Man Buys Gold Shirt Worth $250K

Man Buys Gold Shirt Worth $250KDatta Phuge’s nickname is “the gold man”, and it’s easy to see why. His knuckles, neck, and wrists are weighed down by the precious metal – signet rings, chunky bracelets, and a medallion that even an Olympic champion might envy. And on top of that, draped resplendently around him, glittering in the light, is a shirt of gold.

‘Extravagant fashion statement’

Weighing a staggering 3.3kg (about 7lb), it cost him a cool quarter of a million dollars (£162,000). It’s an extravagant fashion statement, to say the least, but for Phuge it’s an important one.

Given its impractical nature, the shirt only gets an outing on special occasions, like parties and important functions. It elicits a mixture of reactions, Phuge says. Some people are impressed. Others are sniffy about what they regard as the excessive bling. Either way, to ensure the shirt stays on his back, Phuge has a security guard with him wherever he travels.

‘Ultimate manifestation of achievement’

A team of craftsmen decided to make a gold cloth based on an Italian weave, using a special machine. They drew inspiration from old images of Indian kings wearing suits of armour. To prevent it scratching, they stitched a velvet lining inside. The finished shirt is heavy to wear and a little clunky. It can’t be washed so care needs to be taken not to let it get dirty, or indeed too sweaty.

Phuge says wearing it makes him feel good. For him it is the ultimate manifestation of achievement and gives him a status he has craved since he was young.

Every six to eight months, when his company turns in a profit, he buys something else made of gold. Next on his list is a mobile phone made entirely from gold, and perhaps a pair of gold shoes.

Would you drop $250,000 for a gold shirt? What is your most expensive luxurious indulgence so far?

Source: Rajini Vaidyanathan, BBC News

Image: Incredible Things

Britain Now Has 7 Social Classes

Britain Now Has 7 Social ClassesPeople in the UK now fit into seven social classes, a major survey conducted by the BBC suggests. It says the traditional categories of working, middle and upper class are outdated, fitting 39% of people.

The BBC Lab UK study measured economic capital – income, savings, house value – and social capital – the number and status of people someone knows. The study also measured cultural capital, defined as the extent and nature of cultural interests and activities. The new classes are defined as:

  • Elite - the most privileged group in the UK, distinct from the other six classes through its wealth. This group has the highest levels of all three capitals
  • Established middle class – the second wealthiest, scoring highly on all three capitals. The largest and most gregarious group, scoring second highest for cultural capital
  • Technical middle class – a small, distinctive new class group which is prosperous but scores low for social and cultural capital. Distinguished by its social isolation and cultural apathy

  • New affluent workers – a young class group which is socially and culturally active, with middling levels of economic capital
  • Traditional working class – scores low on all forms of capital, but is not completely deprived. Its members have reasonably high house values, explained by this group having the oldest average age at 66
  • Emergent service workers - a new, young, urban group which is relatively poor but has high social and cultural capital
  • Precariat, or precarious proletariat – the poorest, most deprived class, scoring low for social and cultural capital

Professor of sociology at Manchester University, Fiona Devine, said the survey really gave a sense of class in 21st Century Britain.

“What it allows us is to understand is a more sophisticated, nuanced picture of what class is like now… It’s what’s in the middle which is really interesting and exciting, there’s a much more fuzzy area between the traditional working class and traditional middle class,” she said.

Which social class do you fall into? Do you agree with these classifications?

Source: BBC News

Image: Audio Boo