Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Clothes in retirement
Old 07-02-2010, 10:38 AM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
friar1610's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 824
Clothes in retirement

An earlier post made reference to the difference between spending $9.95 on a pair of slacks from WalMart vs. $125 from Jos. A. Bank. That caught my eye for a couple of reasons:
- When I retired from the Navy and had to buy suits for my civilian career, I bought most of them from Jos. A. Bank (which was originally a Baltimore area firm; I was living in Baltimore County at the time.)
- The first individual stock I ever bought (I don't do individual stocks any more) was Jos. A. Bank (because I really liked their stores and had just read an article in the Baltimore Sun about their strategic plan which sounded like it made sense. Bought (not enough) shares at $3 and sold not too many years later for about $45, IIRC.

But I digress... I've always tried to buy clothes on sale. When I was working, I nevertheless tried to buy quality stuff because you just look better in good quality clothes and, whether you want to believe it or not, people treat you better if you look well dressed, have shined shoes, a crisp shirt and a decent looking tie. (Being a stockholder with JOSB, even if there wasn't a sale I got 10% off.)

For my casual clothes, I've always been an L.L. Bean/Land's End kind of guy (but have mostly bought only when things are on sale.) Living in New England, we have a few L.L. Bean outlets and whenever we pass near one we stop and check out what they have. If there's something I need at a good price I buy it; if they have nothing I need, I don't buy something just because it's priced well.

I wear a sports coat maybe 6 times a year these days. I wear a suit once a year at the most. My summer "uniform" is shorts/chinos and a t-shirt or polo shirt; my winter uniform is jeans /corduroy slacks and a flannel shirt. It's rare that I dress up any more than that.

I've started to write the date of purchase on the label of new clothes. When they get too old to wear as "dress" clothes (normally after at least 5 years), I write a symbol on the label that means they're "hangin' around clothes" (so I can more quickly identify them in the closet.) When they pass the "hangin' around" stage, they become "work clothes" with yet another symbol on the label. That's what I wear to work in the yard, paint or do other dirty jobs. When they finally turn to shreds and I can't even use them for yard work or painting, I throw them away.

I've found a few stores where I know, for example, that LaCoste polo shirts are always going to be on sale in late June. $40 man. suggested retail price; with markdown and coupons, probably $15. There are a number of other predictable sales, either through Land's End/L.L. Bean catalogues or stores, so I generally wait for them. For workout gear, I've found that Target has a line of Champion gear called C9 which is a lot cheaper than some name brand like Under Armour and serves my needs just as well.

I'm curious how other FIREd folks handle their clothes shopping and how long they typically keep clothes before throwing them away. Do you go for quality clothes at sale prices or tend to buy lower end, less expensive items?
__________________

__________________
friar1610
friar1610 is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-02-2010, 10:50 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
IndependentlyPoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 1,142
I visited an older friend the other day and interrupted him turning the collar on a shirt. He is probably the richest man I know, and he considers is profligate to discard a shirt before both sides of the collar are frayed.

As for me, I am still working my way through the huge closet of clothes I accumulated during my working and clothes-horse days. I don't date them, but know that several of my sports coats are more than 25 years old.
__________________

__________________
Start by admitting
from cradle to tomb
it isn't that long a stay.
IndependentlyPoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 10:54 AM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
I buy virtually all my clothes at Banana Republic. I always use 40% off coupons that I receive almost every month or buy from the sales rack. I keep my dressier clothes for a very long time (I am lucky in that my waste size has not changed in years) and I treat them with great care (brush my suits and store them in proper garment sleeves, use shoe trees for my good shoes, wash then store woolen sweaters in cedar boxes during the off season, etc...). I keep the everyday stuff (jeans, t-shirts, casual shoes) for about 2 years. I buy most of my dress shoes at Johnston and Murphy, either when they go on sale at the mall or on J&M's website.
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 10:58 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,137
It's only been five years since I retired. I figure won't need any new clothing for another five, maybe ten years....
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 11:06 AM   #5
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,934
Quote:
Originally Posted by friar1610 View Post
I'm curious how other FIREd folks handle their clothes shopping and how long they typically keep clothes before throwing them away. Do you go for quality clothes at sale prices or tend to buy lower end, less expensive items?
I have always looked for good prices. At work I had to dress in formal meeting attire ($$$) when representing the agency, but most of the time only business casual was required. I usually dressed in a polo shirt and slacks.

Just before I retired my favorite polo shirts were on sale. Instead of $12.99 - $19.99, they were on sale for $1.44-$2.88. I bought all they had in my size, more than a dozen I think, in many colors some of which I might never have worn to work. Then the day after I retired I bought four more pairs of nice slacks while in sort of a "Wow, I'm retired, whoopee, I have money and all the time in the world" daze. So, I don't need to buy any more clothes suitable for leaving the house for a few years. I still dress in "business casual" in these polo shirts and slacks when we go to restaurants, shopping, or whatever.

