In 1899, Thorstein Veblen wrote ‘The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions’, Chapter 7 of which was entitled ‘Dress as an Expression of the Pecuniary Cultureand contained the following text:

…Our dress, therefore, in order to serve its purpose effectually, should not only be expensive, but it should also make plain to all observers that the wearer is not engaged in any kind of productive labour.

In 2011, the median annual income in the US was $26,588.

In 2013, in New York, it is possible to buy a T-shirt for $91,500.


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