Custom, Off-The-Shelf or DIY

  1. Quality and custom work is expensive, but it can be tailored perfectly to your needs.
  2. Off-the-shelf is cheaper, but a pretty good fit for the typical use case.
  3. Adapting an off-the-shelf product costs less than custom but it will never be a perfect fit.
  4. Do-It-Yourself, if you want to do it well, is going to take up much more time than you imagine, at least an order of magnitude more time.

A generalization of Eliot Peper’s The Four Laws of Making a Website*

The Vimes Boots Theory: Further Reflections

“This, by the way, explains one of the differences in behavior between poor people and not so poor people. It’s easy to say, “Why don’t you just save up to buy the better quality thing?” but sometimes people don’t know how. Not how to save, but how to buy the better quality thing. Whether you have the money is mediated by your economic class; whether you have the knowledge how to convert money into quality (in goods or in services) is mediated by your social class.”

siderea, “The Vimes Boots Theory: Further Reflections.” December 30, 2018.

An exploration of the Vimes Boot Theory of socioeconomic unfairness, which boils down to having the ability to pay more for quality gear ends up saving you money, time, and saves you opportunity costs.

Checking Clothing Quality

“1. To quickly assess an item’s quality, hold the fabric up to a bright light…”The thicker the material, the higher the quality…”

—Alison Caporimo, “14 Expert Ways To Tell If Clothes Are Well-Made Or Super CheapBuzzfeed. May 16, 2016.

In short, check:

  • Thickness, durability of material made of natural fibers.
  • Hem allowance of one and a half inch or more.
  • Stitching, French seams with patterns matching.
  • Buttonholes and for liners, which are always a good indicator of quality.