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How Durable Are Inexpensive vs. Expensive Clothes?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've been interested in fashion for the past three years or so. When possible, I try to economize; I figure most pieces, aside from suits, jackets, and some classic shoes and boots, are largely comsumer goods that need to be replaced every few years. Is this true? What is the useful lifespan for clothing items? And at what point do you say, I MUST replace?

1. shoes: 5+ years on quality leather shoes
2. coats: 10+ years, assuming I wear once a week or less, and wash infrequently (a few times a year)
3. t shirts (as underwear): 3 years? these do not last me long at all. After about three years, there's yellowing around the collars (I wear sunscreen) and the cotton is pilling noticeably.
4. underwear: 5 years? After about 3 years, my undies are faded in color, although they're holding up pretty well.

5. suits: indefinitely.
6. wool sweaters: 10+ years?

7. cotton pajamas: 10 years (inexpensive, such as Hanes, worn regularly)
8. socks. 3 years. These take a lot of wear and abuse.

Like I said, I've been shopping at lower cost retailers, focusing a bit more on volume and style/looks rather than on classic looks with durability.

Do those of you who buy high end/high status brands get significantly better wear?

PS: Even though I've warned myself to stay away, I find myself returning to Old Navy for t shirts. However, their cotton t shirts pill very noticably even after one wash. Also, their dyes seem not to be very durable and wash out easily. Try American Apparel instead.

As far as rock bottom brands, I would have to say Men's Wearhouse. Although the suit I bought from them is holding up well, their socks and shirts do not hold up well over time.
post #2 of 20
I use this formula (learned this in class) 2x+3z x the sqrt of q where x = cost of clothimg z = what you paid and q = number of wearings/ week will give you estimated 'lasting' time in hours
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by allcapitan View Post
4. underwear: 5 years
8. socks. 3 years.

Gross...
post #4 of 20
There isn't really a direct relationship between durability and expense. You'll probably find that a lot of expensive clothes will last significantly less than some cheaper clothes. A lot of that stuff is never the same after the first cleaning :P
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG2G View Post
There isn't really a direct relationship between durability and expense. You'll probably find that a lot of expensive clothes will last significantly less than some cheaper clothes. A lot of that stuff is never the same after the first cleaning :P
basically this. Plus, even when something is technically more durable it might not matter. For example, a pair of Levi's jeans is unlikely to ever need replacing for anything other than aesthetic reasons for most people. A normal guy wearing non-skinny jeans can wear them for years and years and years.... (I realize that someone will probably chime in and say they ride bikes every day and their jeans get ruined in 4 months or whatever, but I'm saying for your average person) past when they would get replaced for aesthetic reasons. I still buy nicer jeans because I think they look better, but as much fun as it is to say my raw selvage jeans are more durable I've never had non-selvage jeans break down.
post #6 of 20
only reason ive ever replaced clothing was because i just dont wear it anymore. whether style changed or what not. never because it got too worn out.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by evor1 View Post
only reason ive ever replaced clothing was because i just dont wear it anymore. whether style changed or what not. never because it got too worn out.

Well, I've had a ton of socks, underwear, shoes and t-shirts have to be replaced due to wear... but otherwise I agree.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG2G
There isn't really a direct relationship between durability and expense.
Agreed. If my fancy clothes last longer on average than my cheap clothes, it's probably only because I'm more careful not to ruin the expensive stuff.
post #9 of 20
from my experience the only item that get worn down is the stuff that you wear everyday, like t-shirts and underwear. and these need to be washed after every single wearing. I think it is the running through the washer and dryer that makes clothes age the fastest, not the actual wearing done by you.

I hardly wash anything often that I don't wear directly against the skin. I always wear undershirts and underwear so my dress shirt and pants stay relative clean after just one wearing. I feel that this prolongs the life of most of the items in my wardrobe.

Anyways in today's world, with fabrics and manufacturing as advanced as it is, there really isn't any need to worry about clothes falling apart other than real "work wear" or "work shoes." Get what you think you like that fits your budget and style. Price generally does NOT relate to quality or durability in my experience, although it can. I think that it is more than likely an individual will get tired of a piece of clothing, or change in size and not wear it out of choice long before it comes close to falling apart out of use.
post #10 of 20
I'm still wearing the same underwear I had when I was in junior high, so I think you're being pretty extravagant. To each his own, though.
post #11 of 20
Aside from style, I also consider if the item would last for a long time whenever I am buying clothes. When I am shopping for T-shirts, I look for something with collar line that would not look like "bacon" after many washes. I don't find this on some branded clothes.
post #12 of 20
I have some shirts/sweaters and such from Abercrombie and Fitch which I have worn often for a few years and have been proven bulletproof. Now they're expensive but I am sure many here wouldn't consider them high quality. BUt if something lasts, it lasts.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodum5 View Post
I have some shirts/sweaters and such from Abercrombie and Fitch which I have worn often for a few years and have been proven bulletproof. Now they're expensive but I am sure many here wouldn't consider them high quality. BUt if something lasts, it lasts.

Most people wouldn't consider A&F expensive
post #14 of 20
If you are very concerned about quality just buy when there are sales. Nothing beats a high quality piece with an astronomical price tag bought for next to nothing.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post
Most people wouldn't consider A&F expensive

Yes and no. You can pay a lot more there for a t-shirt than you would at American Apparel. For what you're getting, it's incredibly expensive. Is it as much as a designer brand? Of course not. But $40 for a run-of-the-mill t-shirt is pretty fucking expensive in my opinion.
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