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$75 Per Month For Clothes

Fashion illustration by Georges Lepape (1887-1971) via MCAD Library.
Fashion illustration by Georges Lepape (1887-1971) via MCAD Library.

After reading my post about budgeting, my dad emailed me:

Not wanting to be a downer, but a few items I’d suggest adding to your budget …

Car: operation, repair, and replacement fund: $250
Clothing: $75
Incidentals (haircut, parking fees, etc): $50
Entertainment (plays, movies, restaurants, camping): $75
Short-term saving (to cover unusual expenses, like travel, or a new computer — savings that you expect to spend over a 5 year period): $200
Long-term saving / rainy-day fund (building up your savings): $100

These are very rough estimates, but give you a more realistic picture of your total financial picture. Also, I’d suggest that you do some grouping of expenses to put all the similar expenses together. I can show you how to do that if you want

To which I responded:

Exactly, I wanted to figure how much room I have for saving & incidental spending! I didn’t think about adding car repair, though. That’s a good point.

Do you spend $75/month on clothes?!

Dad said:

Every year I probably have to buy roughly 3 pairs of shoes ($300), 4 pairs of pants ($120), socks (40), underwear and tshirts (60), and maybe one jacket ($120).  That would add up to $600.  So maybe I spend $50/month on clothes.  Maybe that’s a more reasonable budget estimate.

So that’s that. He’s apparently much harder on his wardrobe than I am.

Fashion illustration by George Barbier (1882-1932) via the New York Public Library.
Fashion illustration by George Barbier (1882-1932) via the New York Public Library.

Priceless Fashion Guidance From Fran Lebowitz For People With Short Attention Spans

I know very little about Fran Lebowitz, but I know that Kathleen Hale’s interview with her is fantastic. Choice quotes:

“American women think that clothes fit them if they can fit into them. But that’s not at all what fit means.”

“Shirts don’t go bad, they’re not peaches.”

“I wish that real estate were cheaper and clothes were more expensive.”

“If you’re 18 right now, you think you invented platform shoes. You think you’re doing something new. You think you’ve invented something so ugly that it’s beautiful.”

“Designers now, they all have these things called mood boards. I suppose they think a sense of discovery equals invention. It would be as if every writer had a board with paragraphs of other writers—’Oh, I’ll take a little bit of this, and that, he was really good.’ Yes, he was really good! And that is not a mood board, it is a stealing board.” (YES. This is how I feel about Pinterest.)

“What’s so great thing about clothes is that they’re artificial—you can lie, you can choose the way you look, which is not true of natural beauty.”

Note to self: learn more about Fran Lebowitz.

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