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Shopping Tips : Cost Per Wear

With us being inundated with ads on social media to consume, consume, consume, it's easy to get caught up in impulse buys only to find out that you just wasted your hard-earned money on clothing or accessories that you're never (or rarely) going to wear.

As someone who struggled for many years of having a chaotic closet full of clothing I never wanted to wear, seeing all the sales, ads, and 'don't miss this!' marketing, I understand how it can lead to overspending and over consuming.

As a Wardrobe Consultant and business owner, my desire is to provide you with a service offering tips, guidance, and vetted recommendations.

I want your wardrobe to bring you joy and be thoughtfully curated. This won't happen if your closet is full of stuff you don't wear.

If you want to focus on purchasing items that will add value to your wardrobe, I encourage you to use the cost per wear formula. Have you heard of it? It's a simple formula for calculating an item's actual cost and value.

Keep in mind, the concept something being “worth the cost” is subjective and, ultimately, a personal decision. It depends on a person’s lifestyle, their values, and how they prefer to spend their time and money. What's "worth the cost" to me may be entirely different than what it is for you.

How to Calculate Cost Per Wear

Keep in mind, this isn't an exact science. But it's a great way to help you stick to a budget, know what you're spending, and curate your closet to something that actually works for you.

To calculate, simply add the number of times, based on your lifestyle, you think you'll actually wear an item, then divide the cost of that item by the projected number of times worn.

$ Cost of Item / # of Times Worn = $ Cost per Wear

It's an easy formula to follow, especially when you're looking at pricier items or those very trendy pieces.

Here's a real life example for you:

In my opinion, J. Crew makes some of the best blazers out there. They're a classic, timeless piece, and so well made. A few years ago, the price alone would've kept me from purchasing. But now that I use the cost per wear calculation, it makes the decision easier.

J.Crew Regent Blazer cost = $198

Times worn per year = about 15

Cost per wear = $13.20

For me, this is worth the cost, considering this blazer is a classic piece and can be worn for years to come. Blazers are incredibly versatile. I love tossing one on with jeans and a graphic t-shirt for a casual look. And obviously they're the perfect finishing piece for workwear and more formal occasions.

Other Questions to Ask Yourself Before Purchasing

While the cost per wear equation is one to keep in mind, also ask yourself these questions before you add new items to your closet. The goal is to have a curated closet with pieces that fit, that you want to wear, and can be worn in multiple ways.

  • Do I already own one or more pieces like this?

  • Does it fit now?

  • Is this piece actually comfortable and I want to wear it?

  • What's my current emotional state? (Bored, sad, happy)

  • Can I wear this for more than one season?

  • Can it be layered? Can I layer something under/or over it?

  • Do I have shoes to wear with it now?

  • Can I think of 5 times - off the top of my head - that I'll want to wear this piece in the next three months?

  • Is this going to be a forever piece or is it trendy and fun for now?

I hope you found this tip helpful! As always, feel free to reach out with any questions!

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