Tuesday, March 9

For What It's Worth

So a certain someone Facebooked the other day asking how to justify $90 dollars for sandals. I think she was being Facetious.
This reminded me of a conversation my sis and I had Recently. We were in a department store, rummaging the Clearance racks(truly the only place we look in a department store). She tried on a fantastic coat, which they had in Small and Large, but neither fit quite right. As she put it back she remarked that it just wasn't worth the price if it didn't fit exactly right. We laughed that $15 dollars was too much for us to pay for a coat.
We've been spoiled, it seems, by Thrift Shopping. Even brand new on a clearance rack, $15 is still an overpriced coat, $4 is really pushing it for a blouse. Getting clothes (and other things) so cheaply for so long has made us really consider what we're willing to give for something.
And that is the key, in my mind- every time I shop, I'm giving something. Something I've earned, something I could easily give to something else. I have so many choices of places to give my dollars. Do I want give my dollar for this? The question, to me, goes beyond the item in question. While I'm not one for examining fair trade and human rights every time I try on shoes, I do feel keenly the fact that my dollar represents my values.
It's not just the thrill of bargain hunting for me. Thrifting lets me indicate what I truly value. When I find a great dress for $4.50, I don't just get a dress. I get a reassuring sense that I am being a good steward of my hard earned money. I get a secret, self-righteous kick out of using less and making less waste. I get the satisfaction (usually) of funding worthwhile projects in my own community. I get the quiet happiness that comes from wearing something that is totally unique to my style. And, compared to regular prices, I get at least two dresses for the price of one. (Okay, so it's more than a little about the thrill of the bargain!)
What it's worth to me is about more than just the price tag. It's about what I value. I value thrift, green living, Style, and most of all, giving.
So, no, I can't justify $90 for sandals, even if they're really, really, really comfy.


  1. I could justify $90 for sandals if they weren't a trendy, one season purchase (orange gladiator sandals). I think in terms of depreciation. I will wear my $$$ Birkenstock sandals for so many years that they are worth the investment to me--a dollar or two a month if I want to get picky. Ditto with a good winter coat or a simple leather handbag that will never go out of style. I'm willing to spend more up front on items that will wear well for the long term.

  2. Well, Birkenstocks are a different matter. And don't get me wrong, I have a super-nice pair of $8o Born shoes for work. But, I got them on clearance for $20. I guess I'm more stubborn. (or more of a tightwad. or just more broke!)