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17-06-2005
  271
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you've been always allowed your opinion paullW just try to be more polite and considerate of other members opinions ... if thats not a major problem

a calmer more polite/civilised attitute takes us all a long way

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17-06-2005
  272
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I don't even see the connection between Ann Dem and CCp in contrast to each other and this discussion, or did I miss something? :confused:

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17-06-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lena
you've been always allowed your opinion paullW just try to be more polite and considerate of other members opinions ... if thats not a major problem

a calmer more polite/civilised attitute takes us all a long way
I am sorry if I've offended people , because that hasn't been the intention at all. I have tried to represent my viewpoint fairly, but there have been a few occasions on which people have misunderstood what I've been trying to explain, so I'll try and be clearer in future.

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17-06-2005
  274
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i didn't perceive any personal attacks at all - paullw, you have nothing to apologize for! i have appreciated your comments and don't see how you could have done any more to avoid offending someone. so don't take anything personally.

so far, except for the strange turn things havetaken at the last minute, this has been a great thread.

meme

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17-06-2005
  275
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i feel like i have to defend us 'youngesters' ( i'm only 6 years younger than you faust)
it was the students, children of the wealthy elite, similar to and also including the breed you find in williamsburg, that really championed major movements like the anti-apartheid, anti-sweatshop, anti-globalization etc. they have expensive educations, but they also have the opportunity to do something about it. most of my 'boho/ hipster' looking friends are actually poor -- they aren't trying to be fashionable! infact, most of the young people i know are very active, civil minded people. most of them try to bike or use public transport, they have very little possessions -- and they actually know what they are yelling about when they attend political rallys. rebellion isn't a bad thing, they are rebelling against getting sucked into an empty, apathetic life.

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Last edited by travolta; 17-06-2005 at 03:33 PM.
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17-06-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travolta
i feel like i have to defend us 'youngesters' ( i'm only 6 years younger than you faust)
it was the students, children of the wealthy elite, similar to and also including the breed you find in williamsburg, that really championed major movements like the anti-apartheid, anti-sweatshop, anti-globalization etc. they have expensive educations, but they also have the opportunity to do something about it. most of my 'boho/ hipster' looking friends are actually poor -- they aren't trying to be fashionable! infact, most of the young people i know are very active, civil minded people. most of them try to bike or use public transport, they have very little possessions -- and they actually know what they are yelling about when they attend political rallys. rebellion isn't a bad thing, they are rebelling against getting sucked into an empty, apathetic life.

Read "The Darling" by Russell Banks, if you get a chance. You will see where I'm coming from - I'll go no further with this argument.

Paul - you equated buying material things (or to be more precise expensive clothing) with materliasm. This is like saying that all Jews are cheap. Let's just get this definition right, once and for all, and then maybe we can start this discussion again in a healthy manner.

From Merriam-Webster;

"materialism - a preoccupation with or stress upon material rather than intellectual or spiritual things."

Not the emphasis on RATHER. It doesn't say that one excludes the other. So, let's just make this difference clear - a bimbo that raids the mall on daily basis just because she can find nothing better to do, does not equal a person who buys clothes because he/she can see and appreciate the beauty of it (as well as he/she can appreciate beauty in other things). I felt insulted, and I'm not the only one who did, because you clearly made that equation.

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18-06-2005
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I never said that the person buying LV because its LV would be shopping because she has nothing else to do. Maybe they also lead an interesting and spiritual life.

My point was just that I don't think buying one type of designer clothing is any better than another type. Nor is it better or worse than spending your money on computers, or cars, or mountain bikes, or whatever else people chose to buy. I buy designer clothes when I can. I am sorry that you felt insulted though.

There are lots of definitions of materialism, they all vary. I've already quoted some. We live in society where, in general, people buy more than they need. We get this lifestyle at the expense of others, I would say that that constitutes materialism, but however you describe it, there is still a problem.

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18-06-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paullw
I never said that the person buying LV because its LV would be shopping because she has nothing else to do. Maybe they also lead an interesting and spiritual life.

My point was just that I don't think buying one type of designer clothing is any better than another type. Nor is it better or worse than spending your money on computers, or cars, or mountain bikes, or whatever else people chose to buy. I buy designer clothes when I can. I am sorry that you felt insulted though.

