That isn't a revelation, but it's a reminder that while SW&D gets criticized for some of its embraced aesthetics, it's still preferable to MC, where the price tag or brand name seems to be the deciding factors in assessing an item's merit. Not really. There's all sorts of qualifying factors for an item's merit in MC land. There's the obvious goodyear welting and full canvasing etc to the less obvious gemming vs handwelting techniques etc etc. Plenty of the cheaper brands are praised for their value. PRL in particular does quite well, as well as affiliates like Howard Yount etc. Vass (could be considered "baller" or "plebe") is revered for handstiched insoles whereas John Lobb, Edward Green (about twice as expensive) are sometimes criticized for gemming. We have a "baller sneaker thread" where recognition of good desiign is accompanied by the knowledge that the price of most of them aren't justifiable by quality, but largely by design. Not that that is a bad thing, just making the point that one can be quite objective in determining levels of praise for an item. Which i guess comes back to the point that if you get too fixated on "quality" you forget about aesthetics. E.g. BBBF suits get worn by people actually trying to be "trad", rather than just referencing the style as Thom Browne intended - with pretty fucking obviously different styling and proportions. which i find incredibly annoying. "Guys! Look at me in my sack suit with vintage cufflinks and gunboats and repp tie! I'm permanent style, despite the fact that I am purposely dressing to look like a photograph from 1953!"