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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?
 

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