Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Haute Frugality - Americans are Adaptive

As a guy who found a slew of superb suits at a Goodwill Store for $15 each (taken there apparently by someone whose waist had grown past a size 34) with names like Hart, Shaeffer & Marx, Botany 500, and Hickey Freeman, I applaud the New Frugality as reported by Allison Linn of MSNBC:
Now, as the reality of a down economy begins to sink in, experts say consumers are starting to embrace the simple life: staying close to home, cooking more, planting a garden and even delighting in bargain hunting. Some retailers, trying to make the best of the situation, have begun looking for ways to latch onto the trend as well.

[ ... ]

“Being frugal is not anything to be ashamed of. It’s just the way of life,” he said. “It’s something you have to do to, if not to beat the system, then to keep up with it.”
Read all of Is Frugal the New Black? - As down economy sets in, some are embracing the simple life. By the way, with a $15 charge for alterations and dry cleaning, I like my suits very much.


David Nybakke said...

Okay, I did not read the "rest of the story" before posting this comment, however as this is my forte, if we don't bring up mimetic desire in this topic we are missing a prime teaching opportunity. This 'new fashion' of "BEING" (frugal) is what is happening, and I am afraid very few will actually 'convert' to a true life of simplicity.

Its great while it last, however like the fad of buying small cars during the last gas pinch, once the gas lines ceased being an issue we not only jumped back into big gas guzzling car - we went a few step further and I am afraid we will repeat this once the fugal fad passes.

Athos said...

Mimesis is a major component, of course. When the crash came in 1929 and our parents - or at least mine - had to live through the Great Depression, the transition was devastating for nearly all. But many adapted. I have listened with rapt attention to the way clothing turned inside out, lining restitched, coffee grounds reused, things made to last far beyond their years, gardens grown, chickens kept ...

Sure, people will go back to unfrugal ways when the crunch is over. The Fall being what it was and Original Sin being what it is, selfishness, foolishness, and evil will out. But regardless of your sackcloth "forte", Aramis, :O), I applaud the new attempt at frugality and MSNBC's reporting of those who are trying it.

BTW, I didn't buy those suits in one fell swoop. I'd go in and check out what was on the men's racks at Goodwill over a period of a year back in 1999-2000. In this way, I practiced frugality in not spending ridiculous amounts on clothing while still wearing professional garb appropriate to my pastoral station.

This principal of applicability and frugality is highly adaptable to many areas of life. That MSNBC noticed people doing it is laudable. That people are doing it without being Franciscan shows how the Spirit moves even outside recognized paths of sanctity.

Anonymous said...

"Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance...thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste...if a man could undertake to make use of all the things in his dustbin, he would be a broader genius than than Shakespeare."

G.K. Chesterton