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High Price Doesn't Mean High Quality

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    #16
    Originally posted by Token View Post

    My impression is that Derek is actually of the camp of buy what you like with "quality" in and of itself mattering to the extent that it impacts the look, feel, or longevity of the item rather than quality being the end all be all.
    Sure, I get that, and I frankly don't care what people choose to spend their money on. And I love that people passionately care about things I don't. My thought is more along the lines of "for $1,000 they can't even include quality as an afterthought?"

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      #17
      Originally posted by facelessghost View Post

      I mean, their boots cost $1,000, so what's up with that?

      Quality costs, but not always as much as we're led to believe, and high cost doesn't always mean quality.
      "Quality" is a catch all term, IMO. Are we strictly talking about materials - leathers, thread, soles, etc. - or are we factoring in design quality as well?

      If we're just talking about materials and craftsmanship, there's certainly diminishing returns at some point. Two identical boots with identical leathers sewn in the same factory... they should be similarly priced, assuming QA is on par.

      If we factor in more unique designs, whether that's cleaner panels, color matching, additional punching, etc. then some people might value those over other items, even though they might share similar or even have lower quality materials and craftsmanship.


      Originally posted by facelessghost View Post

      Sure, I get that, and I frankly don't care what people choose to spend their money on. And I love that people passionately care about things I don't. My thought is more along the lines of "for $1,000 they can't even include quality as an afterthought?"
      They made it to look a certain way, which is the "quality" that they were going for.
      Last edited by mcadamsandwich; May 14, 2020, 05:39 PM.

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        #18
        Originally posted by saira1 View Post
        Yes, i agree. The price of branded items is too high. The quality of non branded products may be same but famous brands charge extra for their name and brand value.
        Yes, hi, I'd like that Chevy Corvette but you can keep the badges and I'll pay you 25% less. Thanks!"

        Branding has a huge impact, whether that's a giant polo pony on a shirt or gold foil letters on a shoe. You're paying that now anyways, regardless of what you purchase.

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          #19
          I think that this is something that needs to be pointed out again and again. "Buy it nice, or buy it twice" is a truism, but it isn't always true. There are a lot of people out there are encouraging people to spend more money on clothes, and even if they don't mean to, they give the impression that it is the smart fiscal choice. People even throw around the word investment quite liberally. This leads to confusion, especially because people have a different idea of quality. Quality can mean, it seems, anything that will make a potential customer willing to pay more. Most of the time what people mean it that it will last longer, which is rarely the case, especially with sneakers.

          Usually, what the "Buy it nice" or "You get what you pay for" applies to, is the low end of the market. For simplicity's same I will divide the market for any product into three categories: Junk, Middle and Luxury. The junk level, is the cheapest. They are designed to be as cheap as possible, they are marketed as cheap.

          Luxury items, on the other hand are designed to be expensive. Their value increases with their price. A Rolex is valuable because it is valuable. Yes, some people appreciate the history and the quality isn't bad, but it is an aspirational good and jewelery. Just like gold or diamonds, they are valuable because they are valuable. (While diamonds are hard, it should be noted that gold is a soft metal, and not very useful for tools)

          The middle group is everything in between.

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            #20
            It's not true that you always get what you pay for. I've been called at on forums because I keep buying on streetwearvilla.co but I think I get what my money's worth. I also do thrifting from time to time and I find some nice legit items.

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              #21
              Originally posted by batkins9 View Post
              I hear the adage "you get what you pay for" a lot in online menswear talk and I've never quite bought into it. Hype inflates prices and sometimes it makes sense to pay less for something. In my opinion that applies to shoes more than anything else in my clothing choices. I have a few pair of Thursday boots, a few pair of Velasca and Jack Erwins, too (I also have some AEs). Often, these brands get criticized for not having a heritage like AE, Red Wing, Alden, Viberg, et al and essentially called garbage by the snob crowd.
              https://youtu.be/FnZSyDaTwZs
              I wouldn't call any of those shoes you mention cheap. I've had two pairs of JE shoes and enjoyed them. I donated one pair I got on final sale (about $70) because I didn't like the fit. And I paid full price for the JE Chelsea boots, which I like quite a bit (although I've had trouble getting them to take a shine).

