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How Durable Are Inexpensive vs. Expensive Clothes?

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by allcapitan, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. allcapitan

    allcapitan Senior member

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    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.
     
  2. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    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
     
  3. Jekyll

    Jekyll Senior member

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    4. underwear: 5 years
    8. socks. 3 years.


    Gross...
     
  4. PG2G

    PG2G Senior member

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    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
     
  5. Using Technology

    Using Technology Senior member

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    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.
     
  6. evor1

    evor1 Active Member

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    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.
     
  7. Clench Million

    Clench Million Senior member

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    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.
     
  8. Asch

    Asch Senior member

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    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.
     
  9. MiniW

    MiniW Senior member

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    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.
     
  10. tundrafour

    tundrafour Senior member

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    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.
     
  11. hyperjedz

    hyperjedz Member

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    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.
     
  12. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    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.
     
  13. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    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
     
  14. Hany

    Hany Senior member

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    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.
     
  15. zacharydschroeder

    zacharydschroeder Senior member

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    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.
     
  16. Using Technology

    Using Technology Senior member

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    Most people wouldn't consider A&F expensive

    For a plain t-shirt with some crappy fake faded A&F logo costing like 5 times what a Hanes shirt costs.... I'd consider them pretty expensive.
     
  17. blackdarkeye

    blackdarkeye Senior member

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    For a plain t-shirt with some crappy fake faded A&F logo costing like 5 times what a Hanes shirt costs.... I'd consider them pretty expensive.

    i think they are better quality than hanes
     
  18. H.B.O.

    H.B.O. Member

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    ^^ I would consider A&F t-shirts expensive as well but not anything else they sell. I haven't been in one of their stores in years (I never really did get into the rave scene) so I'm not sure what their clothes go for anymore, but a button-up was, what, $60-70? Jeans for the same. Not bad at all... for sucky clothes.
     
  19. centrix

    centrix Senior member

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    cost is definitely not related to quality, also please change your undies ><
     
  20. JohnnyLaw

    JohnnyLaw Senior member

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    To the OP: You must be very gentle with your clothes for them to last that long. I would cut down most of your numbers by a factor of around 5 (except for suits, because infinity divided by 5 is still infinity).

    This depends largely on the size of your wardrobe, but if you're getting 3 years of wear out of a pair of socks, worn weekly or every other week, I wonder what they look like when you throw them out...

    There is no hard and fast rule here, but expensive clothes are generally not more durable that cheap ones (shoes being a possible exception up to a certain point, but Edward Greens probably won't outlive Allen Edmonds, given the same amount of wear).
     

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