Does 10 times the price = 10 times the quality?

Here’s a gem from last weekend’s Sunday Times Style magazine. From ‘Seasalt’ a stripy top £30 and from ‘Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane’ a Breton top £355.

Well, does it? Mmm, of course, it all depends. Now as somebody who works most days with textiles even I wouldn’t be able to tell by just looking at the two pictures in the photograph above.  Both are stripy, navy blue and cream, long-sleeved tops with a boat neck. With a little help from our friend Google I have more information. The £30 top is made from 100% organic cotton, and the £355 one, also 100% cotton,  appears to be a ‘designer’ piece described as a ‘Breton-stripe distressed cotton-jersey top’. I’m guessing that perhaps the cut and fit is tens times better when a garment is crafted (their word not mine) from distressed cotton.

Here is my traditional Breton top. It’s over 15 years old and I bought it secondhand from a charity shop. I think I paid a fiver for it. It’s made by Saint James a French company based in Normandy that has been making marine clothing since 1889. Currently, you can buy one of their long-lasting 100% cotton, heavyweight blue and cream stripy Breton shirts for £55. I’m sorry to report that it does not come in distressed cotton-jersey, which would appear to be the prerequisite along with a luxury, brand label to warrant a price tag of £355.

Of course, I’m being a little frivolous here as I know there is more than this to pricing goods. Somewhere far down the list of components that influence the final price of any work, is how much time has been spent in making it. Talking of which here is 25 minutes of my life reduced to 25 seconds.