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How many pounds of $1 cotton are in a $1,100 (!) men’s shirt?

Talk about value-added: Growers have been giddy for the past year or so over attaining the Holy Grail of $1-plus for their cotton, but that pales beside the lofty prices for some of the products made from that cotton.

I’m amused and amazed when I peruse men’s fashion offerings in some of the popular magazines and see the price tag for being stylish.

Example: The latest issue of Esquire, which featured these offerings of men’s apparel and accessories:

·A double-breasted cotton and polyamide jacket by Georgio Armani, $2,195. (I’ll save you the trouble of looking up polyamide — this from Wikipedia: A polyamide is a polymer containing  monomers of amides joined by peptide bonds. They can occur both naturally and artificially, examples being proteins, such as wool and silk, and can be made artificially through step-growth polymerization or solid-phase synthesis, examples being nylons, aramids, and sodium polyaspartate. Polyamides are commonly used in textiles, automotives, carpet and sportswear due to their extreme durability and strength. Now, don’t you feel enlightened?)

·Cotton and wool gabardine coat by Bally, $7,150; two button cotton and nylon suit by Gucci, $2,840; two button cotton and linen suit by Bottega Veneta, $3,100.

·To go with those, any number of choices for cotton shirts: by Caruso, $295; by Calvin Klein Collection $395; by Prada, $420; by Gucci, $700; by Louis Vuitton, $1,106. (I figure I’m splurging when I buy a $150 Brooks Brothers cotton shirt on sale for $65. But to plunk down $1,106 for one shirt? That blows my mind. And why the extra six bucks, one wonders? Why not an even $1,100, or for a psychological price point, $1,099? And how many pounds of $1 cotton would be in that shirt, even an XX large — not that anyone populating Esquire’s ever-so-slim-and-trim universe would need an XX large.)

·Cotton trousers by Ralph Lauren, $395; by Dolce & Gabbana, $550; or cotton jeans by Etro, $572.

·Cotton socks by Bresciana, $32.

·Leather brogue footwear by Bally, $750, or suede monk strap shoes by Santoni, $1,175.

·Omega Terra Co-Axial chronograph watch, $7,600.

·And to schlep around one’s platinum and diamond credit cards to pay for it all, a leather tote bag by Gucci, $3,350, or a crocodile duffle bag by Santiago Gonzalez, $4,975.

·Oh, and for the weekend when one is slumming at Burger King, a cotton sweater by J. Crew, $62.

So, to walk out the door fashionably attired, tote or duffle bag in hand and ever-so-cool chronograph on wrist, would run $14,617 on the penny-pinching end, or a let-it-all-hang-out $22,610. For one outfit.

But, one wonders, what of the next day? And the next? Must one have similarly fashionable, and costly, wardrobes so as not to be embarrassed at one’s broker or trendy fern bar? Could one economize by wearing the same chronograph each day, thus acquiring attire for a five-day week for only $35,000 to $75,000?

The brain reels…

TAGS: Cotton
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