How much do you spend on clothes?

Sunday, May 27th, 2007 | Fashion, Private | 6 Comments

Cote from the Redmonk crew asked on Twitter how much people spend monthly on clothes. Thinking about this I found it easier to ponder my yearly spendings on clothes since I go for months without buying and then end up in a shopping spree. I found that I spend on three different categories.

1) The Basics
I think you can get basics like jeans, shorts, sweaters and shirts in good quality for great prices. My favorite stores in the US for these commodities are Target, Costco and Loehmanns. The best however is Muji, which I discovered in Tokyo, but they are expanding to Europe as well. Muji is an abbreviation of the Japanese “Mujirushi Ryohin” which translates into “no brand, but nevertheless high quality”.

“Through the careful selection of materials, streamlining manufacturing processes,
and simplifying our packaging, we have continually introduced high quality Muji brand products onto the market, at lower than usual prices.”

So in total I spend about $250 per year in this category.

2) Urban Streetwear
Always need to have comfortable but funky clothing for hanging out in the Mission or the Haight on the weekend. I also just enjoy discovering the latest trends in funky stores with clothing from local Bay Area designers. My favorite store in this category is Upper Playground on Fillmore in the Lower Haight.
Upper Playground Logo
Another great option (not only for clothing) is Giant Robot (again my love for Japan). Karen got me this great T-Shirt for my birthday.
Giant Robot T-Shirt
Other favorite shopping options include Villains in San Francisco and for upscale streetwear Fred Segal in LA.
Typically I buy a couple of pieces a year (some T-Shirts, Polo shirt and a Hoody) which total around $300.

3) Designer clothing
Yes, I have to admit I continue to be a sucker for nice Designer clothing (what do you expect I am European after all). I indulge in buying a few nice pieces a year (ideally when they are on sale). My favorite brands are Prada and Giorgio Armani and I buy modern but timeless pieces which I can wear for many years. Typically this includes dress pants, dress shirts and sweaters. For jackets I prefer Stone Island, but they are hard to find in the US (Fred Segal has them). Another great designer is Martin Margiela. Check out his uebercool retro web site and don’t let the intro screen (“This site is not under construction”) deceive you.
Finally my shoe purchases fall mostly in this category as well, since I tend to wear a favorite pair for years. Currently my absolute favorite shoes are from Medium, which is somewhere between Designer and Urban Streetwear (if you meet me it is very likely I wear the Medium Soloist). The dress shoes I mostly wear this year are from Trippen, great shoes from Berlin. I am eyeing however Paraboot which I saw in Tokyo.
Again I tend to buy only a very few pieces a year so I spend probably around $1,000.

There you have it. Total is $1550 per year which averages $130 per month. Hopefully this gave you some inspiration to look beyond the regular mall clothing. Also let me know about other cool stores/brands I should check out.

Two Perfect Days in Los Angeles – Day 2 – Part 1

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006 | Fashion, Food, Private, Travel | No Comments

So its the second day of our Los Angeles trip. In the morning we drove to the LA Farmers Market.  I have to say this was probably a highlight of the trip and I wish we had something similar in the Bay Area. The market is open every day from early morning until the evening. A lot of different produce stands to browse around, but the highlight are the food stands. We had our brunch at the French Crepe Company. The Prosciutto with Figs was a real treat.

We also had the Pan Bagnat, a baguette sandwich stuffed with Tuna salad.

Also noteworthy is the French store, wine bar and restaurant Monsieur Marcel. Next time I want to try their Cheese Fondue, it looked great.

We briefly checked out the new mall next to the Farmers Market but it is boring, the same stores you get all over the US. So to continue with typical LA shopping we went to Fred Segal on Melrose Avenue, which is more upscale then the Santa Monica counterpart we visited the day before. If you arrive around noon it makes for great people watching and star spotting. I am pretty bad at that since I have no memory for faces.

Funny side story to proof the point: Last week I was at a wedding. At the evening dinner Karen pointed out a guy to me and said “I think this is Larry Page”. I told her that I met Larry at a convention a couple of years ago and he looks completely different. Well, later at the party we found out it was Larry Page and Karen was once again right.

Apart from the fact that Fred Segal had a great selection of Martin Margiela clothing, I was mostly impressed by the cool Vestax Handy Trax turntable… I will need to get one soon.

In the afternoon we headed over to Beverly Hills to stroll down Rodeo Drive. I realize there is so much more we did that day, so I will save it for another Blog entry…
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