Author Topic: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)  (Read 1795 times)

davidw

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Thought I'd throw this out for some opinions:

I have been getting these jeans from Bi-Mart: https://www.amazon.com/Wrangler-Authentics-Classic-5-Pocket-Stonewash/dp/B00XKXNGT6/ - they're cheap and they seem to work pretty well. I like them more than the ones Costco have, which don't fit well. My wife is not wild about them, and I wonder if something a bit more expensive might wear longer. Specifically looking at Wrangler or Carrhart. I work in an office, so have no need for anything particularly rugged. We hang dry all our clothing, so even these cheap ones seem to last a year or two.

I'm also in the market for a new rain/snow shell for outdoor stuff. They have super cheap ones at Costco (something like this: https://www.amazon.com/32-DEGREES-Mens-Rain-Jacket/dp/B07PX3JNG5/ ) . They have really expensive ones at Patagonia ($250 !!!). I like the environmental philosophy of the latter and was impressed that they repair stuff and are a bit less "it's cheap so if it breaks down just toss it and get a new one". On the other hand, their shop also occupies expensive retail downtown, they do a lot of advertising, and are a name brand. I'll get a fair amount of use out of this, between riding my bike around town, XC skiing, hiking and so on. What has your experience been?  Clearly there are a lot of options in between, too.

In general, what's your clothing philosophy? I don't particularly like shopping, don't have a ton of time, and I like consistency, so being able to, say, order the same pair of jeans and know they're going to work out beats hunting around in a thrift store.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 02:14:11 PM by davidw »

honeybbq

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2019, 02:15:03 PM »
If it's going to be a staple in my life (i.e. use very regularly) I go for quality.
I'd buy the patagonia shell in your shoes... assuming the goodwill doesn't have any. :)

socaso

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2019, 02:27:54 PM »
I have had good luck shopping secondary marketplaces for outdoor gear. I recently purchased a new (to me) pair of all leather Keen hiking shoes from Poshmark. They were $25 and when I got them I was very happy with their condition. My old Keens were over a decade old and the footbed no longer offered support but I will keep them as yard work shoes. There is also Ebay and there are other marketplaces like Poshmark.

I was hunting around for a windbreaker for my husband and saw many top brands at reasonable prices. Mostly I notice that if there are any flaws or damage to the item that sellers will be careful to mention it and provide photos. 

YK-Phil

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2019, 02:45:48 PM »
I always buy quality jeans, boots, and outerwear. Jeans are usually dark raw Japanese denim from The Unbranded Brand (a cheaper unbranded version made by Naked & Famous, made in Montreal Canada). Great modern fit, long-lasting. For boots, I only buy Blundstones. My current pair is 10 years old and I can probably get one more year out of them even if I will keep on wearing them for camping. They are my everyday footwear. I have a new pair still in the box that my daughter bought me for my birthday.

CNM

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2019, 03:01:54 PM »
For your outdoor gear, you might want to check out REI's scratch-and-dent sale.  This occurs a few times a year and they sell returned items, overstock, or whatever at very low prices.

Cranky

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2019, 03:03:04 PM »
Jeans are jeans, for me. Thereís no correlation between price and quality. I prefer to buy used clothes, or make my own.

Iíve never had outerwear actually wear out. Iím wearing the Lands End winter coat I bought for one of my daughters - itís got to be 15 years old. My hiking boots must be that old, too.

chaskavitch

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2019, 03:10:53 PM »
For your outdoor gear, you might want to check out REI's scratch-and-dent sale.  This occurs a few times a year and they sell returned items, overstock, or whatever at very low prices.
If it's going to be a staple in my life (i.e. use very regularly) I go for quality.
I'd buy the patagonia shell in your shoes... assuming the goodwill doesn't have any. :)

Patagonia and REI also have used clothes outlets online - Worn Wear and Used Gear.  At least then the pieces are looked at and patched up (if necessary) by the companies who sell them, and the items from Worn Wear are still covered by Patagonia's Ironclad guarantee.

I'm still working toward replacing lower quality items with nice ones from companies like Patagonia, but it does make sense to get the good version of something you know you'll need a lot.

shadowmoss

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2019, 03:34:38 PM »
SierraTradingPost.com is an online outlet store that carries a lot of name brand clothing at reduced prices.  If you know what you want a quick search there may turn it up much cheaper.  Buy when you see it because when it is sold out it is gone.  I used to buy from them a lot a few years ago.

BDWW

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2019, 04:40:48 PM »
I've just been ditching jeans and going all carhartt/workwear.  I've never found a pair of jeans that actually holds up. I think @Daley had a thread about the quest for durable pants.

tyrannostache

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2019, 05:01:21 PM »
@davidw, your wife is right about those jeans.

I'm a total enthusiast for Patagonia. I just sent my 8-year-old rain jacket back to them for repairs when it started to delaminate. They couldn't fix it, so they sent me a $150 gift card--enough to buy a new basic rain jacket + some accessories.

Hibernaculum

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2019, 05:38:52 PM »
I have a similar 32 degree-brand jacket I go at Costco a couple of years ago. I really like it. It drapes well, fits well, repels water well, and in general seems a heck of a lot higher quality than you'd think, given the price. I use it for cycling and general outdoor wear. Also, it is pretty subdued in color, which makes it more versatile. My only complaint is that there is no way to remove the hood or zip it out of the way. It billows as I ride, so I have to tuck it in kind of down inside of the jacket. But the hood is fine if you're not on a bike.

Daley

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2019, 07:58:32 PM »
I've just been ditching jeans and going all carhartt/workwear.  I've never found a pair of jeans that actually holds up. I think @Daley had a thread about the quest for durable pants.

