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Denim: Why so expensive?


I never knew the commodity of denim jeans was so expensive when I saw an episode of Oprah when she had Beyonce and Tina Knowles on. They showed some of the clothes in the collection. And then, they brought it out: the House of Dereon jeans. I remember Oprah got a pair. Then Oprah dropped a bombshell: These jeans cost $310.00. So, “you need to work,” she said. Man, who can afford that?! Yes, you need to work. Apparently drug dealer assistant is open nationwide. Do you thing Levi Strauss was selling his jeans for three hundred dollars? The first pair of jeans probably cost less than that to make. According to the Great Idea Finder, the first pair of blue jeans, which were called overalls at the time, cost $1.25 in 1885. Levi Strauss & Company obtained a patent for riveted clothing in 1873 and was the only company allowed to make this type of denim until the patent expired. (-www.answerbag.co.uk )

My experience with denim jeans has been in the mid- to low-range department. When I could afford it, I bought some jeans in the $13-$20 range. I would wear them a couple of times before my girth would take over and I would revert to pants with elastic. As I got older, I was too embarrassed to shop for big size jeans so I opted to the mail order route. Again, I would wear jeans a couple of times before getting frustrated with my weight. It’s a vicious, costly cycle. I bet you’re wondering what I did with all these jeans I’m not wearing. I gave them away. But I do know where denim jeans go before they die. Thrift stores. St. Vincent DePaul, Salvation Army, etc. I’m sure you know a few lesser known stores. This is where clothes come from that stores can’t sell or items the public doesn’t even want anymore. I know one store DAV Thrift Store where jeans cost less than four or five dollars.

I only have a few magazines at my disposal and I was flipping through the January 2007 issue of The Source and saw a pair of metallic-looking jeans cost $545. Jeans don’t look that hot compared to the model wearing them, for instance. And that’s exactly my point. Who needs to spend over five hundred dollars for an article of clothing? Clearly, they’re trying to overcompensate for something lacking in other areas. Most people in 2010-11need to save up money for a little “body improvement.” Like me for instance. i could stand to lose some pounds. In August 2005 issue of The Source I saw some jeans with what looks like Army stripes on the knees cost $145. That’s still a little steep. Prices aren’t just expensive for denim jeans. Denim shirts have also gone up considerably. In the new Teen Vogue (Dec/Jan 2011 issue), they show six shirts at various prices. Well, only five had prices listed. The least expensive is a William Rast For Target, available at Target.com that cost $35. Not bad. Even I’d pay for that. Next up the scale is a DKNY Jeans shirt available from dknyjeans.com that cost $59. I can see a Donna Karan shirt costing that much. Towards the middle of the pack is a denim shirt from Lucky Brand (luckyband.com ) that cost $70. Slightly higher up is the Les Halles (leshallesjeans.com ) shirt costing $88! Wow, must be nice to afford a shirt above fifty dollars. Oh, and AG Adriano Goldschmied (agjeans.com ) cost a whopping $175! Who is Adriano Goldschmied anyway? I want to put my nmame on clothes and charge ridiculous prices, too. Well, I have to end this article on a happy note. In the days of a dwindling recession, foreclosure and jobs going overseas, I don’t see how even wealthy citizens can spend affluently. Where do most of these clothes end up when a season ends, customers refusing to buy higher end clothes and/or stores can’t see them fast enough? They either end up stored in the back of closets, basements, attics, garages. Or they end up in the thrift store depots for an ordinary person’s treasure. Or they end up in the landfill. Nearly 24 billion pounds of clothing end up in landfills. Is that the legacy we want to leave behind? I don’t think so. Change begins now.

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