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Now I can wear heels.
— Nicole Kidman (on divorcing Tom Cruise)

What if my trousers are shabby and worn, they cover a warm hearth.
— Tom Masson

"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable," declared Oscar Wilde," that we have to alter it every six months." Now, that's some food for thought if you are a woman contemplating the purchase of an exquisitely tailored $1200 Chanel outfit along with a dainty little $500 Fendi handbag....


The same applies if you are a man contemplating some new threads and think that only something high-end from Hugo Boss, Armani, or Savile Row will do.

Fashions fade, style is eternal.
— Yves Saint Laurent

Regardless of whether you agree with Oscar Wilde, you have to agree that fashion is designed to enhance your image and slim down your bank account. The end result is that many people who are never out of fashion are always out of money. They may be strong contenders for winning the Ms. or Mr. well-dressed North American contest, but unable to purchase the necessities in life.

Why not be oneself? That is the whole secret of a successful appearance. If one is a greyhound,


why try to look like a Pekingese?
— Edith Sitwell

Many people get themselves in financial trouble because they don't realize how much they spend on high-end clothing and how little they get in return. Researchers have found that people on the average will underestimate by 50 percent the actual amount that they annually spend on their wardrobes. Moreover, spending choices on clothing aren't as well thought out as we may think.

The Chicago Tribune recently reported retailers know that most purchasing decisions are made in five seconds and at least 70 percent of purchases are impulsive. Given that clothing is the most popular item purchased on impulse, most of us rarely spend any time in contemplating the benefits of paying $400 for a name-brand jacket or $950 for an exclusive high-end outfit. Whenever we do give it any thought, it's a superficial treatment at best.

It is difficult to see why lace should be so expensive. It is mostly holes.
— Mary Wilson Little

The same type of contrived reasoning which persuades us that we need an expensive house is used to justify the purchase of expensive clothing. For example, we may rationalize the purchase of an expensive suit or outfit by saying that it will make us feel more successful, and at the same time make us more productive at work. The truth is that normally we are less productive while wearing expensive outfits than we are wearing something more comfortable, such as a loose shirt and a pair of jeans. In fact, companies now encourage that their employees dress down to be more productive.

Never wear anything that panics the cat.
— P. J. O'Rourke

Clothing purchases are no different from house or car purchases. You have to look at what may be driving your urge to buy status at a much higher price. You are probably not thinking of paying a good premium for a suit or pair of athletic shoes just to be yourself.

Never buy a hat with more character than you.
— Unknown wise person

It's best to ask yourself questions such as "Am I thinking of buying Armani to be superior to my co-workers?", "Am I just trying to fit in by buying Nikes?", and "Am I afraid of being humiliated if someone finds out that I bought the K-Mart or Sears private brand sweater?" Perhaps probing a little deeper will make you realize how ridiculous you are trying to impersonate the glitterati of society with clothing that you couldn't truly afford at twice your salary.

The thing we have to keep in mind is how clothing manufacturers like to play on our insecurities in an attempt to get us to buy their latest apparel. Television commercials and magazine advertisements are designed to tap into our approval-seeking behavior.

A witch and a bitch always dress up for each other, because otherwise the witch would upstage the bitch, or the bitch would upstage the witch, and the result would be havoc.
— Tennessee Williams

At the same time, the purpose of commercials and advertisements is to manipulate us into buying the clothing manufactures' products by reinforcing the notion that what other people think of us is more important than what we think of ourselves. I have to hand it to the people who create these advertisements and commercials for being such great observers of human behavior, and for being able to determine exactly how gullible some of their victims (okay, "target market" if you please) can be.

As advertisers look to expand their market, they have discovered one time the brand was on the inside and represented quality. Now people allow themselves to be branded externally thinking it adds to their identity and ability to elicit approval from others. I am both amused and perplexed by people who are so severely lacking in identity that they will spend $50 for a T-shirt emblazoned with corporate logos such as Nike or fashion-designer names such as Calvin Klein.

