Bloomingdale's. Or, Obscenity in Cost

I went to the Beverly Center with some friends yesterday, because I needed to buy a new jacket after losing the one I owned and really liked. After doing all of our actual shopping, we wandered around Bloomingdale's for a little while.

Now, I knew it was a fancy store, and that stuff was going to be expensive. But I was completely shocked when I found myself looking at a nice dress shirt for almost $200. Then a jacket along the lines of what I'd gone to buy for closer to $300. Or the blazer/sport coat (whatever it was) for over $800.

To me, this is OBSCENELY expensive. I can understand shelling out a bit more money for a nicer brand and quality product, but much of what I saw there was at least 4-5 times as expensive as something of a similar style and look. So I'm going to do a little experiment, to show just how ridiculous their prices are.

Let's construct an outfit from the Bloomingdale's store that mimics what I'd wear on a given day. That is, plain shoes, socks, boxers, jeans, a t-shirt, and a light zippered jacket. These are all things that are comparable in appearance to what I normally wear:

Boxers ($17.50)
Socks ($6 for one pair)
Shoes ($95 - these are slip-ons, but it's closest in appearance)
Straight-Leg Jeans ($170)
Solid Color T-Shirt ($35)
Light Zippered Jacket ($295)

Total Outfit Cost: $618.50

Now, let's construct the same outfit, only we'll buy stuff from Kohl's instead:

Boxers ($9.50 for one pair)
Socks ($4 for one pair)
Shoes ($45)
Straight-Leg Jeans ($45)
Solid Color T-Shirt ($12)
Light Jacket ($28.90 from Heritage, the jacket I own)

Total Outfit Cost: $144.40

The outfit from Bloomingdale's is rougly 4x as much as the one from Kohl's. Granted, these are stores on two opposite ends of the spectrum, but really, you wouldn't be able to notice a significant difference between the outfits from afar. Possibly not even up close.

And I have a hard time believing that the difference in structural quality (or comfort quality, or whatever) is worth that significant of a price increase. It's ok to spring a little bit, but really, the prices at Bloomingdale's seem obscenely high.

Though I'm sure my fashion-conscious friends will disagree with this assessment...


Anonymous said...

Kohl's...meh. If you want to have style, quality, AND spend less, try Express Men or Macy's Men's Store.

Also, remember the virtues of buying on sale. If you can get a dress shirt at Kohl's for say, $25, I bet you can find one on the clearance rack of Banana Republic, Macy's Men's Store, or even Nordstrom Rack at that price, and with MUCH better quality. The thing is, shopping on sale takes time and effort, and it doesn't seem that you're willing to do that. For awhile I wasn't either, so I was buying clothes from places like Forever 21. Until I realized, hmm, these clothes get holes in them after 1 wash...why don't I just wait until nice clothing goes on sale?

I do find Bloomingdale's to be overly expensive. If I can afford to shop there one day, it will be for unique items that are worth splurging on (designer shoes = superb quality), and you can also be sure that I will not buy other items unless they are on clearance. Something must be of unparalleled quality (ie, keep it for life) for me to pay a Bloomingdale's price for it.

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