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Luxuries you can live without

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

  1. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    Luc_Emannuel, how does the civet taste? And the musk glands? [​IMG]
     


  2. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    Careful with civet, you could get SARS...
     


  3. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Senior member

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    * Pots: not guilty
    * Jeans: guilty
    * Knives: not guilty
    * Cosmetics: wife guilty (but she gets most a Walmart)
    * Strollers: not guilty
    * Sheets: not guilty
    * Sneakers: not guilty--unless you count the leather Tod sneakers
    * Watches: guilty--but no visible jewel stones
    * Chocolates: guilty
    * Scotch: not guilty
    * Bathrobes: guilty--Brioni/Hanro/etc is just to nice
    * TV: not guilty
    * Wine glasses: not guilty
     


  4. Gatsby

    Gatsby Senior member

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    Getting back on topic, I think the point of the article, regardless if there was an "˜agenda' or not, is very relevant in this day and age. Personally I have noticed that my recent unbridled spending habits have been a direct result of a relentless pursuit of "˜quality'. Though buying quality items that last should justify itself, there still remains that chasm between need and want. One great example is with wine glasses. The article mentions people who buy Riedel glasses simply for the name (which of course is conveniently printed at the base). The writer is referring not to wine enthusiasts who obviously need different glasses to maximize their enjoyment of specific wines, but your Jane and John Doe couple that drinks only on special occasions and the word "˜bouquet' only refers to flowers. It is highly unlikely that they can discern any tangible difference between drinking from a Riedel glass and an IKEA glass. In fact I doubt that using a crystal goblet over an identically crafted glass one will actually change the taste (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). In the end the reason that this couple, and many others, buys Riedel is for that extra bit-of-luxury. They may need wine glasses, but they want ones that represent some lifestyle ideal regardless if it's within their means or not.
    That said, it is a completely justifiable luxury to buy watches, robes, sheets, TVs, etc. if that's what you really enjoy and you can truly tell the difference. For many of us here, it's suits, shoes and watches. The only caveat is not to spend on things that you don't/can't appreciate fully simply to entertain some lifestyle fantasy. And of course, not to spend more than you can afford.
     


  5. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Gentlemen:

    I read the article (albeit very quickly) -- thanks to AmbChase.  Also read your replies with interest.  I've read the Frank book she cites, and I would also recommend Twitchell's book on Luxury, if you can find it.  It's an interersting discussion of the way items are marketed as luxury items that everyone can afford (thereby placing into jeopardy their status as luxury items). Anyway, it's an interesting sociological critique.

    On most things, I'll buy the best if that fact affects their performance.  I either don't want to buy the same thing twice, or I don't want to replace the thing because it doesn't do what it's supposed to do (one good example is tools -- though whether under _most_ applications a Craftsman wrench is worth more than a Snap-On wrench, I think not).

    On Scotch and wine, I'd rather drink good stuff, or not drink it at all.  But everyone likes a bargain, no?  So when Petrus became a "brand" I stopped drinking it.   At first because it was over-priced, and then because it became so obscenely-priced and hard to justify within my own value system.

    On certain things that have such a huge mark-up compared to the additional value they offer, I find it hard to purchase them, but on occasion I do.

    I like nice things but it's about quality-construction and whatnot rather than as any status symbol that they may represent.  This is something that the author of the article doesn't consider.

    Edit: actually, I reread article and she does consider that (sort of).

    Anyway, I found this to be the most interesting part of article:


    >Sadly, this cycle of spending on image and brand tends to escalate. >What was once a luxury or a one-time splurge quickly becomes a >necessity. Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert dubbed it a pattern of >"miswanting" -- because what people want (i.e. a life of wealth and >luxury) can't be fulfilled just by acquiring the trappings of it.

    >And what's worse is that trying to buy the appearance of luxury can >become a roadblock that stops you from building up your own, true >wealth. Because -- as impressed as your friends are by your pricey >"stems" or $700 stroller -- that's just money going toward a fantasy, >instead of being invested in a way that might truly enhance your quality >of life someda
     


  6. gorgekko

    gorgekko Senior member

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    Pity Dr. Bresch has disappeared for the past couple of weeks. I would have loved to have known what he thought about this.
     


  7. android

    android Member

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    My considerations for most purchases are quality and where it was made. I try to favor free world countries including the US, Canada and Europe.

    I don't ever just buy the most expensive because it is. I can usually find very good quality for significantly less than prestige quality.

    * Pots: Magnalite, unfortunately out of business
    * Jeans: not guilty
    * Knives: guilty, but anything steel is a tool. Messermeister.
    * Cosmetics: not guilty
    * Strollers: not guilty
    * Sheets: not guilty
    * Sneakers: not guilty
    * Watches: mildly guilty. Omega Seamaster
    * Chocolates: occassionally guilty
    * Scotch: not guilty. Whiskey: mildly guilty 12yo Jameson's (about $35/750ml)
    * Bathrobes: not guilty
    * TV: 57" Rear projection, not plasma - guilty?
    * Wine glasses: not guilty

    My lastest clothing obsession has been buying Allen Edmond shoes. I've bought 10 pair since the beginning of December. Guilty? I think not. I got them all on eBay and am averaging about $35 a pair including shipping. So I have spent about what 1 pair cost at Nordstroms.
     


