I was on a flight recently and popped open one of my favorite business magazines. I was a bit taken aback when I opened an article that discussed a watch that costs $176,300. Holy hell, people pay one-hundred and seventy-six freakin’ thousand dollars for a watch?!? To put this in perspective, the home we bought in June of 2013 set us back $176,000. Yes, this watch costs $300 more than my home. Let’s contrast the watch and my home for just a moment:
My home is a structure where I sleep, work, bathe and ummm, relieve myself.
The watch tells you what time it is.
My home has sophisticated systems that keep me warm in the winter, dry when it rains and cool in the summer.
The watch tells you what time it is, just like your smart phone (which also makes phone calls.)
The home has fancy devices that I use to store and prepare food.
The watch tells you what time it is. From that picture, it must be able to tell you something else with those other dials. I’m too lazy to look up what those dials tell you, but surely those features aren’t worth $176,300 unless they successfully predict the stock market, cure cancer or teleport you Star Trek style.
Of course, no one buys this watch because they have to know what time it is. The main purpose is to express to others how much money you have.
How to express yourself for only $349
Can’t afford the $176,300? Good news! It is possible to express yourself for a lot less. If you haven’t lived under a rock, you know that Apple finally showed the world their newest product, a watch.
I followed the announcement and cringed a little when I read the following slide:
Apple Watch is as much about self-expression as it is utility.
I don’t know. Perhaps at 40, I’m an old fart. I just don’t care about fashion trends of any kind. Here are some things I do care about:
- Toilet paper: The softer, the better. Same goes for underwear.
- Cap’n Crunch cereal: This is a guilty pleasure that is horrible for me, but I can’t quit it. Do they have rehab for this type of thing?
- Beer: Life is too short to drink crap beer.
- Door knobs: Actually, I don’t care about door knobs. Still beats fashion though.
- Cat pictures on facebook: I lied again. I don’t know which is worse, cat pictures on facebook or actual cats*. If I had to choose though, I’d pick cats over fashion.
My rag-bag clothes collection
However, I wasn’t always fashion unconscious. I used to care what people thought. I’d buy t-shirts with ironic pictures or sayings. “Hey look at me everyone, this shirt is so clever!!!” I’d donate perfectly fine clothes just because I didn’t find them stylish anymore. Now I just don’t care.
Mrs. 1500 would argue that I take it too far. There are definitely some clothes in my drawer that should have been moved to the oil-change-rag-bag in the garage a while ago. Perhaps I should send the ones with the worst stains and the biggest holes off to shirt retirement in the garage. Side note: Kind of ironic that this blog is about early retirement, yet I make my shirts still work when they’re 94 in shirt years.
(Mrs. 1500 note: You would think that perhaps he keeps these terrible shirts for lack of more. You could not be more wrong. I just went to his t-shirt drawer and counter 47 t-shirts! That doesn’t include the shirts in the washing machine or dryer, or any of his collared shirts.)
Junky clothes are great, I moved 8 tons of rocks this summer while wearing some of those rag-bag clothes. Others on my street pay landscaping companies just to mow their lawn. I can tell that the neighbors think we’re poor. This is just how I like it.
So now, the question you’re dying to know is what I actually do wear. Without further ado…
The Mr. 1500 Completely Boring Guide to Fashion
- White shirt**: Here in Colorado, the sun is intense and hot. White reflects light. White is cool. White is right. (Hey, that even rhymes; I am clever after all!). The white shirt is not without it’s problems. I have a frequent problem delivering food to my mouth, you know, eating. A white shirt + pizza or a burrito is a recipe for disaster and humiliating finger pointing from children.
- Shorts: I don’t get the dudes who are too cool for shorts. Anything above 70 and the jeans stay in the closet. Beware: Similar to looking at the Sun, staring at my pale, white legs may result in retina damage. If you see me in shorts, please avert your eyes and hold your laughter. I’m sensitive.
- Black shirt: Remember what I told you about white shirts? Black ones absorb the sun’s rays and keep you a bit warmer.
- Jeans: Costco has ugly, Kirkland jeans for about $13 and more stylish ones for $20. I have both. The $20 pairs make an appearance on special occasions like a date at Chipotle with Mrs. 1500.
Could it be any more black and white? Ha, I crack myself up. Really though, the beauty of this wardrobe is that you never have to think about what you’re going to wear. Buy a pack of white undershirts from Costco and you’re halfway there.
I don’t care about watches or new phones or fancy cars or expensive sunglasses. If someone doesn’t want to be friends with me because of the way I dress, oh well. However, if they’re a bit embarrassed when I drop a slice of pizza on myself or knock over a bottle of beer, I’ll give them a pass.
*OK, cats aren’t so bad. The issue I have is crazy allergies. If I dare touch a cat, I sneeze nonstop for the next hour. Not fun. Stay away felines.
**Imagine my horror in New Orleans when I saw a sign posted on the front of a store:
No shoes or white t-shirts, no service!
A quick Google search revealed that certain street gangs also wear white shirts. I cringed for a brief moment as I gazed down at the white shirt that I happened to be wearing that very moment. Good news though, I lived to type another day.
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