Fashion and Money on The Money Café
Fashion Is Designed to Massage Your
Shallow Ego and Slim Your Bank Account
Now I can wear heels.
— Nicole Kidman (on divorcing Tom Cruise)
What if my trousers are shabby and worn, they cover a warm hearth.
— Tom Masson
"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable,"
declared Oscar Wilde," that we have to alter it every six months."
Now, that's some food for thought if you are a woman contemplating the purchase of an exquisitely tailored $1200
Chanel outfit along with a dainty little $500 Fendi handbag.
The same applies if you are a man contemplating some new threads and think that only something
high-end from Hugo Boss, Armani, or Savile Row will do.
If men can run the world, why can't they stop wearing neckties?
How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck?
— Linda Ellerbee
Regardless of whether you agree with Oscar Wilde, you have to agree that fashion is designed to
enhance your image and slim down your bank account. The same relationship applies to cars and money, of
Fashions fade, style is eternal.
— Yves Saint Laurent
The end result is that many people who are never out of fashion (or will not be caught dead
with a car more than two years old) are always out of money. They may be strong contenders for winning the
Ms. or Mr. well-dressed North American contest, but unable to purchase the necessities in life and completely
ignorant of ways to save money.
Why not be oneself? That is the whole secret of a
successful appearance. If one is a greyhound, why try to look like a Pekingese?
— Edith Sitwell
Many people get themselves in financial trouble (requiring debt management help) because they don't
realize how much they spend on high-end clothing and how little they get in return.
Researchers have found that people on the average will underestimate by 50 percent the actual
amount that they annually spend on their wardrobes. Moreover, spending choices on clothing aren't as well
thought out as we may think.
The Chicago Tribune recently reported retailers know that most purchasing decisions are
made in five seconds and at least 70 percent of purchases are impulsive. Given that clothing is the most popular
item purchased on impulse, most of us rarely spend any time in contemplating the benefits of paying $400 for a
name-brand jacket or $950 for an exclusive high-end outfit. Whenever we do give it any thought, it's a
superficial treatment at best.
It is difficult to see why lace should be so expensive. It is
— Mary Wilson
The same type of contrived reasoning which persuades us that we need an expensive house is used
to justify the purchase of expensive clothing. For example, we may rationalize the purchase of an expensive suit
or outfit by saying that it will make us feel more successful, and at the same time make us more productive at
The truth is that normally we are less productive while wearing expensive outfits than we are
while wearing something more comfortable, such as a loose shirt and a pair of jeans. In fact, companies now
encourage that their employees dress down to be more productive.
Never wear anything that panics the cat.
— P. J. O'Rourke
Clothing purchases are no different from house or car purchases. You have to look at what may be
driving your urge to buy status at a much higher price. You are probably not thinking of paying a good premium
for a suit or pair of athletic shoes just to be yourself.
Never buy a hat with more character than you.
— Unknown wise person
It's best to ask yourself questions such as "Am I thinking of buying Armani to be superior to my
co-workers?", "Am I just trying to fit in by buying Nikes?", and "Am I afraid of being humiliated if someone
finds out that I bought the K-Mart or Sears private brand sweater?" Perhaps probing a little deeper will make
you realize how ridiculous you are trying to impersonate the glitterati of society with clothing that you
couldn't truly afford at twice your salary.
The thing we have to keep in mind is how clothing manufacturers like to play on our insecurities
in an attempt to get us to buy their latest apparel. Television commercials and magazine advertisements are
designed to tap into our approval-seeking behavior.
A witch and a bitch always dress up for each other, because
otherwise the witch would upstage the bitch, or the bitch would upstage the witch, and the result would be
— Tennessee Williams
At the same time, the purpose of commercials and advertisements is to manipulate us into buying
the clothing manufactures' products by reinforcing the notion that what other people think of us is more
important than what we think of ourselves.
I have to hand it to the people who create these advertisements and commercials for being such
great observers of human behavior, and for being able to determine exactly how gullible some of their victims
(okay, "target market" if you please) can be.
As advertisers look to expand their market, they have discovered one time the brand was on the
inside and represented quality. Now people allow themselves to be branded externally thinking it adds to their
identity and ability to elicit approval from others.