There are lots of definitions of materialism, they all vary. I've already quoted some. We live in society where, in general, people buy more than they need. We get this lifestyle at the expense of others, I would say that that constitutes materialism, but however you describe it, there is still a problem.
Paul, I only felt insulted because you lumped (or at least it seemed so to me) together the reasons for buying the material things. hey, in my book if a person buys LV because they feel aesthetically connected and spiritually gratified, more power to them. it's usually not the case, though. Anyway, it seems like we sorted this thing out.

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20-06-2005
  279
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Speaking of materialism, I saw two things recently which literally nauseated me. Which could possibly be worse:

1) the poor black girl (whom I spotted on the street in Bushwick/Bed-Stuy) with a t-shirt which read "If You're Rich, I'm Your Bitch";

or

2) The waspy white woman dressed in head to toe Chanel (whom I spotted shopping in the Madison Avenue Chanel boutique)-- who had a Chanel logo tatooed in blue ink on her ankle?

Barf.

Materialism and "the high life" isn't all it's cracked up to be. When I first moved to Manhattan, I went on my share of $500 dinner dates with multimillionaire investment bankers and real estate bigwheels.... untill I realized that I'd be much happier eating a burger at Big Nicks by myself while re-reading JK Huysmans than wasting one more second of my life dining at Masa, Cafe des Artistes, etc. at the expense of having to put up with some utterly boring insecure pompous windbag trying brag his way into my pants who's bothering mainly because he thinks I'd look good on his arm at charity events. (You'd be surprised how often that came up.)Thank God I always had the integrity to turn down second dates. Bah, humbug to all that! Here's to pride and independence.

I refuse to wear logos in any way shape or form and don't care about trends per se...but am just as guilty about insisting on absolutely beautiful, well-made clothes as anyone-- probably even more so. Even if I do buy second-hand Herrera and Louboutins at the consignment store for a miniscule fraction of the price, I'm still guilty of being a "quality snob". Clothes are by no means the most important thing in my life, but it is a form of materialism all the same.

You're right, a lot of concern with clothes has to do with defining our selves within a social context. When I was working at a think tank as a research analyst and working on my PhD, I hardly devoted any time to clothes at all-- why should I, if I spent my nights studying at the office more often than not? A black turtleneck would do. But when I became a freelancer and moved to Manhattan, I really put a lot of effort into noticing what the extremely elegant women I was volunteering with at the charity events found to be "first rate". What Would Carroll Petrie Wear? LOL!

At least now, before I buy anything at all-- even at the consignment store-- I ask myself two questions: is this the way you want to look (in a particular social context) to the point that you'd prefer it over any other possible look you have ready in your closet now? Is it significantly more well-made than something you already own to the point that the expense justifies replacing it with the higher-quality item? If the answer is no, I simply don't buy it.

All my clothes fit in one small closet, but I always manage to look polished and very well put-together with what I do have. Always remember, the best clothes in the world will never hide or mask what kind of a head you have sticking out of the top of them.

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20-06-2005
  280
kit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalsquirrel
Speaking of materialism, I saw two things recently which literally nauseated me. Which could possibly be worse:

1) the poor black girl (whom I spotted on the street in Bushwick/Bed-Stuy) with a t-shirt which read "If You're Rich, I'm Your Bitch";

or

2) The waspy white woman dressed in head to toe Chanel (whom I spotted shopping in the Madison Avenue Chanel boutique)-- who had a Chanel logo tatooed in blue ink on her ankle?

Barf.

Materialism and "the high life" isn't all it's cracked up to be. When I first moved to Manhattan, I went on my share of $500 dinner dates with multimillionaire investment bankers and real estate bigwheels.... untill I realized that I'd be much happier eating a burger at Big Nicks by myself while re-reading JK Huysmans than wasting one more second of my life dining at Masa, Cafe des Artistes, etc. at the expense of having to put up with some utterly boring insecure pompous windbag trying brag his way into my pants who's bothering mainly because he thinks I'd look good on his arm at charity events. (You'd be surprised how often that came up.)Thank God I always had the integrity to turn down second dates. Bah, humbug to all that! Here's to pride and independence.

I refuse to wear logos in any way shape or form and don't care about trends per se...but am just as guilty about insisting on absolutely beautiful, well-made clothes as anyone-- probably even more so. Even if I do buy second-hand Herrera and Louboutins at the consignment store for a miniscule fraction of the price, I'm still guilty of being a "quality snob". Clothes are by no means the most important thing in my life, but it is a form of materialism all the same.