We just ended the hottest June on record in New Orleans, and the slacks gave way to shorts. I have plenty of them but they are getting a little threadbare so I need to look for more. My main criterion for these shorts will not be price, but comfort.

When at home by myself, I generally wear cheap oversized cotton clothes with comfort as the most important feature. Even though I buy these sloppy clothes (things like men's t-shirts) new, I keep them even when they are worn, ripped and threadbare. Some I have had for over a decade. As long as they are comfy, who cares? It's not like anybody sees them. Clothing that I wear outside the house must look nice, though.

Speaking of comfort, I spend a LOT on my high end New Balance running shoes and Thorlo socks, both of which I wear nearly every day. I haven't bought any since retiring, but I have no intention of changing my habits in this regard. Some thing are worth spending money on, and comfortable feet are a high priority for me.

I also spend more than a minimum amount on Bali undergarments, but can generally find them on sale.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 11:09 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,763
Well, the type of clothes I wear has changed. Most of the blazers are still good, but not often worn. The dress pants are wearing out after two years.

Today I usually wear chinos or jeans and sweatshirt/sweater/t-shirt. Those last about a year.

-- Rita
__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 11:18 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
Tee shirts, shorts and jeans for me. I love my old, tattered jeans.

Boot wax has overtaken pantyhose....one expense gone...one expense in its place.
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 11:27 AM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
Lakedog's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 654
Mostly buy from LLBean (have their credit card just for the free shipping), typically when they have sales. Warm weather is pretty much shorts/chinos with t-shirt or polo. Winters are jeans or chinos with long sleeve t, flannel shirt, sweater, or sweatshirt. I usually wear items until they start to look worn so maybe 2-3 years for most clothing. I keep dressier clothes for a very long time since they don't get a lot of use, and my weight does not fluctuate much. Running shoes are my largest clothing expense these days.
__________________
Lakedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 11:43 AM   #9
gone traveling
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,864
I'm getting ready to head out on vacation (the working man's wanna-be equivalent of ER) and just did an cost-based appraisal of what I'm wearing. Total cost <$25 for Jeans, Hawaiian shirt, flip-flops. I hope to scale that back somewhat when I retire...
__________________
Westernskies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 11:54 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
I'm just not plunking down too much on clothing now that I'm not working, but shoes...well...shoes, purses and jewelry I'll pay whatever.
If me feets hurts I'm a gonner, tho. And I refuse to carry a crappy purse or wallet, because they just don't last so it isn't worth it ultimately.
In the summer I buy Dri-Fit or Cool Max clothing totally, and those you have to grab when they come in usually. Full price often but, what the heck, they do last a long time and surely keep you comfortable. Some things are just worth it to me. Like I said, they laaaaast a long time.
But, I just love the fact I no longer have to buy or wear dresses or suits much anymore. I feel so freed! And life is so much cheaper overall now clothingwise. Whoooo hooooo, yippee!!!!!
__________________
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 12:40 PM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 350
Thrift store except for underwear, socks, and shoes. Underwear and socks for Xmas presents, and shoes from big 5 (discount sporting goods store). Rarely need shoes. I live in SoCal and am barefoot all the time.
__________________
Pete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 01:39 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,037
I wear casual outfits most days . Capri pants with matching tees or a sundress when it is hot . I buy most of my clothes from JJill , Chico's or land's end . I also like Vera Bradley Purses and fun flats or sandals so that is what I wear 99% of the time . Clothes are probably one of the area where I do not skimp .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 02:05 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,152
When I was preparing for retirement 3 to 4 years ago, I gave away a ton of clothing. In addition to downsizing and helping people of lesser means, I wanted to give it away while I still qualified for a tax deduction. It was actually the hardest part of downsizing.

I buy most of my clothes at Walmart, Target, or Kohl's. I spend around $6-$16 for most shirts and maybe $15 for jeans. I hardly ever wear a shirt that has buttons all the way down the front unless I am going out to a real nice place.

I rarely dress up. I have worn a suit twice since retiring 3 years ago, that was in Colombia for 3 weddings (2 of them were on one day). Both times I paid $30 to rent a nice suit (since I don't even have a sports jacket here).

My dress really has not changed much from when I worked. I was an engineer and just wore jeans and T-shirt or polo shirt to work everyday.

My girlfriend in Colombia bought me a couple of pieces of clothing to jazz me up a little, she said the clothes I brought were a little too gringo. Colombians dress with more color and less solid colors.

