General Question

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

Today, people only seem to buy clothes based on labels, prices, and the places they got it. Why?

Asked by toomuchcoffee911 (6907 points ) January 26th, 2009

A normal polo shirt costs $5, but when you sew on an alligator patch, the price goes up $70. WHY???

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23 Answers

Les's avatar

With the economy the way it is, I’ve noticed the complete opposite recently. People who used to buy name brands are opting for the more “thrifty” options.

But let me give you my two cents. I like a good bargain as much as the next person, but I also like my clothes to last for a while. I don’t have to buy name brands, but I do like to spend a little extra money on key pieces (winter coats, skirts, business suits, slacks, etc) so I don’t have to buy new ones every two months.

squirbel's avatar

Walmart [or many other thrifty options] clothes last a very long time. The idea that they are subpar and have to be replaced often is a farce.

dynamicduo's avatar

Define “today”. I’d say your statements were correct prior to today’s economy. People were more willing to buy expensive things because they didn’t have to pay for it, they just put it onto a credit card. Now that it’s getting hard to get credit, let alone have a job to pay back the credit bill, we should start seeing some of these big brands have disastrous financial quarters and thus begin to close up shop. We should also see it becoming more popular or “in” to be thrifty and conservative and to do it yourself (the at-home craft industry for example is starting to get huge), whereas it was previously popular to have a certain brand or a certain device.

Les's avatar

@squirbel: I have found the opposite to be true. And I take really good care of my clothes.

skfinkel's avatar

Personally, I avoid any labels—I feel like I am advertising their company.

squirbel's avatar

Hmm, I’ve never bought name brands and I still continue to look spiffy. But then, I don’t do much in my clothing besides sit and walk.

ark_a_dong's avatar

When and if I buy a shirt or something that’s expensive, I buy it for its individuality and whether or not it stands out and suits me. I really could care less about the brand.

Les's avatar

Let me just add one more thing: I do buy clothes from Walmart, Target, TJ Maxx, etc. Many “basics” are easy to get at these stores, and I love the thrill of the hunt. But, I also like the thrill of finding the bargain at Macy’s, and especially, Anthropologie. But I suppose for some people, they feel they are defined by who they wear. I still stand by my original statement, though. I think most people today are shopping thriftier.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

The Century of Self

The Century of the Self asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism, representative democracy and its implications. It also questions the modern way we see ourselves, the attitude to fashion and superficiality.

The business and, increasingly, the political world uses PR to read and fulfill our desires, to make their products or speeches as pleasing as possible to us. Curtis raises the question of the intentions and roots of this fact. Where once the political process was about engaging people’s rational, conscious minds, as well as facilitating their needs as a society, the documentary shows how by employing the tactics of psychoanalysis, politicians appeal to irrational, primitive impulses that have little apparent bearing on issues outside of the narrow self-interest of a consumer population. He cites Paul Mazer, a Wall Street banker working for Lehman Brothers in the 1930s, as saying “We must shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. [...] Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.”

eambos's avatar

Here are some old opinions.

I was trying to be non confrontational, so I reserve the right to disagree with my own quips in that thread.

Reading through that, I think I used to sound like an uneducated d-bag.

tonedef's avatar

I don’t think the assumption upon which the question is premised is valid. I think that this stereotype that people love to be walking billboards is pretty much propagated by The Real Housewives of Orange County. This question is just rife with reverse-snobbery.

