So... I'm a snob.
I know I'm hard as hell on my pants. I ride motorcycles in them and twice have gone over. Thing is, the same pair of Eddie Bauer jeans survived two lowsides, on the same side, in the same place. I would pay more for durable jeans, but the more you pay, the thrasheder they are already.
I'm hard as hell on my t-shirts, too. I wear them and then wash them and then wear them again and just don't care in between. Since t-shirts are all I wear, getting new ones is no big.
But permanent shit...
I'm a big fan of Oberon Design. I just bought my wife one of these and you know what? It's the shizzle. It's made in USA, hand-crafted by a dude named Brendan and it'll last a thousand years. I have a kindle cover from Oberon that survived flying off the back of a KLR at 70mph... which the kindle did not. I sent the scuffed cover back to Oberon and they shined it up for me and sent it back.
Another friend of mine handcrafts leather and canvas goods. And his shit is expensive, and his shit is metrosexual, but his shit is tight. You're not going to buy backpacks very often, so the ones you buy should be fuckin' awesome.
Hell, even my watch is hand-made. When it breaks I send it down to Bjorn and he fixes it. I'd wax poetic about my motorcycle jacket (a Hein Gericke Dakar) but they haven't made them since 2005. I'll still be riding in it 30 years from now. How do I know? It's a lot like my Schott, which I've been wearing since 1992, which is a lot like my dad's Schott, which he wore from 1958 until 1991 when somebody stole it.
People say "couture" and mean "expensive hand-made shit that's oh-so-very-fashionable." I'm not into couture, but I sure am into wearing things by people I've met, can talk to on the phone, and stand behind their products.
I have a friend who used to design for Skechers. Their shit was designed to come apart within three months so you'd have to buy more Sketchers. I've got a pair of DCs right now that are a year old and shredding... but that's okay because I only wear them when I'm riding my longboard and the left toe has been scraped off on every hill within a mile of here. My Carolina 118s?
Already resoled once, due for another, replaced the old pair of 118s after three soles and 20 years of service.
If I wore hoodies I'd buy this thing.