I am both amused and perplexed by people who are so severely lacking in identity that they will
spend $50 for a T-shirt emblazoned with corporate logos such as Nike or fashion-designer names such as Calvin
An identical T-shirt with no writing normally can be had for $15 to $20. These people actually
pay an extra $30 or more to be walking billboards for the clothing manufacturer or designer. At the same time, a
celebrity or professional athlete is paid an enormous sum to wear the same name-brand clothing on TV or in
You'd be surprised how much it costs to look this
— Dolly Parton
The more approval and flattery they crave, the more people can be manipulated by advertisers
into buying clothing they could easily do without.
Slaves to fashion punish themselves financially and psychologically by believing they need the
latest brand name or high-end clothing to be a worthwhile individuals in society.
Irrational spending on clothing leaves them financially challenged and without the funds to pay
for more worthwhile things, such as going on an interesting vacation.
It also leaves them emotionally challenged because they never do satisfy their need for
approval. Fashion can't cover up insecurities or flawed character traits.
Good humor is one of the best articles of dress one can
wear in society.
— William Makepeace Thackeray
To be sure, people who are slaves to fashion turn off more people than they impress. Not only do
they look desperate or too ostentatious, they project the image that they are more into superficial experiences
than meaningful ones.
Whether its on cars, houses, or clothing, trying to spend yourself
to self-worth and approval from others is a losing battle. Approval in itself is not a bad thing; we all like to
appreciated by others. Adulation is one of those delicious bonuses life throws our way. However, the need for
constant approval is emotionally unhealthy. Moreover, showing you are desperate for it isn't the way to get it.
Ironically, individuals who crave the least approval are the ones who tend to get the most respect from others.
Every generation laughs at the old fashions but religiously
follows the new.
— Henry David Thoreau
Only you can decide whether you are spending too much money on clothing in efforts to win the
approval of others. If approval- seeking has become a way of life, you have some work ahead of you. Your goal
should be to develop a healthy respect for yourself. As your self-esteem increases, you will have fewer urges to
buy expensive clothing.
This doesn't mean that your clothing should be zero style and 100 percent function. Clearly, you
nor I want to be best known for a five-dollar sports coat that looks like it was made from the worst half of a
discarded blanket. The key is to buy class and quality instead of luxury and fashion. Something with class and
quality will never go out of style because it was never in style.
Women dress alike all over the world; they dress to be annoying
to other women.
— Elsa Schiaparelli, Italian designer
Your self-esteem and creativity can help you realize the optimum value from the clothing you
buy. Instead of adopting someone else's image, you can show your true personality by wearing something
inexpensive, but truly different and imaginative. There will be more of a mystique to what you wear, much like
that of the super rich.
The best way to express individuality is to stick to items that have no label on the outside.
You may have noticed that the expensive and one-of-a-kind clothing that members of the beau monde wear have the
labels on the inside. That's because no visible brand markings are needed when you have true class.
Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of
others whom we cannot resemble.
Clearly, spending a fortune on clothing is no way to obtain financial satisfaction and express
the real you.
As a Zen-rich individual, whose head is torqued down right, you don't have to be extreme to
prove yourself to others. You will find that you can play the friendship, social, and
career games very well without having the latest brand-name and high-end fashions draped over
Fashion is made to become unfashionable.
— Coco Chanel
The next time you get the urge to buy something fashionable, ask yourself what benefit you
intend to get out of it. If you can talk yourself out of purchasing it, you will find that going without it will
contribute more to your self-esteem than succumbing to it. Moreover, by next season the fashionable clothing
will be out of style; the money that you saved won't be.
More Quotes about Money and Fashion on The Money Café
Great Fashion Advice to Live
Money creates taste.
— Jenny Holzer
No fashion has ever been created expressly for the lean purse or for the fat woman: the dressmaker's ideal
is the thin millionaires.
— Katherine Fullerton Gerould
A miser grows rich by seeming poor; an extravagant man grows poor by seeming
— Laurence Sterne
You know, one had as good be out of the world, as out of the fashion.
— Colley Cibber
Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.
