Originally Posted by Reevolving
If the dress belts look identical, I will chose the $20 cheap one, and replace/pay as I go. Time value of money. However, if they indeed look different, can someone show pictures of how/why a $100 dress belt looks better?
i agree with your general principle; the value-to-cost-curve flattens out a lot faster for a belt than it does for, say, a suit. nevertheless, there are definitely differences in the suppleness of the leather, its durability, how fast the holes wear out, how long it will take for the nasty coating on the buckle of a cheap belt starts chipping away, etc. these are all things you will see on a $20 belt bought at target, but very late, or not at all, on a $150+ belt.
then, of course, there is the value that you place on people seeing that you're wearing a ferragamo belt, discreetly branded, vs. a brandless one.
there is marginal added value to going for a $300 belt vs. a $150 one, but there is a very definite difference in quality between a $150 one and a $50 one. your call as to whether the subtle differences that exist -- as well as the very real differences in durability and the belt's ability to age gracefully -- warrant that premium...
in some ways this reminds me of an almost identical recent SF discussion on watches -- another item where the value-to-cost curve (in strictly product terms) flattens out quickly, and where price premium is paid primarily for internal architectural complexity, "mechanical authenticity" and brand.