Why do you buy used clothing?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Carey, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    Another reason I don't buy used clothes is because of the opportunity costs. It takes a long time to go thrifting or to browse ebay for just the right thing. If I spend 5 hours a week doing that (which isn't too unreasonable - in fact, I'm willing to bet that a lof of you spend a lot more time than that thrifting), that's 5 hours I could be billing - over the course of a year that' 250 hours. That could be another $10k added to my bonus - which can buy a lot of suits, shirts and shoes.
     


  2. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    Another reason I don't buy used clothes is because of the opportunity costs. It takes a long time to go thrifting or to browse ebay for just the right thing. If I spend 5 hours a week doing that (which isn't too unreasonable - in fact, I'm willing to bet that a lof of you spend a lot more time than that thrifting), that's 5 hours I could be billing - over the course of a year that' 250 hours. That could be another $10k added to my bonus - which can buy a lot of suits, shirts and shoes.
    I'd rather be thrifting than billing, most of the time.
     


  3. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    I'd rather be thrifting than billing, most of the time.

    Work is work man.
     


  4. Carey

    Carey Senior member

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    1. If you could only afford say $20 for a shirt or $30 for a pair of trousers what would you buy? Would you prioritise your own perception of what is hygienic over what is stylish or good value? 2. Do you have any other issues regarding hygiene and other people that might shed light on your attitude to used clothes or clothes from an uncertain provenance? Is this the only area where you feel that interaction with things other people have touched is unpleasant? 3. Do you enjoy paying top dollar to feel like you are really getting the best? My point is that I think it is clear from the thread that you are the one that seems to have the problem: certainly no-one else objects to you buying new and only new. So in the interest of clarity, I'd like to hear the answers to the questions.
    1.) Hygene issue, yes. If I only had $20 to spend on a shirt, I would hit Marshall's or TJ Maxx. If my funds were that limited, I wouldn't be able to afford the trip to Nordstrom's Rack. Off 5th wouldn't offer anything at that price. I just can't make myself wear someone else's cast-offs. That doesn't mean someone else should ascribe to my ethic. To me clothing is like skin. I am not a Howard Hughes germaphobe, as I will rest my head on my wife's pillow. I will even use her hand towel. She hates it when I do that. But I cannot see myself going to a consignment shop or Salvation Army. 2.) I think thrifting is greedy if one has the means to buy new at full retail, or on sale, or at an outlet store. That is my judgement. Ebay is a different category and is for the truly fashion addicted. Clothing as we all agree can be an expensive, consuming habit. If thrifting is the only place one can find what one truly desires of fashion selection, that is different too. When I was in college and needed a pair of black trousers for waiting tables, I bought them at the Salvation Army because I wanted tropical weight wool instead of polyester (this was 1982). I was paying my on way, so Salvation Army was a justifiable option. Today, I am established and successful enough (through much hard work and have paid my dues to get to this point) to bear the cost of my needs and wants. 3.) I don't get any enjoyment from paying full-retail. I wish I could buy a MTM garment at a discount, but about $100 off is all you get a manufacturer's trunk show. So I buy clothes only when I have the means.
     


  5. summej2

    summej2 Senior member

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    2.) I think thrifting is greedy if one has the means to buy new at full retail, or on sale, or at an outlet store. That is my judgement.

    *If* one uses the savings to buy even more, e.g. 10 or 20 used Oxxford suits rather than one new Oxxford suit, I would agree that thrifting is greedy. But, what if one gives the savings away, or invests them? Certainly I am not morally obligated to live exactly at the extent of my means rather than below them.

    Similarly, would you argue that the Boston Brahmin penchant for wearing hand-me-downs is greedy, rather than thrifty?
     


  6. Carey

    Carey Senior member

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    I don't ascribe to living miserly, that too is greed. Life is too short. Also, I agree with you that one should not live at the extent of their means or beyond; but where the boundry lies is a personal decision of comfort or discomfort.

    If you can be St. Francis and give away what money/possesions you have at the end of the day, then you are fulfilling the mission to which you have consigned yourself. But I doubt that many do just that. If one does live that example, how much money that could go to the poor is being spent in the internet cafe to post on the style forum?

    I'm done.
     


  7. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't get the greed angle at all. It's not as though there is a shortage of clothing in thrift shops, and heaven knows I donate enough back there. And at most such places, the point isn't for the clothes to reach the poor; it's to raise money from the sale of the clothes.

    Beyond that, it's bizarre to argue that it's somehow more greedy to spend $12 on a suit than to spend $1,500 on one. That $1,500 could feed a lot of folks.
     