Yup.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/reader-recommendations/pants!-why-must-buying-tactical-pants-feel-like-stepping-around-landmines/

NorCal

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2019, 08:09:47 PM »
For me, it depends on what I'm buying them for.  I still haven't found the sweet spot in jeans.  Duluth jeans lasted well, but I didn't like the fit.  I've gone back to Levi's from Costco which fit well, but I only get 1-2 years out of.

Duluth t-shirts are great for durability.  They are a much heavier weave than typical.  The one I'm wearing today has lasted at least twice as long as other brands, and still looks pretty new.

I've found Costco to be a great combination of quality and value for general clothing items.  I'm not going to use Costco items for major winter back-country trips, but their warm clothes will keep me warm and dry for anything around town.

For the rare occasions I feel the need to go "up-market", I've found the REI brand clothing to be good value.  REI essentially takes the features and designs from the fancier brands and sells it for a moderately lower price.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2019, 08:21:07 PM »
I shop exclusively second hand for clothing, with the exception of socks and underwear. Mostly thrift stores are where poorly made crap goes to die, but I hunt for natural fibers and quality brands. I get what you guys buy, for a tiny percentage of the price plus I don't contribute to pollution or exploitation from clothing manufacture and dying. I also sell online the things that are good quality but that I don't want, and I make $100 a week or so doing this.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2019, 04:12:38 AM »
My jeans usually wear out anyway, so I don't invest in extra quality trousers. And in my spare time I rather wear hiking trousers, which last longer.

When it comes to outdoor gear, quality can cost a lot, which is more than I'm willing to pay for it. Therefore I always wait for sale and pay max 50%. Then the price becomes reasonable for the quality of the garment.

But since a few years, my DH has been bitten by the sewing bug. And he likes to sew our own outdoor gear. So now we can get goretex jackets and hiking trousers that have perfect fit and cost 1/3 to 1/2 of the normal price (not included the hours of work). And with all the details that one wants on these trousers. Sometimes ha also makes new things from old materials that we already have, like a new hip belt for his backpack. He just used some old pieces of foam to make it solid.

davidw

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2019, 10:21:45 PM »
@davidw, your wife is right about those jeans.

Yeah? They're not awesome, but comfortable and feel much more solid than the cruddy, saggy, levis that I got at first at Costco. And $18 is pretty good.

Tried some of the regular Wranglers on, and I didn't like the fit at all.

I'm a total enthusiast for Patagonia. I just sent my 8-year-old rain jacket back to them for repairs when it started to delaminate. They couldn't fix it, so they sent me a $150 gift card--enough to buy a new basic rain jacket + some accessories.

I like the idea that they do try and fix stuff and that it lasts longer. Wonder if anyone has done any good comparisons that take into account quality/functionality and durability.



wotan

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2019, 04:55:27 AM »
SierraTradingPost.com is an online outlet store that carries a lot of name brand clothing at reduced prices.  If you know what you want a quick search there may turn it up much cheaper.  Buy when you see it because when it is sold out it is gone.  I used to buy from them a lot a few years ago.
i also used to buy from sierra. not as good as they don't have the coupons anymore.
sign up for leftlane sports and the clymb emails. not as good selection, but way better deals especially when they have up to 25% off coupons.
also check Marshalls, TJ max, and Ross, have found good deals on outerwear at those stores.

habanero

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2019, 05:28:14 AM »
I think that for outdoor gear there is a meaningful correlation between what you pay and what you get - at least to a certain limit. Durability is one thing, but how well the gear actually works is also an important factor - it's outdoor gear, after all. I have consistently bought the high-end-shit, most of my outdoor clothing comes from brands like Arc'teryx, Icebreaker (wool), Scarpa (hiking boots) and probably a few others. For the milage I get out of it and how well it serves me I frankly don't care too much about the cost, but on the rare occation I actually need to replace something, I try to source it as cheap as possible of course. And I'm very picky on running shoes for obvious reasons, but I always buy last year's models at less than half the price.

I bought my shell jacket and pants in 2006 and I replaced the jacket last year. The pants are still going strong and will probably last another decade bar some unforeseen accident. In my opinion, good stuff in this department is worth paying for. Its not fun to be cold and wet when you could be warm and dry instead. Backpacks, tents, sleeping bags etc - I always go for the high-end stuff. It lasts so long the cost per year becomes rather irrelevant.

For pretty much everything else I don't really care what it is. I buy cheapish stuff on sale and wear it until it's well worn out. I also don't wash my sports/outdoor gear very often - that also greatly increases the lifetime. I don't really see the point in washing a pair of shorts or a running shirt after one trip - the next time they're used they will be all sweaty after a few minutes anyway.

I can barely remember the last time I bought everyday clothing for myself - that's a rare occation.

Ponderosa

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2019, 07:36:29 AM »
When I bought my first hiking pant years ago, it was the cheapest I could find. The fit sucked, and it looked like crap after a few uses.

Last year I bought a pair of quality Prana hiking pants. Not the most expensive, but they great after a year of use. I picked dumb color though, so I have to live with that until they break.

Sugaree

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Re: Clothing: built to last vs cheap (specifically jeans & outdoor gear)
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2019, 07:58:56 AM »
I shop exclusively second hand for clothing, with the exception of socks and underwear. Mostly thrift stores are where poorly made crap goes to die, but I hunt for natural fibers and quality brands. I get what you guys buy, for a tiny percentage of the price plus I don't contribute to pollution or exploitation from clothing manufacture and dying. I also sell online the things that are good quality but that I don't want, and I make $100 a week or so doing this.

Me too.  And consignment sales for the kiddo.  I picked up a North Face jacket for him this last time for $15.  That's cheaper than even the Walmart new ones.