              I've had a love affair the last few years with well-crafted shoes, but I can still see where somebody might decide to buy a $50 shoe (like some of the ones on sale at Nordstrom right now) every year rather than a $500 pair of shoes that lasts 10 or 20 years.

              WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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                #22
                Originally posted by ryn View Post
                People even throw around the word investment quite liberally.
                Which is a little bit unlikely, right? How many articles of clothing increase in value over time?

                Now, I understand that "investment-quality" may be used metaphorically, under the assumption that if you dress well, it'll pay off, returning more than you've spent on your clothes. But that argument needs more support as well, because it's not obviously true that, say, an investment-quality suit versus a discounted suit plus a visit to the tailor is going to be the critical factor in getting that corner C-suite office.

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                  #23
                  Originally posted by RSA View Post

                  Which is a little bit unlikely, right? How many articles of clothing increase in value over time?

                  Now, I understand that "investment-quality" may be used metaphorically, under the assumption that if you dress well, it'll pay off, returning more than you've spent on your clothes. But that argument needs more support as well, because it's not obviously true that, say, an investment-quality suit versus a discounted suit plus a visit to the tailor is going to be the critical factor in getting that corner C-suite office.
                  Investment quality is the idea that higher quality pieces will last longer and therefore cost less in the long run. For example, you can buy one nice pair of shoes that can be resoled and will last a decade or a bunch of inexpensive shoes that wear out quickly and need to be replaced every year or so. You invest now and you won't have to spend more later. This holds true in some instances but not so much in others. Then there's the point of diminishing returns. Higher end shoes like Alden and Carmina are objectively better than Allen Edmonds but they won't necessarily last any longer. They have nicer materials, features, might fit better but they aren't much better from a longevity standpoint.
                  Last edited by Geo; July 13, 2020, 08:58 PM.

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by Geo View Post

                    Investment quality is the idea that higher quality pieces will last longer and therefore cost less in the long run. For example, you can buy one nice pair of shoes that can be resoled and will last a decade or a bunch of inexpensive shoes that wear out quickly and need to be replaced every year or so. You invest now and you won't have to spend more later. This holds true in some instances but not so much in others. Then there's the point of diminishing returns. Higher end shoes like Alden and Carmina are objectively better than Allen Edmonds but they won't necessarily last any longer. They have nicer materials, features, might fit better but they aren't much better from a longevity standpoint.
                    I don't think this is ever particularly true, even for stuff like $300 shoes or $500 suits, and is mostly used to market products to people who can't really afford them. For example, I noticed Allen Edmonds started playing the investment card around the time Paul Grangaard started, because they were desperate to attract new blood instead of relying on the dwindling populating of older high-tax-bracket white collar workers to just walk in and casually drop $300 on a pair of shoes. AE soles don't necessarily last longer than the soles on Cole Haans, and probably have a shorter lifespan if anything since the CH's come with those ugly rubber topy things. A resole is $100+, which can get you a new pair of CH's. Likewise, a $1500 Hickey Freeman suit probably isn't going to last any longer than a $700 HSM one or a $400 Spier one. Don't get me started on luxury shirts vs. a $29.99 affair from CT. These are all depreciating assets and very hard to get financially ahead in this route. Just admit it: you buy it because it's nicer and makes the rest of your life a bit more enjoyable. I also like that while these "investments" more often than not put me in the red, they do help reduce waste in the world and keep some manufacturing jobs in the US. But this comes at a slight price that the genpop isn't paying.

