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kyanblue's avatar

What are reasonable prices for different clothing items (jeans, tees, sweaters, et cetera)?

Asked by kyanblue (1182points) March 3rd, 2010

The more I browse around, the more I fear that my sense of reasonable pricing is being skewed. After you’ve looked at enough $100 dresses, $60 starts to look fairly reasonable, but is it really?

What are good baseline prices for common clothing items? For me, my ‘reasonable price’ for jeans is about $30. So above that is expensive; below that is a good deal. But what about other stuff—dress pants, casual summer dresses, that kind of thing? I’m mostly hoping you Flutherites can help me develop a sense of perspective when shopping.

If it helps: I’m in that youngish age bracket that tends to buy trendy clothing items and phase them out of outfit circulation a few years down the road. I’d like to think that the things I buy today are things I’ll still find use for in 5 or 10 years, but the fact is that at my age I’m not really buying for longevity. Oh, and I’m female.

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12 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

I shop at thrift stores and Wal*Mart.

njnyjobs's avatar

jeans $10–15
sports shirt $7–12
sneakers $25–40
slacks $10–16
T-shirt $2–5

and that’s shopping at Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Outlet stores…getting designer/branded stuff at Walmart prices.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

Jeez, I know what you mean. I worked in an expensive clothing store for three years where $72 polo shirts were considered reasonable and man, my views on what was a “reasonable” price certainly changed. I even spent $270 on a pair of jeans once. Man, I wish I had that money now.

But you also have to think about why things cost so much. It’s not just inflation and greedy companies, although that certainly is part of it. More expensive clothing tends to be made of better materials and fit better on the body. So in my opinion $60 is pretty reasonable for a dress. I’ve bought really cheap stuff from discount stores and they clothes tend to just not last. And I’m talking really not lasting – as in, starting to fall apart after the 5th or 6th wash.

I do my best to shop from independent stores, so I’ve already developed a mentality for spending a bit more money. I’ll pay $20–25 for a shirt and $40 for a pair of jeans if they look nice enough and I think I’ll wear them for a while. And I usually do. Heck, if I hadn’t gained some weight in college I would still be wearing clothes I bought 10 years ago.

Usually though… I just let other people buy me clothes as presents. :)

kyanblue's avatar

@njnyjobs—thank you! I’m a bit mystified at how you would ever find jeans approaching $15 that are not on final sale, but then again I’ve never stepped into a TJ Maxx. Never thrifted either (except for books).

@ParaParaYukiko I usually try to factor cost-per-wear (aka ROI) into my purchases (so a $30 shirt ends up being ‘cheaper’ than a $10 one, for example, if the $30 one is more practical and versatile). Shoes are usually where I feel most justified in going over because I have to walk in them.

I’ve always found it really difficult to find fair trade & organic clothing that’s still priced in my budget…presumably because of the extra hurdles involved in producing such clothing.

njnyjobs's avatar

@kyanblue well, you’ll be quite surprised at what you can get at the stores I mentioned earlier. CK, RL, Ecko, Levis Jeans among others. At Outlet stores, I usually hit Clearance racks right away and this past Fall, I was able to score 8 Lacoste polo shirts retailing for $72–78 at $15 each.

Haleth's avatar

Instead of coming up with a “baseline” for clothing prices, it makes more sense to think really hard about what you’re buying and make sure that it’s practical and stylish. I usually don’t buy something unless I’ve thought about it for a while and know that I need it and will use it. You should look into secondhand clothes shopping- you can really find a lot of affordable and unusual things, and it gives you a little more leeway to try out new things. A lot of stores have well-organized, well-edited selections and it’s still so much cheaper than retail.

kyanblue's avatar

@Haleth—that’s probably a good idea. I don’t have issues with used clothing (my childhood was built on hand-me-downs). The thing is, walking into my local Goodwill is to be confronted with a barrage of odd, mundane castoffs that I can’t really see myself wearing.

How do you find a ‘well-edited’ selection? I don’t have much experience with the thrifted/second-hand thing.

njnyjobs's avatar

Why settle with used when you can get new clothing? I would go to Marshalls and TJ Maxx before hunting down used clothing.

dpworkin's avatar

I needed a suit (I never wear them) for an affair; just got one on Amazon for $99, and I am quite surprised how elegant it looks.

njnyjobs's avatar

@dpworkin for $99, could get new suit, new shirt, tie and belt.

dpworkin's avatar

This one is a lot cooler than I expected.

Haleth's avatar

@kyanblue Look for nicer secondhand stores in richer neighborhoods with lots of other boutiques around. I found my favorite secondhand store by just accidentally wandering in, but it might also be helpful to look on a review site like yelp. A secondhand boutique has a smaller space to sell the clothes, so they’re pickier about what they take. That means you don’t have to waste time sorting through random crap. The prices are a little higher than goodwill, usually about half of retail. I got a suede jacket for $25 and a really trendy wool overcoat for $40, stuff like that.

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