How Much Should Your Clothes Cost? | Kanebridge News
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,480,538 (+0.01%)       Melbourne $960,899 (-0.26%)       Brisbane $805,943 (+0.49%)       Adelaide $760,890 (+0.51%)       Perth $651,708 (+0.03%)       Hobart $728,895 (+0.57%)       Darwin $613,579 (0%)       Canberra $946,216 (+2.14%)       National $956,035 (+0.37%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $696,616 (-0.38%)       Melbourne $470,588 (+0.14%)       Brisbane $450,511 (+0.19%)       Adelaide $370,041 (+0.13%)       Perth $363,377 (-0.48%)       Hobart $568,887 (+1.25%)       Darwin $342,547 (-0.28%)       Canberra $488,335 (+0.42%)       National $491,956 (+0.17%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 7,426 (+91)       Melbourne 10,303 (-71)       Brisbane 8,928 (-39)       Adelaide 2,407 (+20)       Perth 7,995 (-258)       Hobart 874 (-2)       Darwin 238 (-2)       Canberra 758 (-3)       National 38,557 (-264)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,833 (-17)       Melbourne 6,618 (-36)       Brisbane 1,828 (-2)       Adelaide 460 (-11)       Perth 2,177 (-9)       Hobart 126 (-3)       Darwin 336 (+5)       Canberra 425 (+7)       National 18,641 (-66)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $680 (+$15)       Melbourne $500 ($0)       Brisbane $560 (-$10)       Adelaide $520 (-$10)       Perth $550 ($0)       Hobart $560 (-$5)       Darwin $700 (+$5)       Canberra $700 (-$20)       National $606 (-$3)                    UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $600 ($0)       Melbourne $450 ($0)       Brisbane $498 ($0)       Adelaide $420 (-$8)       Perth $480 ($0)       Hobart $485 (+$13)       Darwin $550 ($0)       Canberra $550 (-$10)       National $514 (-$1)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,843 (+487)       Melbourne 6,880 (+741)       Brisbane 4,325 (+498)       Adelaide 1,251 (+157)       Perth 1,748 (+277)       Hobart 262 (+34)       Darwin 133 (+14)       Canberra 709 (+61)       National 21,516 (+2,269)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,300 (+770)       Melbourne 5,973 (+745)       Brisbane 1,753 (+273)       Adelaide 410 (+74)       Perth 731 (+171)       Hobart 119 (+13)       Darwin 249 (+21)       Canberra 641 (+63)       National 17,293 (+2,130)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.34% (↑)      Melbourne 2.69% (↑)        Brisbane 3.58% (↓)       Adelaide 3.60% (↓)     Perth 4.40% (↑)        Hobart 4.04% (↓)     Darwin 5.81% (↑)        Canberra 3.76% (↓)       National 3.30% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 4.47% (↑)        Melbourne 5.00% (↓)       Brisbane 5.88% (↓)       Adelaide 6.19% (↓)     Perth 7.21% (↑)      Hobart 4.59% (↑)      Darwin 8.41% (↑)        Canberra 5.89% (↓)       National 5.43% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 1.6% (↑)      Melbourne 1.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.5% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 1.0% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.5% (↑)      National 1.2% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 2.3% (↑)      Melbourne 2.8% (↑)      Brisbane 1.2% (↑)      Adelaide 0.7% (↑)      Perth 1.3% (↑)      Hobart 1.4% (↑)      Darwin 1.3% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)      National 2.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND       Sydney 35.4 (↑)      Melbourne 35.9 (↑)      Brisbane 42.8 (↑)      Adelaide 34.8 (↑)      Perth 43.1 (↑)      Hobart 37.2 (↑)      Darwin 49.3 (↑)      Canberra 38.3 (↑)      National 39.6 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND       Sydney 39.7 (↑)      Melbourne 36.4 (↑)      Brisbane 43.7 (↑)      Adelaide 33.8 (↑)      Perth 46.2 (↑)      Hobart 48.9 (↑)        Darwin 45.9 (↓)     Canberra 33.7 (↑)      National 41.0 (↑)            
Share Button

How Much Should Your Clothes Cost?

As the cost of living skyrockets, many shoppers are paying extra-close attention to the price of everything from denim to cashmere. We break down what it’s reasonable to pay for four quiet, high-quality menswear staples that will last.

