Originally Posted by kojnglsmith
I have a pretty random question about high-end denim. When I try to explain to people the idea behind paying over $200 for a pair of jeans I generally talk about how they're made using high quality materials and constructions similar to those used before companies like Levi sacrificed quality in order to make jeans as efficiently and quickly as possible--so basically they're made like jeans "used to be made". Their response is invariably to ask , if they cost so much today, how the hell people "back then" could possibly afford them. Can anyone offer any insight? Am I just wrong in my argument?
In the past people spent a greater percentage of their income on clothing than they do today. The more expensive production techniques and materials of the past seemed affordable at the time because everyone was accustomed to paying more than they are today and there were no cheaper options. The situation is analogous to what's happened with food. Average quality of food consumed was higher 100 years ago than it is today. But with cheaper production techniques and lowering of quality achieved via processed foods, few go hungry anymore in the richer countries. Yet ask the average person if they're willing to pay for higher quality meat sold at luxury grocery such as Whole Foods. Most will label it "unaffordable", viewing it in the same light as those $200 jeans. Society has conditioned them to accept McDonnald's and TV dinners as acceptable forms of food that they actually enjoy, so why pay more? But the money they saved will likely still find a home in other high priced products. Perhaps a $200/month iPhone family plan with unlimited messaging for mom, pop, bro, and sis will be viewed as "affordable"? That's $2400 a year-- hardly cheap! If your tribe says you must have something as a normal part of life and there are no cheaper options, you can expect most will pay the price. It is based more on emotion than logic.