You're right, a lot of concern with clothes has to do with defining our selves within a social context. When I was working at a think tank as a research analyst and working on my PhD, I hardly devoted any time to clothes at all-- why should I, if I spent my nights studying at the office more often than not? A black turtleneck would do. But when I became a freelancer and moved to Manhattan, I really put a lot of effort into noticing what the extremely elegant women I was volunteering with at the charity events found to be "first rate". What Would Carroll Petrie Wear? LOL!

At least now, before I buy anything at all-- even at the consignment store-- I ask myself two questions: is this the way you want to look (in a particular social context) to the point that you'd prefer it over any other possible look you have ready in your closet now? Is it significantly more well-made than something you already own to the point that the expense justifies replacing it with the higher-quality item? If the answer is no, I simply don't buy it.

All my clothes fit in one small closet, but I always manage to look polished and very well put-together with what I do have. Always remember, the best clothes in the world will never hide or mask what kind of a head you have sticking out of the top of them.
AS well put as anything Naomi Klein has to say in ' No Logo ' .

I really do not think that ANYONE who has engaged in this discussion could find ANYTHING with which to disagree in what you have to say here .

AND it comes from the Manhattan coalface , so to speak .

Welcome to TFS , frugalsquirrel . Your contribution is much appreciated .

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20-06-2005
  281
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Thanks! As you can probably guess, this stuff has been on my mind lately, and it's very refreshing to be able to bat these topics around with other people who "get it" while being pretty much in the same boat I am.

What's really ironic is hardly anybody seems to realize you don't need logos and a huge amount of money to look "right enough" to play the Manhattan Society game. It often comes down to a question of personality and time. Since I make my own schedule, I can work as much or as little as I want...I was lucky enough to find roomates in East Williamsburg, so my rent is only $350 a month--and I still get to spend all my time in Manhattan. I work hard enough to pay six months of rent at a time, forget about it, and have almost unlimited leisure for half a year.

Volunteer in the afternoon? Sure. Lunch with the Ladies? No problem. Fencing lessons, make my own jewelry, night class at Julliard, take in the new exhibit at the Met, kick back in Central Park with a good book? You bet.

I can joke that instead of being an "independently wealthy lady of leisure" I'm actually an "independently impoverished lady of leisure--" but independent and leisurely all the same. LOL!

My other biggest expenses have been membership in two private "society clubs", which gave me the chance to meet people who've offered to propose me for membership in more clubs than I could possibly afford. (Union League, Metropolitan, New York Athletic, etc.) As long as you "look right" and know how to make interesting conversation, people usually won't think to ask. And when they do, I try to be upfront about it and laugh it off... people seem to respect the fact that I'm doing things my own way.

Pretension is the kiss of death, so why not work your relative poverty as the angle that's going to make you memorable and different? Besides, I sometimes suspect when I say "Williamsburg" they must be thinking "Million dollar condos in the Gretsch Building" instead of "crappy three-story walk up in an industrial zone." No need to go out of my way to correct this misapprehension, but if it came down to it, I wouldn't lie.

Time is so much more important to me than money...and believe me, I know how to pinch a penny till it screams the safeword. Hetty Green ain't got nothing on me! But unlike Hetty, I splurge in the places that make the difference. Why have five bad outfits when you could have one of the very best? I don't do casual, ever. Why? One very simple reason: *Because I don't have to*. Baudelaire was right. Dress is a conscious choice and existential statement. If I eschew t-shirts and khakis to go all-out to look like I just stepped out of 1953 Vogue, it's nobody's business if I do.

If the choice is between wearing used Herrera and Louboutin, stringing my own pearls, volunteering in exchange for tickets to major charity events, getting my hair done at Bergdorf as a hair model-- while simultaneously having the equivalent six days a week off... instead of getting the exact same things new/full price and spending all my time working or having to put up with a boring rich windbag, there's no toss up. At the end of the day, I look fabulous and my time is my own. What could be better than that?

It seems you can't really talk about materialism and making an impression in "the right clothes" without at least mentioning the most unpleasant subject of weight. In fact, the ugly three-hundred-pound gorilla in Manhattan Society's collective closet is the raging epidemic of eating disorders. (Actually, it might be more apt to call it a very sleek eighty-seven pound gorilla...but you get what I mean!)