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                      #25
                      Originally posted by stuffedsuperdud View Post

                      I don't think this is ever particularly true, even for stuff like $300 shoes or $500 suits, and is mostly used to market products to people who can't really afford them. For example, I noticed Allen Edmonds started playing the investment card around the time Paul Grangaard started, because they were desperate to attract new blood instead of relying on the dwindling populating of older high-tax-bracket white collar workers to just walk in and casually drop $300 on a pair of shoes. AE soles don't necessarily last longer than the soles on Cole Haans, and probably have a shorter lifespan if anything since the CH's come with those ugly rubber topy things. A resole is $100+, which can get you a new pair of CH's. Likewise, a $1500 Hickey Freeman suit probably isn't going to last any longer than a $700 HSM one or a $400 Spier one. Don't get me started on luxury shirts vs. a $29.99 affair from CT. These are all depreciating assets and very hard to get financially ahead in this route. Just admit it: you buy it because it's nicer and makes the rest of your life a bit more enjoyable. I also like that while these "investments" more often than not put me in the red, they do help reduce waste in the world and keep some manufacturing jobs in the US. But this comes at a slight price that the genpop isn't paying.
                      I was just responding to RSA that around here, when people say "investment" they're referring to an arbitrary cost to longevity ratio, not the idea that buying more expensive clothes will make you look more professional and help you earn more.

                      I do agree with you to a certain point. I don't wear black shoes so I have no need to buy an expensive pair. My black Cole Haans will last decades with the amount of wear they get. No need to spend a ton on those. As for brown shoes, I wear those every day and have found a decent pair to last longer than some cheaper pairs. My most frequently worn pair, leather soled AE Strands, are around 4 years old and aren't showing signs of needing a re-craft. For me, discounted AEs from the Shoe Bank or bought on clearance hits the sweet spot of affordability and quality. Plus when they do have to be recrafted, I don't have to worry about finding another pair that fits right or any major break in period from a new pair. So you do have a point about liking it because it makes my life more enjoyable. It definitely does. I just don't think that's the only reason and you can't say "I don't think this is ever particularly true." Everyone is different though. You may find that buying cheaper shoes more frequently is more cost effective. It is for some and not for others. Again, its a concept regarding an arbitrary ratio.

                      To me a Spier & Mackay suit is an "investment" grade suits. Its better than most of what you'll find at Macys or Mens Warehouse without being drastically more expensive. Suits don't have to be from Hickey Freeman, Brioni or Zegna. That's why I mentioned diminishing returns. I also agree on you point about reducing waist. I don't think that gets brought up enough. I appreciate the fact that when a pair of shoes get worn out they don't get dumped in a landfill.
                      Last edited by Geo; July 14, 2020, 09:52 AM.

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                        #26
                        Originally posted by Geo View Post

                        I was just responding to RSA that around here, when people say "investment" they're referring to an arbitrary cost to longevity ratio, not the idea that buying more expensive clothes will make you look more professional and help you earn more.

                        I do agree with you to a certain point. I don't wear black shoes so I have no need to buy an expensive pair. My black Cole Haans will last decades with the amount of wear they get. No need to spend a ton on those. As for brown shoes, I wear those every day and have found a decent pair to last longer than some cheaper pairs. My most frequently worn pair, leather soled AE Strands, are around 4 years old and aren't showing signs of needing a re-craft. For me, discounted AEs from the Shoe Bank or bought on clearance hits the sweet spot of affordability and quality. Plus when they do have to be recrafted, I don't have to worry about finding another pair that fits right or any major break in period from a new pair. So you do have a point about liking it because it makes my life more enjoyable. It definitely does. I just don't think that's the only reason and you can't say "I don't think this is ever particularly true." Everyone is different though. You may find that buying cheaper shoes more frequently is more cost effective. It is for some and not for others. Again, its a concept regarding an arbitrary ratio.

                        To me a Spier & Mackay suit is an "investment" grade suits. Its better than most of what you'll find at Macys or Mens Warehouse without being drastically more expensive. Suits don't have to be from Hickey Freeman, Brioni or Zegna. That's why I mentioned diminishing returns. I also agree on you point about reducing waist. I don't think that gets brought up enough. I appreciate the fact that when a pair of shoes get worn out they don't get dumped in a landfill.
                        I understand what you're saying, but I think the word investment is used too often and often without a clarity to what it really means. Some people do insist that buying GY welted shoes are cheaper, but they aren't. The more expensive the shoe, the better deal resoling is. The return on investment is not monetary.