An identical T-shirt with no writing normally can be had for $15 to $20. These people actually pay an extra $30 or more to be walking billboards for the clothing manufacturer or designer. At the same time, a celebrity or professional athlete is paid an enormous sum to wear the same name-brand clothing on TV or in public.

You'd be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap.
— Dolly Parton

The more approval and flattery they crave, the more people can be manipulated by advertisers into buying clothing they could easily do without. Slaves to fashion punish themselves financially and psychologically by believing they need the latest brand name or high-end clothing to be a worthwhile individuals in society. Irrational spending on clothing leaves them financially challenged and without the funds to pay for more worthwhile things, such as going on an interesting vacation.

It also leaves them emotionally challenged because they never do satisfy their need for approval. Fashion can't cover up insecurities or flawed character traits. To be sure, people who are slaves to fashion turn off more people than they impress. Not only do they look desperate or too ostentatious, they project the image that they are more into superficial experiences than meaningful ones.

Whether its on cars, houses, or clothing, trying to spend yourself
to self-worth and approval from others is a losing battle. Approval in itself is not a bad thing; we all like to appreciated by others. Adulation is one of those delicious bonuses life throws our way. However, the need for constant approval is emotionally unhealthy. Moreover, showing you are desperate for it isn't the way to get it. Ironically, individuals who crave the least approval are the ones who tend to get the most respect from others.

Every generation laughs at the old fashions but religiously follows the new.
— Henry David Thoreau

Only you can decide whether you are spending too much money on clothing in efforts to win the


approval of others. If approval- seeking has become a way of life, you have some work ahead of you. Your goal should be to develop a healthy respect for yourself. As your self-esteem increases, you will have fewer urges to buy expensive clothing.

This doesn't mean that your clothing should be zero style and 100 percent function. Clearly, you nor I want to be best known for a five-dollar sports coat that looks like it was made from the worst half of a discarded blanket. The key is to buy class and quality instead of luxury and fashion. Something with class and quality will never go out of style because it was never in style.

Women dress alike all over the world; they dress to be annoying to other women.
— Elsa Schiaparelli, Italian designer

Your self-esteem and creativity can help you realize the optimum value from the clothing you buy. Instead of adopting someone else's image, you can show your true personality by wearing something inexpensive, but truly different and imaginative. There will be more of a mystique to what you wear, much like that of the super rich.

The best way to express individuality is to stick to items that have no label on the outside. You may have noticed that the expensive and one-of-a-kind clothing that members of the beau monde wear have the labels on the inside. That's because no visible brand markings are needed when you have true class.

Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of others whom we cannot resemble.
— Samuel Johnson

Clearly, spending a fortune on clothing is no way to obtain financial satisfaction and express the real you. As a Zen-rich individual, whose head is torqued down right, you don't have to be extreme to prove yourself to others. You will find that you can play the friendship, social, and career games very well without having the latest brand-name and high-end fashions draped over you.

Fashion is made to become unfashionable.
— Coco Chanel

The next time you get the urge to buy something fashionable, ask yourself what benefit you intend to get out of it. If you can talk yourself out of purchasing it, you will find that going without it will contribute more to your self-esteem than succumbing to it. Moreover, by next season the fashionable clothing will be out of style; the money that you saved won't be.



More Quotes about Money and Fashion on The Money Café
Great Fashion Advice to Live By

Money creates taste.
— Jenny Holzer

No fashion has ever been created expressly for the lean purse or for the fat woman: the dressmaker's ideal is the thin millionaires.
— Katherine Fullerton Gerould

A miser grows rich by seeming poor; an extravagant man grows poor by seeming rich.
— Laurence Sterne

You know, one had as good be out of the world, as out of the fashion.
— Colley Cibber

Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.
— George Santayana

We worship not the Graces, nor the Parcae, but Fashion. She spins and weaves and cuts with full authority. The head monkey at Paris puts on a traveler's cap, and all the monkeys in America do the same.
— Henry David

Only the minute and the future are interesting in fashion.
— Karl Lagerfeld

Just because you live in LA it doesn't mean you have to dress that way.
— Advertising billboard campaign in Los Angeles, mounted by New York fashion house Charivari.

