Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's a $4,000 Suit Worth?

I really enjoyed reading this article from the New York Times. It's about the custom garment industry, and how it's, somewhat surprisingly, not a very lucrative industry at all. Well, I guess it's surprising, but also not surprising. A gut reaction to a $4,000 suit is that it must be insanely overpriced and the creator must be making a killing. But these $4,000 suits are custom made, so there are no economies of scale, and I am sure the fabric is insanely expensive too. The first man the article talks about only makes about $50,000 a year.

I wonder how much of a market there is for this kind of suit. On the one hand, having something truly custom made must be completely awesome. I have one dress that I did enough alteration on to consider it custom made (that is to say, I have one dress where my alterations actually worked...) and it's incredibly wonderful to wear. But I wouldn't pay $4,000 to have another one like it. I wouldn't pay $500. On the one hand, I am a poor college student, so that probably affects that fact quite a bit. On the other hand, being extremely oddly shaped, as well as knowing how to sew, I know exactly how awesome a custom made dress would be. If I had $4,000, would I consider it? Probably!

It seems even more attractive when you consider that people who wear suits probably need to look professional. I mean, I'm a college student. I try to look reasonably nice, but if I don't, it's really not that big a deal. In terms of work, I could wear anything I wanted to the costume shop, and almost anything I wanted to tutor in--the standards there are obviously a little higher, but still not hard to achieve. I can go with the styles that work around my figure oddities. Imagine if I worked on the Hill, or something! The thought of trying to find a blazer that fits makes me want to cry.

So, what's the conclusion of my ramblings? I don't even know. The more I think about it, though, the more sense this makes...if you have that kind of money, which is obviously a big big if! What are your thoughts? Have you ever had anything custom made?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my cousin were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a book from our local library but I think I learned better from this post. I’m very glad to see such great info being shared freely out there…