                        ​​​​

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                          #27
                          Originally posted by Geo View Post

                          Investment quality is the idea that higher quality pieces will last longer and therefore cost less in the long run. For example, you can buy one nice pair of shoes that can be resoled and will last a decade or a bunch of inexpensive shoes that wear out quickly and need to be replaced every year or so. You invest now and you won't have to spend more later. This holds true in some instances but not so much in others. Then there's the point of diminishing returns. Higher end shoes like Alden and Carmina are objectively better than Allen Edmonds but they won't necessarily last any longer. They have nicer materials, features, might fit better but they aren't much better from a longevity standpoint.
                          I think there’s merit to this line of thought. When I hear people use the term “investment” as it relates to clothes/shoes I believe they are most often referring to the longevity vs price ratio. If you spend $300 on a pair of shoes that last 6 years it’s cheaper than spending $150 on shoes that will only last 2 years.

                          However, just because something is more expensive doesn’t mean it is a better investment. I believe there is definitely a plateau when it comes to this subject. A $1500 bespoke suit will last longer than a $200 suit from Mens Warehouse, but will it last longer than a $500 SuSu or S&M suit? Probably not. Therefore, you might be getting a slightly different or slightly higher quality product for each $100 extra, but I definitely wouldn’t consider it as a better investment.

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                            #28
                            Originally posted by abh159 View Post
                            . A $1500 bespoke suit will last longer than a $200 suit from Mens Warehouse, but will it last longer than a $500 SuSu or S&M suit? Probably not. Therefore, you might be getting a slightly different or slightly higher quality product for each $100 extra, but I definitely wouldn’t consider it as a better investment.
                            but will a bespoke suit last longer than a Men's Wearhouse suit? I mean, that's something we all assume, but do we really know? It could be the other way. Perhaps polyester is more durable than very thin wool fibers?

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by ryn View Post

                              but will a bespoke suit last longer than a Men's Wearhouse suit? I mean, that's something we all assume, but do we really know? It could be the other way. Perhaps polyester is more durable than very thin wool fibers?
                              It doesn't necessarily have to literally last longer in terms of how long before it falls apart or disintegrates or whatever, that depends on the material and many other factors. For example, a S200 suit regardless of how well made is going to be on the more delicate side, so if you put up a bespoke S200s suit vs. a Mens Wearhouse suit for daily wear then my bet is that the bespoke suit wears out first (but you should be aware of that if you're picking that delicate of a fabric).

                              Part of the last longer argument is that you'll want to wear it and actually use it for longer either because it's either better constructed, or ages better, or is more adaptable to how your style and life changes. Bespoke suits are typically made with a lot more excess fabric than RTW suits, so if you gain or lose weight you can get it altered relatively easily. You see a lot of people on here who gain or lose weight one size and they're selling their RTW suits because it doesn't fit anymore.

                              That being said I still wouldn't call most clothing / shoe / watch / etc. purchases "investments"
                              Instagram: WoofOrWeft

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                                #30
                                Originally posted by abh159 View Post

                                I think there’s merit to this line of thought. When I hear people use the term “investment” as it relates to clothes/shoes I believe they are most often referring to the longevity vs price ratio. If you spend $300 on a pair of shoes that last 6 years it’s cheaper than spending $150 on shoes that will only last 2 years.

                                However, just because something is more expensive doesn’t mean it is a better investment. I believe there is definitely a plateau when it comes to this subject. A $1500 bespoke suit will last longer than a $200 suit from Mens Warehouse, but will it last longer than a $500 SuSu or S&M suit? Probably not. Therefore, you might be getting a slightly different or slightly higher quality product for each $100 extra, but I definitely wouldn’t consider it as a better investment.
                                The issue with this is that 90% of the time when people use this line of reasoning they're actually wrong about what the ROI is. I most commonly see the investment argument applied for welted shoes vs cemented with people claiming that cemented shoes will fall apart after a year while welted shoes can last a lifetime. Not only are they exaggerating about how long cemented shoes can actually last (quite a while) they also ignore the cost of resoling which is significant, if you're only looking at costs it's often cheaper to constantly buy and replace a $50 pair of glued shoes compared to getting a "good" pair of welted shoes and resoling every few years.
                                Instagram: WoofOrWeft

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