You could pay $5.96 for some regular old elastic-bottomed sweatpants from Walmart, or you could be much classier and pay $1,170 for some clearly superior sweats from Bergdorf Goodman. Sure, they kind of look the same (exactly the same, actually) so nobody else will know the difference. But you’re not doing this for everybody else. You’re doing this for you.
These pants, designed by Brunello Cucinelli, are made of cotton and polyamide (which, it turns out, is just a fancy word for nylon.) The store suggests pairing them with a $270 wrist cuff or $2,125 woven short-sleeved sweater — though that won’t keep you very warm in a polar vortex.
So why do these ordinary pants cost so much?
“Bergdorf Goodman targets the top 2 percent by income. These are people who want exclusivity—and they attain it by going places, doing things and wearing things that only those ‘in the know’ will recognize as luxury,” Marcia Flicker, a Fordham business professor, tells International Business Times. “They wear cashmere sweats, about as practical for working out as the leather cuffs of these cotton pants. It sends the message that they can afford the best and don’t necessarily have to worry about practicality.”
Sure, okay. But we still feel like these should give you some kind of super power when you wear them, right?