Mar 4, 2009

Cheap is ALWAYS Chic

Left: Stylist Philip Pelusi and some equally brain-dead models; photo courtesy CNN

One of the most useless links I have clicked on in recent memory - one of those wasted moments where you wish there existed a Department of Time Refunds that could give you back those forever lost minutes - has to be a CNN fashion piece entitled "In a recession, cheap is chic".

In retrospect, I am not sure why I felt a compulsion to click on the link. I intuitively knew that this would be a vapid piece of writing featuring interviews with idiotic fashion experts and marketing twits trying to find a way to keep the cash rolling in for their worthless products, and that it would be geared toward shallow folks for whom their clothing, haircuts, and makeup are the most important aspects of their lives.

Yet I still clicked, and yet I still kick myself for clicking.

For those of you unfamiliar with my sense of fashion, it revolves almost entirely around the nexus of price and quality. I am more interested in questions like "can this same item be purchased cheaper elsewhere" and "will these pants last for five years or more" than I am with one such as "does this make me look hot?"

Now, I try to avoid looking like a complete tool, but my academic employment wardrobe consists of khakis, plain work shirts, and a jacket that at least remotely matches one or the other. Blue jeans and sweaters fit the bill for days when I am working at home or when my already limited attention to fashion wanes.

All of these items, mind you, can be purchased from places like the Salvation Army and local Goodwill stores, and I pride myself when I find a like-new button-down shirt for $3. I suspect that something like half of my attire originated at a resale shop, and while I will never make the cover of GQ, I funnel those unspent clothing dollars into more useful pursuits, like investments or home improvements.

But hey: make sure you Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, and Hollister slaves keep shelling out your hard-earned cash for this overpriced clothing. Someone has to keep our consumer-driven economy rolling, and besides: when I retire, I'd like there to be lots of credit- and fashion-addicted fools to be forced to work and pay the taxes that afford me to collect what remains of my Social Security contributions.


Molly said...

I just hope someone out there keeps shopping, otherwise who's going to donate all the great stuff I find secondhand?

Mad Jack said...

I actually saw that link this morning at work. You clicked? Ha! Boy do I feel better about myself.

I didn't click, you see. I wasn't sucked in by the implied promise of nubile young hotties dressed up in ripped tops and last year's skin tight jeans cavorting shamelessly in a water fountain of raspberry jell-o.

Instead, I read about coyotes invading the West side of Madison, Wisconsin and how the pro-coyote people are likely to come to blows with the anti-coyote people. The anti-coyote people are armed and intend to make short work of the coyotes.

microdot said...

Nothin wrong with wanting to look good! But style is personal and it's the personality that makes it work.

Check out:

Just real people all over the world.
The pictures are submitted by anyone who sees someone whose style they like and takes their picture.

I found out about the blog about 2 years ago when I was in Manhattan and someone took my picture and told me they liked my hat.

At first I was a little freaked, but after a few minutes, hey, it made my day!

microdot said...

Yo, Fashionistas, word!
Aujourd'hui Monsieur Microdot is wearing his 4 year old chinese jeans with the bicycle chain tattoo pattern on the ankle, an always tres chic faded black t-shirt that came in a 3 pack for 6 euros, the tie dyed socks from his neice, a pair of some kind of synthetic leather work shoes with steel toes with a rich, earthy patina of dried red clay...a ripped stocking cap, a safety orange polar pull over that somehow got daubed with splotches of provence green paint from the shutters, a torn black stocking cap and 2 pairs of mismatched work gloves......

Next year you will all be pawning your first born to Abercrombie and Fitch to look like me....some of us are trends setters and some of us ....well, the catalogue will arrive in a few days.....

mud_rake said...

I rearely click on CNN links other than hard news or politics. That said, it stands to reason that there is never a reason to visit FOxNews.

Anonymous said...


You're an idiot. Cramped up in your little room blogging all the while trying to heal the wounds of your inner child by puttng down folks who are acheivng their their dream and making it possible for others to do so. You're probably engaging in onanistic adventures while thinking about Oliva Munn.

Grow up and shut up

historymike said...

Good point, Molly. Maybe we should keep the resale shops under wraps.

historymike said...

I would have preferred the pro-anti coyote article, MadJack.

historymike said...

I trust your fashion sense, Microdot, but I'll wear my boring clothes just the same.

historymike said...

Good advice, mudrake. Maybe I should have a "stupid link" filter added to IE7.

historymike said...


I can't figure out if this is a real hate comment or a joke from a lurker, but I'll play along:

1. I knew of the word "onanistic," but I ws in the dark about Olivia Munn (I had to look her up). She is pretty, but too young - my "hottie" demographic runs from about ages 35 to 55.

2. G4 is pretty cool, though.

3. I am cramped up in a 12"x12" room, but mostly I have been dissertating (I think that should be a verb if it isn't one already).

4. Vai-te foder.