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A modest proposal.

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    A modest proposal.

    You have n pairs of shoes. Take half the overall cost and put that into one pair of "unbelievably, unconcionably priced" shoes.

    You now have (1/2n)+1 shoes. Isn't that +1 worth more than the sum of 1/2n to you? Admittedly, perhaps this only holds if n>10...but with as much shoe talk as goes on here, I'm willing to bet that's the situation in the majority of cases.

    I submit that the same is true for shirts, sportcoats, and pants...though I don't get that excited about pants (a couple pairs of chinos and jeans do the trick for me).

    Something I've been thinking lately.


    Depends on where you draw the line on "unbelievably, unconscionably priced", but I think you're on the right track. Quality over quantity is never a bad way to go, IMO.



      In terms of footwear purchases, I try to judge based on longevity. I'd rather pay $300 for a pair of chukkas (with a dainite sole) that will last for two decades or longer (if taken care of) instead of a pair of Air Cole Haans that will be beat to hell in less than 2 years.



        I think there's probably a critical range for n. If n is too low, then you're sacrificing a lot of flexibility in your shoe collection for a single nice pair. If n is too high, then spending half of your collection's value means you're probably spending too much on a single pair of shoes.

        On it's face, though, it's an interesting theory. I think you need to have at least 3 or 4 pairs of shoes before you even consider getting something really nice, though. You need your casual bases covered and you need a pair of knock-around dressy shoes so that you don't wear out your nice shoes too quickly with daily use. Ideally, you would have 2 pairs of really great shoes (n/2 + 2) so that you can alternate, both for variety and for the sake of not wearing them out prematurely.



          My girlfriend and I have this argument all the time. She and I spend the same amount of money on shoes in the end, but she buys 40-60 dollar pairs from DSW somewhat regularly. I buy one pair of Allen Edmonds very infrequently. It comes out the same, but she's horrified that I'd spend that much on one pair of shoes. I don't think there's a way to resolve it, but I like my system. I think it's just psychological. The idea of spending 350 dollars on a pair of shoes is crazy to her. On the other hand, I've had my main pair of AE shoes for 4 years now and they are still in great shape, and I expect them to still be going strong for many years.



            The justification for a large purchase is in the works, I see.

            @DrBenji - Sorry, but your spending is always going to be frivolous. Don't try to justify it! She can spend $15k on herself but choke when I spend $1.5k on myself. It happens. She FEELS so strongly about it, and I just don't understand. =P



              I like the thread title reference.

              I think there should be a couple of pairs that you really care for and maintain as a piece of quality wearables. But there is also something good about having those pairs that you will replace in due time.



                We can use myself as an example. I wore through every sinle pair of shoes I own and had to recently start from scratch. The only pair I kept and still use (not including my leather flip flops) is a pair of red-brown split toe bluchers. Other than that, I had to start from scratch.

                Everything was on sale and I used some store credit but I paid $142 and got...

                Sperry brown boat shoes

                Kenneth Cole black slip ons

                Kenneth Cole grey leather sneakers

                Born brown leather casual lace-ups

                Between those and the split toe bluchers, most of my bases are covered. Now, my next purchase won't be for quite a while, but I want to get some walnut Edmond Allen (or equivalent) balmorals. I expect them to cost as much as the other 5 pairs of shoes put together (or at least what I paid for them).

                That's why I think there's something to this theory.



                  @ DrBenji - Your gf might change her tune when, in ten years, you're still wearing your AEs, and she's gone through a hundred pairs of cheapies.

                  One thing you could point out to her in the meantime, though, is that men's shoe styles change at a glacial pace compared to women's. If you buy a pair of well-crafted, classic wingtips, not only will they last you 10-20 years, but they will stay in style the whole time. The same can't be said for most women's shoes, which are definitely more trend-oriented.




                    Or just try not to tell your girlfriend how much you spend on your shoes...



                      Believing this more as time goes by. Not surprising, but worth restating.



                        Depends on the situation. I found Dappered at a time when I was replacing my entire wardrobe due to weight loss, so I had a lot of bases to cover. I'll focus on quality more, later.

                        Honestly, though, I don't like having really expensive things because I worry about destroying them (like some instances noted on this site of destroying Allen Edmonds shoes in accidents). I like to live in my clothes and not worry about them, while still looking good.