Change of fashion is the tax levied by the industry of the poor on the vanity of the rich.
— Sébastien-Roch Nicolas de Chamfort

People ask how can a Jewish kid from the Bronx do preppy clothes? Does it have to do with class and money? It has to do with dreams.
— Ralph Lauren

Always live in the ugliest house on the street — then you don't have to look at it.
— David Hockney

Oh, never mind the fashion. When one has a style of one's own, it is always twenty times better.
— Margaret Oliphant

Style is not something applied. It is something that permeates. It is of the nature of that in which it is found, whether the poem, the manner of a god, the bearing of a man. It is not a dress.
— Wallace Stevens



More Fashion Tips and More Fashion Advice for the Sexes

Fashions are induced epidemics.
— George Bernard Shaw

Fashion is something that goes in one year and out the other.
— Unknown Wise Person

Never offend people with style when you can offend them with substance.
— Tony Brown

I will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions.
— Lillian Hellman



Fashion Tips and Fashion Advice for Women

A woman who doesn't wear lipstick feels undressed in public. Unlessshe works on a farm.
— Max Factor

Haute Couture should be fun, foolish and almost unwearable.
— Christian Lacroix, French fashion designer.

Nothing goes out of fashion sooner than a long dress with a very low neck.
— Coco Chanel

Girls who wear zippers shouldn't live alone.
— John W. Van Druten

A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence; serving its purpose without obstructing the view.
— Sophia Loren

Brevity is the soul of lingerie
— Dorothy Parker

The great majority of men, especially in France, both desire and possess a fashionable woman, much in the way one might own a fine horse — as a luxury befitting a young man.
— Stendhal

Look for the woman in the dress. If there is not woman, there is no dress.
— Coco Chanel

I tend to wear outfits that match the walls.
— Debra Winger

Most women dress as if they had been a mouse in a previous incarnation, or hope to be one in the next.
— Edith Sitwell

The prettiest dresses are worn to be taken off.
— Jean Cocteau

All women's dresses are merely variations on the eternal struggle between admitted desire to dress and the unadmitted desire to undress.
— Lin Yutang, Chinese writer

It pains me physically to see a woman victimized, rendered pathetic, by fashion.
— Yves Saint Laurent

The best—dressed woman is one whose clothes wouldn't look too strange in the country.
— Sir Hardy Amies

I dress for women and undress for men.
— Angie Dickinson

I only put clothes on so that I'm not naked when I go out shopping.
— Julia Roberts



Fashion Advice and Fashion Tips for Men

A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat.
— P. J. O'Rourke

Those hot pants of hers were so damned tight, I could harldy breathe.
— Benny Hill

Being a well-dressed man is a career, and he who goes in for it has not time for anything else.
— Heywood Broun

Never wear a suit costing less than two hundred clams.
— "Legs" Diamond to Larry Adler

A good man often appears gauche simply because he does not take advantage of the myriad mean little chances of making himself look stylish. Preferring truth to form, he is not constantly at work upon the façade of his appearance.
— Iris Murdoch

Brown shoes don't make it.
— Frank Zappa

I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me.
— Warren Buffett

Never speak to a man wearing leather trousers.
— Tommy Nutter

Being named as one of the world's best-dressed men doesn't necessarily mean that I am a bad person.
— Anthony R. Cucci

Men who wear turtlenecks look like turtles.
— Doris Lilly

I was trying to think the other day about what you do now in America if you want to be successful. Before, you were dependable and wore a good suit. Looking around, I guess that today you have to do all the same things but not wear a good suit. I guess that's all it is. Think rich. Look poor.
— Andy Warhol
 

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