HomeHairStyle7 Popular Clothing Brands the Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore

    7 Popular Clothing Brands the Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore

    The allure of owning clothing from prestigious brands has been a longstanding aspiration for the middle class. However, as fashion landscapes evolve, some once-accessible brands have transformed into luxury labels, making them increasingly unaffordable for the average consumer. In this guide, we’ll delve into the shifting affordability of seven popular clothing brands that the middle class now finds elusive.

    Tom Ford

    From Aspirational to Unattainable
    Once a symbol of aspirational fashion, Tom Ford has witnessed a surge in prices, particularly in its fragrance line. The middle class, once able to indulge in a touch of luxury, now finds Tom Ford items slipping beyond their budget, with price increases ranging from 20% to 30%.

    Brooks Brothers

    A Pricey Heritage
    Renowned for high-quality clothing, Brooks Brothers has seen its prices soar. A simple cotton dress shirt can now set you back anywhere from $98 to $128, and a sports coat easily exceeds the $300 mark. The brand’s rich heritage comes at a hefty cost, putting it out of reach for many middle-class shoppers.

    Burberry and Ralph Lauren

    Iconic Brands, Luxe Price Tags
    Burberry and Ralph Lauren, once staples for the aspirational middle class, have shifted into luxury territory. A cotton Burberry t-shirt now demands a staggering $480, and a cotton Ralph Lauren shirt is priced at $148, pricing that has edged these iconic brands beyond the means of the average consumer.

    Michael Kors

    Legacy in Design, Out of Reach for Many
    Despite cementing its legacy in modern design, Michael Kors has become synonymous with prices that often exceed the budget of the middle class. Many pieces from the brand’s collection are priced well over $100, making them a luxury that is no longer easily attainable.

    Lucky Brand

    Denim Dreams at a Cost
    Once a go-to for affordable denim, Lucky Brand has undergone a transformation that places it outside the price range of most middle-class families. A simple long-sleeved western shirt can now cost a hefty $98, distancing itself from its more budget-friendly roots.

    Banana Republic

    Classic Styles, Hefty Prices
    Known for offering classic styles, Banana Republic’s clothing comes with a price tag on the higher side. An oversized shirt, for instance, may be priced at $90. While the brand has outlets that provide more affordable options, the mainline products are increasingly exclusive.


    From Sportswear to Lifestyle Brand
    Nike, a global sportswear giant, has transitioned from being a symbol of affordable sportswear to a comprehensive lifestyle brand. While it still caters to a diverse range of sports and activities, certain iconic items may stretch the budget for middle-class consumers.


    In conclusion, the landscape of affordable clothing for the middle class is undergoing a significant transformation. Brands that were once synonymous with attainable luxury have shifted into a realm of exclusivity. The evolving fashion market prompts consumers to reevaluate their preferences and consider alternatives that align with their budgetary constraints.


    1. Are these brands completely unaffordable, or are there still budget-friendly options?
      • While the mainline products of these brands may be pricey, some offer outlets or more affordable lines.
    2. Why have these brands become more expensive over time?
      • Factors include increased production costs, brand positioning, and a shift towards targeting a wealthier demographic.
    3. Are there alternative brands that offer similar styles at more affordable prices?
      • Yes, many emerging brands and alternatives offer similar styles without the hefty price tags.
    4. Do luxury brands ever go back to being more affordable?
      • It’s rare but not impossible. Brand strategies may change based on market trends and consumer demands.
    5. Is it worth investing in luxury brands despite the higher prices?
      • The decision depends on personal preferences and budget considerations. Consider the value and satisfaction the item brings against its cost.
    Elsie Bernier
    Elsie Bernier
    Elsie Bernier brings her passion for authentic Italian flavors to every slice at Fratello Pizzeria. With years of culinary expertise and a love for crafting the perfect pizza, Elsie has made Fratello's a haven for pizza enthusiasts seeking a taste of Italy right in their neighborhood.


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