real or not?

2005.04.23

Bought some shirts off eBay in my brand and style (though unfortunately not my favorite color - red being a bit hard to come by). The prices on eBay are radically lower than prices from the store - even when on sale. This naturally leads to the question - are these the real thing or imitations?

Now, I am no expert on cloth or the manufacture of clothing, but it seems as though two of the four shirts “feel” different. The general cut and fit seems about the same, but the cloth feels somehow softer. Is this just normal variation in the manufacturers output, or is the different feel due to different manufacture? Do not know how I could distinguish, and on a practical level what I got is probably “good enough”.

Of course this leads into a related question. How much does clothing really cost? Surely not everyone can afford American prices (\$60 list!) for a shirt. Are the prices offered elsewhere in the world lower? If so then either they must make a lesser product for other markets, or the cost of manufacture must be much lower for all markets. Surely twisted, woven, cut and sewn plant fiber can be produced inexpensively?

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