tn-podcast

Some Perspective on the Cost of Clothing

In this episode of The George Hahn Podcast, I lend my perspective on the cost of clothing and our often unreasonable expectations about it. To me, the expectation of the cost of a very simple garment like a t-shirt or a pair of jeans should be quite different from that of a suit or a blazer (especially the custom variety), which has a markedly more complicated and intricate construction and is much more difficult to make. And, hopefully, the garment in question is a quality garment, made with high construction standards.

Essentially, a market where we want increasingly more for increasingly less is unsustainable. As a non-millionaire who appreciates quality and craftsmanship, I’m willing to pay a fair (and even more than fair) price for a handsome garment that is made well under fair labor practice. Anything less is a thoughtless pursuit that feeds a gluttonous “fast fashion” monster that pukes more and more crap onto a growing heap of cheap, disposable, trash clothing.

3 thoughts on “Some Perspective on the Cost of Clothing”

  1. How, much to you is too much money for a polo shirt and Tshirt.
    I am usually willing to spend a little extra for a slim fit or tailored fitted polo as they look the best on my body, but that being said, Lacoste L!VE collection, which is their slimmest of all fits, cost $89.50. However, these do include mother of pearl buttons, but as you have mentioned, I could buy a cheaper shirt and buy a bulk pack of MOP buttons on amazon.com and sew them on myself. Also, the Ralph Lauren polo shirts generally start at $85.00. However, their custom fit polo like the Lacoste L!VE collection, fit me perfectly so I am generally willing to buy these, only when on sale.
    Ex: Ralph Lauren has a sale on right now for polo shirts along with many others, and the Custom fit shirt is on sale from $85.00 to $59.99, but you enter the code SUMMER13 and take an additional 25% off of these polo shirts which comes to about $44.99.
    I did however find some new IZOD slim fit polo shirts at JCP this weekend and they sell regularly for $34.99. The fit was pretty close to the Lacoste and RL.
    As for T shirts, I love Banana Rep. soft wash T shirts and I know all about upland cotton, pima, supima, Egyptian, ELS, etc. These retail normally for $ 24.50 and their Jersey T-shirts cost $29.50, the only thing I can read & see from the details on the 2 T’s difference is that the jersey T-shirt has stripes(horizontal.) WOW!!
    I loved your podcast about Perspective and Cost of clothing and agree with you on the Indochino suit price. You’re going to bitch about a MTM suit, with half canvas/fused construction, for under $500. I also read and loved your article about Quality Goods, Minus the Middlemen (and the Cost). I even learned of some new companies I need to try out.
    I understand that marketing and advertising play a HUGE cost factor in everything, but what do you think is too much money for a polo and a T-shirt?
    I am not a “label whore”- ppl who have to but 1 certain brand name. I buy an item if it fits properly and the cost is not astronomical because I,too, like you am not a millionaire and I,too, want to look stylish.
    I had a bespoke dress shirt made for me 2 months ago, 1) to see the process and 2) to see how much better a bespoke buttoned down dress shirt is than an okay fitting dress shirt “off the rack.”
    My master tailor talked shit when I asked his opinion about companies like Indochino and others.
    This bespoke shirt cost me $299(tax included.) Although I was able to pick every detail(collar, placket, cuff,buttons,etc) and fabric of my choice(out of hundreds of weaves, plies,etc), I feel like I could, maybe, find a dress shirt that fit okay and have it tailored at a shop and save my money for what I will not skimp on, which is shoes.
    So, any thoughts or comments on cost of polo shirts and T-shirts?
    Also, I would love to know what you think about my bespoke dress shirt cost and give me some ideas or links about where I could come out a little better.
    To me, the only people that will know if your shirt collar/ jacket, etc are fused or not will be fashion elite, my master tailor(only used once so I don’t know why I refer to him as “my”) and maybe 1-2 other ppl that can spend mega $ on this type of detail.
    I live in south Louisiana, so when I talk about stitch per inch, thread count, etc, almost no one knows what I am talking about. I get the typical, “What are you, gay?” comment, although I am not(not that there is a problem with that topic), but what I am saying is is that no one down here knows shit about fine tailoring nor fabrics.
    Lastly, I know you have high regards for Indochino suits, but what about MTM dress shirts. I know all of my measurements, do you hold any one online company to be better than the rest based on experience? Black Label, Black Lapel? Anyone, whom you finds does a really good job, but won’t cost me $299?
    Thanks and keep kicking ass and taking names. It’s time, we as men/ people take the power back from these bull shit marketing schemes, etc.
    Sincerely,
    Jeffrey Tuminello

    1. Holy shit! Awesome comment, Jeffrey. And thank you for reading, listening and giving feedback.

      For t-shirts and polos, I’m more a fan of goods without logos or labels. For RL/Polo and Lacoste, you’re paying a premium for having that polo player or alligator on your left pec. It’s the added price for buying an association with a luxury brand. (Check out my piece on wearing logos in our brand-obsessed culture.) Also, slim fits should, technically, cost less, since they use less fabric!

      There are options for t-shirts and polos with a nice slim fit that aren’t pricey that will serve you well. Over the years, I’ve had very good luck with Uniqlo, J.Crew, J.Crew Factory, Lands’ End, Lands’ End Canvas, Banana Republic and Club Monaco for handsome, slim, well-made tees and polos that bear no outside label or logo, especially when they’re on sale. Michael Bastian’s polos for Uniqlo are a blast (and they’re only $19.90). Sign up for their email lists to get alerts on sales, and I suspect you’ll fare quite well. I’d expect to pay no more than $30 for either, and even less when they’re on clearance.

      I hope that’s helpful. Thanks again, Jeffrey, for your feedback. I really appreciate it. Keep me posted on what you find and share it with the rest of us again!

      George

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