  8. Carey

    Carey Senior member

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    I guess I am not done.

    I just never considered that by purchasing in thrift shops to support one's hobby also helps to benefit the poor. Your point is well taken that the money raised goes to help those in need, not the clothing donated.

    Whenever I donate my clothes to the Kidney Foundation or the Goodwill, I think that someone less fortunate will be getting some good clothes. Maybe I live in a too idyllic world.
     


  9. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

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    Well, Carey, I think you have a lot of issues about a lot of things. It's just silly to claim that shopping at thrift stores is greedy if you are able to shop elsewhere. My god, have you ever been in a thrift store? It's usually all they can do to push things out the door to make room for the stuff piling up in the back. This country is practically drowning in stuff. It's not like if you buy that Kiton jacket at the Salvation Army some poor alcoholic will freeze to death on the street. But though I indeed live in San Francisco, I have no aspirations to the mantle of St Francis--I am almost never racked with guilt about the possibility that money I spend on myself or my family might be more valuable to someone less fortunate. To provide for those people is a social rather than an individual obligation.
    More than anything else you seem to believe that people should know their place and live accordingly, which is rather a too rigid world-view for me.
     


  10. mack11211

    mack11211 Senior member

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    When I donate clothes to SA or GW or SVdP, I think that the org will earn money from selling my donations.

    The org will earn the same amount regardless of the buyer's income. And there will always be clothing for sale to those who simply need to be clad.
     


  11. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    My god, have you ever been in a thrift store? It's usually all they can do to push things out the door to make room for the stuff piling up in the back. This country is practically drowning in stuff.

    Said far better than I could have hoped. Have seen firsthand and wholeheartedly agree with this.

    I would rather not encourage the manufacturers to continue making short-life, disposable clothing by shopping retail.
     


  12. epa

    epa Senior member

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    Whenever I donate my clothes to the Kidney Foundation or the Goodwill, I think that someone less fortunate will be getting some good clothes. Maybe I live in a too idyllic world.
    I think that most "less fortunate" will be more happy receiving a hundred dollars' worth of food than receiving someones USD 4000 retail price Brioni suit. I may be wrong, of course.
     


  13. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    I just never considered that by purchasing in thrift shops to support one's hobby also helps to benefit the poor. Your point is well taken that the money raised goes to help those in need, not the clothing donated.

    Whenever I donate my clothes to the Kidney Foundation or the Goodwill, I think that someone less fortunate will be getting some good clothes. Maybe I live in a too idyllic world.


    I know how I wanted to put this. In strict economic terms, a charitable organization has the duty to maximize their income from donated goods. If they get a Brioni suit that is in good shape, they have two options - leave it for someone to pick up and wear (earning $0), or sell it for a good resale price (earning $100 for example). That $100 brings in cash that can be used for food or to pay electric bills for the needy, whcih is a lot more than they would have available had the jacket been handed over.
     


  14. Infinite42

    Infinite42 Well-Known Member

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    More than anything else you seem to believe that people should know their place and live accordingly, which is rather a too rigid world-view for me.
    I think you've nailed it right there.
     


  15. Carey

    Carey Senior member

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    Well, Carey, I think you have a lot of issues about a lot of things. It's just silly to claim that shopping at thrift stores is greedy if you are able to shop elsewhere. My god, have you ever been in a thrift store? It's usually all they can do to push things out the door to make room for the stuff piling up in the back. This country is practically drowning in stuff. It's not like if you buy that Kiton jacket at the Salvation Army some poor alcoholic will freeze to death on the street. But though I indeed live in San Francisco, I have no aspirations to the mantle of St Francis--I am almost never racked with guilt about the possibility that money I spend on myself or my family might be more valuable to someone less fortunate. To provide for those people is a social rather than an individual obligation. More than anything else you seem to believe that people should know their place and live accordingly, which is rather a too rigid world-view for me.
    Taking care of the poor is not a social obligation, it is an individual obligation. It should be the work of charities, not the government. Lyndon Johnson was not able to wipe out poverty through welfare programs. So when you say you that providing for "these people" aren't you describing a social order. My beef is that someone could be so arrogant as to think their thrift store shopping is their donation to the poor. You self-righteous left-wingers ought to spend more time in soup kitchens or building houses with Habitat for Humanity, than justifying your penchant for buying used clothing. I have not advocated that one should know his place and act accordingly. I just don't pretend to be a humanitarian in a stunning old suit.
     


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