By TODD PLUMMER
Fri, Jan 20, 2023 9:06amGrey Clock 5 min

WITH INFLATION at record highs and a possible recession looming, shoppers are scrutinizing clothing price-tags hard right now. Few will welcome what they’re about to see, said Margaret Bishop, a supply-chain expert who teaches at three top fashion schools in New York. “The cost of raw materials, labor and transport, and logistics have all risen…and I don’t see how we could avoid higher retail prices in 2023,” she said.

Even so, you needn’t get ripped off. If you want quiet, well-made items that will last—and you don’t require a hyped brand name or luxury logo, both of which hike up prices—how much should you expect to shell out? Here, we do the math for four wardrobe staples.

1. Cashmere Sweater

Look to pay: $325 and above

Much of the world’s cashmere comes from Mongolia, but not all cashmere goats’ shags are created equal. An all-important, industry-wide grading system delineates fibers according to length and width. Grade A denotes the finest, longest and most expensive cashmere, which creates the softest and most-durable sweaters. Fast-fashion brands peddling sub-$100 knits tend to use Grade B or C hairs, meaning they’re shorter, scratchier and more liable to pill and break down over time, said Edouard Leret, co-founder of New York cashmere brand Leret Leret.

If you crave a cozy sweater with stamina, Grade A is the way to go. But determining the hair pedigree of a prospective purchase isn’t exactly easy: In the U.S., brands aren’t obligated to list grades on tags—“100% cashmere” is no guarantee you’re getting top-quality fuzz. A good workaround? Look to brands that specify Grade A on their websites, and shop for sweaters in-person so you can feel for softness, a telltale sign. Grade A creations needn’t cost eye-watering, four-figure sums. Some brands manage costs by producing close to the cashmere source. Leret Leret, for instance, manufactures in Mongolia, “which allows us to sell at the price we do,” said Mr. Leret. His playful knits are emblazoned with contemporary artists’ designs and start at $475. Simpler sweaters will be cheaper still. Massachusetts brand Billie Todd is a good benchmark: Its unfussy crew necks, which use Grade A fibers spun at a leading Scottish mill, start at $325.

A soft, subdued cashmere knit

  • Knit in Scotland, it features a ribbed, sag-resistant neck.
  • Solid, ribbed trim at the cuffs and waist refuses to lose shape.
  • Grade-A cashmere—the softest, most-durable variety. Sweater, $325, BillieTodd.com

 

2. Oxford Shirt

Look to pay: $125 (or $175 for made-in-the-U.S.)

“A basic Oxford is pretty simple,” said Atlanta designer Sid Mashburn. What separates a prize button-up from a flimsier, forgettable one are nuances related to construction and finish. Brands make a calculated decision about how much their customer cares about these price-increasing details. For instance, Mr. Mashburn’s shirts are sewn with 22 stitches per inch as opposed to the standard 16. This more time-intensive construction results in a sturdier, more-polished product. Other features to consider: Are the buttons made from cheap plastic or lustrous trocas shell? Is the collar blessed with an inner lining that softens pleasingly over time or is it a cheaper, “fused” collar that remains rigor-mortis-stiff forever?

Mr. Mashburn’s Oxfords, which feature many such nice-to-haves, will set you back $125. He’s able to sell them for this amount—a reasonable sum considering the quality—because they’re sewn in Honduras, where manufacturing costs are lower than in the U.S. and much of Europe.

If you desire a made-in-the-U.S. shirt, prepare to cough up about $50 more. Philip Saul, owner of Boston store Sault New England, produces his shirts a mere 50 miles away in Fall River, Mass. They feature premium details similar to Mr. Mashburn’s but cost $178. “The same workers that make maybe $18 an hour were maybe getting $8 an hour 10 years ago, so it makes sense that quality, made-in-America things should cost more [now],” said Mr. Saul. When manufacturing costs for an item go up $5, he added, “the retail price goes up $10.”

