I could have a nice Rolex datejust, but I enjoy having a few unique items instead of one "nice" piece at this stage in my life. Don't get me wrong: if I had the disposable income I'd be a total WIS. ps. P&G is paying for my college so I'm the last person to criticize them. Â [​IMG]
     
  13. Luc-Emmanuel

    Luc-Emmanuel Well-Known Member

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    Paris, France
    I have 72 riedel glasses... 10 x 6 + 12 champagnes flutes.
    I have around 800 bottles of wine. I taste wines at clubs, events, etc... every week.
    I have a huge cast iron cooking pot. Because I enjoy cooking and eating. Nothing can beat cast iron for a civet.

    I don't feel I'm buying unnecessary luxury goods. I just enjoy food, wine, and clothing and thus I spend quite a lot of money on these three things.

    .luc
     
  14. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    my philosophy is trying to get fewer and fewer better quality things in my life, in most areas. I have a nice set of knives, about 10 years old, and I have a half dozen cheap ikea knives, which have their uses, too. I have 3-4 really good pots, and a few small cheap pots which have their uses, too. I am constantly trying to trim my wardrobe down, and get rid of things around the house that we don't use, cut down to one set of very good towels, for instance, a mimimum number of sheets, dishes, etc, that are needed.
     
  15. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Well-Known Member

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    I like this article. I agree with this completely.
     
  16. cuffthis

    cuffthis Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    New Hope, PA
    Wine Glasses - major guilty. At Chateau Cuffthis, we probably break more Riedel glasses each year than most people buy (sob). We host at least 2 wine dinners a month. It's amazing how many glasses you have to clean the next day. 12 people x 4-6 different glasses each, plus water glasses. [​IMG]
     
  17. joshuam

    joshuam Member

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    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Miami
    Yes, but if you buy into the article you and I are quetionable because we are spending a premium on a good that has to be consumed to be enjoyed (oh no.). Unless you are holding onto bottles for appreciation, what is the point. I think she is missing the bit about enjoyment of life and sometimes these things are worth it if it brings a bit of happiness, even on the most primal level. Cuffthis: So when are Luc and I coming over for a bacchanal? We can celebrate our superfluous lives  [​IMG]. Also, (not to thread-drift) do you still need ideas for restaurants in Orlando? I saw your post on the wine boards but figured you probably hang out here more. Let me know, I lived there for five years before moving down here to Miami.
     
  18. topcatny

    topcatny Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this as well. Lately I have been walking around our house noticing all the things we never use, that are just taking up space. We keep going back to the best quality stuff we have, whether it be towels, sheets, pots, etc. and using those things repeatedly. I just did a major reduction to my wardrobe eliminating things I never wear, now I want to do the same for the rest of my life.
     
  19. spatten

    spatten Well-Known Member

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    As someone who is fiscally iresponsible by nature - but working hard at it (and making good progress) I recognize the merit in an article like this. There are many people who can use a wakeup call like this article.

    However, adopting an austere lifestyle - which is what the article seems to tacitly suggests - is probably not the right answer either.

    I think the attitude adopted by many members of this site - purchasing high quality goods at reasonable prices - goes a long way to the right answer.
     
  20. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

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    Originally posted by Luc-Emmanuel:
    hmmm, I like cooking and eating too, but civet? [​IMG] What does that mongoose taste like? What about the musk glands?
     

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