Once upon a time, I would save all my disposable funds for pricey purchases like: Todâ€™s loafers, a Prada button-down, a Burberry windbreaker. These were exciting, feel-good buys, but ultimately caused more dirt/scuff stress than is enjoyable when out and about. And, I was neglecting the wardrobe staples…putting brand ahead of design and necessity in my closet. Ultimately, my overall â€˜styleâ€™ suffered from cut corners and awkward pairings.
Since reflecting on this flawed approach, Iâ€™ve changed my spending tune. The revised thought process is: (1) necessity, (2) style, and (3) price. I have a couple of shopping mantras I follow, though tooâ€¦principles that help guide and better reflect my style. Like, I try to buy â€œMade in _____â€ a non-Chinese, non-Southeast Asian sweatshop. That means, willingness to pay for Made in USA, Made in Italy, Made in Canada, etc. More expensive certainly, and less exploitative probably. Plus, supporting local businesses just makes sense.
I also like buying bright colors OR dark, muted blacks and blues whenever possible. All the washed, vintage, indecisive colors arenâ€™t assertive enough. I want bold, inky rich color. This does however make washing and drying a more finicky job.
Further, I like for clothing to be functional and somewhat durable. No matter how much you like something, if it falls apart or is too delicate to wear freely, itâ€™s no fun. If it canâ€™t fill the role as credit card case or crossfit sneaker, then it wonâ€™t be enjoyable to just look at. To that end, I am a big fan of ultra-functional, comfortable, and fun lounge clothing.
Over the last month Iâ€™ve made a handful of purchases that speak to these principles, and I thought I would share them.
- James Perse Cactus Supima Sweatshorts, 55$, GILT
- Made in USA
- Brand based in Los Angeles
- Soft fabric, voluminous lines, rich golden-green color
- PACT Organic Cotton Boxer Briefs in Light & Water, 15$ each, Fab
- Made (sustainably) in Turkey
- Brand based in San Francisco
- Different prints, perfectly-fitting
- New Balance Minimus Road 10 in Black+Blue+Pink, 100$, Fit2Run
- Made in China (still satisfies color principle!)
- Brand based in Boston
- Subtly bright, ultra-functional as road or gym shoe
- Rufskin Dario & ThibaultÂ Speedos, $21 each, Rufskin
- Made in USA
- Brand based in San Diego
- Cheap and artistic!