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Clothes budget – Status and responsibility vs. Frugal living: Where is the balance

Home Personal Finance and Budgeting Clothes budget – Status and responsibility vs. Frugal living: Where is the balance

  • Zaphod Zaphod 
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    Earnest refinancing bonus

    I cut my hair because I do good job thanks, nothing to do with money in fact I’ve gotten. A few lately since I’m lazier. (This is meant to be in joking and sarcastic tone).

    ICB kind of hit the actual finer point, it doesnt matter what you wear and buy if your not taking care of yourself.

    Also, remember my comments come from a place of not having nor desiring to wear this on the day to day I imagine there are places that have essentially a dress code.

    That’s entirely different.

    Also, no one needs a watch unless it’s a smart watch. Great way to distance and separate yourself from your pts unless they also are of the type to do so. That’s a signaling thing, and it may not be signaling what you want.

    #221015 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
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    I cut my hair because I do good job thanks, nothing to do with money in fact I’ve gotten. A few lately since I’m lazier. (This is meant to be in joking and sarcastic tone).

     

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    Because of all the comments on cutting your own hair I did what any good dad would do and experimented on my kids a few weeks ago.  It did not turn out half bad 🙂  Much better then trying to keep them calm at the barber.  The hair made a mess but the kids love the cordless vacuum so there was some entertainment as well.  I may try my own next time it comes due.  Getting the neck straight seems like it would be hard.

     

    Thanks guys!

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #221024 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Mildly off topic. There’s a bunch of DR offices above my grocery store. Last week I saw an old dude walking around the groc with his white coat on. Cruising the parameter like the cool guy on the block. I thought it was lame and possibly unsanitary. I mean, everyone knows they come down to grab lunch. How hard is it to hang the coat before going down? When I told the husband he said he doesn’t think he’s worn his white coat since finishing training. Anyone else retire the white coat?

    #221030 Reply
    Liked by fatlittlepig
    Avatar octopus85 
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    I cut my hair because I do good job thanks, nothing to do with money in fact I’ve gotten. A few lately since I’m lazier. (This is meant to be in joking and sarcastic tone).

     

    Click to expand…

    Because of all the comments on cutting your own hair I did what any good dad would do and experimented on my kids a few weeks ago.  It did not turn out half bad   Much better then trying to keep them calm at the barber.  The hair made a mess but the kids love the cordless vacuum so there was some entertainment as well.  I may try my own next time it comes due.  Getting the neck straight seems like it would be hard.

     

    Thanks guys!

    Click to expand…

    Where is the “dislike” button? 😀

    #221036 Reply
    Liked by Lordosis
    Lordosis Lordosis 
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    Mildly off topic. There’s a bunch of DR offices above my grocery store. Last week I saw an old dude walking around the groc with his white coat on. Cruising the parameter like the cool guy on the block. I thought it was lame and possibly unsanitary. I mean, everyone knows they come down to grab lunch. How hard is it to hang the coat before going down? When I told the husband he said he doesn’t think he’s worn his white coat since finishing training. Anyone else retire the white coat?

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    I stopped wearing my white coat during residency.  Some of the girls told me they wore them to keep warm.  And one guy wore one for the pockets.  The dude carried 2 different tuning forks at all times.  At least I knew where to find a pair of calipers.

    However I did a derm rotation at a neighboring health system.  I was the first resident to do this because our local derm was weak.   I was yelled at for not wearing a white coat!  It was ridiculous.  The attending went off the deep end.   He wanted me to go home and get it.  It was over an hour drive away and he begrudgingly let me stay.  I warned my fellow coresidents so they can all bring their coat.  I have felt disdain towards white coats and dermatologists ever since.

     

    Not really all dermatologists.  Just Jerk dermatologists.

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #221043 Reply
    IntensiveCareBear IntensiveCareBear 
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    Mildly off topic. There’s a bunch of DR offices above my grocery store. Last week I saw an old dude walking around the groc with his white coat on. Cruising the parameter like the cool guy on the block. I thought it was lame and possibly unsanitary. I mean, everyone knows they come down to grab lunch. How hard is it to hang the coat before going down? When I told the husband he said he doesn’t think he’s worn his white coat since finishing training. Anyone else retire the white coat?

    Click to expand…

    Not wearing the white coat for at least selective situations, if not majority of the day, is missing a huge opportunity imo.

    It is the classic doctor look, and it gives instant cred to any doc outfit (scrubs or biz). It is simply what most patients want to see a doc look like and how docs are identified in many situations. Basically, a man in uniform always demands respect and instills confidence in those entrusted to his care. It shows you take yourself seriously (provided the coat is clean and pressed). For docs to not wear a long white coat would be like a military guy not wearing his uni to work anymore after basic training, a mail carrier doing his route in a hoodie, or a pilot wearing a tank top and track pants. But there is a line; the guys who wear their army uni or their chef jacket to the bar or the mall when they’re off duty and off the job site are toolboxes trying to glean prestige or favored treatment.

