7 Popular Clothing Brands the Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore

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whitemay / Getty Images

The price of apparel has increased significantly over the past few years. Challenges in the industry, such as supply chain issues, have made it more expensive for manufacturers to do business. This increase in cost is frequently passed on to consumers, making what was once reasonably priced clothing unaffordable to the middle class.

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Fast fashion, which is usually mass-produced and low-priced, has pushed some mid-priced brands into a higher-priced category since they are unable to compete with the lower costs. Unfortunately, for some consumers, this means that some of your favorite pieces from well-known, long-lived clothing companies are out of reach. Here are seven clothing brands the middle-class-cant-afford-anymore/?hyperlink_type=manual&utm_term=incontent_link_2&utm_campaign=1259373&utm_source=aol.com&utm_content=4&utm_medium=rss” data-ylk=”slk:middle class can’t afford anymore;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas” class=”link rapid-noclick-resp”>middle class can’t afford anymore.

Tom Ford

Hugo Guerreiro is the founder of Flop In Style, a men’s fashion website created to inspire, educate and elevate men’s style. According to him, Tom Ford is definitely a brand that the middle class cannot afford anymore.

He said, “Over the past two years, there has been a noticeable surge in Tom Ford’s prices, particularly in its fragrance line, with a significant increase ranging from 20% to 30%. As incomes are not keeping pace with these escalating product prices, the middle class will not be able to afford Tom Ford items.”

According to Clothbase, the average price of an article of clothing at Tom Ford is $1,278. A polo shirt will cost you approximately $350, and a pair of pants cost around $1,000.

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Brooks Brothers

The over 200-year-old company is known for high-quality clothing and its iconic preppy look, and has dressed 39 presidents according to its website. But all that comes at a price.

A cotton dress shirt will cost you $98 to $128, and a sports coat will easily set you back over $300.

Burberry and Ralph Lauren

  • Price of a cotton Burberry t-shirt: $480

  • Price of a cotton Ralph Lauren shirt: $148

Steven Settles, founder and lead editor of WorstBrands, said, “In recent times, iconic brands like Burberry and Ralph Lauren, once staples for the aspirational middle class, have drifted into the realm of luxury. With their upscale shift, they’ve become occasional indulgences rather than regular wardrobe additions. It’s a trend reflecting a widening economic divide, where even fashion becomes a symbol of the growing gap.”

WorstBrands provides reviews for a wide variety of products from popular brands, including home appliances, outdoor gear, fashion and kitchen items.

Michael Kors

Designer Michael Kors has cemented his legacy in modern design, but for many middle-class consumers the cost of his clothing brand is out of reach, as many pieces cost well over $100. The brand is most well known for its “All-American sportswear” that was launched in 1981.

Lucky Brand

Lucky Brand was founded in 1990 and quickly became the go-to denim company for celebrities and middle-class teenagers alike. The mall staple was a must-stop for guys and girls hoping to snag a piece of vintage-looking Americana clothing.

Unfortunately, wages in America have failed to stay on pace with the increase in the price of clothing. Once affordable brands like Lucky are now out of the price range for most middle-class families.

Banana Republic

Gap-owned Banana Republic offers a wide selection of neutral-colored classics, but building a wardrobe with its products may be difficult for the average consumer. Clothing from the retailer is on the pricier side, although there are some more affordable options.

The good news for middle-class shoppers hoping to secure quality clothing at a less expensive price is to find outlets. Many of the brands listed above have outlet locations that offer the same products for considerably less money.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 7 Popular Clothing Brands the Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore

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