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How Much Does Clothing Cost to Make?

Updated on February 2, 2012

Good question and one that will shock you. You will look at the price tag very differently, yet, there is nothing you can do about it.

For instance, the cost of a single shirt can vary because of the material it is made from. Still, the markups are simply incredible. If you buy a polo shirt from Aeropostle for $12, which is common, you will see it is made in India\Pakistan\Indonesia. The material for the shirt is not more than $1 dollar, labor maybe another $1-2. So, the cost to make the one shirt is around $3. The merchant will buy it for $6. Retail to the buyer for $12 or more. Some retailers really, usually the trendy chic fashions, mark up the products insanely.

For instance, the KP Maclane Polo shirt for women retails for $155!!! The cost to make the shirt is $29. Stores buy it from the manufacturer for $65 and then sell to idiot consumers who would buy a $155 polo shirt. Designer jeans are identical in mark ups, event the ones that are ripped up and look like they are ready to be thrown away. Now this same shirt (the same one that sells for $155) or near copy of it from China sells for $10 because the shirt uses a cheaper type of cotton.

Retailers in the USA always mark up their merchandise on the racks by 2 to 2.5 times of the wholesale price. This pays for salaries, ads, benefits, profits.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      What I find humorous is that Nikes and clothing are made in Vietnam. After 55,000 US lives were lost there fighting the communists, look what has happened: they like capitalism and we like them for cheap wages.

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 6 years ago from USA

      A designer shirt for $155? The 99% can't relate to that. In the 60s there were several clothing factories in Miami, that all went to the Caribbean. Is any clothing made in USA anymore?

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      Yes, I have heard that, doesn't sound right, should be cheaper.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 6 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      If you were to buy the material in the US to sew the shirt yourself at home it would cost your more than it did to buy it. I used to make my own clothes, it used to save me money.