Sunday, April 24, 2005

Explain Designer Clothing

Now, I am not one who is opposed to dressing nicely. I also understand that good quality clothing sometimes costs more. Usually, a $3 t-shirt is exactly that, and was probably made by some sweatshop child. And I have been one who has admired clothing by designers (when it is not ridiculous). I'm not necessarily well-dressed, but I am not a fashion Luddite.

But today I was looking through the wonderful Manolo Shoe Blog, and he had a link to an interesting-looking pair of shoes that were on the Rafaello Network, and I found myself looking through the Prada line. Now, I admit that there are Prada designs that I find very beautiful. But I started looking at the prices. And then I came across this. It is a black t-shirt, which has the retail price of $350. I clicked to look at the details, assuming that somehow this must be the Mother of All Black T-Shirts. This must be made of some rare material, or something that makes this particular t-shirt worth $350 (especially considering the fact that, for that price, you could buy twelve metres of high-quality doupioni silk -- or so I have discovered). It is 92% cotton, and 8% spandex. Oh, and it has a small zipper pocket on the back. This isn't even a valuable item of dress clothes, a beautiful pair of leather shoes or a high-quality jacket. It is a t-shirt.

For $350 dollars I could:
  • Pay my half of the rent, my parking spot, and a couple of utility bills;
  • Pay my tuition for the spring semester;
  • Buy three months' worth of groceries;
  • Buy a more-than-decent cappuccino maker;
  • Replace nearly my entire casual wardrobe;
  • Fly to Vancouver;
  • Buy that sewing machine I have my eye on, and sew my own silly t-shirt;
  • Sponsor a child for ten months; or
  • Buy a black t-shirt.

Such things give me rage, apparently.

But wait! For $1400, or now on sale for $749, I can have my own navel-exposing puffy parka. My mind reels at the specific situation in which this would be appropriate. Thank you, Prada. You have done the world a service.

So, I throw this one out to the crowd: how would you spend $350? Or can you explain to me why this is worth this much?


LynnieC said...

Dude. For $350 I could eat my weight in gummy bears at least 6 times. (I don't really know the retail value of gummy bears so if someone figures out that I could actually buy 2000 lbs of them, no that is NOT 6 times my weight).
But if you're looking at sewing machines, I'd check out the Northgate Sewing Centre, cause they have old school machines with metal parts and they last longer than the new machines. (Don't take my word for it, but this lady I met once who does quilts and clothing all the time told me). Or talk to Mrs Egar. She'll know.

Chris Reed said...

Man I want to thank you so much for this post. That navel exposing puffy parka is just the thing I have been looking for. I always find that my upper body is too cold while my stomach is far to hot. This should fix that!

Chris Reed said...

For $350 I would buy a never used 2002 imac with money to spare. At least I hope I would I will find out today.

arimich <> said...

I don't understand the point of a puffy parka. How is this anything even close to sensible? All the fashionistas are crazies! With $350, maybe I could put a down payment on a piano?

RK said...

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Also, take a look at my blog; very eye-opening:

Thomas said...

But imagine how much people will envy you in you wear designer clothes.

tall glass of vino said...

The t-shirt value is about $4, the embroidered Prada tag is what cost the additional $346

Anonymous said...

Maybe the zipper in the back is like made of some really really rare metal that's radioactive or something.
p.s. Chris, I will buy that belly-exposing puffy jacket for you if you promise you'll wear it.
p.p.s. Ohmigosh. Maryanne! Someone posted something obscene on your blog!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Hey, everyone, keep in mind that this is a family-friendly blog, and that troll activities and obscenities are deleted here.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

By the way, welcome to my humble blog, new people!

Debashis said...

@miss_chambers: "How is this anything even close to sensible? All the fashionistas are crazies!"
Who's the more insane - the madman, or the madman who follows him?

OK - this was a pretty good post that I enjoyed reading, as well as all the comments to boot. But it just goes to show how society perceives value, and how easily we can get sold onto a brand name...

Sure - its on sale for $749, and it normally costs $1400 - but lets face it - its a Parka with inadequate coverage! Hello!!!

And this is where good old commonsense usually helps... but then again, commonsense is any oxymoron - but that's another story.

As for the $350 in long green, lets see... I could spend it on:

1. A DVD burner, and a Thermal CD?DVD Label Printer with money to spare.
2. More RAM for my 3 computers - all 1GB x 3
3. A 4MP Canon Digital Camera with a 1GB Compact Flash Card, with some petty cash left in hand.
4. The Complete Box Sets for Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and the Matrix.
5. 3 Box Sets of the Harry Potter Collection of books.
6. Over 3 quarters of my monthly car payment.
7. A years supply of Dress Shirts (on Sale of course) from Kohl's
8. A years supply of Trousers (also on Sale) from Kohl's
9. Tickets for a group of 8 to the Green Day concert

I can think of a few things...


arimich <> said...

Hooray! Someone addressed a comment to me on someone else's blog! I feel important. :)

Jeff said...

I found your blogs on mikes website and this post really caught my fancy.

So for 350 i could...

*buy an i-pod
*carpayment + gas for the month
*buy 35 greater quality tshirts at walmart
*take my girl friend out for dinner 8-10 times


I could put a down payment on that parka you mentioned

Jen said...

Personally, for $350, I would buy enough gas for two and a half weeks (maybe...) OR save it like I am supposed to...

Sharon said...

I could do with a new stereo. And lots of new DVDs. And a new pair of glasses.