  8. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    there was a very interesting article about Reidel in Gourmet magazine last year. they looked, independently, at the methodology of the research that Reidel claimed to have done on taste buds and wine tasting and glass shapes and found the reaserch very flawed. then they did a series of totally blind tastings (very compicated as they had to keep people from touching the glasses) and found that their experts couldn't tell the difference between wine sipped from Reidel or very simple glasses.

    in my last move I bought 4 ikea wine glasses and 4 water tumblers and used them for a month or so, and they were actually quite nice. I prefer czech crystal, but I wouldn't pay Reidel prices for glasses, myself.
     


  9. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I really don't think Riedel is that expensive really. I bought my set of Riedel Sommeliers from Amazon for like $20-25 per set of 4 glasses (I think they're about twice that in retail stores) which isn't outrageous IMO. Ok, you can buy like 12 goblets for $10 at Bed Bath and Beyond or something, but when buying specific glasses for specific types of wine, I don't think $5-6 a glass is outrageous.
     


  10. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I don't think that they are outragous, I am not sure that they are justified. Actually, I have no problem spending that for glasses (I think that my regular wine glasses were actually a little more) but I think that if you bought 8 types of Reidels to fit each type of wine, that might be a less good way of spending money. On the other hand, it depends where you prefer - I wanted glasses that were of thick crystal and made a nice crystal sound. and for me, 3 wine glasses and water are enough.

    so, like with everything, it is a matter of give and take.
     


  11. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    My only significant indulgence from that list is watches (although I do cop to owning several Kiehls products).  I also own a $100 TempurPedic pillow, but it is absolutely the best $100 I have ever spent -- the difference in quality of sleep from a regular pillow is amazing.
     


  12. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    (drizzt3117 @ Feb. 25 2005,10:09) I really don't think Riedel is that expensive really. I bought my set of Riedel Sommeliers from Amazon for like $20-25 per set of 4 glasses (I think they're about twice that in retail stores) which isn't outrageous IMO. Ok, you can buy like 12 goblets for $10 at Bed Bath and Beyond or something, but when buying specific glasses for specific types of wine, I don't think $5-6 a glass is outrageous.
    I don't think that they are outragous, I am not sure that they are justified. Actually, I have no problem spending that for glasses (I think that my regular wine glasses were actually a little more) but I think that if you bought 8 types of Reidels to fit each type of wine, that might be a less good way of spending money. On the other hand, it depends where you prefer - I wanted glasses that were of thick crystal and made a nice crystal sound. and for me, 3 wine glasses and water are enough. so, like with everything, it is a matter of give and take.
    That makes sense. I own eight bordeaux/cabernet glasses, eight burgundy (pinot) glasses, four white wine glasses, eight champagne flutes, and four dessert wine glasses, along with a few glasses for scotch, etc. I think I spent maybe $300 for all my nicer stemware for 50 or so pieces. I figured as the wine and storage is worth at least 100 times as much, it wouldn't do to be skimping on stemware, although I own less stemware than many with similarily sized cellars, I just don't throw that huge of wine dinners, the most people I would have over at once is 6-8.
     


  13. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    (globetrotter @ Feb. 25 2005,10:30)
    I really don't think Riedel is that expensive really. Â I bought my set of Riedel Sommeliers from Amazon for like $20-25 per set of 4 glasses (I think they're about twice that in retail stores) which isn't outrageous IMO. Â Ok, you can buy like 12 goblets for $10 at Bed Bath and Beyond or something, but when buying specific glasses for specific types of wine, I don't think $5-6 a glass is outrageous.
    I don't think that they are outragous, I am not sure that they are justified. Actually, I have no problem spending that for glasses (I think that my regular wine glasses were actually a little more) but I think that if you bought 8 types of Reidels to fit each type of wine, that might be a less good way of spending money. On the other hand, it depends where you prefer - I wanted glasses that were of thick crystal and made a nice crystal sound. and for me, 3 wine glasses and water are enough. so, like with everything, it is a  matter of give and take.
    That makes sense. Â I own eight bordeaux/cabernet glasses, eight burgundy (pinot) glasses, four white wine glasses, eight champagne flutes, and four dessert wine glasses, along with a few glasses for scotch, etc. I think I spent maybe $300 for all my nicer stemware for 50 or so pieces. Â I figured as the wine and storage is worth at least 100 times as much, it wouldn't do to be skimping on stemware, although I own less stemware than many with similarily sized cellars, I just don't throw that huge of wine dinners, the most people I would have over at once is 6-8.
    (I meant, by the way, 3 types of wine glasses, not a total [​IMG] ) that makes sense - if there is a chance that the reidel improve the taste, and I am not saying one way or another, but there is deffinatly a chance that is better than 0%, and the glasses cost 1% of your other wine costs, then it makes perfect sense to go with the Reidel.
     


  14. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I was going to say that I thought it was kinda nice to have one glass for yourself, your wife, and your kid but it seemed a bit limited [​IMG] Also sharing one water glass may be a little limiting...
     


  15. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    when I first moved in, until our stuff came I got an ikea started box - 4 white bowls, 4 white plates, 4 water glasses, 4 wine glasses. it looked very austere on the shelf. [​IMG]
     


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