I have to admit that I enjoy
watching "What Not to Wear" on occasion. There are some things about this show
that I like. I enjoy it when I see other people starting to feel better about
themselves. I can even get a little teary-eyed when someone seems profoundly
affected by the show and the attention given to them.
However, there are several things that I find
disturbing about this show.
Through the years I have developed my own fashion
strategy, and it doesn't involve buying shoes in rainbow colors. Nor do I
feel the need to carry a different handbag with every outfit.
It is not uncommon for outfits on "What Not to Wear"
to be purchased for upwards of $300. In the real world, most us of would not
dream of spending so much on our clothing.
I don't believe most women want to spend their time
transferring items from purse to purse as they dress each day. Nor do I believe
anyone needs more than a few pairs of shoes in basic colors.
If you have lots of money, it is not a problem to
buy expensive clothing. However, most of the people who come on the show are not
in the position to spend the kind of money they spend in New York on clothing in
their home towns after they leave New York.
In fact, most of the people I've seen on the show
are much more prone to frequent sales racks and bargain stores. Most of us
believe a sale is a good thing, and not something to be avoided because "sale
items are pieces no one else wanted."
There are tremendous markdowns on beautiful clothing
at the end of every season. Stacy and Clinton - how about teaching us how to
take advantage of these sales? How about teaching us how to find quality
clothing at stores where we can afford to shop?
I cringe when I see someone showing off a $300
outfit. This is not "investing in clothing". It is missing the opportunity to
invest in our financial future.
I worry about people getting addicted to buying
expensive clothing. I have my doubts about whether the guests on "What Not to
Wear" will ever make such expensive purchases again, but clothing does wear out
in time, and shopping can be addictive.
I fear that after getting a taste of expensive
clothing, and a major shopping high, it might become easy to justify a $200 a
month shopping habit. If it becomes an addiction, a credit card will be used
that is not pre-paid, and may not be paid off at the end of the month.
Credit card debt can result in the loss of thousands
of dollars. If that money were saved, instead of spent, it becomes a huge
It is said that those who understand interest
collect it. Those who don't pay it.
Here is an example. If you invest approximately
$2,500 a year in the stock market, with a return of 8 percent, in 20 years that
money will grow to almost $125,000. Make that over $300,000 for 30 years, and
$700,000 over a 40 year period.
Saving money on clothing to achieve that kind of
financial security seems a lot more important than parting with your hoodie.
There are not a lot of areas to save money these
days. Life has gotten very expensive, and doesn't get easier as you get older. A
majority of our expenses are fixed. Food and clothing are the major areas where
we can be more careful, save money, and invest in our future.
Again, Stacy and Clinton, why not teach people how
to dress well on a budget? Clothing does not have to be expensive to look good.
You can still teach the same principles but use them to find clothing that is
"What Not to Wear" how about giving us a show that
we can relate to in the suburbs of America? It takes skill to go into a thrift
store and find that one "jewel" that we can work into our wardrobe. How about
Quit making fun of our jeans, t-shirts and hoodies.
Teach us to find the good fitting pair of jeans, or more flattering colors for
our skin tones, and let us be happy living on our income.
And when we are at home....dare I say it - WE WANT
TO BE COMFORTABLE!