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Are Expensive Clothes Worth It?

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207 words
Social Issues

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Americans spend $200 billion a year on clothing and footwear.

But do we have to pay that much? As part of our "Good Morning America" series "Is It Worth It?" we put two of America's signature styles -- T-shirts and sneakers -- to the test.

ABC News compared a $7 Hanes T-shirt with a $95 T-shirt from Neiman Marcus.

We also tested $16 Target running shoes, $160 Nikes, and $13 Wal-Mart sneakers and $89 Adidas.

With controlled laboratory testing, ABC News sped up the process of washing and wearing, walking and running.

The shirts were both navy-blue, 100-percent cotton T-shirts.

But the similarities ended there. The Hanes shirts were noticeably smaller than the industry standard, and the Neiman Marcus shirts had to be laid flat to dry.

The Good Housekeeping Institute washed both types of shirts five times according to the instructions. The Hanes shirts shrank more than 4 percent, which Good Housekeeping considers just barely acceptable.

The Neiman Marcus shirts expanded a little bit because of all that flat drying.

"We were very surprised when you told us what the prices were," said Kathleen Huddy, textile director of the Good Housekeeping Institute.

After all ...

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