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Old 02-18-2008, 09:30 AM   #1
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Default How much more will you pay for quality?

How much is quality worth to you, when it comes to clothes?

The question is on my mind right now, due to a couple of things this weekend. (my son was off at a cub camp, so we had time to do some shopping, amongst other things)

As with many bigger women, my wife has trouble finding bras that fit well and hold up well. She’d bought four new ones last summer that are still OK, but what she has older than that are really in rough shape and or are not her current size. The ones she’d bought last summer were when we were down in the US on vacation, and those styles have been discontinued so we could not just mail order more of the same. Now, it happens that not from our house opened up a very chi-chi bra store, which amongst other things brags of carrying a very broad range of sizes (I think up to a J cup?). I knew it would be expensive, so for Christmas I got her a $100 gift card for the store, thinking that would at least get a bra.

This weekend I finally got her to go the store. The staff were excellent, and my wife says her education level on the whole bra issue has improved substantially. In the end, she did buy a bra. It fits her like nothing she’s ever had before (says her husband, appreciatively), and is in and of itself a beautiful thing. It is imported from England, and apparently the manufacturer is “by appointment to her majesty the queen” (talk about product placement that makes you go “uuuhhhh, maybe I didn’t want to know that!”). It was on sale for 30% off, and still cost a chunk more than the gift card was worth. In short, a truly great and lovely bra, but at something like three times the price of what you would normally call a good quality bra at full price.

I need new dress slacks for work, and while I had not really gone shopping yet, I had set aside $200 dollars, with the intention that this time I get some decent quality pants that fit properly (alterations being a distinct possibility). This is made a bit harder because I’m allergic to wool, and mid-priced wool looks nice, is easy to alter, and is not crazy expensive. Cotton pants can be taken in, but not really let out (the seam shows). Also having a combination of having an originally short waist, a rather rounded belly, no hips, and biggish bum, getting pants that come close to fitting well is not always easy, and I know that a lot of mass market stores have standard cuts that do not work well on me.

We happened to have some time while passing a Harry Rosen--the most up-market chain of men’s stores in Canada-- so we decided to go in and have me try on some pants in there. I don’t normally shop in Harry Rosen, as it is beyond my price point as a general rule. Still, I was thinking maybe I’d find great pants for a hundred bucks, much more than I’d normally pay, so it was worth checking. Well, after trying on a few different styles and sizes, I did find a great pair. Gorgeous cotton that I think would iron like a dream as well as feeling great next to the skin, fit well with no alterations required, being both very comfortable and looking good on me according to my wife. The only thing is, they cost nearly two hundred bucks, before taxes. I left the store without the pants, not willing to go over my budget and get only one pair of pants. But man, they were nice, and most probably would hold up well too.

So this weekend we paid “too much” once to get better quality, and declined to do so once. Then I happened to see a reference to a wine tasting done by some newspaper, where in a blind tasting a ninety dollar wine was rated as twice as good as a ten dollar wine. I thought that was kind of fascinating. Twice as good is clearly much better, but at nines time the price? But I think that is roughly the trend in luxury goods. Once you go beyond a basic decent quality, you can still get much better, but the price goes up much faster than the quality level.

So, how far are you willing to go up that quality curve?
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:30 AM   #2
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I say if it's not within my budget then I have no reason to get it. Unless they can guarentee it lasts forever then I don't bother.
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:41 AM   #3
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Arrow another option

Buy Dockers. They are nice and do not cost $200!
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:13 AM   #4
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For me, it really depends on the product. i have no problem throwing down $100 - $200 for a pair of shoes, but i nearly refuse to pay more than $50 for a pair of pants. But i know i'll get years of comfort from a pricey pair of shoes whereas jeans/pants rarely last long for me and are destined to get very stained.

i probably wouldn't mind paying a lot for a good bra, however i have yet to find a bra worth it.

Fit is usually my dealmaker, if it fits me well i'll almost shell out anything!
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:58 AM   #5
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Hmmm...I don't always assume that paying more means the quality is better.

I have a pair of Ellen Tracy pumps that are the most uncomfortable shoes I've had on my feet, while a pair of shoes I picked up at Naturalizer are one of my favorites.

I don't mind paying more for better quality though -- I am going for a real bra fitting at Intimacy next month and I'm excited about it. I know I'm going to shell out a pretty penny for the bras, but it's worth it to me. Foundations sort of make or break the silouhette of your bod...

But other things like handbags, sunglasses, etc...I'm always up for a bargain. I love Loehmann's, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls for great styles and cheapie prices. In fact, I'll be honest -- there isn't much in my overflowing walk in closet that I paid full retail price for.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:23 PM   #6
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I'm afraid I always check the quality first - if I think its good stuff and well made then I'll check the price label and see what I think. If it's not good quality then I don't want it at any price.

I can appreciate that some people find the prices of the lingerie on my site too expensive, and I'm the first to admit they are luxurious items. I can honestly say that the quality is superlative though and I'm very proud to supply them. I love the fact that not only are the best in larger sizes, they're the best in ANY size! That to me makes all the difference.

