The Era of the $100 Shirt

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  diorromance 3 weeks ago.

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    To start off, don’t share your income if you don’t want to, but for those who choose to, get as specific or not specific as you want to, I’m just trying to get a better picture here. From exact numbers for income and money spent on fashion to a rough percentage, please don’t feel pressured.

    So I was reading the Lyst index of best selling fashion brands, which off-white topped. One of the reasons listed for this was the “For All” collection, a collection made so that people who can’t usually afford luxury clothing can buy Off-White. I found it weird that almost none of the articles had pricing for this collection. When found one that did, I saw $95 for a shirt and $170 for a hoodie.

    This left me with even more questions. Those prices are higher than anything I would spend, but I don’t have much disposable income right now. And at a point when I did, I wasn’t spending that much money on clothes. But my problem is I don’t really see a market for this collection at all. People who make more money can afford to spend 1k+ on the high end off-white pieces. But that’s obviously a small section of the population. Some people who only make 2k a month might spend 1k on an off-white piece, but again, those are outliers.

    In my head there are 3 main groups of streetwear purchasers: The big spender full designer guys, the thrifter who might buy a piece from grailed once in awhile and the mid-range hype beast brand guy. I personally haven’t met anyone who doesn’t roughly fall into one of these groups.

    So how did the For All collection do so well? I can’t think of any reason. In the era of people buying expensive items, posing with them on Instagram and returning them the next day, how is a $95 T-shirt viable?

    So please help me get a better understanding of this situation. For those who cop often in this price range is it usually a spur of the moment thing or do you budget and pick your pieces carefully? What gives the shirt this sort of value to you? Is it an admiration for the style of your favorite celebrity? The graphics? The material? The brand image? Would you spend the same amount on an unknown brand if you enjoyed their products?

    For those that don’t, what price point would you consider “For All”? Is there a piece you would pay that price for that isn’t off-white? What could someone add to that shirt to make you more comfortable with that price point?

    TL:DR; What are your fashion spending habits like? In the categories of budgeting, frequency/amount of purchasing, and planning or impulse(saving for a piece vs. seeing an IG ad and purchasing).



    The only reason that particular line sold well is because of the hype around Off-White as a brand. If you look at the mainline offerings, $100 for a tee is comparatively cheap and you get to buy into the brand.

    A large demographic that is consuming these types of goods is the growing Chinese middle class who, being relatively new money, are scrambling to buy into the things that they have always associated with wealth to display their newfound social status. [Bloomberg](

    Besides that, the culture of hype and reselling is continuing to grow as a viable business, especially for younger demographics. StockX, Grailed, Hypebeast, Complex, etc. all provide avenues for kids to buy and sell sought-after items for the sake of showing off to their friends or even as independent businesses. This buy/sell market has actually created a number of wealthy teens [Forbes]( This is particularly true with limited drops such as For All. [BBC](

    In the era of social media, teens in particular are becoming increasingly depressed and have lower self-esteem because of the highlight snapshots they see in IG, Snapchat, etc. There’s a lot of research around this new phenomenon but it also makes intuitive sense because you’re comparing your whole life to what is perceived as these fantastic, perfect lives of your peers and idols.

    Off-White, in particular, started off simply because of Virgil’s connections with the likes of Kanye West after his Pyrex Vision test ironically died in a fire. Kanye’s influence, the desire to seek and display wealth, and a super recognizable signature all contribute to why people are willing to pay a premium for Off-White.

    That being said, with any clothing you can’t only put a price on the product without any context. If I value social perception very highly, $100 is a small price to pay to buy into a brand that I perceive as having a high social value proposition. It’s easy to write that off if you’re looking in from the outside.



    Most I’ll pay for a shirt is $100, and that’s when I order from a shirting company like Proper Cloth. I’ve got a long torso, so most in-store shirts I buy aren’t long enough to tuck in.

    J Crew’s Tall sizes fit me weird, unless it’s a Tall Slim (of which their are about 3 in existence).



    I would be hard pressed to pay that much for a shirt, unless you have some non-standard size or other special requirement You can find quality products for much less.

    Quality > brand name. Charging that much for something that simple and inexpensive to make is just a business strategy to part rich people with disposable income from their money.

    On the other hand, I would seldom spend less that $100 for a pair of shoes or a outer coat because all good ones cost that much, unless you find a good sale or something like that.



    I would only ever spend $100 on a shirt if there’s something especially great about it. Everyone shits on Macklemore but he was on to something with the whole “$50 for a T-shirt that’s just some ignorant bitch shit”



    The market is clearly urban and suburban kids whose parents have disposable income.

    You really didn’t think all those 15 year olds buying and trading Off White and Supreme where self funded, did you?

    Also, these clothes are not stylish nor quality, they are just fashionable, so the only other Demo buying would be younger people with actual income who still feel the need to impress teenagers with their fashion choices.

