Saturday, February 12, 2011

Quality: Comparing Corduroy Jeans

Quality is like buying oats. If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse . . . that comes a little cheaper. - author unknown

Even though quality cannot be defined, you know what quality is.
Robert M. Pirsig (1928 -)

This winter seemed so much colder to me than previous years. I started wearing corduroy jeans. When Talbot's sale got really enticing, I bought two more pairs. They had no navy blue. When Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda corduroys went on sale I ordered a navy pair from Kohls. I paid just about the same price for each.

There are small differences in the jeans. Amandas have  slightly longer belt loops while the waistband is the same width. Talbot's inner waistband is cut on the bias which should give the tiniest bit more give. Amandas are  made of 72% cotton, 27% rayon and 1% spandex as opposed to 98% cotton and 2% Spandex in the Talbot pair. Talbot jeans were made in Bangledesh, Amandas in Egypt. Talbots have a finer wale corduroy; Amandas are heavier. The hems are similar, YKK zippers in different color metals, pockets similar placement. The legs are exactly the same slim width.

Talbots jeans are in Signature fit so the rise is shorter. Fit on both are all right, sizing is similar.
What makes the difference is the merchandising of each. Talbots start out at $69.50, Amanda at $40. I waited through a bunch of sale offers before I got them at what I considered the lowest clearance price I would see.

Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality. -- Peter F. Drucker (1909 - 2005)

The bitterness of poor quality Lingers long after The sweetness of low price is forgotten.

--John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

I certainly think I got my money's worth in each pair. It will be interesting to see how the wear compares through the rest of the winter.