When you look back on fashion trends, what you see is often not pretty. Now, in light of a bleak economy—and a rather obvious realization that denim is just, well, denim—we can all turn to someone who bought a $300 pair of “premium” jeans and say, “What the heck were you thinking?”
What are “premium” jeans anyway? To me, that’s like “premium” tube socks or “premium” fast food. I’ve rarely found it necessary to spend more than $15 on jeans, let alone $100 or $300. Acid wash jeans, while embarrassing, were never priced so ludicrously high. And frankly, I’d rather be seen walking around today with parachute pants and fat laces in Adidas sneaks than be a billboard for some designer scamming the masses with overpriced denim. If we’re talking Hammer Pants or Mom Jeans? I don’t know. Hard to say what’s most embarrassing of all. Even though I’m a guy, I’d probably still go with Mom Jeans over a skin-tight $300 pair.
The NY Times discusses how, suddenly, the $300 pair of jeans has become the $200 pair of jeans. In way of reviewing the rise and fall of the overpriced trend:
During the modern gilded age, the spiraling prices of designer clothes had more to do with driving profits than the actual design or construction of a garment. Designers found they could charge a lot for the perception of prestige. Dresses and suits and handbags were priced like cars, and consumers didn’t blink. But with jeans, it just felt more obvious that some kind of game was being played; the basic elements, after all, had not changed substantially in decades: five pockets, cotton, some rivets.
Overcharging people for something so basic? “It was all just a fad,” says one premium jean designer.