So I just bought a $195 polo shirt.
It's a nice shirt. Not an exciting shirt. Not made of silk. Not hand-stitched by master Italian tailors. It can't play MP3s and DVDs. It can't fly me round-trip from Chicago to New York or sponsor a starving child in the Philippenes for eight months. So, at first, I was a bit befuddled by why anybody would pay $195 for it. (People who know what I earn and how I dress will understand without being told that I didn't pay $195. By the time the store had finished discounting it, I paid just under $16, with tax.)
To sort out what makes a shirt worth $195, I looked up Theory, the company that manufactured it. Despite my expectation that I'd find that Theory had filed for bankruptcy after failing to sell a single $195 short-sleeved shirt or $115 pair of socks, the company appears to be a successful label that sells its products in high-end retail stores.
I also found their website, where I learned why their shirts cost $195. "Theory," it turns out, "is dynamic entrepreneurial sprit and attitude that is shared by our employees, our partners and our consumers." Aha!
Not only that, but their employees form "a band of aesthetic insiders" who "love style, luxury, and simplicity."
Oh. Well, that explains it.