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Sunday, February 5, 2012

WSJ Breaks Down Cost of Garment

In case you missed this: the Wall Street Journal presents an anatomy of a high-end polo shirt. With a retail price of over $150.00, the most expensive piece of its production is US labor at $11.00.

Sadly, I think that many similarly priced items are made abroad for pennies in labor, with more going to the manufacturers. So the polo people are fighting the good fight.

What do you think of the polo shirt?


Shelley said...

Can't recall having ever owned a polo shirt, for some reason. I think they came into mainstream fashion about the time I was more interested in suits and heels. I seem to remember that I never met a 'petite' sized polo shirt and anything else just looked sloppy. This company seems to make a nice, comfortable product, but not one I am likely to pay the retail or even wholesale price for. On the whole, polos aren't high on my priority list, largely because I live in the wrong climate, but also because I wan't more feminine or more distinctive clothing for my middle aged years. Interesting to see why stores can come up with 50% - 70% off sales, because they hiked the price so much to start.

Jane W. said...

It's always sobering to learn the "true" cost of things. And $11 is hardly exorbitant pay.

Funny about Money said...

Never been my favorite garment. They look like parochial school shirts for boys.

But...eleven bucks to make the damn shirt in the US and we can't (read "won't") afford to pay that much to keep jobs in this country? Infuriating.

metscan said...

If the polo shirt came with long sleeves, I might be interested, only then it would not be a polo shirt; ).
Too bad ( if I understood correctly ), that the logo can´t be made in US. This makes it not 100% USA authentic, imo.
I´m definitely willing to pay for high quality if I know that the " thing " is made in certain countries I trust.
To finance this, I happily settle for less quantity.

Duchesse said...

Thanks for posting this, I don;t read the WSJ and enjoyed this. Mirrors both discussions I have with friends and my own deliberations when shopping. Whether one wears a polo or not, the main point is: will you buy locally, and are you willing to pay for quality? IMO we are habituated to cheap clothes.

The price of clothes in stores is not necessarily "hiked up"; this article details *only* the production costs, not the costs incurred by running a retail store.

The comments in the WSJ article provide analysis of retail costs, besides the usual rants.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Shelley--Yes. Even with enormous markdowns, they are till turning a profit. They have to!

@Jane--True. I could do w/out the embroidered bag, however.

@Funny--That's $11 to the manufacturer. The number is multiplied several times en route to the customer. For many, the low prices may be too tempting--and that goes for me, I'm afraid.

@metscan--That' a European attitude, which seems so alien to the American consumer. And I've seen European tourists ecstatically shopping in the US, especially several years ago when the US dollar was low.

@Duchesse--A lot of people way they are willing to pay more for a US made product, but I wonder if that is really true.