Originally Posted by JLibourel
I would echo the opinions of others that the reason expenditures on clothes are so low is simply that a lot of people, irrespective of economic circumstances, simply don't like to spend a money on clothes. Case in point: I know one fellow who makes about $300K a year. His wife also makes very good money. Awhile back he had to go to a wedding or something and discovered that the moths had ruined his blazer, so off he hies himself that citadel of masculine elegance Men's Wearhouse. There he purchases a new blazer, some slacks, a dress shirt, a tie and a pair of dress shoes. However, he was quite indignant to find that the total tab for his new ensemble came to a whacking $400! What more can I say?
I would venture that many who would regard spending $300+ for a pair of shoes or $700 on a suit as outrageous extravagance are the proud possessors of Harley-Davidsons, RVs, wide screens and other such necessities of life.
I have often remarked in the fora that I am always amazed by how much high-quality (and frequently overpriced) menswear is offered for sale at places like South Coast Plaza. I wonder who buys all that stuff, so rarely do I see an even halfway decently turned out man.
The notion that cost precludes many men from dressing well I find flawed, given the ridiculous sums that many will spend on blue jeans, sneakers and such. The other day, my stepson cajoled me into buying him a pair of "7" jeans at a ridiculous price at the Off-5th, although every fiber of my being cried out against this stupid extravagance.
Just a few thoughts.
The economic analysis for Australia would probably be similar to the US as far as %age of annual income goes. Perhaps even lower. I believe the French have a higher national wardrobe expenditure.
I too am amazed that people driving BMWs etc complain about the price of a polyester shirt and glued shoes. I see people driving high end cars wearing worn out t-shirts and shorts. Never mind that a pair of welted shoes will last longer than many an expensive car.
The same goes for high end watches. I am amazed by the range and selection available. Yet my watchmaker says that high end watches today are all grossly overpriced for what you get - mostly driven by marketing. People will gladly fork out thousands and thousands for a gaudy Rolex but gasp at the prospect of paying a few hundred dollars for a pair of shoes.
It is also funny the excuses people make when you point out that quality clothes last longer and are therefore cost effective. You get these sob stories from the same BMW owners etc complaining they can't afford it because the children's school tuition fees are too high, interest rates are too high blah blah. If you change the subject it won't be long before you get them bragging about the new computer, plasma TV etc that they just brought...