The Almighty Dollar

Restoring some fiscal sanity in our -- negative savings rate -- lives

2.27.2006

35 dollar t-shirt

Every time I walk into a store these days, I feel like an old lady. And I'm only 30!

As I mentioned earlier, I spent most of last week catching up with my best friend, who came to town for a visit. She had been away on travel for days and wanted to bring back a present for her boyfriend.

Tourists in DC usually flock to one of the ubiquitous outdoor stands selling 3 for $10 tees with the bold letters FBI plastered on the front. She said a T-shirt was OK, but those were tacky. (I always wonder if tourists really wear them back home).

So we browsed around a few stores looking for cool t-shirts when I spotted one that would be great for him...until I saw the $35 price tag. I shoved it back on the shelf, but the tee caught her eye. She asked me how much it was. Reluctantly, I told her, thinking it cost way too much. "Oh perfect!" she exclaimed.

I remember the days when t-shirts could be bought for $6.99 on sale at the Gap. They were versatile, too, appropriate for casual or work wear. Now the exact same shirts are considered a bargain at $9.99 or $14.99.

I understand that inflation is at play here, but I'll be 60 and senile before handing over my $35 for a T.