Why is Thom Browne So Expensive? 10 REASONS WHY

Thom Browne's designs are expensive because of the meticulous craftsmanship required, use of premium materials, strict quality control through limited runs, innovative textiles, exclusivity, bespoke tailoring options, higher retail markups, brand prestige, attention to detail, and substantial overhead for small batch production in New York City. With so much time, effort, and rare talent involved, elevated prices reflect the sheer virtue of Browne's provocative suits and separates.

Browne launched his made-to-measure label in 2001 in New York’s West Village and has attracted a cult following that includes professional athletes and A-list celebrities. But with price tags that regularly top $5,000 for a suit and $1,000 for a cotton Oxford shirt, Browne is certainly not for the faint of heart (or wallet).

So what exactly makes Thom Browne so dang expensive? Well, as with most luxury brands, you’re not just paying for the materials and construction. The cost comes from years of design, small batch production, and the exclusivity of owning something not many others can attain. Here are the top 10 reasons why the master of shrunken style comes with an expanded price tag:

Top 10 Reasons Why is Thom Browne So Expensive

1. Handmade Craftsmanship

Like a luxury vehicle, the superior fit, finish and quality of a Thom Browne suit relies on expert craftsmanship. The fine tailoring and handwork involved in creating the suits properly justify some of the elevated expense.

2. Use of Finest Materials

From ultra-fine merino wool and silk to the best cotton fibers available, Thom Browne uses only the highest grade materials sourced from Italy and Japan. The materials come at a premium cost, especially in the fine counts and Thread colors that Browne favors.

3. Limited Production Runs

With such meticulous tailoring, Thom Browne limits production of each item to relatively small batches. Scarcity and exclusivity allow the brand to command higher prices. Even if you wanted to, you can’t produce an identical Thom Browne item in mass amounts.

4. Innovative Fabric Development

Fabrics like the thick, fuzzy, and stripe-happy seersucker that’s become a Browne trademark don’t come off the shelf. The brand invests heavily in textile development with specialty mills to create its signature materials season after season.

5. No Licenses or Diffusion Lines

Unlike other fashion houses, Thom Browne does not license his name or designs to third parties. You won’t find a cheap diffusion line either. So unlike other brands which offset costs through mass market licensing deals, Thom Browne must recover all costs through direct sales.

6. Privilege of Made-to-Measure

Getting a custom suit made and fitted to your exact measurements is the pinnacle of luxury. As a holdover from Browne’s early made-to-measure beginnings, that opportunity still exists at a starting price of around $5,500. But for that you get an heirloom that will fit like no other.

7. Higher Retail Markups

The stores that carry Thom Browne typically purchase the collection wholesale at a standard industry markup. But given the high production costs, the markup on the retail end to achieve profit margins tends to be higher as well.

8. Brand Allure and Desirability

There’s an intangible value that comes with established brands, especially those favored by A-listers and cultural influencers. When people admire and aspire to wear what you design, you can command more money for each creation. Thom Browne generates that elite brand aura better than most.

9. Meticulous Attention to Detail

From the plates covering every jacket button to the subtracted sleeve lengths, Thom Browne focuses on details that telegraph a specific point-of-view. Each purposeful design element adds hours of thought and labor…and expense. But the resulting finesse is evident.

10. High Overhead Costs

Between Thom Browne’s small staff of pattern makers, cutters and expert tailors, to the brand’s standalone bespoke ateliers, overhead costs are substantial. Every person working on Browne’s benchmade garments and accessories in New York City adds to the outlay.


Is Thom Browne a good brand?

Yes, Thom Browne is considered one of the premier fashion brands due to its fine craftsmanship, boundary-pushing creative vision, and painstaking attention to detail that produces provocative, high-quality garments.

Are Thom Browne good?

With its excellent tailoring, fashion-forward aesthetic, conceptual originality and reputation for longevity, Thom Browne clothing delivers exceptional style and value despite higher prices.

Are Thom Browne worth the price?

For those who appreciate expert artisanship and Thom Browne’s iconic shrunken take on classic style, the substantial investment required brings equivalent returns in stunning craftsmanship and original design.

Where to buy Thom Browne?

Thom Browne operates flagship stores in London, Milan, Seoul and Tokyo but also sells through outlets like Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman and Dover Street Market along with specialty menswear shops.

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