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Luxury Brands For Regular Clothing

stylishcasual

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What are the differences between the luxury non-aspirational brands for regular clothing (t-shirts, dress shirts, polos, jeans, not suits)? For example, Purple Label, Zegna, Loro Piana, Tom Ford, Brunello, etc. and the nice but less costly Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker, Bonobos, etc.?

What are the things to look for and what differentiates them to justify the cost? The luxury set of names is often several times as expensive and they are not made to measure. Is it the quality of the fit? Do they do free customization/made to measure? Or is it more ethical (in reality, not just marketed)? Do they last longer or are they more durable? Are they more comfortable or do they hold up better to washing? Something else?

And as a nice to know, what are the differences between the luxury brands I named? Are they more or less the same or is there some quality difference between them that is worth knowing?
 

Phileas Fogg

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Luxury items are just that; a luxury. Trying to justify the cost is an exercise in sophistry.

Sure, there are qualitative differences in fabric and construction but there’s little correlation with the cost.

Saying you buy RLPL because it’s well made is a crock of shit. One buys it because it makes him feel good.
 

Panama

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Buy stuff that is made from high quality materials and with high production values. That could mean Europe or China. I prefer brands with history and their own production facilities such as John Smedley.
 

yorkshire pud

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The more expensive designer sub brands are just more exclusive mostly (less chance of anybody wearing the same piece)

Certainly some of it will use more luxurious materials or will be made in a more traditional time consuming way to justify the price (like selvedge jeans)

The biggest thing though is it won't be made on anywhere near the same scale as the regular stuff in the department stores

To be fair to Ralph Lauren some (not all) of the Polo range of stuff is well done for mass produced clothing (the shirts are always consistent in fit and sizing in my experience), and RRL is nice if you like that urban cowboy style

For basics like plain T shirts, I have old Uniqlos that have outlasted Sunspels kept their shape better and not shrunk in the wash. I have come to the conclusion that £75 T Shirts are a luxury too far, they are supposed to be cheap beater shirts that's what they were invented for (military/workwear)
 

rjc149

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T-shirts should really be for the gym, or very hot summer weekends. The most I’ll spend on a t-shirt is $25 at a souvenir shop. Most of mine were free or gifts. I don’t think many people are going to find someone wearing a $100 designer t-shirt impressive — I would consider such a person a materialistic imbecile. Style and class is more of a mentality toward how you present yourself, not how much you spend on clothing or how well-made your t-shirt is.

I would say the spending limit for a casual clothing item is no more than $100, and no more than $50 for a loungewear or workout item (t-shirt, sweatpants, etc). I like the idea of raw selvedge denim, but I’ll never spend $200+ on a pair of jeans. That kind of expenditure should be reserved for dress clothing or technical outdoors gear (ie. investment pieces).
 

breakaway01

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T-shirts should really be for the gym, or very hot summer weekends. The most I’ll spend on a t-shirt is $25 at a souvenir shop. Most of mine were free or gifts. I don’t think many people are going to find someone wearing a $100 designer t-shirt impressive — I would consider such a person a materialistic imbecile. Style and class is more of a mentality toward how you present yourself, not how much you spend on clothing or how well-made your t-shirt is.

I would say the spending limit for a casual clothing item is no more than $100, and no more than $50 for a loungewear or workout item (t-shirt, sweatpants, etc). I like the idea of raw selvedge denim, but I’ll never spend $200+ on a pair of jeans. That kind of expenditure should be reserved for dress clothing or technical outdoors gear (ie. investment pieces).
Interesting perspective. I agree that one shouldn't spend a lot of money just for designer branding, but I disagree with the argument that "casual" clothing is not worth spending money on (assuming that one has the means to spend money on "dress clothing", which is the case here). What makes spending >$300 on a pair of Rota or other RTW dress trousers better than spending $200 or more on a pair of jeans? Shouldn't the same concepts of fit, style, materials, construction apply to both casual and dress clothing? And the idea of "dress clothing" being an "investment" (if that is even a thing, unless we're talking about a $8K bespoke suit, and even then it is not an investment in the traditional sense of the word, where you expect an appreciation in value over time) and casual clothing not being an investment is strange to me.
 
