Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Overdue spending spree

Very rarely do I spend money on clothing. I'll pick up a new t-shirt when my favourite one becomes unwearable, and I'll generally wear my shoes into the ground before I even considering getting a new pair.

This weekend was different.

When Troll Chick and I first put our budget together some months ago, we put down a couple of milestones that we were to achieve, in order:
  • Move in together
  • Spend a grand on clothing each (as the weight we lost respectively was starting to make our old clothes look like base-jump gear)
  • Save until the wedding
Through vicious budgeting, and Subway lunches for months, we managed to reach our first goal. My only regret is that we didn't get to eat more Subway, although I reckon if Troll Chick so much as even sees another footlong sandwich she'll lose her breakfast. I don't know what it is, I love them delicious bastards.

At any rate, it was time to go on an epic clothing spending spree. I don't know about all you fashionistas out there, but in my terms a thousand dollars to spend entirely on my own wardrobe is a significant sum and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

We decided that, instead of staggering the purchases, we'd save up the lump sum to allow us the sheer joy of buying all that awesome stuff all at once. Troll Chick selflessly allowed me to go first, with the promise of her own spending spree as soon as we can afford to.

Armed with a handful of cash and a pocketful of dreams, we headed on down to our local neighbourhood Westfield. I strolled through the front doors with a spring in my step, almost face-planting the sliding door in my excitement. New clothes! What a treat!

We wasted no time at all. First step was to go to Just Jeans and pick up a new pair of Levis. Obviously, they'd discontinued the cut that I usually buy (they do this every bloody season), however I managed to find a pair that was both in a cut and in the fabric that I liked. That is a rarety. $129.95... I'd prefer cheaper, however I was mainly happy that I actually liked them.

Next, I immediately proceed to the tailor to fix the pair of jeans. Because, you know, they're never in the right length. It's as if they assume everyone has the proportions of a male model, and scale the leg length with the waist accordingly. Women can buy trousers with differing trouser lengths, why the hell can't men? I paid $16 dollars for the privilege of being able to pick them up on the same day, which isn't too bad. Going well.

Stop three is Myer; I've got to get some new business shirts. I hate buying new business shirts, 'cause you can't try them on to make sure you've got the right size. Never mind the fact that each brand's cut is different and it wouldn't even matter if you had the exact measurements... they're all going to sit on you differently.

I'm in luck; The brand of test shirts in the change room is the same brand as the one I intended to buy - Blaq.  I go over to where they're being sold to find that they're on sale for $50 a pop, down from $80. Sweet! The thing with this brand of shirt is that you either have to barely iron them or not even at all if they've dried straight enough. As I loathe ironing, as does Troll Chick, I preferred to get the lowest maintenance ones possible.

Now, I need a belt. I'm still in Myer, so I check out what they have on offer. $60, $60, $80, $70... $90?! $90 for a goddamn belt?! No thanks. I keep moving.

Time for my favourite part... t-shirts at Glue. Now, I'm not really a brand conscious guy... I don't mind the odd indulgence with my Nike shoes or my Levi jeans, but generally speaking I'm happy to buy my t-shirts at somewhere like Jay Jays. That was, until I discovered Death By Zero.

Death By Zero is just a t-shirt brand like any other, except aside from having a great long and slim cut that looks a bit dressy, their designs are absolutely killer. They're made by a company in Melbourne, so I also feel a little bit of regional pride with them. Which, is funny, as I've lived in Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland... but never Victoria. Despite this, I have a soft spot for the city. Anyway, back on point. The only problem with these shirts is that they're between $50-$60 each. Each t-shirt. As a guy that generally doesn't feel like he's getting good value unless it's 3 for $20, it's a hard penny to swallow. To expand the analogy, it's a lot of pennies to swallow. I, for example, would probably survive if I swallowed $20 worth of pennies. I am not so sure I'd make it through $60 worth of pennies... that's a lot of pennies.

In any case, today was the day that I was permitted, nay, encouraged to buy these t-shirts I loved so much. Almost weeing myself with excitement, I practically ran up the escalator; My Glue discount card already in hand. I rushed directly to the Death By Zero section, and started to pick out some of my favourite t-shirts. The thing with this brand however, is that their XL is like a regular L. Remember this for later.

Once I'd poured over all of the available designs, I'd eyed off three that I really liked. Now, to grab my size and make for the register. I started flicking through the coat hangers. Regularly at first, like a normal person, and then increasingly more frantic as I neared the end of the heap. Oh hell no. I moved on to the next rack, whizzing through the sizes while shaking and sweating uncontrollably. A sales chick, picking up on my anxiety, came over to offer assistance.
"Extra Large!" I blurted sharply, apparently unexpectedly enough for the girl to flinch, "Where... Extra-Large?!"
"Everything we have is on the rack, sir; You're after XL?"
"...Yes!" I managed to splutter, whilst doing my best to suppress my Nicholas Cage face.

