Probing deeper into his thought process, I discovered this:
- He views his clothes as being "ratty" and most don't fit well enough
- He was only talking about work clothes (not Tshirts and athletic wear - although I've heard him muse about getting new pairs of board shorts lately also)
- He's not talking about shoes, socks, underwear or accessories (although, again, he's also asked for those items in the recent past)
- He has no idea how he wants to procure these items - ie. whether/where he wants them to buy new or used.
Mr A wears his clothes like a champ (most of his dress shirts have been with him longer than I have) and he isn't opposed to second hand items. He has a pretty definitive idea of what he likes and doesn't (a definable style). I'm not exactly against the idea of him clearing out his closet and starting over - in fact, I think it shows a healthy and admirable detachment from his possessions. However, I have a few concerns.
- First red flag was this sentence: "I've been working hard and once I graduate, I think I deserve it. You know, to reward myself." Umm...emotional fulfillment via consumerism?
- My husband has zero patience when it comes to shopping. He would probably just hit the first department store and stock up. This will naturally result in low-quality or not-quite-right impulse purchases and we would be back to square one within 3 months.
- His definition of 'ratty' is slightly contrived. Pilling on the side seam of slacks that you wear to work every other day? Totally normal (and fixable with a shaving razor).
I also think he deserves to own and wear clothes he likes. Moving forward with this idea, since we still have several months before graduation, I am going to try and get him to nail down exactly what he wants. "4 new slacks and 8 new shirts" just isn't going to cut it. I want to know what color, what style, what size. I think if I know exactly what he is looking for, then I can help connect him to the clothes he really wants, rather than what is on display at Macys the day he goes shopping. I can also try to find as many of them as possible second hand. Being a good wife, I don't want to impose my beliefs on my husband...in such an obvious way.
During our conversation Mr A made a joking reference to the fact that, if it were up to me, his work pants would be patched until they fell apart then turned into a quilt. Damn right.