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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.


    #2


    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.

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      #3


      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.

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        #4


        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.

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          #5


          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.

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            #6


            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

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              #7


              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.

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                #8


                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.

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                  #9


                  @ 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.

                  Ben

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                    #10


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

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                      #11


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

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                        #12


                        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.

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