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ValidusLA

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I have a few pairs of $300+ selvedge denim. They are well worth it.

Dressy clothing as an "investment" is a type of trick I think people pull on themselves to try to justify buying expensive items.

I think people are happier when they give up this mindset and admit they buy expensive things because they want them and it makes them happy.
 

stylishcasual

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Thank you so much for the feedback so far. I definitely don't think it is an 'investment' but I have trouble with some of the other feedback that it is simply a luxury or it is to show off. The brands I mention mostly don't show their name, so I would imagine to stay alive they would need some differentiator? Hand stitching is nice, but is that enough to create billion dollar businesses?
 

Panama

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T-shirts should really be for the gym, or very hot summer weekends. The most I’ll spend on a t-shirt is $25 at a souvenir shop. Most of mine were free or gifts. I don’t think many people are going to find someone wearing a $100 designer t-shirt impressive — I would consider such a person a materialistic imbecile. Style and class is more of a mentality toward how you present yourself, not how much you spend on clothing or how well-made your t-shirt is.

I would say the spending limit for a casual clothing item is no more than $100, and no more than $50 for a loungewear or workout item (t-shirt, sweatpants, etc). I like the idea of raw selvedge denim, but I’ll never spend $200+ on a pair of jeans. That kind of expenditure should be reserved for dress clothing or technical outdoors gear (ie. investment pieces).
Are Dior or Balmain tees worth several hundred pounds? No, but a Sea Island cotton tee under shirt is definitely worth £150.00, not for the gym but as a layer when it's-2 outside.
 

yorkshire pud

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T-shirts should really be for the gym, or very hot summer weekends. The most I’ll spend on a t-shirt is $25 at a souvenir shop. Most of mine were free or gifts. I don’t think many people are going to find someone wearing a $100 designer t-shirt impressive — I would consider such a person a materialistic imbecile. Style and class is more of a mentality toward how you present yourself, not how much you spend on clothing or how well-made your t-shirt is.

I would say the spending limit for a casual clothing item is no more than $100, and no more than $50 for a loungewear or workout item (t-shirt, sweatpants, etc). I like the idea of raw selvedge denim, but I’ll never spend $200+ on a pair of jeans. That kind of expenditure should be reserved for dress clothing or technical outdoors gear (ie. investment pieces).
I buy Selvedge jeans for £140 (LVC 1967 505) and I've been very happy with them to be honest, they fit well and last a long time. Maybe a bit too entry level for the real denim enthusiasts but a good staple pair of jeans.

I also like Champion Reverse Weave sweats, affordable and proven designs

Like yourself I'm a cheap T Shirt guy, I got burnt a couple of times with expensive ones and just not worth the outlay, Uniqlo are the best budget T-shirts I've tried (the heavy weight version). Everything I have bought from Sunspel has shrunk to the point of being unwearable inside a year!!
 

yorkshire pud

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Thank you so much for the feedback so far. I definitely don't think it is an 'investment' but I have trouble with some of the other feedback that it is simply a luxury or it is to show off. The brands I mention mostly don't show their name, so I would imagine to stay alive they would need some differentiator? Hand stitching is nice, but is that enough to create billion dollar businesses?
People buy into brands, they may well make very high quality clothes, but a Jersey cotton T shirt is still just a T shirt, you might find pima and other types of more expensive cotton mentioned. I personally like cheaper heavyweight Jersey as it just drapes better and is tougher.

All that matters is fit and quality, when you see pics of Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando looking cool in T shirts 50 odd years ago, my bet is that they are just regular T shirts and not any kind of designer products
 

dieworkwear

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Your question is too broad. Instead of thinking about quality, I think it would be better if you focused on aesthetics and how clothes make you feel.
 