I've been racking my brain to see if I can think of an exception to this and I only have one - Kitchen Roll! Living with someone who can never tear off a single sheet and always rips off 20 at a time for even the smallest drop of spilled liquid means I buy the very cheapest I can find. I don't care how hideous the design is on them, I shop solely on maximum no of sheets per penny! (and then hide them in a cupboard!)

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Old 02-19-2008, 03:00 AM   #7
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I'd love to get quality but can't afford it. So I end up getting what I like & can afford. When ordering from plus catalogs, I always use coupons...
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:00 AM   #8
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I will pay substantially more for quality especially in the areas of clothing and food.

My experience has been clothing from plus size retailers like Lane Bryant's are made of inexpensive material and cut poorly. Whereas I can spend a bit more elsewhere and get clothes that are more flattering and last longer. It is important to note that most plus size retailers are terribly overpriced for the quality of items they offer so bumping up is not that budget breaking.


In my 20's I shopped at all the chain plus size shops because there were not that many options available. Recently I ventured back into Lane Bryant's because I needed an item immediately and was quickly reminded why I do not spend my money there.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:55 AM   #9
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Ash--Be super careful about cheap sunglasses. I've read that the cheaper models often don't screen out the 100% UV A/B rays and what winds up happening is they shade your eyes a bit, your corneas open up, but because they are not screening out the harmful rays as need be, you wind up absorbing more sunlight.

With many items, saving money in the short run often turns into something being more costly because it needs to be replaced. I will spend money on a purse, but I've had the same one for 10 years. Since I hate trendy stuff, I've never bought anything that really went out of style or looked dated or lost my taste for.

You do need to figure out if going up in price will actually result in higher quality. With bras for instance, a $50 one will typically be of higher quality than a $10 one, but a $100 won't be exponentially better than the one that cost $50. Largely the same with shoes and cosmetics.
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBHMS View Post
Ash--Be super careful about cheap sunglasses. I've read that the cheaper models often don't screen out the 100% UV A/B rays and what winds up happening is they shade your eyes a bit, your corneas open up, but because they are not screening out the harmful rays as need be, you wind up absorbing more sunlight.

With many items, saving money in the short run often turns into something being more costly because it needs to be replaced. I will spend money on a purse, but I've had the same one for 10 years. Since I hate trendy stuff, I've never bought anything that really went out of style or looked dated or lost my taste for.

You do need to figure out if going up in price will actually result in higher quality. With bras for instance, a $50 one will typically be of higher quality than a $10 one, but a $100 won't be exponentially better than the one that cost $50. Largely the same with shoes and cosmetics.
No, when I said cheap, I meant as far as price...not quality. That's why I love Loehmann's -- I can pick up a pair of shades for $100 instead of the regularly priced $350 ticket...the same goes for handbags. I have a thing for great handbags, but I don't ever pay full price.

But thanks for the words of caution.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:56 AM   #11
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Default I love quality as much as....

....the next guy (or girl) but when you don't have the $$, then you don't, and that's just the way it is for some of us. I know that, generally, clothes from Ulla Popken, Plus Woman, Love Your Peaches, etc. are better quality than Lane Bryant, Woman Within, et al. But at WW I can get a new dress for under $30 with a coupon, and they are always offering coupons and specials. At PW, a dress can cost over $100, and it's still only ONE dress. So I usually end up buying at the cheaper places.

Often, too, as you get older you tend to "cheap down". I mean, I'm starting to see 60 approaching, and how many clothes do I actually NEED at this point in my life?? I no longer carry a purse, never wear a watch, and have cut down dramatically on the amount of makeup I wear. Yup, I tend to walk on the cheap side on almost all occasions now.

But that's me. Were I younger, with my way to make in the world, living in a more urban area, had a job where a dress code counts, I couldn't afford to be so cavalier about this stuff, now could I? I guess enjoying a $25 new dress from, say, Woman Within, made of Ye Olde cotton-poly, is a freedom I get to enjoy 'cause I'm old, rural, and retired!!!
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:39 AM   #12
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I tend to avoid spending a lot of money on trendy stuff that I won't be interested in a year later. I'll spend good mony on electronics, furniture or things I will use every day that need to be durable and long lasting but I won't pay a lot for clothes and shoes. I'm not the type to want to wear the same thing day in and day out for years and years. If I'm still wearing an outfit I bought 5 years ago it's because I was burried in it.
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:01 AM   #13
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If I were a strategic shopper I would spend more on basics( jeans, classic pea coat, the little black dress etc) and less on stuff thats trendy just this season.
But unfortunately I don't. It more tempting buying 4 cute dresses instead of 1 amazing one.

I'm quite the opposite of Carol W, actually. I'm probably going to spend more money on quality clothes the older I get. Then I'm hopefully not as broke as I am now. The student loan just wont keep up with my spendings.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:47 AM   #14
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I agree with Carol W. Just can't afford to pay alot of $$$ for stuff. Getting stuff cheap means I can have more clothes & am able to find trendier stuff in the cheaper places...
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