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Clothing for the rest of my life

Mr T

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Two years ago I turned forty. It was a strange experience and I recommend everyone try it at least once in their life. For me, forty came with the realization that, with care and proper rotation, some items I was buying could last me the rest of my life. For the past two years since then I have slowly replaced most of my shoes with a smaller rotation of cordovan in classic styles (I have 4 more pair to buy and plan to be done by this summer).

After shoes I plan on approaching luggage and briefcases the same way. Just one more Briggs suit case and a few things from Glaser and I never have to think about shoes or luggage again. After that, 3-4 custom hats and I can cross hats off my list forever.

I don't know what I will do with the free time.

Has anyone else taken this approach?
 

ter1413

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no
 

Mr T

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Originally Posted by holymadness
The approach of buying a dozen of everything?

Very clever.


But I meant being satisfied with what you own and the cessation of wanting more. A sartorial nirvana if you will.
 

ter1413

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Originally Posted by Mr T
Very clever.


But I meant being satisfied with what you own and the cessation of wanting more. A sartorial nirvana if you will.


so suppose after yu have ur dozen shoes, you see a really nice pair somewhere?
 

.Kurtz.

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Sounds like an excuse to indulge yourself (as good as any other one, on the other hand).
 

globetrotter

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T, I have been doing the exact same thing, at the (almost) exact same point in my life. I am trying to set up a wardrobe by the age of 45 that will last me until I am at least 65. I would be happy if, when I am done, I have almost no shopping to do for clothes - every few years underwear and socks, sweats, and then re-colloring my shirts and resoling my shoes every few years.
 

Beatlegeuse

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I'm about to turn 30, so maybe my age has something to do with it, but I can't imagine ever being "complete" and never needing to buy new clothes again. I think there will always be something that will catch my eye that I will want in my wardrobe.
 

TimelesStyle

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Originally Posted by Mr T
Very clever.


But I meant being satisfied with what you own and the cessation of wanting more. A sartorial nirvana if you will.


I feel like part of the joy of appreciating fine clothing and shoes is paying attention to changing styles, experimenting with new looks and always being on the lookout for something interesting to add to your collection.

Even if you buy things now that will last the rest of your life, that joy still won't go away, and it shouldn't.

Now, if you're only planning to live to 42, then by all means, I think your strategy is a good one.
 

MBreinin

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Originally Posted by Mr T
Very clever.


But I meant being satisfied with what you own and the cessation of wanting more. A sartorial nirvana if you will.


Never. I am almost 41, I get more pleasure out of the shopping and hunting than anything.

Mike
 

OakCliff

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This approach works for certain things and not for others. For furniture in my house, it will probably last as long as I keep it and I plan to keep it for a long time. Here are some thoughts on applying the same theory to clothing and accessories. I think watches are something like furniture in my house (in other words, if you purchase well, the watch could be a valuable antique one day), but as you get into shoes, they are still like tires on the car and will eventually wear out.

Forever
Watches -- last forever if cared for (except leather bands wear out), but it is good to have multiple nice watches in rotation
Briefcases and luggage - falls apart eventually, but Bosca and Tumi have repaired my stuff at a nominal cost (or free), so this could be a lifetime purchase

Long-Term
Shoes -- even cordovan shoes eventually wear out, but if you have a large shoe collection, they can last a long time, so I view high quality shoes as a relatively good long-term investment

Medium-Term
Wool Trousers and Suits - depending on how often you wear them, trousers and suits last a long time, but fashions change and pants get wear and tear and need to be refreshed; therefore, I don't view this as a long-term purchase
Jeans - good quality pair in a decent sized collection will last several years.
Ties - last a long-time, but unless you never change style, then they don't fall into the long-term category

Short-Term to Medium-Term
Shirts - it seems like others get more wear from shirts, but especially if you take them to the cleaners, they don't last very long, so an expensive shirt isn't a great value for me.

Short-Term
Socks, underwear, undershirts etc...
 

forex

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I like the idea, I am not at that point yet but hoping to be there in a couple of years. I think,once you cover all the holes and have enough in your rotation,you should be able to abstain from buying anything. Say 50 pairs of shoes,20 suits,20 sport coats,50 shirts and some ties. I think it is doable.The key is to cover all of the holes and not to buy anything that resembles what you already have. Of course, shirts and underwear and socks will be disposable but other things should last you a long time and yeah,you need to keep in shape.
 

NORE

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I'm doing basically the same thing. I may buy a tie or some socks (or treat myself to a pair of shoes) but that's pretty much it for me.
 

Holdfast

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Things last almost as long as you want them to. There's always a resoling, darning, patching, or collar replacement that could be done. It just becomes a matter of how obviously patched you want an item to be. They eventually die, but can last far longer than most let them... if you want them to. So, if you want to manage on the same wardrobe, it's fairly easy to do so (provided it's large enough). It just strikes me as a rather pointless constraint. This concept of growing old with your clothes seems to me to be an artificial way of gaining a sense of constancy, stability and reassuring predictability in life. A sense of paternal, respectable solidity. Of course, one can conversely argue that buying new items is an equally artificial elixir of youth. Both are really false nirvanas, to misquote the OP. Illusions of immortality. I leave it to the reader to decide which illusion he best prefers. In truth, I find neither a particularly endearing approach to clothing, though have no better recipe than to merely suggest wearing what you find aesthetically pleasing at that moment, and seeking no deeper meaning from sartorial matters.
 

Costanza

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I think that way about buildings, but not clothes. I think you might be a bit premature. The most regular wear I ever got out of a jacket was 20 years, and shoes 12.
 

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