wFeb 19, 2007

i should have been asleep 30 minutes ago

I feel weird right now. School is a bit stressful - a Shakespeare exam Friday, a SciFi paper Monday, and an exam for my online class that will be made public at 6pm on Friday and is due 12am Sunday night (I know, wtf). Despite this, my mind is preoccupied with other things.

How Expensive is Nice?
I had heard a conversation between two girls somewhere, asking about how much a girl should spend on a business suit. They were talking price ranges of $250-500, and I was kind of appalled. "I just bought one last week at ShopKo," I offered, "And it was less than $40." Which was true! I bought a gray set a couple of weekends ago - the skirt was $10.99 and the jacket was $17.49. I was even worried that the jacket cost too much. I called my mom on my cell phone in the middle of the store to make sure that it was a reasonable price. I don't know. I think it looks decent, but then again I don't know much about such things. How much do you guys spend on nice clothing? I felt bad about spending $15 each on two nice dress shirts, too. And all of this was with my 10% employee discount!

I do know that I'm upset about the close-toed shoe rule - because really, my high heels are infinitely more comfortable than either close-toed pair I have because there are only 2 straps in contact with my feet, which means that I get no blisters. I'm going to have to put lots of band-aids on my toes, I think.

Also, question to the world: It's okay to not wear nylons, right? I kind of stopped doing it in high school, but I'm not sure if people in professional situations consider it to be whorish or not. Hopefully not, because I kind of hate them.

Yes, I am that awesome.
Oh, yeah! Louise and I, along with other various people, have started planning something we dub "Geekon" - a convention where you can "get your geek on." Anime Club (I'm President) and SciFi Club (Louise is president) are seeking out other student orgs right now, but it sounds like this might actually work. The plan is to take over half of a university building for a weekend and have various "geek" programming in different rooms - LARP, RPGs, board and card games, DDR, anime showings, SciFi/Fantasy showings, vendors (ie, Westfield Comics, Capital City Comics, local gaming stores, etc.), and panels on stuff. Louise and I procured an advisor, so hopefully it'll be okay for us to advertise to non-students and students at other universities. Maybe I can invite all of you! You guys could stay at my house. Even you LiveJournal people.
:D *Cackles*

Current Music: full version ending theme of Nodame Cantabile - Crystal Kay

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scribbled mystickeeper at 10:29 PM

Bearing in mind that I have a background in textiles, trends, and fashion etiquette, this is my opinion:

On the clothes issue, I'd have to agree with the girls. 200-500 dollars is a nice suit. With this is mind, that means NICE suit (at this point I could not afford a nice suit). If you're a "professional" that's what you wear - even if you only actually own one. Professionals are anyone of importance in the business or political spheres (with a few additions from other fields).

While it is difficult to believe that any garment could cost that much, there is a considerable difference in fabric quality, construction, and fit. This is something you go to a specialty retailer for and have altered to fit you, you cannot find them in department stores and may not even find them in the mall.

A good suit is an investment. I, for example, need to invest in a good set of drawing tools, a computer with CAD, and some dress clothes to become a designer. Paul will (probably) need to invest in a good pair of waist-high waders, some nets, an expensive and durable backpack, and possibly a Jeep so he can chase around the wildlife. A stock broker needs to invest in a suit. It all ends up costing a lot of money, but that's what we pay to have careers instead of jobs. (Minus the Jeep, it all kind of evens out).

You, on the other hand, do not need a nice suit to do what you're doing now. You would wow the pants off of the higher-ups if you had one and it would be an investment since you'd use it in the future as well, but it is by no means necessary. You're not a professional.

As for how much you spent on your suit, the reality is that t-shirts, jeans, and an occasional skirt you can buy for throw-away prices, but the more money you invest in a wardrobe staple like a suit, a formal dress, or a jacket, the better quality it will be. (In other words, that Abercrombie shit is just a price mark-up, you're not getting any better quality there). Not to say that your price range was wrong, just that you shouldn't feel like you over-spent. I wouldn't go out and buy a $40 net worth outfit to wear to work at Target, since I know I'd never wear it again, but spending that much on a suit is not frivolous. If it were me in your position, I probably would buy two to four $50 pieces and a few $20 ones to supplement my wardrobe, but that is not absolute, since clothing is a much higher priority for me than it is for you.

There are some people in this world who say that if you do not spend $60 on a pair of shoes, you're throwing away your money on something that will not last and you are sacrificing comfort. I'd say they are right. Do I spend $60 on my shoes though? No. My feet are pretty durable and my style is pretty out there, so I'd rather have 5 pairs of cool, cheap, shoes than 1 pair of really nice classic ones. It just goes to show that sometimes you're being ripped off, but if you know what you're looking for, the more money you pay the better results you'll get. The only thing that trumps this guideline is your personal need. If I were on my feet in dress shoes all day I would buy nicer dress shoes. If I was trying to sell myself as a professional I would buy an expensive suit with an array of fancy shirts. I'm none of these, so I buy whatever the hell I feel like with a hand full of classy wardrobe staples just in case I need them.

Closed-toe shoes are much more professional than sandals, so I understand why they mandate that. Since you're wearing them so much, that might be an area where you'd like to splurge. Also, I hate to break it to you, but it is unprofessional not to wear nylons in formal situations (work at a place like the capital is always formal). In formal summer situations like weddings I will skip the nylons since this isn't the middle ages, but the rule is: the more professional/formal, the more clothing you wear - no matter the temperature or discomfort. This is why 3 piece suits are the top of the work world. Naturally, it's up to you whether you want to follow the rules, but be aware that when you're dealing with older professionals, they tend to have rigid ideas about how things should be done. In fact, the business school here on campus has a whole list of rigid guidelines that nobody dares shun. My friend, Liza, a very successful marketing and accounting major, has the entire list memorized and it's quite impressive to hear rambled off in one breath. You may also be disappointed to learn that in VERY formal situations, dress pants for women are frowned upon when chosen over skirts, but again, this isn't the middle ages, so it's rare to see situations in which people will actually raise a fuss.

LOLS, you probably should've just called me (half hour of writing later).

By Blogger Steph, at 1:18 AM, February 20, 2007  

Shits! My comment is longer than your post!

By Blogger Steph, at 1:19 AM, February 20, 2007  

Okay, so shoes, yes, I can see how paying more gets you better quality. And I think I might do that, too.....if I ever have time to go shopping for them.

As for dress-suits? I really don't think so. I can't tell the difference between mine and anyone else's - the sleeves could do to be a tad shorter, but the girls I overheard weren't talking about dropping $300 to get a tailored suit, but shopping at Express.

To my credit, I didn't buy too much because I already have a couple shirts, a couple pairs of pants, and a lot of shirts that I can wear (yay 2005 summer internship!).

By Blogger Jackie, at 4:17 PM, February 20, 2007  

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