If you couldn't afford a pair of "premium jeans" last year, maybe you can now. Though the basic components of jeans haven't changed in decades, prices skyrocketed early in the decade—but thanks to the recession, designer denim that might have gone for more than $300 two years ago is now priced in the $200 range. "It was all just a fad," one exec tells the New York Times.
During the boom, customers didn't think twice about extravagantly-priced clothes—but some began to question what they were paying for when even jeans began to push credit card limits. Now, retailers like Gap and J. Crew offer "premium-look" jeans for $60, and even high-end designers are offering lower-priced options. "Charging $600 for jeans for no reason at all," says another exec—"those days are over ."