Monday, May 12, 2014

Frugal Snob

When it comes to clothes, I think I’m a frugal snob. This may sound contradictory, but really, I think these attributes easily go hand-in-hand. It comes down to wanting good quality at a good price. A large reason I’ve cut back on my shopping at the mall and discount stores (that sell new items) is because I don’t get enough quality. A vast majority of the time I’m disappointed by the items in a store made with cheap materials for prices I find unacceptable (based upon that lack of quality).

But even when the prices are okay, I’m still not very interested in cheap garments because I’m a snob. And I don’t think this is a bad thing; it means I have standards. With so many options available, there must be a line between “worth it” and “not worth it,” and for me, that line is quality. I’ll see some cute garment in a store (from afar), and when I finally touch its fabric I can’t help but think, “I’m not paying $45 for that.” I hate scratchy fabric. I despise cheap-looking fabric. And I’m vastly annoyed when fabric is too thin for the garment (e.g. skirts and dresses that are practically see-through).

When I was younger, cheap fabric never bothered me, but now cheap fabric is a deal-breaker. And even when the fabric is okay, I’ll still balk at the price of a simple garment and think, “I could just sew this.” (I think this especially when the craftsmanship is shoddy, because if I’m going to wear shoddy craftsmanship, it should at least be my own.)

Even the items that I like in a store, I’ve often gotten too frugal for. I went to a clothing store the other day and was in the sale section and saw some fairly nice sweaters on the hanger for about $30 and I didn’t even bother to try them on. I wasn’t desperate for these sweaters (that were fine but not particularly special), and I thought might eventually find something like it at a thrift shop for less.

The thing is, I’m often attracted to expensive things but don’t feel inclined to buy them at full price (although there are always exceptions to the rule). If I go into a higher-end store, the prices feel too steep to me, so I usually walk away with nothing. So the high-end stores are too expensive (even though I like their stuff), and the average stores are too cheap (in quality), so that leaves me with thrift shopping. Where every so often, among the Target and Old Navy rejects I find something special—a quality piece of clothing that I love for a good price.

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