    As far as rules for the white coat, yeah… you obviously don’t wear the white coat outside the hospital or office. There is no reason to. That’s what a hanger or hook on the office door or locker or back seat of car is for. You simply wear your seasonal coat to the office or hospital, exchange to put on the white coat when you start, exchange back when shift is up or you take a break off site. The only time my coats ever leave the hospital is to go out for professional cleaning. That is (err, should be) common sense. For example, was the doc in your example actively trying to look “like the cool guy”… or did you just assume that since the coat signals that and he’s a doc and probably well educated and socially important? Hmm, probably the latter. It’s quite possible you just caught that guy on a day he was half asleep or something.

    The same definitely goes for paper surgery caps and masks and footies… those shouldn’t even be allowed outside the surgical area/center, and people who wear them to the hospital café, lobby, gift shop, outside, on rounds, etc look like fools. It takes all of a half minute to get new ones when you go back to the OR area.

    …the only docs who might not benefit from wearing white coat or at least having it handy might be those who don’t see patients at all (path, rad, etc)… but they’d probably still want one at their office for occasional general staff meetings. Even scrub wearing anesth and ICU and hardcore surgeons and others that see conscious patients only for a small fraction of their day also still can benefit from donning a coat for brief periods almost every day (family consults, didactic event, rounds, meetings, etc). I would give a pass to docs who work where it is insanely hot (South America, south Asia, etc) or private practice owner docs who are as busy as they want to get, everyone in their office knows they’re the boss, and they make their own rules.

    White coats are dirt cheap or hospital provided, so there is no excuse for nearly every doc not to have one or two at every office and a couple at the cleaners at any given time. There is good reason why every decent attorney, salesman, etc usually has a blazer in their office in case an important client or meeting comes up. It adds a whole lot to the look, and the white coat is so easy. They’re much cheaper than tweed or navy blazers or whatever alternatives are used by most other professional occupations to achieve similar effect. I definitely never found the $10 laundry bill and stopping at the dry cleaner every week or two to be hard. You can always take them off between patients or if it’s a hot day.

    So yeah, it is pretty much laziness and failure to capture an opportunity by choosing not use a white coat. Why look like a nurse assistant or the manager of an Applebees or a lost golfer when you can look like a professional doc with a tiny bit more effort? Jmo

    "Hmm, that sounds risky." - motto of the middle class

    #221054 Reply
    Jaqen Haghar, MD Jaqen Haghar, MD 
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    I wear a white coat.  Partially to look the part, and partially to protect from splatter. When I started out, and all through residency, I did not.   But over time I found out patients responded better to me when I wore it.

    I don’t wear scrubs anymore. Along with the white coat, it sets you apart from the army of disheveled residents, dressing in wrinkled pajama scrubs and bed-heads, with odd facial hair.  Patients are usually relieved to see a responsible looking adult, when I come in.

    I do wear business casual, but no tie.   The patients are sometimes violent and combative and I actually think the tie can be dangerous in certain situations.  I usually get $90 pants on sale for $50 every year or two, about 6-8 pairs.   I’ll wear casual business shirts for $20 or so, comfortable and decent fitting.

    I wear good, breathable athletic-style shoes that can still fit/ blend into the above uniform for around $100.  These are essential as they tread several miles per shift at least.  Not fluorescent gym sneakers though.  Muted brown trail-walkers or mute black athletic shoes.  Designed to go miles comfortably.

    I have 4-5 formal suit coat/pant outfits.  I don’t know why.  They are classically styled and well tailored, and timeless, and fit and look great.   Each came from some “men’s store” for a few $hundred bucks over the years.  Each has a two matching shirts, socks, a belt, and I have a couple pairs of decent dress shoes.  Black for funerals, and various earth tones for everything else (interviews, weddings, more formal business stuff..)  Lately I wear one every 3-4 years at most.

    I also have a few awesome random sport-type coats   Each found for about $100-range on some 50% off sale, and each a perfect fit.  These are essential.  They vary from trim and modern to more classic.  You can throw one over some dark blue jeans and it dresses things up for dinner, or over a business casual outfit for a meeting. Depending on how you pair them, they can look adult-casual or more formal.

    I will leave the detailed description of my socks and underwear for a different time….  You’ll have to PM me for any “Anthony Weiner” style picks though….

     

     

     

    #221072 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
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    Never a white coat. You shouldnt need anything other than the basic premise to sell it. White coats are gross and unhygienic.

    These are a thing of the past, and now that every pharmacist and lab tech and janitor wears one its not as if its exclusive. I dont know what your practices do, but private plastics practices actually do consumer research on this kind of question. Turned out as long as you werent unkempt or wearing something wild, it simply doesnt matter. Which we already all know.

    This, like many things being discussed is something you do yourself, for yourself or others to signal something. We love to find bs reasons to rationalize it of course.

