“I looked in my closet the other day, believe it or not, and I noticed that when I do buy expensive things, they can stay in my wardrobe for 10 years,” he tells CNBC Make It. “And so, I rationalize it by thinking that I'm amortizing it over, you know, 120 months.”
In other words, Lemonis makes himself feel better about a splurge by looking at the cost broken down over the life of the clothing. Take, for example, Lemonis' preferred brand of white dress shirt — a Tom Ford-designed item that typically sells for $580. If he wears the item every other month for a decade, that's 60 uses. Dividing the cost of that shirt by each of the 60 times he wears, that would come to about $9.66 per wearing.
“I think that's me just probably trying to rationalize my obscene spending on clothes,” he admits to CNBC Make It.
Lemonis’ interest in fashion is well-documented — and it’s now even a part of his business. In 2017 in Chicago, Lemonis opened the first brick-and-mortar store from his chain of women's wear fashion boutiques, called Marcus, and the chain now has nearly 20 locations around the U.S.
Meanwhile, Lemonis also rationalizes spending on his wardrobe by noting that he doesn't splurge on lots of other potentially expensive items. “I don't spend money on jewelry,” he says. “I don't wear a watch or wear a necklace; I don't have multiple cars.”
“I actually… think it sends a bad message,” Lemonis adds, noting that business owners should try to present a fiscally responsible image.
“People understand that, if you've achieved a level of success, you’re entitled to enjoy that success, but there's a difference between enjoying that success and opulence,” Lemonis says.
Perhaps that's why Lemonis has had only one dalliance with a very expensive car. The self-made millionaire recently told CNBC Make It that his “most embarrassing” purchase ever was a Rolls-Royce that he bought in 2007. (He didn’t reveal how much he spent on the car, but a new version of even the British luxury automaker’s cheapest model, the Ghost series, will currently cost you more than $300,000.)
“It didn't last very long,” Lemonis says of his ownership of the car. “I felt like a giant a-- driving the car.”
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