Being the accountant that I am (by day I am an auditor) I often think of the cost of an item of clothing being depreciated over a span of time. And everything I buy I buy with the intention to use it for years, not months. The longevity of a garment is one of the strongest arguments for buying quality goods. Practically speaking: allocating the cost of something over multiple years. For example, I purchase a nice pair of shoes for $500. I expect the useful life of said shoes to be 10 years. The cost per year would be $50, or roughly $1 per week. Which to me seems reasonable. Or, you could go through 4 pair of subpar quality shoes at $200 per pair for $800 over 10 years, $80 per year, $1.60 per week. This is just a hypothetical, but the point should be clear.
But there is yet another argument for purchasing items that you will wear for years, perhaps decades, to come. That being the oft cliched ‘going green.’ Now, the cliche, thus far, has not crept into the menswear blogosphere’s vocabulary; at least to my knowledge. Although it has certainly been talked about in other style/fashion centric circles.
What I mean by going green is as follows. By purchasing the aforementioned shoes that will last you 10 years as opposed to purchasing 4 pair of Cole Haan shoes (which from what I hear you get about two years out of) that will carry you through the same 10 years you have greatly reduced the amount of raw materials you are to expel; leather and rubber primarily. But then you also have to factor things like electricity to power the factories and fuel for transport and distribution. Now, I doubt that the 4 pair of shoes will take exactly 4 times the resources of the 1 pair, but it will certainly be some multiple. The same could be said for suits, ties, belts etc… So for you environmentally conscious gents out there, perhaps this argument will be some food for thought for the upcoming holiday shopping season.
Justin L Jeffers