Sad but true, the quickest way to boost your social prospects is to lose twenty pounds, health be damned. It seems like most everybody here either starves, throws up, snorts coke or smokes, or some ungodly combination of all of the above. (If you don't believe me, try going to the Bergdorf Goodman bathroom around one o' clock some afternoon. Not a pretty aural and olfactory environment, to put it politely.) There's just no reward to be had in liking yourself the way you are. Case study: I have a friend who's a professional model. I've been trying to encourage to get better eating habits and quit smoking, since she's been getting sick and faint from losing even more weight. But hey, guess what? She just got a new contract for a jeans company after being spotted at a club. Who do you think she's going to listen to now.

After I moved to Manhattan, I went from a size 10/12 to a size 4/6 just by being less sedentary and cutting carbs. The sick thing is, even though I love the way I look, I think and worry about it far more than I ever did when I was bigger. Why does it have to be so hard to feel good about being a 4/6 just because everyone around you is a 00/0! Insanity!

All the same, I refuse to harm my metabolism and endanger my health, no matter how much pressure there is to take one of the tried-and-true self-loathing shortcuts. I guess there's nothing to do but keep eating the right things and working out. Another sick thing is that so many people are so jaded, they assume it's normal to have some kind of disorder unless you explicitly specify otherwise. People have offered me coke (and I don't mean the beverage), asked "So. Do you eat?" and once, when somebody saw me eating with a normally healthy appetite, actually had the gall to ask me if "I keep it down"!!! You can't win for losing.

Oh well....great posts, guys.

~L.


Last edited by frugalsquirrel; 20-06-2005 at 08:55 PM. Reason: typos
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20-06-2005
  282
kit
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It's the still of the night here , and I've just woken up in horribly humid weather conditions , groping my way to the fridge for a cold juice .

What you say is indeed VERY enlightening and I will reply to you properly when I am fully awake and on the qui vive .

In the meanwhile , many thanks for shedding new light in this discussion and I'm REALLY pleased that you have seen fit to return .

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21-06-2005
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Interesting posts throughout this thread.

In ‘Notebook on Cities and Clothes’—which I watched again this weekend at the Yamamoto exhibit—Yohji speaks about his fascination with old photographs…How the beauty of the clothing in these images lies in the fact that the clothes were not consumed: A warm winter coat was a necessity to survive cold winter and thus becomes truly beautiful in his eyes...and how it would make him so happy if his clothes were to be worn in this way. At the same time he states this in a wistful way knowing that of course this is not possible. I thought this was such a thoughtful passage.

As for me, I was very much raised by a conscious consumer mother in the 70s-> We did not have a tv, did not buy plastic toys made in Taiwan, no junk food… yet my mother did reconcile this with a love and appreciation of art & the luxury of fashion…I like to think growing up this way has at least taught me to be appreciative and not wasteful, though my lifestyle is not nearly as genuine as hers.

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03-08-2005
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I think I approach clothes in a similar way to frugalsquirrel, except I'll add two more items for "criteria"

After 10 years, will I still be able to wear this without looking completely dated and ridiculous?
Will this even last 10 years?

As for the rest of the thread, I'd love to contribute but I'm afraid some of my thoughts may come off as simple venting. I'm also confused about whether we are discussing mindless consumerism (as in buying for the sake of buying) , or if we are critiqing spending, like an outrageously priced $5000 dollar pair of jeans. Does any of that make sense?

As for the Faust/Paulw discussion. I have seen first hand, examples of kids in high school that buy the che gueverra shirts without knowing his story or a thing about socialism and communism. I guess they heard from word-of mouth "Che was some rebel who wore a cool hat." That being said, sincere activism that Paulw described is applaudable. I think it is great for us "youngsters" to be active about socio-political issues, we are getting this world loaned to us after all.


Last edited by FrockRadar8; 03-08-2005 at 09:35 AM.
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03-08-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalsquirrel
Thanks! As you can probably guess, this stuff has been on my mind lately, and it's very refreshing to be able to bat these topics around with other people who "get it" while being pretty much in the same boat I am.