People like fashion because it’s art that you wear. Some fashion houses make a quick buck by sewing an alligator onto a polo, but then the same house uses that revenue to produce well-made, attractive, and forward-looking garments.

jonsblond's avatar

That alligator patch was around in the 80s when I was growing up. It’s always been like this, trying to show off and look better than your neighbors.
Not everyone is like that though. I have found the local Goodwill store to be very busy lately. Personally I stick with brands that last, I don’t care about the label.

elijah's avatar

@squirbel I completely diasagree with you about the quality of clothing at walmart. My ex husband buys his share of my daughters school clothes there. Within a month they are garbage. They shrink, the seams twist, the material is thin and cheesy. I believe you get what you pay for. I’m not saying just because something is expensive it is made well, or vice versa, but usually that is true. It’s the same reason people buy BMWs when the bus is available. It feels good to have nice things when you work hard to be able to afford them. I have been known to wear a $10.00 t-shirt with a $200.00 pair of jeans. It’s not shallow to enjoy labels as long as you also shop for good deals.
f

Jeruba's avatar

Some people do. That’s actually a very broad generalization, not supported by facts.

MrItty's avatar

Define “people”. You seem to surround yourself with only very vain shallow people. I sure as hell don’t care about the label or the store from which I bought it…

elijah's avatar

I forgot to add that I may pay $60.00 for my daughters jeans, but she wears them until they no longer fit and they are usually in good enough condition to pass down to my niece who can wear them for another year. That’s 60 bucks for a pair of pants that lasts 2 years as opposed to 15 bucks for something that lasts 2 months.

cak's avatar

I have a key pieces from better stores and yes, there is a difference in some of the clothes. I also have a good portion of my clothing from Target. I used to buy things at Wal-Mart, but I don’t really shop there, anymore – for various reasons.

I will say this about Wal-Mart clothing. Back in the late 80’s early 90’s – I did buy clothes from Wal-Mart. They did seem to hold up – but again, not everything. The clothes did seem to go down in quality, over the years. I cannot comment on their clothes in recent years, because I don’t shop there – but I did see the level of quality go downhill, fast.

I have clothes that are no-names and brand names, but don’t assume I’ve paid a lot of money for the brand names. With places like Ross, TJ Maxx and yes, even consignment shops, I don’t pay full price for anything! I shop for bargain for myself, my children and my husband. We dress well, but never pay full price! EVER!

Target, is our first stop – on any shopping trip!

90s_kid's avatar

What I wrote on @Eambos link:
I hate Abercrombie and Hollister! They are too expensive. Go to Aeropostale or American Eagle and get the same same clothes for cheaper. I wear Abercrombie, but don’t like it’s prices.
or as people gay men say: fitchbitch.

@cak
90S!!!! sorry
Target is awesome, yes. I don’t have one around, but I once got these awesome shoes for $12.48!! Compare it to my $80 Jordans. Just a picture of some guy with a basketball raises it $70!

Go to Pacsun that place has brands for much cheap——LOVE that store. It has Hurley, Element, Fox, DC, Billabong, etc.
As people say “It’s in the inside that counts.” I say so, too, but you can at least make yourself look halfway decent if you can.

desiree333's avatar

Because these logos such as the Lacoste logo (alligator) you stated proves and shows the world that we can indeed afford a Lacoste polo rather than saving $50 on a no name brand polo. Its also a way to fit in I guess.

Nimis's avatar

This is a very broad generalization.
And a rather poor example.

I agree with your general sentiment that it is silly
to pay so much money just for a label/brand.

Though I do believe in paying more for quality
and I think Lacoste polos are actually made
much better than your average polo.

I just buy them from the local thrift store.
(You get the quality without the price.)

The best way to tell the quality of something
is to see how it wears after years of use.
Next time you’re at a thrift store, go compare
a Lacoste polo to one from Wal-mart or Forever 21.
The difference in quality is quite apparent.

On a whole though, I hate sporting brands.
I’ve seam-ripped off a Prada label before.
But the little alligator is a tenacious little fellow.

While you’re frowning at materialism,
what about the flip side of all of this?
What about the whole issue of overconsumption,
the demand for disposable clothing at absurdly low prices?

tigran's avatar

I like name brands, they are more stylish

desiree333's avatar

@nimis, your right. Also “but the little alligator is a tenacious little fellow” haha, that one made me laugh.. :)

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