Is 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh Buying $8 Pants Too Frugal?

Jim Harbaugh pleated khakis fashion
Football and playoff games aren’t usually a topic that come up on a personal finance website, but I came across a radio interview where fans and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh’s wife take exception to his current fashion style. In particular, they don’t approve of his choice of buying and wearing $8 pleated khakis from Wal-Mart.

When the radio show was commenting on Harbaugh’s lack of fashion, Sarah Harbaugh felt compelled to call into the station to explain the following to the radio hosts. “I will not take the blame for his outfits. I’ve thrown them away many of times. I’ve asked him ‘Please, pleats are gone. Wear the flat front.’ He has a flattering body. The thing is, he just doesn’t care.”

I contacted Amy Roseveare, a good friend who also happens to be one of the top wardrobe stylists in the San Francisco Bay Area, to get her opinion on the issue. Her reaction to the pleated pants left no doubt. “Pleated pants are OUT! Especially since he has a nice physique, he should definitely be in flat front khakis. It’s more flattering, and it would give him a much younger vibe. He could purchase a nice pair khakis (like Facconable at Nordstrom) for about $175.00. I’m sure there are other brands that would be a bit less.”

This begs the following question. Currently in the middle of a contract worth $25 million, Harbaugh can buy any type of pants he wants. The question is, should he be a slave to what the fashion industry says is “in style” just because he makes a lot of money? With the success he’s had, it’s obvious that what he wears has absolutely no effect on how he coaches the 49ers or how successful he’s at his job.

I for one am cheering Harbaugh’s frugality, and especially the fact that “he just doesn’t care.” In fact, I like his pleated pants all the more knowing that they’re going against what the fashion industry is saying he should buy at this particular moment in time. People would have a lot more money in their pockets (albeit, “unfashionable” pockets) if they paid less attention to the latest fashion trends and bought what works well for them.

I think it’s too bad that the focus is about his lack of fashion sense instead of how he’s being financially smart for not buying things he doesn’t feel he needs. Why buy a $175 pair of khakis when an $8 pair of pants works great for him? Yes, he can afford the $175 pair of khakis without any problem, but just because he can afford them, does that really mean that he should buy them? In the end, he’s comfortable with what he’s wearing and that’s all that really should matter.

What’s your opinion? Is Jim Harbaugh being too frugal by purchasing $8 pants when he makes million each year? Or is he exhibiting good financial sense in not spending a lot of money for things that really don’t matter much to him?

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7 Responses to Is 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh Buying $8 Pants Too Frugal?

  1. Anon E. Mouse says:

    $8 pants is not too frugal. A pair of pants is a couple pieces of fabric sewn together. $8 seems about right.

    I should check out Walmart. I buy my pants as “seconds” online from Sierra Trading Post, but they usually cost me around $20. I’ll admit that the high price has always bothered me. $8 would be much more reasonable.

  2. Elle says:

    I don’t think the issue is that he only spends $8 for a pair of pants. The issue is that his pants are “unfashionable”. You can certainly buy a pair of flat-front pants for less than $175. You can probably buy a pair for $8 at Walmart.

    So, be frugal and buy $8 pants, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also be fashionable, if that’s important to you. (Or if it’s important to your wife… :))

  3. Faye says:

    I love his don’t care attitude.
    I wear what I want to wear and the clothes I wear are not in fashion….and I also could careless.

  4. JulieA says:

    It’s probably too frugal if he buys them simply because they are the cheapest pair he can find but in reality he really wishes he had the more expensive pair of pants.

    But it seems to me that he buys them because that’s what he wants to wear. Why should he wear something different just because some “fashion consultant” thinks he should?

  5. OfwliaTConejo says:

    The coach is a really smart guy. I love people like him. My husband can afford to buy any kind of pants he wants. He does not care about impressing anyone. I buy his wash and wear Dockers at Costco. They cost around $18 per pair and he always looks nice. They a flat-front pants. Why is this an issue? It is no one’s business what the coach chooses to wear. Anyone who judges him because of this is a shallow snob and has no common sense.

  6. Larry H says:

    I guess my problem is with his wife – why does she feel the need to go on the radio and try to embarrass him into wearing what she thinks he should wear. She surely should be smart enough to know that this would hit the national press after she went on the radio. How would she like it if he did something similar to her?

  7. Minny says:

    I was thinking exactly the same thing myself Ellie. It has taken me years to get my man to wear what I like to see him in – he ‘didn’t care’ and in his mind that was enough. Then, one day, it seemed to click with him that if he ‘didn’t care’ then why not wear what I liked!

    As you so rightly say, cost no more than what he had been wearing!

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