    Oh, and those who have to look the part / use the clothing for their day jobs (profesional skaters, musicians, etc)



    I have a couple of Kamakura shirts. They are worth $100 and I doubt I’d be willing to pay that much for any other shirt unless I bumped up 2 tax brackets. Even then id only pay more for tailored shirts.



    I’d take two nice and fresh looking $50 shirts over a $100 shirt any day.



    $100 only for some esoteric fabric and/or print. And even then it’s gotta be on sale (looking straight at our legacy here)

    Sometimes $100 for a proper shirt jacket or a really nice denim shirt/shirt jacket but even that falls under the previous paragraph

    90% of the time I’m wearing a shirt shirt I’m wearing it under a blazer or tux so all I care about is how light it is. Costco Kirkland white shirts FTW

    If you include polos I’ll spend a max of $70 for a Sunspel on sale. They’re really incredible and worth the money

    Edit: I missed the t shirt qualifier. My bad



    The only way i’d buy an off-white t shirt is to resell it marked up later. I don’t care for any of it.

    Me personally, i’ll spend $25-$50 for most T shirts. J Crew, B. Rep., Champion, A band T Shirt, etc.

    The very *most* i’ll spend on a t shirt is about $80. I spent this much for a long sleeve Fred Perry shirt and i don’t regret it. I love t shirts and they’re pretty much all i wear when i’m not working in an office setting or at a meeting /etc.

    I don’t really buy branded shit cause its marked up by at least 25% for just the logo.



    I personally wouldn’t spend that much on Off-White but that’s partially because I prefer vintage and enjoy the thrill of the hunt from thrifting. I’d have no issue with it if I were into Off-White because the clothing holds its value if you take care of it. Eg: buy an off-white hoodie, wear it for a couple seasons and take care of it, sell it for around 80% of what you bought it for or for more than retail if it was a sought after design that sold out.

    I suppose if you buy from the main line (which is considerably more expensive), you could also collect some of the pieces in hope that they’ll go up in price exponentially over time. I don’t know enough to make an educated guess on whether that’ll happen with Virgil designed clothing, but some older Raf Simons is stupidly expensive. A bomber jacket from his 2001 fall/winter collection recently sold for $47k because of how rare and sought after it is.



    I’ve had the same problems as you, wondering how I can ever afford all the clothes I want. But I eventually found compromises.

    Instead of buying high-end shoes from SLP or Crockett&Jones, I look for similar styles in Clarks, Velasca, Meermin, or Shoe the Bear.

    Instead of splurging on designer shirts and sweaters, I browse through everything Scotch&Soda had to offer. Most of it is unwearable, but sometimes, they deliver great prints.

    For tailored menswear, I rely on Boggi Milano. It’s Italian, with high-end vibes, at a really acceptable price point.

    Thankfully, I’m not into hypebeast streetwear — at all. No clue how to replace that.



    I always get items on sale. Paying full retail for anything in clothing is unnecessary unless they need it immediately or they’re born rich.

    I always plan my purchases in advance such as this upcoming Black Friday.



    I have alot of custom made dress and casual shirts from my tailor. I pick out the materials and they style and cut and he does his thing. My most expensive is a tuxedo shirt that ran about 200? I don’t remember exactly, but normally it runs about 50-80 for a shirt. They last for years.



    A T shirt is only worth 100 or more if it is loopwheeled, reconstructed or some laborious labor was done to it like sashiko or boro.

    I always buy used except for underwear and socks



    I don’t spend much on t-shirts (have one that is $105). But I will spend a lot on other clothes. My wardrobe is probably costs thousands of dollars worth of clothing including pieces and shirts from Burberry and Ralph Lauren purple label. Then several thousand more in terms of shoes and accessories. Income is shit as I’m still finishing college but my parents are well-off. I’ll admit to being a bit of a brand junkie but if I see a piece or shirt I like, I’ll buy it. I love Gucci, Burberry, Ralph Lauren purple label, and all of the high end brand and plan on buying exclusively from these brands once I establish myself financially after college.

    Never do I buy something purely because of the brand though. I look for a few elements including the uniqueness of the piece, how functional it might be and does it fit with other pieces I own, quality/craftsmanship and country of origin, do I have a positive reaction to the piece, and then i partially consider it in terms of the brand. Is it from a brand with prestige known for its luxury production.

    So answering your questions: it is largely spur of the moment, although more so it I find deals. I can get four $92 shirts from brooks brothers for $200? I’m sold. I can get a $500 Ralph Lauren apurple label shirt that looks good and is made in Italy for $200? Sold. I don’t really budget for my clothes and buy whenever I see a piece I like and that is within a reasonable price range since I have a pretty “full” and expansive wardrobe to start. I usually don’t spend much more than $200 for button downs or $100 for t shirts. Around holidays or birthdays, I usually get a piece worth $1000+ But it is typically more likely to be an accessory or coat/suit than a shirt.




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