Thinking About: Clothes

My dad always used to tell me, “You get what you pay for”.

I was thinking about that statement a few days ago, as I was ironing some shirts. One of those on the ironing pile was a shirt I bought in 1999. It is a ‘pullover’ style, with twin front pockets and a short zipped entrance for the neck. Made of strong cotton/canvas, I bought it in the chain store ‘Next’, for almost £40. Back then, £40 was a lot of money to pay for a shirt, believe me. You could buy a two-piece suit for that money, in a ‘cheap shop’.

But here I was over twenty years later, ironing a shirt that looked as good as the day I brought it home.

In the 2014 photo on my ‘About’ page, I am wearing a lightweight jacket with a Tintin logo. That was bought from a shop in London that used to sell official Tintin merchandise. It was an impulse buy, as it had been reduced from an eye-wateringly ridiculous £199, to just £90. But that was in 1990, when £90 was around the total disposable income we had in any given week after bills. Other than some fraying inside the pockets, that coat is also as good as new. I wore it out with Ollie recently, before the weather turned warm.

Thirty years old, and still going strong. It has cost me just £3 a year to own that jacket, and I am sure it will last for another ten years. If I live that long.

When I moved to Norfolk in 2012, I bought some items of clothing I had never previously owned. They included a pair of warm corduroy trousers purchased from Marks and Spencer. Not cheap even then, at £39.99, they are still like brand new, despite being worn and washed numerous times.

One of the benefits of getting older, and being male, is that you tend to care less about fashion. You don’t get rid of things just because trends change, or certain colours become supposedly unacceptable. Most of the styles in my wardrobe I would class as ‘timeless’. I no longer own any jackets with enormously wide lapels, trousers with substantial turn-ups, (cuffs) or shirts with collars as big as the wings on a light aircraft. Those things went the way of fashion trends, when I was still young and foolish enough to have bought them.

I also don’t own any ‘skinny’ ties anymore, or knitted ones, for that matter. You see sense, you buy conventional, and you no longer read magazine articles about what is ‘In’, or ‘Out’. If you are still falling victim to that, I understand why. And I feel sorry for you.

But one day, you will ‘get what you pay for’, and be very happy that you did.

63 thoughts on “Thinking About: Clothes

  1. I still have band clothes from the music days, Pete. When you spend good money, clothes should last. Now my question is when would I ever wear them again? I might try to find someone who deals in retro clothing and give them away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still wear everything I own, which is something. (Though my suit only comes out for funerals these days) Perhaps a charity could sell your retro stuff on Ebay? You could donate it to one of the Native American causes.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your dad was right. The same holds true for furnishings. Our table is 150 years old and as good as new. And what’s in style today is out tomorrow and often a waste of money. No wonder teenagers are the biggest market for trendy.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. I know what you mean. Today we had to do tree work, so I stood on the roof of the Jeep with the Hubby’s father’s pole trimmer… yet another category. Best tool ever. Even the 80-some year old rope is in great condition. Thank goodness noone was around to see me climb onto the roof of the car. Ha!

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  3. I agree with your statements, Pete! Fashion at least is made by them who want to earn a lot of money with it. Most things are produced under not acceptable circumstances, full with chemicals and for wearing only once or twice. Or you are able to buy from Turnbull & Asser, Brioni or Armani. Finest things for which you need the occasions to wear. Michael

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  4. As I look through my meagre wardrobe (pile) of clothes, I still recognise a few old favourites, but as you know I’m happy to make do with what everyone else throws out, but once it gets past a certain stage even the best will be in tatters as they become designated work clothes 🙂

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  5. My father loved to dress well, when he died I gave his cloths to charity. All except a locally made pure merino wool jumper. Someone had tumble dried it so it was a few sizes smaller that it should have been. I have just about lived in it this winter, I like the feeling of wearing a bit of dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. as i get older and no longer in the work force, fashion took a back seat for me. luckily, i have classic pieces of good quality. they are timeless and look (and feel) as if they were bought yesterday. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. That’s why Ralph Lauren clothes became so popular. His designs were classic, the workmanship is above average and if you follow the cleaning direction, you’ll own them for a lot of years. It is worth paying just a bit more money.

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    1. I rarely wear any formal shoes now. I have dog-walking shoes, and wellingtons for wet weather. My two ‘best’ pairs of formal shoes were bought for work in 2004, and now only get worn to weddings, funerals, or better restaurants.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Clothes is never my favourite item. I buy to wear and I wear until I wear them down. Thankfully, clothes aren’t expensive in India. With 20 pounds you can get a dress fit for parties. For daily wear, 5-10 pounds can get you really good looking stuff

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      1. That’s bad. Since India grows a lot of cotton, we get both low and high quality cotton goods at affordable rates. That’s why clothes aren’t that expensive. A very decent quality shirt worth for marriage parties will cost around 13-20 pounds max. My own marriage dress, that is by far my costliest dress, costed Rs 10,000 (102 pounds). which is my People do buy designer stuff that costs more. But that’s

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s bad. Since India grows a lot of cotton, we get both low and high quality cotton goods at affordable rates. That’s why clothes aren’t that expensive. A very decent quality shirt worth for marriage parties will cost around 13-20 pounds max. My own marriage dress, that is by far my costliest dress, costed Rs 10,000 (102 pounds). People do buy designer stuff that costs more. But that’s the thing for movie stars and business tycoons.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. If there is one thing I truly hate (besides going to a barber), it’s buying clothes. It’s for me a kind of necessary evil so to speak. As such I have never cared about fashion in any way. When I do go out and buy clothes I do try to buy stuff that can last a bit, while still looking the part. Other than that…clothes don’t bother me one bit. I’d rather go out shopping for dvd’s or boardgames 😂 So..for me it’s not only because I’m getting older that I care less about it…I have never cared for it in the first place!😂

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Haha! As I’ve got older I don’t worry about fashion! And I don’t buy new clothes that often as I still have plenty of good stuff that has aged well…..only trouble is, as I can no longer exercise as well, my waist size is increasing and skirts and trousers will actually have to be replaced soon!!

    Liked by 2 people

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