    We can interpret whatever we want to confirm what we want, but I dont know of any docs that went out of business for not wearing white coats, suits, or anything else previously mentioned. Some of the most prolific plastic surgeons, private cosmetic guys span the spectrum from scrubs only and always to fancy suits, etc…they are all busier than they have time for. I have done both, no change except it was faster and cheaper to be clothed every day, as well as more comfortable.

    Easiest person to fool is yourself, unless you’re disheveled or you have a dress code or a very nit picky old population, these things do not move the need in a way that matters. If you like to dress up, do it! Nothing wrong with that, I used to, dont fool yourself that it makes some kind of big deal.

    #221090 Reply
    Avatar climbhigh 
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    Buy quality belts/shoes (ie – Allen Edmonds. $300/pair shoes, $100/belt)

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    Seems to me that spending $100 on a belt is the epitome of lifestyle inflation. If I ever do that, I know I will have failed the entire WCI process.

     

    Also, even surgeons and docs who wear scrubs daily need maybe…3 nice watches…

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    I also don’t understand the watch thing. It does absolutely nothing for me. Literally nothing. I don’t look at someone’s watch and think good/bad of them, nor do I look at someone without a watch and think poorly of them for not accessorizing.  Honestly when I see people wearing a watch I ask myself, “Why does that person wear a watch when they have a phone in their pocket that likely tells time more accurately?”). A good friend of mine is big into expensive watches and he tried telling me about one of his more recent purchases. When I told him I had never heard of the brand you could just see the deflated look on his face.

    #221147 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod
    CM CM 
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    Bow ties are probably not cheaper, but they are more sanitary. The downside is that they make you look like a dork.

    I wear dress shirts (no ties), khakis/slacks, and cloth loafers pretty much every day, including weekends. I would not wear just scrubs, even if I had the option – need more pockets for my wallet and phone.

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    I actually LOL’ed. My husband wears bowties, totally dorky until he opens his mouth and you realize he’s a feral cat.

     

    Just taking a guess here. $500 / year? All of his suits (3) are custom. Banana, JCrew, and Charles Tyrwhitt. Allen Edmonds or in winter Sunday boots.

    As an aside, not only is it much more expensive now that he’s going to CrossFit with me but for the first time in his life he weighs over 140lbs. He came home yesterday saying his custom slacks are getting too tight at the quads. I love the gains but sizing up his entire wardrobe is going to be an expensive endeavor.

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    He’s a feral cat???? 🙂

    Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried bags for Cyd Charisse (gracious). Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

    #221155 Reply
    Liked by mapplebum
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
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    Our clothing spending much be some 10K per year, all brand name, much of which clutters our bedroom and bathroom from the overflow of our walk in closets.

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    #221158 Reply
    Liked by CordMcNally
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
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    Fun thread.

    EM: scrubs all day, every day.

    I dress like a cleanish bum otherwise which can be amusing when people/patuents/coworkers recognize me in public.

    I have a couple nice shirts, slacks, shoes, ties prn “events.” I do own a three piece suit and a tux, which is even more amusing when folks expect my usual bum dress code!

    So, OP, my work clothes budget is essentially new compression socks when they wear out and a new set of clogs every couple years….

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    Do you sport the patented ER scrub top/jeans look or go full out scrub?

    #221159 Reply
    Avatar wideopenspaces 
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    I haven’t worn a white coat since intern year during medicine/neuro rotations. Since we didn’t have time to eat, I could keep snacks in the pockets 🙂

    #221160 Reply
    Avatar G 
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    Fun thread.

    EM: scrubs all day, every day.

    I dress like a cleanish bum otherwise which can be amusing when people/patuents/coworkers recognize me in public.

    I have a couple nice shirts, slacks, shoes, ties prn “events.” I do own a three piece suit and a tux, which is even more amusing when folks expect my usual bum dress code!

    So, OP, my work clothes budget is essentially new compression socks when they wear out and a new set of clogs every couple years….

    Click to expand…

    Do you sport the patented ER scrub top/jeans look or go full out scrub?

    Click to expand…

    scrubs.

    $100 on a belt is the epitome of lifestyle inflation. If I ever do that, I know I will have failed the entire WCI process.

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    let’s just say that you can spend significantly more than $100 on a belt (not even counting the buckle) and still rock the WCI process.

    #221161 Reply
    Avatar octopus85 
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    Click to expand…

    Seems to me that spending $100 on a belt is the epitome of lifestyle inflation. If I ever do that, I know I will have failed the entire WCI process.

     

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    I agree with you re: watches, but belts…

    I mean, for $25 at Penny’s, the belt you’re getting is “genuine leather” (aka – the lowest-quality product that can legally be called “leather”), and the finish is painted on. For $100, you’re getting full-grain leather with a finish that can be polished (like quality dress shoes) and will last a lifetime. I don’t think that’s lifestyle inflation.

    #221261 Reply
    Liked by childay

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