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.