Why is there so much hate for a place like UO and so much love for Uniqlo? Just an honest question. I picked up a pair of Obey Jeans and Koto Camo Chinos for under $80 on sale today. I guess sometimes it's hard to figure out where the line is on brands that are SF approved or not, and to understand why some are promoted over others. I know has Uniqlo just prices low to start, and is good for basics, so maybe that's it. Or is the quality THAT bad from a place like UO?
Bottom line: I'm directing all my left over $$ each month to improve my wardrobe. I'm genuinely trying to buy mostly quality/quantity these days, sometimes it's hard, even when looking at dress shirts, to figure out what the real story is. For example, I could go to Lands End and get a tailored fit dress shirt in my given length/neck size for $30...or pick up a shirt from Taylor Stitch for $130. Is the difference longevity of the fabric and the quality used? I've run into the same thing looking at Chinos from Dockers/J. Crew vs. Unis. Hard to know the reasons for the difference in price and when it's justified. Genuinely interested in upping my knowledge and becoming informed, all replies appreciated.
There are a number of factors here. Materials and fit are perhaps the most focused on here on SF. Great materials in a shitty fitting cut does no one any good. Likewise, slim cut pieces that are poor quality are doomed to be replaced, either due to workmanship issues or the owner's (You) rising knowledge of garments, tastes, etc. Really, nothing from Uniqlo or Lands' End Canvas is going to "fall apart" but neither is it as nice as some other brands that get a lot of love here.
One major factor for brands like Taylor Stitch, Epaulet, 3sixteen, Unis, etc get attention here are that the goods are made in the US. That alone does not make a garment "better" but for brands like this that are making high quality product, it represents the "true cost" of the garment. This is something to consider on a bigger level, but budgets are budgets, and money is a real thing for everyone.
There's a few things going on in SF: Exposure to wider range of brands and styles / better understanding of quality / exploration of personal aesthetic and many more. There's nothing wrong w/ buying cheap oxfords that fit well to build out your closet and your look. But then, after a while, you may realize the fabrics, small batch made-in-the US production, and fit, of Taylor Stitch (just an example) is more what you're after.
After all, how we feel about what we buy and wear is as important as how it looks.
EDIT: This is a great read on Well Spent (check the site out) from Eunice Lee on why her pants cost what they do: http://well-spent.com/2011/03/23/unis-felix-shirts/#comments