Monday 12 November 2012

Cheap Clothes and Expensive Vacations

We had the family over last night for dinner and conversation. The conversation is often critical of me, but I can’t blame them really, we all like to try and find fault with perfection. Dinner was tasty and the desert was sweet and fattening as a desert should be.

One of the conversations was about clothing and how I wanted to get a new coat the next time we went on vacation. The “kids” suggested that I could order it online or I could go to a store in town that carried that particular brand. They were right of course, but they were also wrong. Yes, I could pick up or order the particular item that I am looking for pretty easily, assuming that I knew my size and if the store carried the item that I am interested in. To me, half the fun of buying clothing is where you buy it from.
Most of the t-shirts that I wear are from Las Vegas or Hawaii. Part of the reason of course is that you can pick up t-shirts very inexpensively in a tourist Mecca. Well, probably not the actual Mecca of course, but I can imagine the t-shirts. “Whatever Happens in Mecca Stays in Mecca” or “Biggest Beach in the World!” it seems as if the possibilities are endless. I am being a bit of a dick here, but there must be a thriving tourist industry in Mecca and people are the same all over the world, so there will be t-shirts and ball caps. Maybe I should look into it and actually know what I am talking about for a change. No, that isn’t my style.

The clothing is cheap and some of the cheap clothing is actually well made which is why it has lasted so long. I am due for a trip to pick up new t-shirts. I love the idea of my clothing reminding me of the day that I bought them. I can remember picking up five t-shirts for $15 dollars in Vegas at the ABC Store on the strip one night on the way back from a walk. My favourite fall jacket came from a store on the North Shore of Oahu. I have a lined, fleece jacket that I picked up in Banff. Surprisingly, the Banff clothing stores are becoming quite reasonable; it’s amazing how a mild recession can change things.

Things haven’t changed too much over the years. People still are caught up with where their clothes are made and just who makes them. In a lot of cases you pay for the name as much as you do for the quality. To buy a suit from Gieves and Hawkes the Savile Row tailors is the height of class. I wish I could say that I own a few suits of theirs, but I would imagine they are worth more than both of my cars. There are many designers that create women’s clothing and often women will buy a knock off just to pretend that they can own something special. A facebook friend bought a wallet or purse from some designer and I thought she was nuts when I googled it and found the cost.

We all have to spend time spinning around this planet and the time we spend should be enjoyable. If that means buying a shirt that has someone’s name across the chest or one hidden under the collar, then all power to you. I remember where most of my clothes come from. I am just wearing out the six pack of white socks that I bought when I was visiting my daughter in Toronto. The boxers I bought that same trip are still sitting on the bottom of the drawer. Some of my favourite clothing has come from MEC and for the life of me; I don’t know why I don’t buy more from them.

Perhaps in the future we will get all wobbly about buying a shirt from some classy online store or a t-shirt made by the A-389b Garment Manufacturing machine. Perhaps some people are already in to that kind of thing, but for me I will stay buying cheap clothes while I am on expensive vacations.


  1. MEC is Mountain Equipment Co-Op which sells outdoor clothing and equiptment.
    Great store!