She assisted me to look through all of the racks and came back with two solitary shirts, neither one was the one I was after. In fact, I already owned one of them. I sadly took the only one that I a) didn't have and b) was in my size, bought it, and slinked out of the store with my feet dragging.
"Awww, cheer up baby!" Troll Chick coaxed, "We can order some online!" I nodded my head, and stifled a sniffle.

My spree was ruined. The only thing I was truly looking forward to, gone. There was, however, no time to dwell. Next stop: Just Cuts. 'Cause I like brand name hairdressing, y'all. As it's a "no appointment" place, I figured I'd be fine to walk right on in. Especially because it was a Bank Holiday (which I had no business getting off work for, yet I still did for some inexplicable reason), I figured they'd be quiet and I'd be in and out. Not so.
"There's uh, about 9 people ahead of you, sir. Would you mind waiting?"
Well, I do need a haircut, but I'm not waiting that long for an overpriced buzz-cut so we spin heel and head out.

Socks and jocks. This one is easy; I head to Kmart. I've always marvelled at how cheap Kmart's gear is for its quality (quality is not super-amazing, but money to quality ratio is very good), and I was not disappointed. I got 10 pairs of business socks and 5 pairs of cotton boxers for about $40. Considering that you pay upwards of $25 for one pair of equivalent Bonds undies, I'm pretty happy with that. I spot a dress belt; $12. That's more like it.

What's next on the list? Ah, shoes. Foot Locker. Shoe shopping is not something I enjoy at the best of times. I can never really find a pair of shoes that I like, and when I do decide on a pair and pay way too much for them I always regret not getting the other pair I was looking at. This day, I would not face the same dilemma.

I looked at all of the Nike range (I usually get Nikes, no particular reason other than I'm used to them), however nothing was jumping out at me. That's when I spotted the Converse All Stars. Oh, sweet Converse. My entire life I've managed to get thus far without buying a pair of Converse, and I think I thought that was somehow an achievement. I didn't really like how they looked, and couldn't see their appeal. Over time, though, they wore me down. I slowly came to the realisation that not only are they apparently quite comfortable, but also for some reason their design now seems more appealing than in the past.

I began looking at the Converses initially for Troll Chick. She owns a couple of pairs, being a long-time advocate, and she particularly enjoys wearing a particular pair that for some inexplicable reason remind me of Stephen King's IT to the point that they freak me out and I want to kill them with fire. At any rate, she promised that if I bought her a new pair then she'd stop wearing the other ones... as much.

So, here I am looking for a Converse replacement when I see the most freaking awesome Converses I've ever seen. They're just... beautiful. Got them in 11s? Yes? Sold. And... that's how I bought my first pair of Converses. Save this story for your grand kids, it's no doubt that interesting.

Time for lunch. We're surrounded by a plethora of food stands, boasting delicious cuisine from all around the globe. What do I eat? KFC, obviously. Give the choice, it's always the one that I make. What can I say? Something about deep fried chicken makes me happy.

I've got a few spare dollars from my shopping spree, so Troll Chick lets me loose in JB Hifi. Unsurprisingly, I came back out with two new Xbox 360 games. I can't help myself around them, I really can't. In fact, I can browse the JB Hifi games section for 15-20 minutes without blinking, walk down the street and immediately head into an EB Games if I see one. I know that I know which games are out right now, I just want to look again, okay?!

So, you'd think that I'd pack up and go home right now, don't you? Guess again sucker. We aren't done yet. Unbeknownst (haha, that word again) to me whilst I was speaking to the girl in Just Cuts, Katie had googled stores that stocked Death By Zero, and called one to check if they had XL. Yes, they've got a few in XL. So, as we were winding up for the day and just about ready to head home... Troll Chick tells me we're taking a bus out to Sydney Domestic Airport to buy some more t-shirts! I love this girl.

We swing by, grab three more tees and head home. I unpack all of my things and squeal excitedly like a school girl at Christmas. I have all these new clothes! Naturally, I get undressed and put on a new outfit immediately. Because, you know. That's what you do.

I'd never felt like such a fashionable guy in my entire life. It was like I was straight out of one of those fashion magazine spreads in GQ and such.


  1. I have missed your blogs and the subsequent laughs that guffaw loudly from my person as Runningman shushes me because he hasnt read it yet.Troll Chick is too good to you and I insist that you accompany her on he shopping trip whethe she wants you to or not, because I need a commentary Cloaker style.

    1. 'Course he'll be coming... Who else will carry all my shopping bags ;)

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  2. Wha? You want to kill my shoes with fire? Lol. I'm glad you enjoyed your day babe, I enjoyed the blog ;)

  3. $1000 on clothes? That's like four times the gross annual GDP of most African nations and 120% of my entire lifetime clothes budget.

    I guess you're set for a few years now though, shouldn't ever have to buy clothes again -- hell, you might even be able to hand this batch down to your first born.

  4. Iron free my touché... Take em back?!

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