It’s kind of a no brainer that things that are well made, come with good customer service and cost a little bit more are better in the long run than things that are cheaply constructed, have poor customer service and cost a bit less.
In practice, it is a little harder to subscribe to this idea, because rent is rent and utilities are utilities and once those are paid, there’s a limited amount to replace the durable hard goods reaching the end of their natural lifespan.
A quick sidebar:
Husband Dan likes to tell people that I turned him into a “gear snob”. My influence lead him to replace his not-waterproof rain coat with a very-pricey-but-lightweight-and-durable coat and slowly replace his cotton-blend long underwear with merino wool and fancy-pants Capilene. I just really like being comfortable when outside and I have clothing that is 10+ years old that still works — because I ponied up and bought stuff that was durable…and I extend this thought to general clothing and shoe purchases as well… when I can afford to…
To fill this gap, sometimes there are deals, and sometimes their are strategically budgeted purchases, and sometimes there is the occaisional fortuitous win… and I like winning stuff.
Unfortunately, I have very few skills that lead to winning. I come from a long line of barely smart, sedentary asthmatics with just enough talent in any field to hit the ceiling well before there are any opportunities for financial gain. I also understand just enough about probability to know that games of chance are a time waster — but every once in awhile something comes along that is a combination of luck and skill, and Bayes would say that I might just have a chance.
Such was this contest, hosted by Osmium, a local menswear company. The owner, Mark Paigen, told a story about how much he loved his bicycle and the ride, and then invited people to guess what it might be. I have just a little bit of skill in the field of signals and images. And, I have a little bit of skill in identifying old bicycles.
However, my focus here is on the clothes that I won and gave to my (now) well-dressed husband. After the win, they arrived by mail in 48 hours.
And, I’m no clothing-reviewing-blogger, I just want to express my thankfulness is a public space and maybe make some other folks aware of this local company that (from my experience) makes nice-looking, quality-made clothes in the U.S… so I am just going to mention the pants we received. They are probably the best part. I wish that I knew of a ladies equivalent.
Dan likes road bikes and he likes to ride fast. This means that during the warm parts of the year, he is quite-thin-but-has-legs. Finding pants for him that aren’t absurdly baggy but also aren’t really tight in the thigh takes work. These pants aren’t skinny or baggy, and they fit a cyclist’s build. I’m a huge fan of the ever-so-slight taper to the almost-straight leg — it looks pretty classic and it allows the pants to fit well on someone with a more athletic build.
I am jealous about the pockets as well. I’m a huge fan of pockets that hold stuff without looking like the word “cargo” should be used to describe them. These pants have such a pocket. It fits a smartphone or sunglasses. It’s positioned to prevent one from sitting on expensive fragile things.
The pants would work well for travel and for semi-casual workplaces. Formal workplace? Fridays.
I know some cheapskates who are thinking that hundred-dollar pants are outrageous, and they are — if you aren’t planning on wearing them very often and they aren’t constructed for multiple years of use, but these pants seem to be in it for the long haul. A few months have passed and they are working just as well and looking just as good as they were on day one.
(Thanks again, Osmium, for the chance to use my limited skills and the new clothes)