For the most part, I am a bargain shopper. I could really care less what brand my shirt is or whether I have the new hip style for the season. Don't get me wrong, I love fashion and I enjoy shopping, but I honestly think it is the creativity factor that draws me the most. There are a few brands that I tend to enjoy more than others (tevas) and there are certain items (hats) that I have more than I need of, but overall it's just "stuff" in my closet to me.
Then there are socks. I don't know what has happened to me, but it seems that my feet have become very picky over time. I used to buy $.99 socks at K-Mart and not think twice about it. Now, my heart rate elevates if I walk into an outdoor store and see a well-stocked row of good socks. This happened recently when I entered REI with a healthy dividend to spend. I could have easily purchased a new seat for my bike (which I desperately need). Or I could have picked out some hiking shoes (which I also kinda need). Instead, I came home with four pairs of socks and a cool recycled "coffee" mug thermos thing. Three pairs were Smartwool, which are definitely one of my favorites. I don't know if these socks are really $10 better than others or not. My wallet and simple mind say "no". My feet say "yes".