— George Santayana
We worship not the Graces, nor the Parcae, but Fashion. She spins and weaves and cuts with full authority.
The head monkey at Paris puts on a traveler's cap, and all the monkeys in America do the same.
— Henry David
Only the minute and the future are interesting in fashion.
— Karl Lagerfeld
Just because you live in LA it doesn't mean you have to dress that way.
— Advertising billboard campaign in Los Angeles, mounted by New York fashion house Charivari.
Change of fashion is the tax levied by the industry of the poor on the vanity of the rich.
— Sébastien-Roch Nicolas de Chamfort
People ask how can a Jewish kid from the Bronx do preppy clothes? Does it have
to do with class and money? It has to do with dreams.
— Ralph Lauren
Always live in the ugliest house on the street — then you don't have to look at it.
— David Hockney
Oh, never mind the fashion. When one has a style of one's own, it is always
twenty times better.
— Margaret Oliphant
Style is not something applied. It is something that permeates. It is of the nature of that in which it is
found, whether the poem, the manner of a god, the bearing of a man. It is not a dress.
— Wallace Stevens
More Fashion Tips and More Fashion Advice for the Sexes
Fashions are induced epidemics.
— George Bernard Shaw
Fashion is something that goes in one year and out the other.
— Unknown Wise Person
Never offend people with style when you can offend them with substance.
— Tony Brown
I will not cut my conscience to fit this year's
Fashion Tips and Fashion Advice for Women
A woman who doesn't wear lipstick feels undressed in public. Unlessshe works on a farm.
— Max Factor
Haute Couture should be fun, foolish and almost unwearable.
— Christian Lacroix, French fashion designer.
Nothing goes out of fashion sooner than a long dress with a very low neck.
— Coco Chanel
Most medical fads are like some women’s fashions — frail, fickle and
— Noah D. Fabricant
Girls who wear zippers shouldn't live alone.
— John W. Van Druten
A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence; serving its purpose without obstructing the
— Sophia Loren
Brevity is the soul of lingerie
— Dorothy Parker
The great majority of men, especially in France, both desire and possess a fashionable woman, much
in the way one might own a fine horse — as a luxury befitting a young man.
Look for the woman in the dress. If there is not woman, there is no
— Coco Chanel
I tend to wear outfits that match the walls.
— Debra Winger
Most women dress as if they had been a mouse in a previous incarnation, or hope to be one in the
— Edith Sitwell
The prettiest dresses are worn to be taken off.
— Jean Cocteau
All women's dresses are merely variations on the eternal struggle between admitted desire to dress
and the unadmitted desire to undress.
— Lin Yutang, Chinese writer
It pains me physically to see a woman victimized, rendered pathetic,
— Yves Saint Laurent
The best—dressed woman is one whose clothes wouldn't look too strange in the country.
— Sir Hardy Amies
I dress for women and undress for men.
— Angie Dickinson
I only put clothes on so that I'm not naked when I go out
— Julia Roberts
Fashion Advice and Fashion Tips for Men
A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more
stupid than a hat.
— P. J. O'Rourke
Those hot pants of hers were so damned tight, I could harldy breathe.
— Benny Hill
Being a well-dressed man is a career, and he who goes in for it has not time for anything else.
— Heywood Broun
Never wear a suit costing less than two hundred clams.
— "Legs" Diamond to Larry Adler
A good man often appears gauche simply because he does not take advantage of the myriad mean little chances
of making himself look stylish. Preferring truth to form, he is not constantly at work upon the façade of his
— Iris Murdoch
Brown shoes don't make it.
— Frank Zappa
I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me.
— Warren Buffett
Never speak to a man wearing leather trousers.
— Tommy Nutter
Being named as one of the world's best-dressed men doesn't necessarily mean
that I am a bad person.
— Anthony R. Cucci
Men who wear turtlenecks look like turtles.
— Doris Lilly
I was trying to think the other day about what you do now in America if you want to be successful. Before,
you were dependable and wore a good suit. Looking around, I guess that today you have to do all the same things
but not wear a good suit. I guess that's all it is. Think rich. Look poor.
— Andy Warhol
THE MONEY CAFÉ COPYRIGHT © 2013 by Ernie J. Zelinski