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Shopping experience; attitudes on money and quality

NotTooLate

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Hello SF, First, thank you to all who gave me suggestions in my jeans question thread. I ended up going to Self Edge store today, and was assisted by someone there, who I will refer to as T. I really liked the Sugar Cane Okinawa the best. The fabric, finishing details, etc. But the fit... the fit wasn't perfect. It just wasn't right. I ended up with the Iron Heart jeans, and they are great. I went with my friend, who I will call A. He was outraged by the concept of a jeans store that has almost nothing on display, and where everything costs > $300. A was really upset that I was buying jeans without doing any negotiation, without getting a discount. A told me I'm making a mistake, was being ripped off, etc. I somehow couldn't explain to him that if T gets to know me as a good customer, T might do things for me in the future, like get me first access to unusual items, offer me discounts, etc. I tried to explain: these jeans are hand-made by fanatics in Japan in very small quantities of absolutely top-quality materials. Of course it's going to cost more than stuff made in a factory in China. Of course it's only sold in specialty shops. Of course there's a high markup. Of course people who shop in such places don't think too much about the price. He didn't understand and said I could find the same jeans downtown for a fraction of the cost. Well, we looked up and down Melrose, and I sure did find a lot of jeans that were about 1/2 to 1/4 the price, all made in China, all ripped / stone washed / trashed, and looking (to me) like trash that I wouldn't wear. He told me that these jeans wouldn't help me get girls. In a broad sense, he's probably right. Only 1 in 100 women would even recognize them as being something special. That's fine. I don't care. I'm 39. I've been scoffed at by women for so long I no longer care. But there's a lot more to it than that. Maybe there will be that 1 in 100 woman who sees these and realizes, "hey this guy at least doesn't go for ordinary jeans... maybe he's not ordinary in other ways too." And there's more, too. I'm CEO of my company. You may or may not be aware, but most people who are self-employed describe themselves as "CEOs", so "I'm a CEO" usually means (in reality) "I'm broke and unemployed. I have high aspirations, but those aspirations are probably not realistic." In fact it was true for me until recently; I was broke and my business seemed hopeless, but I persisted and it changed. The only way to counter this perception is to wear top-quality clothes. Anyway, as a CEO, I need to project leadership and confidence, and that requires maintaining a good appearance. And maybe if I know that I'm wearing amazingly excellent jeans that no one has ever heard of, it will change my level of confidence and self-perception and women will pick up on that, even if they have no idea what 21 oz selvedge denim is. He asked why I buy something like that, when I can buy something which (he thinks) is the same, for a fraction of the price. I tried to explain, it's for me, I truly appreciate high-quality hand-made things. We also saw some nylon jackets there. I was almost ready to buy, but he was even more outraged by the idea of a nylon jacket for $600. He later pointed out some others at other stores that (to him) were "the same", but to me, they were not even comparable, not in the same world. I also tried to explain, this is about attitudes towards money. Should I spend an hour trying to bargain a few dollars off the price of these jeans, or spend the day wandering around downtown trying to find something that looks similar to save a few bucks? Or should I spend my time on where it counts, which (for me) is making sales for my business? To me it's obvious what the answer is. Anyway, I shouldn't have gone shopping with him. His business is not growing, and mine is. It's probably because he has a focus on trying to save money to stay alive, while mine is on making sales and expanding the business. For him, saving every $100 matters, and it was probably painful for him to be in a store like that. If I had known this ahead of time I wouldn't have gone with him. My business was very unsuccessful until quite recently, but now it is successful and growing, so I also have had to change my mindset, from one of being broke all the time to having many profitable opportunities. Part of that is being able to be relaxed about spending money on things that matter to my business, or to me personally, whether that means getting a new pair of top-quality jeans, or a new top-quality computer system, or a highly qualified employee. It's all part of the same mindset. And that's why, hey, it's time for me to get some really nice clothes, whatever it costs, and that's why I'm on this site (and others) and trying to learn more. My friend A should not blow money he doesn't have, but at this stage he should start to change the way he thinks and focus more on making income and less on staying alive by pinching pennies. Sorry for the rant... I'm happy with my jeans, and will go back there soon to pick up a jacket (made by genuine otakus) to go with them! My next mission is to get in better shape (lose 10 lbs) so I can have more clothing choices. It seems like 34 waist is about the limit of good-looking clothing, and right now I'm at an honest 36. I love top-quality hand-made Japanese stuff. The world is so full of Walmart-quality stuff, but I don't want to have a Walmart-quality life. Btw, about the jeans: I love the Japanglish text on them! I bet they did that intentionally!
 

NotTooLate

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Originally Posted by whodini
Welcome the forum, Mr.Zuckerberg.
Hahaha. No, things aren't anywhere remotely close to that level, but at least I've transitioned from "broke all the time" (for YEARS) to having a very good income coming in, and a growing business. This has happened only within the past few months, and it's been a very long and stressful road to getting there. It seemed completely hopeless many many times but I kept going (I don't know why) and now all the stress and risk are paying off.
 

meso

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Can you provide a synopsis?
 

NotTooLate

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Originally Posted by meso
Can you provide a synopsis?

No, it's a rant. If it had a synopsis it wouldn't be a proper rant. (Oh, I guess I could say, I got Iron Heart jeans and I think they're cool.)
 

LA Guy

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Your friend's a philistine. It's really that simple. Your jeans are not going to get you women. Your jeans are not going to make your more successful, better looking, or charming. You can get perfectly serviceable jeans for $100, and 99% of the population would be none the wiser. There are plenty of very successful people who wear $50 Levi's.
 

NotTooLate

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Originally Posted by LA Guy
Your jeans are not going to get you women. Your jeans are not going to make your more successful, better looking, or charming. You can get perfectly serviceable jeans for $100, and 99% of the population would be none the wiser. There are plenty of very successful people who wear $50 Levi's.

Yes to all of the above. I tried to explain, I'm buying these because they are what I want, and that's all the reason I need. Girls won't know or care. Customers and employees won't know or care (so long as things are neat and conservative looking). Etc. But I know and I care, and what more reason do I need?
 

Rosenberg

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Originally Posted by NotTooLate
Yes to all of the above. I tried to explain, I'm buying these because they are what I want, and that's all the reason I need. Girls won't know or care. Customers and employees won't know or care (so long as things are neat and conservative looking). Etc. But I know and I care, and what more reason do I need?

sick fadez bro, that's the reason
 

bare bodkin

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Originally Posted by Uncontrol
was interesting until you started bragging about businesses and shit

no way, that was the best part

please continue Mr. NotTooLate
 

NotTooLate

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Originally Posted by Uncontrol
was interesting until you started bragging about businesses and shit

Sorry, don't mean to sound like I'm bragging. It's just what I'm going through now. I've gone from broke (for a long long time) to not-broke, it's a big change for me. Of course, there's something inherently bragging about buying any of these exclusive Japanese jeans brands.

Originally Posted by bare bodkin
no way, that was the best part

please continue Mr. NotTooLate


Thank you!

I thought of another analogy of why I think it's worth it for me to spend so much on jeans, even if 99% of the people out there will have no idea what kind of jeans they are.

I could wear old underwear with stains and holes and so on. Or I could wear underwear that's in good condition. No one will notice either way, so does it make any difference? If we were robots (and imagine for a moment that robots wore underwear) then maybe it wouldn't matter. But we're not robots. Our self-perception is, indeed, influenced by how much care we take, even on things that no one else is aware of.

So that's my answer about why I care that I'm wearing awesome quality Japanese selvedge, when probably 99.9% of the people out there couldn't recognize it.
 

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