Q&A Thursday for April 26th

Here it is! Q&A Thursday for April 26th.

Q1. When building a professional wardrobe, is it better to take the financial hit and invest in more upscale merchandise, or is it better to buy inexpensive options knowing that you’ll be replacing them every few months?

A. I think this question is not easy to answer in the current economy. The first thing to assess is whether or not you are starting in a field you plan to make a career out of. If that’s the case, definitely invest in a few key pieces like black slacks, a blazer, oxford shirt for women and a classic suit for men if it’s more corporate. If you’re pursuing an artistic career think about functional, long-lasting jeans or pieces you can move in. I would by 3 or 4 pieces like this from inexpensive, but not cheap stores like Banana Republic, J. Crew, or Loft and then plan to buy other parts of your wardrobe in discount stores like H&M, Target or Old Navy. The key is investment in classic, reusable pieces, but not overspending on trends.

Also, my wardrobe and costume friends would not forgive me if I failed to mention that 98% of keeping your pieces looking good, whether cheap or expensive, is care. Make sure you take good care of all your clothes whether it’s a T-shirt that cost you $5 or a dress that cost you $200. Proper care and maintenance is key to keeping everything lasting longer. Here is a great article from Real Simple that gives a lot of tips on how to care for your clothes and make them last.

Q2. Is it cheaper to buy produce at the grocery store or join a CSA?

A. CSA stand for Community Supported Agriculture and can be found in the form of farms around the area you live in that grow often organic produce for a small price or a few hours of manual labor a month. I looked into joining a CSA a few years ago and here’s the conclusion I came to. While joining a CSA seems like a lovely idea, I personally couldn’t justify it. The produce was seasonal and beautiful, but I was overwhelmed with the idea of trying to cook according to a box of produce that showed up at my door every week. Some CSAs let you pick what goes into your box or make requests, but most just deliver it based on what they’ve harvested.

I personally have a hard enough time planning meals every week and cooking them ahead of time, I would have a very difficult time trying to eat this way since I’m not clever enough or have the time to research recipes. However, it can be significantly cheaper than buying produce in the grocery store and if you have the time to devote to you, do it, you can always cancel.

Some popular CSAs in the Seattle area include Spud, Tiny’s, and Full Circle Farm.

Q3. Should I join the Starbucks Gold Card program?

A. Do you drink a lot of Starbucks coffee? If yes, then yes. This program actually makes sense. You put money on the card, after 15 drinks you get one free, you get a free drink on your birthday, discounts in the mail on new pastries, and you get discounts on soy milk, extra shots and flavored syrup. However, if you’re like me and put money on the gold card, you might be inclined to treat it like a gift card as if someone else has paid for the card and find you’ve spent way more money on coffee than you wanted to. There is an automatic top-up function you can get to on the website, but I would only recommend doing this if you are more aware of your Bux spending, otherwise opt to top it up yourself.

Q4. Once again I am without a fourth question. Submit yo’ questions peeps! I know you got ’em. But also thank you because I’m still in tech.

Submit your own question to Q&A Thursday here!

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