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Why Are Designer Clothes So Expensive? – 7 Reasons For The Luxury Price Tag

Fashion, Men's Style Guides
Monday, 15th August, 2022

Why Are Designer Clothes Expensive?

Have you ever looked at designer clothing and wondering why it’s so expensive?

There’s plenty of reasons, so I’m going to go into why luxury and designer clothes are so expensive.

You’re Paying For The Label (Brand)

There is no doubt that a big factor in expensive clothing is the branding that goes along with it. You are paying for the label. But is that the only thing you’re paying for?

In some cases yes, but a lot of the time there’s a lot more to expensive clothes than just a logo or brand on the piece of clothing.

Paying for branding means you’re paying for everything about the brand. That includes things you’ve probably not thought about, such as the marketing and advertising along with everything else you love about that brand.

Wearing a particular brand means you’re part of that club, whatever brand it is. That can make you feel like you have a better social standing, and make you feel on a higher standing than if you were wearing a no-brand piece of clothing.

Advertising And Marketing

As touched on above, a big reason for the cost of luxury clothing is the advertising and marketing.

You’ll often see designer and luxury brands being advertised on TV, social media, all across the Internet and with large billboard campaigns.

There’s often celebrities, models, brand ambassadors and other famous people who advertise and market luxury brands, which pushes up the price of the clothing.

Luxury Clothes Made In The West In Smaller Quantities

For your average cheap clothing brands, you’ll find that a lot of the clothes will be mass produced, usually in the far east or south east Asia. That means the cost per garment can be kept at a low price, so can be sold cheap too.

When it comes to some designer clothing, it can be (but not always) different. Clothing can be made in much smaller quantities and made in the west. These two things along will push up the prices so the fashion label can make money.

You’ll see Made In Italy, Made In France and Made In England labels on fashion brands such as Sunspel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Dior to name only a few.

Making clothes in smaller quantities can also lead to better fits, and as we know getting the right size of clothing for your body is critical. The better fitting your clothes, the better you’ll look, no matter what the label is.

Quality Craftsmanship

Since we’ve established that some designer menswear is made in the West, it’s time to talk about craftsmanship or manufacturing. While cheaper pieces will be mass produced, more luxurious pieces may be made by experts in their trade.

A good example could be shoes. Northamptonshire is one of the homes to shoemaking in the UK, with a lot of high end luxury shoemakers being based here. These cost a lot more than mass produced “made in the east” shoes.

Brands such as Loake Shoes, Church’s and Crockett & Jones are just 3 high end shoemakers which produce shoes made in the UK in Northamptonshire.

Loake 1881 Shoes Are Made In England

My Loake Aldwych Shoes which are Made in England

Better Quality Materials

Luxury fashion labels may also use better quality materials to make their garments. Not all jeans and t-shirts are created equally. While similar materials can be used, the luxury brands may use better quality or higher end materials.

Two labels may use cotton for t-shirts, but a more expensive label may use a high quality cotton and manufactured to a higher standard.

Many luxury jeans are made using selvedge denim.

Attention To Detail

Luxury brands are more likely to have better attention to detail. In items such as shirts and t-shirts this could be better quality stitching, or a better fit.

In jeans and jackets this could be better quality zippers, buttons or rivets and other details on the garment. Working with smaller quantities can mean more attention to detail, but this also leads to higher costs, and therefore higher retail prices.

Paying For Exclusivity

As with production of smaller quantities, there’s less available, which means for many luxury brands you’re paying for exclusivity. The production of smaller runs can be entirely deliberate even when the production costs are low.

This is to drive demand, and when there’s more demand than supply, prices can be pushed up.

This can even be seen in the resale market where sought after clothing or trainers are bought and sold for much higher than their retail value, just based on exclusivity.

 Summary: Why Are Designer Clothes So Expensive?

Designer clothing is expensive for a number of reasons. Brand recognition, quality materials and manufacturing, exclusivity and detailing are all key factors for why designer clothing is expensive.

It is true that a lot of the time you are paying for the label, but there can be a lot more to it than that.

Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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