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Random fashion thoughts

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by thekunk07, Aug 1, 2009.

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  1. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    I personally own no J Crew. I probably have a 2 decade old tee shirt lying around somewhere, but that's it. My 15 year old son has a bunch fo stuff that he likes. My personal tastes run to the more escoteric. But you gotta give props where it's due. And right now, J Crew owns the game.
     
  2. Journeyman

    Journeyman Well-Known Member

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    I do understand why people buy J.Crew shirts, just as I also understand why people buy, say, hideously overpriced, monogrammed canvas Louis Vuitton bags. LV also shows "enviable financials", but that doesn't mean that people who buy monogrammed canvas LV bags are buying quality goods at decent prices, and the same goes for that J.Crew shirt. I was, quite simply, surprised that the J.Crew shirt was that expensive because I always viewed J.Crew as being fairly inexpensive.

    I don't know whether J.Crew stock in Japan is different from J.Crew stock in the states, but I've never been particularly impressed by the stuff in J.Crew's Japanese stores/concessions. Beams, Ships and other such places usually have better quality items and I think that the main reason why Japanese people would buy from J.Crew over Beams, Ships, or Uniqlo (of course, Uniqlo is generally much cheaper than the other places) is because of image - which, of course, is precisely why people buy overpriced stuff from LV or other such fashion/name brands.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    Monogrammed LV bags are apparently remarkably hard to make. I know some top notch leather bag designers who have gone to the Chinese factories specifically to learn the craft.

    I am not sure if you are aware of it, but you have made a ton of value judgements in your post, above. I've bolded the more obvious examples. "Quality goods at a decent price" is just a marketing slogan that appeals to a value proposition, but with the genius add of "quality" which justifies a higher price. It's a wildly successful marketing slogan, but it should be recognized as exactly that. That buying something "because of image" is seems as a negative by you is another value judgement that is completely unfounded, because it sets up the false conflict between "quality" and "image". The reality is that quality for the vast majority of people is perceived quality, and that the perceived quality is, in fact, largely the result of good branding.

    I think that @dieworkwear said it best when he wrote that things should be expected to have "adequate" quality. If your shoes fall apart in a week, then yes, you have a real problem. But for the most part, "quality" is not really an issue with any material consequence.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
    2 people like this.
  4. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, I say that as a fairly mediocre quality guy.
     
    4 people like this.
  5. Journeyman

    Journeyman Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I didn't say it particularly well but this is, in fact, the point that I was making when I said that "the main reason why Japanese people would buy from J.Crew over Beams, Ships, or Uniqlo is because of image - which, of course, is precisely why people buy overpriced stuff from LV or other such fashion/name brands."

    Branding/advertising is, self-evidently, used by most fashion brands to convey a message of quality and, hence, of value. When people spend a large chunk of money, they want to think that they are getting something decent for their money and, whether we like it or not, price is often used as a signifier of quality. Of course, price is largely an absolutely terrible signifier of quality but that doesn't stop it from being used as such.

    Perhaps we should admire J.Crew for its successful branding and advertising, but I don't see why that means that I should suspend my surprise or my disappointment at the fact that there are, apparently, plenty of people willing to pay US$150 for a mediocre shirt that is, no doubt, made very cheaply in a third-world country. Yes, I understand why they do it - they do it because they have been persuaded by advertising that it is worth that price, either in quality or in terms of peer acceptance and social signalling etc etc. What I don't understand is why that apparently means that I shouldn't have an opinion about their decisions.
     
  6. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, I like the Wallace & Barnes line. I feel like when J Crew upgrades their fabrics and materials (which W&B seems to do), a lot of the stuff can compete with "higher end" brands. In this case, W&B compares well to RRL IMO.

    A lot of J. Crew stuff is also not really meant to be sold. It's more for public image. Tons of companies do this -- offer some ridiculously extravagant item that they know few people will buy, just so they can up their image. They have a Cowichan sweater from Canadian Sweater Company right now, for example, that costs $1,700. I doubt anyone is going to buy that. And if they do, they're so outside of J. Crew's regular target market that it matters little to the rest of J. Crew's sales.