One of the things I appreciate about American culture is its informality. In many countries, especially those that are not meritocracies, clothes serve as a signaling mechanism for status.
__________________
kramer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 02:09 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
fancy free's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 60
whenever i have the chance to peruse a clearance rack of quality clothing, i do it - i buy when well-made clothing is marked down to almost nothing, and otherwise i just shop my closet.

we don't waste money on cheap clothing - it falls apart and you don't get your value out of it. i'd much rather have something like the wool sweater i bought at Gap last winter - originally marked over $100 and purchased for 8 bucks. i'll still be wearing it in 2020.

if you are careful to choose classic styles and if you buy when the price is right, you can build a classic wardrobe that covers all social occasions.
__________________
And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. Shakespeare

--

retired mid-2000s age 42
fancy free is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 02:18 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,440
I'm mostly still wearing the khakis and polo shirts I wore while working. I had to buy a few pairs of shorts after I moved to the beach, but they're pretty cheap at 80% off at Bass in the fall. Other than that my biggest clothing expense is T-shirts and hats from the various concerts and festivals I go to.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 02:31 PM   #16
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 16
I have to wear dress pants and a dress shirt daily to work. I have resorted to finding a shirt I like or pants I like then sourcing them online. I have bought $100 wool dress pants for $20 a pair. I do have some nice shoes, AE (Not American Eagle --> Allen Edmonds, Alden, handmade florsheim's etc) that I do not wear to work, these will last my lifetime with proper care. I wear $99 (often purchased with 20% or more off coupons) Johnston and Murphy rubber soled dress shoes as a daily shoe for safety and comfort, leather soles were not meant for some of environments I work in.

I have found buying quality clothing saves me money over buying cheap clothes. Quality classic items last longer and look better than buying trendy designer junk that is uncomfortable and out of style in 3 months.

For Casual clothes I almost exclusively purchase clearance items from Kohls. I can buy brands like Levi, Dockers, Chaps for 90% off or MORE on a regular basis. My last score was $60 chaps pants for $7 a pair!!! I often buy shirts for $1.60, $2.00, etc. It makes my wife sick when I can buy a basket full of clothes for $50.

My last couple of pairs of Athletic shoes have come from Joes New Balance, they often have insanely cheap prices on shoes.

I am shopping like this at 27, I wonder how bad I am going to get when I can start to taste being FIRED!
__________________
Kcinnick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 02:46 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,649
These days I buy a lot of my clothes at COSTCO. Good selection of jeans, Dockers type pants, cargo shorts, and a nice variety of shirts. Bike clothes online. When the leather jacket needs replacing (getting there now) I wait for a trip to New York.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 02:56 PM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
friar1610's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post

Speaking of comfort, I spend a LOT on my high end New Balance running shoes and Thorlo socks, both of which I wear nearly every day. I haven't bought any since retiring, but I have no intention of changing my habits in this regard. Some thing are worth spending money on, and comfortable feet are a high priority for me.
I agree with you on the comfy feet. I buy high quality walking, hiking and running shoes, on sale generally. For running and walking shoes I've found Holabird Sports (Baltimore area) to be a good place to get decent prices.
<www.holabirdsports.com>
When I lived in that area I visited them and had an analysis done of my feet. Based on that I bought New Balance walking shoes and running shoes that were really great. Since moving, I order them (actually, their successor models) over the web.

I've also recently discovered Keen sandals which I wear all summer - not cheap but the only sandals I've ever really worn consistently.

Any time I've gone the cheapo route on shoes I've been disappointed.
__________________
friar1610
friar1610 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 03:07 PM   #19
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 26
As I just "crossed the bar" Wednesday I haven't spent a lot of time thinking this through, but as I am in a somewhat rural area I was considering a warm weather outfit of bug spray. I don't think that the deer and the turkeys would mind. The squirrels are somewhat worrying though....
__________________
billin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 03:59 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
Garage sales except for underwear & socks. Rarely spend more than $2, and the stuff I get is like new.

I've accumulated a lifetime supply of T-shirts from different sources.

Socks are a problem, since I've grown accustomed to nice wool socks such as SmartWool or Wigwam. When people ask me what I want for a present, this is what I suggest. The problem is that they wear out too quickly (I don't wear shoes around the house), and the present giving can't keep up.

I'm considering these no-name brand socks:

Amazon.com: 3 - Prs. Merino Wool Blend Socks: Clothing
__________________

__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How much do you spend on clothes? accountingsucks Young Dreamers 82 09-04-2009 03:48 PM
Where to buy clothes RedHawk Other topics 34 10-22-2008 09:25 AM
selling clothes on eBay? Keyboard Ninja Other topics 4 07-19-2008 01:11 PM
Clothes make the man donheff Other topics 92 09-19-2006 01:12 PM
Clothes arrete Life after FIRE 9 10-14-2004 07:16 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:04 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.