Guest blog written by Gene Colter.
The item in question is a patchwork vest for kids, available from J. Crew’s “Crewcuts” line for $325. Spotted on a flier ad on a countertop at a train station. Said flier was soon doused in coffee as the result of the classic “spit shot” produced by the person writing this entry.
This is an article of clothing whose economic excesses deserve further examination and perturbation. The two feet or so of material on display in this imported luxury speaks volumes about the reputations of both the retailer who sells it and the parents and relatives who will buy it.
First, the obvious: By definition, junior will get one season’s wear out of this item. One. (If your child can still wear the vest 12 months hence then there are medical problems in your family, and I wish you nothing but the path to good health, and please stop reading now.)
But, foolish blogger, you’re thinking, can’t you understand that this item can be passed down to little brother?
Indeed. Which amortizes its cost slightly – but of course also means that you have taken on the financial responsibility of another kid. So, at the risk of using fuzzy math, you’ve got the price down to about $162. That’ll make a dent in the $200,000 or so the extra kid will cost you through age 18 provided you don’t send him to private school.