Survey for engineering class

Standard disclaimer: I wasn’t sure where to put this.

Background: I’m in a product development class at college, and my group in the class is to the point where knowing how much people would pay for our product would really help.

The question: About how much would you pay for a custom pair of jeans? I’m not talking department store custom here, I’m talking a pair made just the way you want them–style, size, color, the whole 9 yards (OK, yard and a half).

Please use the poll to respond.

Heh, reminds me of that King of the Hill episode where Bobby takes Home-Ec and repairs Hank’s jeans. Anyway, I probably wouldn’t buy it if something already on the market fit me well. Is there that much of a market left un-touched by existing off-the-shelf jeans?

EDIT: You did mention color. I suppose there are several colors of jeans left unexplored, which may be popular with a younger crowd. Not a bad idea.

You might be surprised. For example, how many styles of jeans are there? Now, let’s say that one style fits you really well–say, relaxed fit. But the pockets are lousy for whatever you want them to do. So you can mix and match another style’s pockets–say, carpenter–into the jeans, along with whatever else you want. Same price range, same cloth, but suited for whatever you wanted to do, in both fit and additives. (“Standard” additives are still in the TBD stage, so if there’s one you might like to see, speak up.)

Yes, we are kind of aiming for the younger crowd. But when your prof likes the idea a lot, and he’s been around a while…

That actually does bring up a good point. I have one pair of jeans I like, but wish had the pockets from another. Still not sure I’m particular enough to pay extra for it though.

I would pay my standard 10-20 for a pair of pants. I don’t really see me spending any more. To me, they are just clothes.

Suggestion: I don’t wear jeans. If I could get khaki pants customized I would pay the 10-20, but only if it didn’t take much time to customize. Anything more then check the boxes, and I would lose interest simply out of not caring enough and laziness. If they had to be jeans, I probably wouldn’t want them. If it is reasonable to branch your project to cover different fabrics, you might reach a much larger market base. Afterall, everyone wears pants…not everyone wears jeans.

You know, there’s a funny thing about branding and marketing: people will often pay more for an otherwise-identical product marketed under a fashionable name. I assume that you’d (hypothetically) be selling these as EricH-brand, which enjoys no recognition in the market—if so, you’ll probably find that people are willing to pay much less than if it was a “designer” brand.

Of course, even for custom jeans, unless you’re doing something ill-advised like making them in America with engineers for labour, the cost to manufacture each piece is going to be pretty low anyway.

There’s another weird consequence of this business model: the consumer has to know what he wants in specific terms. Normally, you don’t have the luxury of shopping with such specific expectations—so will your target market want (or even know how) to make those styling decisions for themselves when dealing with you?

Wow, that is one tall person!

Since $0 isn’t an option, I will put it here. I don’t wear jeans. Shorts preferred; khakis when required.

This is my main thought. I don’t really have a problem with standard jeans that fit me, so I wouldn’t pay a premium for any custom sizing.

To answer a few questions that have come up:

Expansion into non-jean markets is a “future expansion”; i.e., get started in jeans and go from there. We do have a couple of those in mind. It’s quite possible that a bolt or two of non-denim fabric might sneak in, though.

Tristan: That’s actually how we’d start up… three engineers making these in America. That is, however, three engineers who would own the company, and who are trying to keep costs low.

General idea is pretty much a check-the-box or fill-in-the blank model (how else to you put the sizes in?).

RMiller: research that we’ve done shows that it takes about a yard and a half of fabric to make one pair of jeans.

That’s sort of what I was afraid of…assuming you’re budgeting for engineer-style wages (e.g. $25/h) a significant portion of your overhead is going to go towards paying yourselves to cut and sew (I’d guess $5–$8 per piece for your labour). What about contracting out the fabrication to an established tailoring business, maybe on a piecework basis? At least that way, you’d be paying up to the same amount for proven skill, and freeing yourselves for other productive activity. (That would depend to some extent on your expected volume…but if you’re turning over anything more than a hundred pieces per month, it would probably work out much more efficiently.)

Another consideration: are you going to bunch orders together into production runs, or respond individually to orders? If you can run orders together (like once per week), you’ll probably be significantly more efficient.

We aren’t going for engineer-style wages at this point. When you own the business, anything left from overhead and labor (which, if you have no employees, is $0) is your pay.

We are going for individual orders, unless a pre-wash is requested. At that point, it’s whenever the washing machine has enough to do a load.

Wow, when I saw the title in the Portal and clicked on it and saw, How much would you spend for a pair of jeans. All I could think was, “WOW!, someone needs a life.” And then I read what Eric said.

I wrote 50-60 just because I don’t like jeans at all and over the past 7 years, I have only owned 2 pairs of jeans that I semi-like and even then I still wasn’t completely happy with them. So I would spend the extra dough to get a pair that I actually wanted to wear.:o

There are non-custom jeans that sell for significantly more then the price you ended your poll. For example, Diesel for $295.

I’d be worried about selection bias by polling people on chiefdelphi about fashion.

Yeah, but you’re going to get a broader group than polling a bunch of engineering students! (AKA, the rest of the class and most of the rest of the school–the exceptions are the science students…)

I’m aware of the higher-priced non-custom jeans. The upper range of the poll is above our current target price range (note: said range may change a bit). The group looked at the $100+ range and said something to the effect of, “Let’s not go there!”

Are you saying that all of us here on chiefdelphi can’t dress to save our lives… hey I don’t wear all denim or have clothes from the 80’s mister!:stuck_out_tongue:

Don’t worry, I think we all know what you mean.:wink:

There’s only one group that I know of, personally, that is less fashion conscious than some of the good people that are being polled here and they are quilters.

That strikes me as very funny because of the beauty and elegance that they create. And yes, I think of the parallels and similarities between the 2 groups all the time.

Since this is geared toward the younger population, I won’t vote but I love jeans as long as they don’t go above $30. On sale and below $20 will make my heart go pitter pat.

Eric, cool idea, personally I have issues with size more than anything, generally the legs of any jeans comfortable to me are roughly and inch too long. This leads to them getting caught under my shoes. This looks bad and has also led to me falling on my butt frequently.

The difficult part about this is going to be figuring out a modular way of assembling jeans. Perhaps there is a reason that Carpenter jeans have the pockets they do. (I don’t know)

Also, I will freely admit that I have very little fashion sense. It is for this reason that my wardrobe consists of a large collection of either Kettering or FIRST shirts and jeans. Lucky for me I can get away with wearing this sort of thing where I work.

I voted $50-60 because that’s what I pay now for them. Not to say that I spend a lot of time at Walmart or designer stores. Generally I buy Carhartt double knee, heavy weight denim jeans, a pair lasts me about 2.5 years wearing them 1-2 days a week at work.

If I were buying anything less I’d be in the $20 camp. Like anything else, you get what you pay for.


I could go for some dickies with pockets that don’t suck, those would be great. I hate sitting down and having half the stuff fall out.

I would spend significantly more than $90 on a pair of custom-made jeans. I sometimes will spend that much or more on regular jeans.