What's really ironic is hardly anybody seems to realize you don't need logos and a huge amount of money to look "right enough" to play the Manhattan Society game. It often comes down to a question of personality and time. Since I make my own schedule, I can work as much or as little as I want...I was lucky enough to find roomates in East Williamsburg, so my rent is only $350 a month--and I still get to spend all my time in Manhattan. I work hard enough to pay six months of rent at a time, forget about it, and have almost unlimited leisure for half a year.

Volunteer in the afternoon? Sure. Lunch with the Ladies? No problem. Fencing lessons, make my own jewelry, night class at Julliard, take in the new exhibit at the Met, kick back in Central Park with a good book? You bet.

I can joke that instead of being an "independently wealthy lady of leisure" I'm actually an "independently impoverished lady of leisure--" but independent and leisurely all the same. LOL!

My other biggest expenses have been membership in two private "society clubs", which gave me the chance to meet people who've offered to propose me for membership in more clubs than I could possibly afford. (Union League, Metropolitan, New York Athletic, etc.) As long as you "look right" and know how to make interesting conversation, people usually won't think to ask. And when they do, I try to be upfront about it and laugh it off... people seem to respect the fact that I'm doing things my own way.

Pretension is the kiss of death, so why not work your relative poverty as the angle that's going to make you memorable and different? Besides, I sometimes suspect when I say "Williamsburg" they must be thinking "Million dollar condos in the Gretsch Building" instead of "crappy three-story walk up in an industrial zone." No need to go out of my way to correct this misapprehension, but if it came down to it, I wouldn't lie.

Time is so much more important to me than money...and believe me, I know how to pinch a penny till it screams the safeword. Hetty Green ain't got nothing on me! But unlike Hetty, I splurge in the places that make the difference. Why have five bad outfits when you could have one of the very best? I don't do casual, ever. Why? One very simple reason: *Because I don't have to*. Baudelaire was right. Dress is a conscious choice and existential statement. If I eschew t-shirts and khakis to go all-out to look like I just stepped out of 1953 Vogue, it's nobody's business if I do.

If the choice is between wearing used Herrera and Louboutin, stringing my own pearls, volunteering in exchange for tickets to major charity events, getting my hair done at Bergdorf as a hair model-- while simultaneously having the equivalent six days a week off... instead of getting the exact same things new/full price and spending all my time working or having to put up with a boring rich windbag, there's no toss up. At the end of the day, I look fabulous and my time is my own. What could be better than that?

It seems you can't really talk about materialism and making an impression in "the right clothes" without at least mentioning the most unpleasant subject of weight. In fact, the ugly three-hundred-pound gorilla in Manhattan Society's collective closet is the raging epidemic of eating disorders. (Actually, it might be more apt to call it a very sleek eighty-seven pound gorilla...but you get what I mean!)

Sad but true, the quickest way to boost your social prospects is to lose twenty pounds, health be damned. It seems like most everybody here either starves, throws up, snorts coke or smokes, or some ungodly combination of all of the above. (If you don't believe me, try going to the Bergdorf Goodman bathroom around one o' clock some afternoon. Not a pretty aural and olfactory environment, to put it politely.) There's just no reward to be had in liking yourself the way you are. Case study: I have a friend who's a professional model. I've been trying to encourage to get better eating habits and quit smoking, since she's been getting sick and faint from losing even more weight. But hey, guess what? She just got a new contract for a jeans company after being spotted at a club. Who do you think she's going to listen to now.

After I moved to Manhattan, I went from a size 10/12 to a size 4/6 just by being less sedentary and cutting carbs. The sick thing is, even though I love the way I look, I think and worry about it far more than I ever did when I was bigger. Why does it have to be so hard to feel good about being a 4/6 just because everyone around you is a 00/0! Insanity!

All the same, I refuse to harm my metabolism and endanger my health, no matter how much pressure there is to take one of the tried-and-true self-loathing shortcuts. I guess there's nothing to do but keep eating the right things and working out. Another sick thing is that so many people are so jaded, they assume it's normal to have some kind of disorder unless you explicitly specify otherwise. People have offered me coke (and I don't mean the beverage), asked "So. Do you eat?" and once, when somebody saw me eating with a normally healthy appetite, actually had the gall to ask me if "I keep it down"!!! You can't win for losing.

Oh well....great posts, guys.

~L.
I just wanted to thank you for a very intelligent interesting post

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