They just don’t make things like they used to anymore.
That’s something you just might notice when you shop for new back-to-school clothes for the kids or purchase clothes for yourself in the near future.
So if you lose a button on your new shirt, or get a hole in an embarrassing spot on those new Capri pants…don’t be surprised.
Retailers are actually making cheaper clothes because they want to keep your business.
Stores are expected to raise prices on clothing merchandise by about 10% this fall to offset things like the high price of cotton and labor costs.
However, they also know that consumers like you don’t have a lot of extra money to spend, and they don’t want to scare you away. So to keep prices from getting too high, they’re just making cheaper clothes.
They do that by using less expensive fabric or just less fabric in general…sexy!
Then they will tell you that it’s “the new style”, that it is “already broken in” or has a “softer feel.”
For that you can thank the work of sly copywriters who’ve watched a few too many episodes of Mad Men and are aspiring to be the next Don Draper.
If clothing retailers don’t chintz on the material, they’ll try to add a little value and jack up the price a lot.
For instance, an Associated Press story on clothing quality claims Land’s End is adding buttons and stitching to girl’s corduroy pants to justify raising the price $7.
These little extras may only cost a few extra cents, but the price will jump significantly to cover production and labor expenses. But you feel like you’re getting more for your money…so I guess it’s okay!
Abercrombie & Fitch is introducing new jeans for 2012 calling them “softer” with the “perfect amount of stretch.” But a retail analyst who took a look at the denim for the AP says the truth is they are actually “thinner” and of a “cheaper quality.”
It’s funny, because I’ve noticed something strange going on in my closet the past few years. For some reason, I still have dress shirts that I wore in college, and even some favorite t-shirts I wore in high school. But a lot of the clothes I’ve purchased recently are already completely worn out.
There are rips in the elbows of my shirts, and buttons have popped of khaki’s I got last Christmas. I suppose that could be attributed to my expanding gut…but I’m just saying…it’s an interesting coincidence.
Of course, we know that clothing retailers aren’t the only ones making deceiving moves like this. You’ll also find some nasty tricks in the grocery store where prices have gone up while size and weight have gone down. Read more about that in our post “Food Price Inflation – What You Haven’t Noticed.”
+Kasey Steinbrinck honed his writing skills as a TV producer and newspaper reporter. He now blogs on personal finance and the economy for Check Advantage. Visit the site today to find cheap personal and business checks including Quicken Checks and Scenic Checks.