rjc149

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Interesting perspective. I agree that one shouldn't spend a lot of money just for designer branding, but I disagree with the argument that "casual" clothing is not worth spending money on (assuming that one has the means to spend money on "dress clothing", which is the case here). What makes spending >$300 on a pair of Rota or other RTW dress trousers better than spending $200 or more on a pair of jeans? Shouldn't the same concepts of fit, style, materials, construction apply to both casual and dress clothing? And the idea of "dress clothing" being an "investment" (if that is even a thing, unless we're talking about a $8K bespoke suit, and even then it is not an investment in the traditional sense of the word, where you expect an appreciation in value over time) and casual clothing not being an investment is strange to me.
Generally speaking, dress clothing is, for lack of a better way to put it, fancier than jeans and t-shirts. A cheap suit will still run you $200-300. Dress clothing is worn specifically to look your finest. It's worn in settings and events where you are being scrutinized based on your attire. Most dress clothing items can, if cared for, last a while. When I mentioned "investment pieces" I am referring to things like suits, shoes, coats, etc. Timeless wardrobe items where the difference between a cheap item and a high quality item is much more marked and discernible, and says more about how you present yourself to society.

Certain casual clothing items can certainly be "investment grade" (I will consider buying a pair of high-quality selvedge jeans under $200 but I'm very finicky about how jeans fit) but the majority of jeans and t-shirt outfits simply don't warrant the expenditure over $100 per item. I consider them expendable and consumable. I replace jeans, sneakers and t-shirts far, far more frequently than I do my suits or my Allen Edmonds. I'm more value-oriented about those garments, whereas I'm more quality-oriented on dress clothing.
 

breakaway01

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Dress clothing is worn specifically to look your finest. It's worn in settings and events where you are being scrutinized based on your attire. Most dress clothing items can, if cared for, last a while. When I mentioned "investment pieces" I am referring to things like suits, shoes, coats, etc. Timeless wardrobe items where the difference between a cheap item and a high quality item is much more marked and discernible, and says more about how you present yourself to society.
I think this is why many folks in SW&D dislike the CM side. Maybe we just have very different ideas about non-CM clothing. Apparently (and maybe I am completely misinterpreting you) to you, non-CM is basically jeans + T-shirt. It's much more than that. Also, plenty of non-CM items "can, if cared for, last a while."

I have also become more jaded about the "timelessness" of CM. Most 1990s suits look dated to us; what looks "timeless" to us now is probably also going to look dated in 20 years.

Also have strong disagreement with your last sentence. That "high quality" and "cheap" are on different ends of the spectrum, and that somehow wearing "high quality" items says something about how you "present yourself to society."

Certain casual clothing items can certainly be "investment grade" (I would consider a pair of high-quality selvedge jeans under $200) but the majority of jeans and t-shirt outfits simply don't warrant the expenditure over $100 per item. I consider them expendable and consumable. I replace jeans, sneakers and t-shirts far, far more frequently than I do my suits or my Allen Edmonds. I'm more value-oriented about those garments, whereas I'm more quality-oriented on dress clothing.
Again, you seem to be equating quality with price. Not that there is no correlation but there are plenty of expensive clothes/shoes/etc posted here that just don't look very good.
 

rjc149

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I think this is why many folks in SW&D dislike the CM side. Maybe we just have very different ideas about non-CM clothing. Apparently (and maybe I am completely misinterpreting you) to you, non-CM is basically jeans + T-shirt. It's much more than that. Also, plenty of non-CM items "can, if cared for, last a while."

I have also become more jaded about the "timelessness" of CM. Most 1990s suits look dated to us; what looks "timeless" to us now is probably also going to look dated in 20 years.

Also have strong disagreement with your last sentence. That "high quality" and "cheap" are on different ends of the spectrum, and that somehow wearing "high quality" items says something about how you "present yourself to society."



Again, you seem to be equating quality with price. Not that there is no correlation but there are plenty of expensive clothes/shoes/etc posted here that just don't look very good.
I’m speaking in generality, that the higher the quality, the higher the price. I couldn’t agree with you more that there are exorbitantly expensive items that look bad or are expensive simply because of a brand mark up. But when it comes to formal or business attire, cheap suits are easily spotted and invite more negative judgement than a pair of Levi’s and a Gap t-shirt would.

I think the range of clothing items and styles under “casual wear” is too broad here. I’m referring to jeans, t-shirts and sneakers. If a $100 t-shirt, $400 jeans and $1000 sneakers makes you happy, and you have that kind of disposable income, go for it. But for me, come on now.
 

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