May 29, 2008
NOTHING COSTS MORE... (via The Mother Judd):
Dress for Less and Less (ERIC WILSON, 5/29/08, NY Times)
SINCE 1998, the price of a “Speedy” handbag — the entry-level style at Louis Vuitton — has more than doubled, to $685, indicative of a precipitous price increase throughout the luxury goods market. The price of Joe Boxer’s “licky face” underwear, meanwhile, has dropped by nearly half, to $8.99, representing just as seismic a shift at the other end of the fashion continuum, where the majority of American consumers do their shopping.
As luxury fashion has become more expensive, mainstream apparel has become markedly less so. Today, shoppers pay the same price for a basic Brooks Brothers men’s suit, $598, as they did in 1998. The suggested retail price of a pair of Levi’s 501 jeans, $46, is about $4 less than it was a decade ago. A three-pack of Calvin Klein men’s briefs costs $21.50, only $3.50 more than in 1998. Which is the better buy?
Factoring for inflation, each of these examples is actually less expensive today. In current dollars, the 1998 suit would cost $788, the jeans would be $66 and the underwear would be nearly $24. As consumers adjust to soaring prices for gasoline, food, education and medical care, just about the only thing that seems a bargain today is clothes — mainstream clothes, anyway.
Do we even want to know what licky face underwear is?
Posted by Orrin Judd at May 29, 2008 7:46 AM