"What Not to Wear" vs "The Housewife Hoodie"
By Nikki Willhite
I have to admit that I enjoy watching "What Not to Wear" on
occasion. There are some things about this show that I like. I
enjoy it when I see other people starting to feel better about
themselves. I can even get a little teary-eyed when someone
seems profoundly affected by the show and the attention given to
However, there are several things that I find disturbing about
Through the years I have developed my own fashion strategy,
You and Your
Wardrobe and it doesn't
involve buying shoes in rainbow colors. Nor do I feel the need
to carry a different handbag with every outfit.
It is not uncommon for outfits on "What Not to Wear" to be
purchased for upwards of $300. In the real world, most us of
would not dream of spending so much on our clothing.
I don't believe most women want to spend their time transferring
items from purse to purse as they dress each day. Nor do I
believe anyone needs more than a few pairs of shoes in basic
If you have lots of money, it is not a problem to buy expensive
clothing. However, most of the people who come on the show are
not in the position to spend the kind of money they spend in New
York on clothing in their home towns after they leave New York.
In fact, most of the people I've seen on the show are much more
prone to frequent sales racks and bargain stores. Most of us
believe a sale is a good thing, and not something to be avoided
because "sale items are pieces no one else wanted."
There are tremendous markdowns on beautiful clothing at the end
of every season. Stacy and Clinton - how about teaching us how
to take advantage of these sales? How about teaching us how to
find quality clothing at stores where we can afford to shop?
I cringe when I see someone showing off a $300 outfit. This is
not "investing in clothing". It is missing the opportunity to
invest in our financial future.
I worry about people getting addicted to buying expensive
clothing. I have my doubts about whether the "guests" on "What
Not to Wear" will ever make such expensive purchases again, but
clothing does wear out in time, and shopping can be addictive.
I fear that after getting a taste of expensive clothing, and a
major shopping high, it might become easy to justify a $200 a
month shopping habit. If it becomes an addition, a credit card
will be used that is not pre-paid, and may not be paid off at the
end of the month.
Credit card debt can result in the loss of thousands of dollars.
If that money were saved, instead of spent, it becomes a huge
It is said that those who understand interest collect it. Those
who don't pay it.
Here is an example. If you invest approximately $2,500 a year
in the stock market, with a return of 8 percent, in 20 years that
money will grow to almost $125,000. Make that over $300,000 for
30 years, and $700,000 over a 40 year period.
Saving money on clothing to achieve that kind of financial
security seems a lot more important than parting with your
There are not a lot of areas to save money these days. Life has
gotten very expensive, and doesn't get easier as you get older. A
majority of our expenses are fixed. Food and clothing are the
major areas where we can be more careful, save money, and invest
in our future.
Again, Stacy and Clinton, why not teach people how to dress well
on a budget? Clothing does not have to be expensive to look
good. You can still teach the same principles but use them to
find clothing that is affordable.
"What Not to Wear" how about giving us a show that we can relate
to in the suburbs of America? It takes skill to go into a thrift
store and find that one "jewel" that we can work into our
wardrobe. How about some tips?
Quit making fun of our jeans, t-shirts and hoodies. Teach us to
find the good fitting pair of jeans, or more flattering colors
for our skin tones, and let us be happy living on our income.
And when we are at home....dare I say it - WE WANT TO BE