$200 Jeans Are the New $300 Jeans

$198 jeans by J Brand.

Before the recession, high-end denim was one of the fastest-growing markets. However, now that everyone's broke and afraid to spend money, prices have been forced down from about $300 for the best, most stylish stuff to around $200 for ultratrendy whiskered pants. Designers used to be able to charge what customers thought a garment was worth, even if it wasn't really worth said price. But the Times notes that jeans were among the first items customers realized designers were using to take advantage of them: "[I]t 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." And if you don't want to spend $200, you can get great jeans at Uniqlo for $40. [NYT]