It’s all to easy to start looking down on people looking worse than you.
I like nice clothes. Soft touch of flannel, freshness of linen. The cut of a jacket that makes me look better, and feel better too. The tiny details almost unnoticeable to the untrained eye: subtle pick stitching, hand-stitched buttonholes, beautiful roll of the lapel.
I like nice shoes. Dynamic shape of the last, comfort of the leather sole. The leather that breaks beautifully and only looks better with age.
And I like other nice things: single malt scotch or classic cocktails made by someone who knows they’re supposed to be strong and flavourful, and not watered down.
These are not things that are particularly important in the grand scheme of things. You can get by without them. They usually cost a lot of money – money that only someone who is into this stuff is willing to spend, because the uninitiated will think the price point is ridiculous.
So the common defense mechanism is to act all snotty about it: after all you know what real quality means and what it’s worth, and if someone doesn’t understand it, well, their loss, the philistine. You might be inclined to seek company of people who share your interests, so that you can reinforce each other in thinking you make the right choices, and look down on the plebeian masses wearing square-toed shoes and oversized jackets.
Which will make you an insufferable snob.
I know what I’m talking about, because this is a battle I’ve been fighting with varying success over the years. I think I was especially susceptible to this kind of thinking in the beginning. I didn’t yet exactly know what I was doing, so I needed to reassure myself. Trying to trade the feeling of insecurity for the feeling superiority.
This is very silly, of course. So I believe it’s important to learn to be unapologetic about the things that you enjoy and that bring you pleasure. But also – that these are just that, pleasures. They don’t define you as a person, just like they don’t define anybody else. So it’s really not worth being judgemental about it.
You’re not worse than anybody for spending a small fortune on a pair of shoes. But you’re also not better.