    Anyway, everything at J. Crew goes on sale. At 30% off, a Thomas Mason shirt could be nice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  7. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    My point is that differences in quality, above a minimum threshold, are miniscule. The differences in marketing are enormous
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. kashmir

    kashmir Well-Known Member

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    Some patrons would actually prefer that their favorite makers remain under the radar, deliberately not expanding. I think for brands like S.E.H. Kelly, it is actually their preferred niche, no?
     
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  9. oboy_oboy

    oboy_oboy Well-Known Member

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    This + A Million.

    Almost no one is ever going to come up against the quality/performance difference between say, Danner/Red Wing and Viberg. Or for that matter Gustin and J.Crew shirts. But the decision making process that goes into which of those you choose to buy and how it correlates to your own self image and the image you choose to cultivate and project is, as LA Guy elaborates on, massive.

    It's a fundamental part of why this forum exists at all.
     
  10. Fuuma

    Fuuma Well-Known Member

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    I mostly agree but I got some 7-10 yr old shoes and they aren't from low quality makers, some things just age much differently on the mid to long term. For most pieces who cares but shoes are the worst example to pick.
     
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  11. oboy_oboy

    oboy_oboy Well-Known Member

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    Possibly a bad example, but it also depends on how many pairs of shoes you own and how much or not they get rotated.

    Got one pair of sneakers, one pair of dress shoes and one pair of boots? Yeah, lower quality goods (regardless of price) won't hold up.

    There's always a hole to be poked in any bigger generalization, but that doesn't mean it's not largely true.
     
  12. Master Milano

    Master Milano Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone here know someone who does fashion curation (ugh, lacking of better word) and might interested in working on something?
     
  13. mike868y

    mike868y Well-Known Member

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    late pass but through kind u on rakuten, paypal=bank transfer. they'll email you a link to a paypal invoice.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. GoldenTribe

    GoldenTribe Well-Known Member

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    Every time I click a Yoox link on this website it was posted by an Amurrican and I get logged out automatically since my account is on Yoox CA. Annoying.
     
    2 people like this.
  15. in stitches

    in stitches Well-Known Member

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    That TM J Crew shirt, like most of their shirts, looks like shit. Weak, thin, boring, almost see-through fabric, and an ugly collar. The Gustin, however, looks great. Nice substantial beefy looking fabric and much nicer hue of blue with a creamy white, as well a far better shaped collar. Im now thinking about backing it.

    Ill add, that I have owned a fair amount of J Crew stuff and it all falls apart. Its overpriced single season wear, ime.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Baron

    Baron Well-Known Member

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    I really don't get the harping on j.crew quality. I've owned several things in the past - mainly chinos and shirts - and nothing ever fell apart or wore out even with lots of wear. I don't wear any of it anymore but that's due to styling issues, not quality. It's the upscale norm core for the mainstream American dresser. It's not something that would appeal to us here, but everyone else in the segment is imitating them for good reason.
     
    3 people like this.
  17. Dbear

    Dbear Well-Known Member

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    The questions of quality always creeps up when you know they spend craploads of money on marketing, payroll, rent and everything else that goes with being a large corporate company. How much of that $150 is related to the making and materials of the actual garment?
     
  18. Mr. Moo

    Mr. Moo Well-Known Member

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    2 people like this.
  19. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Well-Known Member

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    I don't really get the poo-pooing of marketing here.

    My enjoyment of a clothes is deeply tied to how something has been designed, how it relates to a larger conversation of fashion, and how it connects to ideas (heritage, values, image, etc). All that is very intangible and can be built up through marketing.

    I mean, I go to bespoke tailors largely for the romance. Not because meeting old men in hotel rooms is romantic (although, it can be), but because of all the ridiculous romantic marketing that has gone into it. Walking into a hotel room and having someone feel you up after you've taken off your clothes can mean very different things depending on how you look at it, and how you look at it is largely affected by marketing.

    Marketing can add to our enjoyment of clothes more than some ridiculously incremental improvement in stitching.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
    7 people like this.
  20. sipang

    sipang Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
    4 people like this.
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