An Oxford shirt with thoughtful details

  • A nicely rolled collar not a forever-stiff ‘fused’ variety.
  • Pearly, trocas-shell buttons as opposed to plastic versions.
  • 22 stitches per inch—sturdier than the standard 16 stitches. Shirt, $125, SidMashburn.com
3. Jeans

Look to pay: $100 for a megabrand, under $300 for an independent maker

All jeans begin with more or less the same quality cotton, but this seemingly simple raw material boasts “one of the most complex. supply chains because it’s so global,” said Ms. Bishop, the professor. Cotton is often grown on one continent and spun on another, before it is transformed into a specific denim via a seemingly infinite choice of washes, blends and finishes—selvedge, vintage, raw, bleached, stretch, you name it. The deluge of jeans styles makes it tricky to determine a universal standard for quality and value, said Aaron Levine, a designer who consults for brands including Aimé Leon Dore and Vince and was formerly senior vice president of men’s and women’s design at Abercrombie & Fitch. The quality of rivets and zippers, and presence of flourishes like embroidery, nudge up the cost, he added.

Arguably a bigger price determinant: the size of the denim brand. “[Household brands] have such massive economies of scale that they receive price breaks on both raw materials and manufacturing,” said Mr. Levine. Such breaks are seldom extended to smaller brands, he said, which is why jeans from independent labels often cost more than, say, Levi’s or Wranglers.

When assessing a potential purchase, Mr. Levine asks himself: “Does the fabric feel like it’s got guts and integrity? Is the stitching straight and even?” Though he might splurge on tough-to-find vintage jeans, he has hard limits when buying new styles. “[Even] if a pair of new jeans fits me perfectly, I won’t go over $300.”

A solid pair of jeans from a big-name brand

  • Mid-weight denim washed using less water foreco reasons.
  • Precise, even stitching is a sign of quality jeans. Jeans, $98, Everlane.com
4. Leather Belt

Look to pay: $100 max

A great belt can cost $100 or even less. At around that price point, you can get leather of sufficient quality that you see the grain and, when you touch it, “you feel ‘leather’—not plastic or enamel or any finishes,” said Yuki Matsuda, the founder of Los Angeles fashion brands Monitaly and Yuketen. Because it’s rarely complicated to make a belt, raw materials usually account for the bulk of the final price. “Most of [that] goes into the leather. but buckles can incur really wild prices,” said Mr. Matsuda, if they’re a masterfully handcrafted creation rather than a basic brass design.

For some of the best—and best-priced—belts, Mr. Matsuda advises seeking out seasoned, small-scale brands. One such standout: Narragansett Leathers in Damariscotta, Maine, whose owner, Alan McKinnon, has handmade vegetable-tanned, bridle-leather belts since 1969. “When I first started [my most popular models] were $7 and now they are $55, 50 years later,” said Mr. McKinnon.

Can’t make it to a one-man shop in Maine for your new cincher? Visit independent retailers closer to home and peruse their in-house lines. Sault, the Boston retailer, makes agreeably understated belts at a nearby factory; they cost $89 a pop.

A handsome belt featuring first-rate leather and a no-nonsense, stainless-steel buckle

  • Hand-stitching around the buckle is straight and even.
  • English bridle leather with some graininess—not overly smooth. Belt, $89, SaultNE.com
Blue Buys

We asked men in Midtown Manhattan what they’d fork over for a pair of jeans.

“Probably, like, $50. I love to thrift—that’s where I find most of the jeans I like.”

—Dalton Bleckman, 19, student

“Up to $200. It depends on the occasion, what I’m wearing it for. [I’ll] go down to $40-60 but if it’s a name brand I’ll go up.”

—Frank Henderson, 62, works on convertible bonds desk

“100 bucks, 150 maybe. I like Levi’s. I think this pair [I’m wearing] are from Uniqlo. They’re quite cheap: 30-40 euros.”

—Tommaso Noseda, 32, consultant

“120 bucks. I like AG and Diesel. These [ones I’m wearing] are Zara, [they cost] under 60 bucks, probably.”

—Yoni Ron, 37, works in software sales

MOST POPULAR

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

Related Stories
Lifestyle
Where Are Stocks, Bonds and Crypto Headed Next? Five Investors Look Into Crystal Ball
By CAITLIN MCCABE 30/01/2023
Money
High-Earning Men Are Cutting Back on Their Working Hours
By Courtney Vinopal 27/01/2023
Money
Corporate Layoffs Spread Beyond High-Growth Tech Giants
By CHIP CUTTER 27/01/2023
High-Earning Men Are Cutting Back on Their Working Hours

While most U.S. workers are putting in fewer hours, men in the top 10% of earners cut back their time on the job the most, according to a new study

By Courtney Vinopal
Fri, Jan 27, 2023 4 min

American workers have cut the number of hours they spend in their jobs since 2019, but no group has dialled back its time on the clock more than young, high-earning men whose jobs typically demand long hours.

The top-earning 10% of men in the U.S. labor market logged 77 fewer work hours in 2022, on average, than those in the same earnings group in 2019, according to a new study of federal data by the economics department at Washington University in St. Louis. That translates to 1.5 hours less time on the job each workweek, or a 3% reduction in hours. Over the same three-year period, the top-earning 10% of women cut back time at work by 29 hours, which translates to about half an hour less work each week, or a 1% reduction.

High-earning men in the 25-to-39 age range who could be described as “workaholics” were pulling back, often by choice, says Yongseok Shin, a professor of economics, who co-wrote the paper. Since this group already put in longer hours than the typical U.S. worker—and women at the highest income levels—these high earners had longer work days to trim, Dr. Shin says, and still worked more hours than the average.

The drop in working hours among high-earning men and women helps explain why the U.S. job market is even tighter than what would be expected given the current levels of unemployment and labour force participation, Dr. Shin says.

“These are the people who have that bargaining power,” Dr. Shin says of the leverage many workers have had over their employers in a tight job market. “They have the privilege to decide how many hours they want to work without worrying too much about their economic livelihood.”

The paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which isn’t yet peer reviewed, suggests high earners were more likely to benefit from flexible working arrangements, which could be a factor in reduced work hours.

Before the pandemic, Eli Albrecht, a lawyer in the Washington, D.C., area, says he worked between 80 to 90 hours a week. Now, he says he puts in 60 to 70 hours each week. That’s still more than most men in America, who averaged 40.5 hours a week in 2021, according to federal data.

Mr. Albrecht’s schedule changed when he shared Zoom school duties for two of his young children with his wife. He’s maintained the reduced hours because it’s making his relationship more equitable, he says, and gives him family time.

“I used to feel—and a lot of dads used to feel—that just by providing for the family financially, that was sufficient. And it’s just not,” Mr. Albrecht says.

The downshift documented by Dr. Shin and his colleagues occurred as many professionals have been reassessing their ambitions and the value of working long hours. Emboldened by a strong job market, millions of Americans quit their jobs in search of better hours and more flexibility.

Overall, U.S. employees worked 18 fewer hours a year, on average, in 2022 compared with 2019, with employed men putting in 28 fewer hours last year and employed women cutting their time by nine hours, data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey show. The average male worker put in 2,006 hours last year, while the average female worker logged 1,758 hours.

Separate data from the Census Bureau suggests that men with families, in particular, are working less. Between 2019 and 2021, married men devoted roughly 13 fewer minutes, on average, to work each day, according to the American Time Use Survey, which hasn’t yet published 2022 figures. They spent more time on socialising and relaxing, as well as household activities, according to men surveyed by the Census Bureau. The amount of time unmarried men spent on work changed little during that same period.

As high-earning workers in the U.S. cut back, low-wage workers increased their hours, according to Dr. Shin’s research. The bottom-earning 10% of working men logged 41 hours more in 2022, on average, than in 2019. Women in the lowest earning group boosted their hours worked by 52 last year compared with 2019.

While women work fewer hours than men, the unpaid labor they perform outside of their jobs has been well documented. Many working mothers take what’s termed a “second shift,” devoting more time outside work hours to child care and housework.

Maryann B. Zaki, a mother of three who has worked at several firms, including in big law, recently launched her own practice in Houston, giving her more control over her hours. She says she’s noticed more men in her field opting for reduced schedules, sometimes working 80% of the hours normally expected—which can range from 40 to more than 80 a week—in exchange for a 20% pay cut. For the average lawyer, that would amount to a salary reduction of tens of thousands of dollars each year; such arrangements were initially offered to aid working mothers.

Responding to new expectations of work-life balance may be particularly vexing for industries already facing staffing shortages, such as those in medicine. Dr. Lotte Dyrbye, the chief well-being officer for the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said she often hears from early-career physicians and other medical professionals who want to work fewer hours to avoid burnout.

These medical workers are deciding that to be in it for the long haul requires a day every week or two to decompress, Dr. Dyrbye says. But as staff cut back their hours, it costs medical organisations money and may compromise access to care.

MOST POPULAR

Interior designer Thomas Hamel on where it goes wrong in so many homes.

The iconic bootmaker is now solely in local hands.

0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop