How Cost Per Wear Can Save You Money for Years


[outfit_details]OUTFIT 1: Draper James Dress, White Sneakers, Pearl Headband, Rose Gold Kendra Scott Hoops
OUTFIT 2: Draper James Dress, Navy Leather Jacket, Christian Louboutin Heels (similar), Hoops[/outfit_details]

I’m the type of person who puts a lot of thought into everything I do. Whether I’m putting together a care package for a friend or picking up fresh fruit at the grocery store. This thoughtfulness has always been applied to my clothes. My Mom and older sister taught me the value of versatile clothes early on. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up since my parents were political refugees and watching them create so many outfits out of the few pieces they had stuck with me.

I didn’t know it then, but they were practicing cost per wear. Now, as an adult, I’m spending more money on my clothes, so I can save money in the long run. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but trust me. Keep reading as I share how cost per wear can save you money for years.

What is Cost Per Wear?

Before I delve into how cost per wear can save you money for years, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what it actually is. The general rule is the more times you use or wear a product the better investment it is. When it comes to clothing, cost per wear is the number of times you estimate you’ll wear the item divided by how much it costs. Let’s take this floral-print denim dress for instance. It’s $125 and I estimate for spring, summer and a portion of fall I can probably wear it about once every other week. I can wear it to work and on the weekends, so in theory I could probably wear it every week, but to be on the safe side, we’ll say every other week. That gives me about 16 weeks out of the year to wear it.

$125 ÷ 16 = $7.81

If I only wear this dress for one year, it costs me $7.81 each time I wear it. That’s a really good investment! But cost per wear goes beyond this. What if the dress lasts three to five years?

What to Consider with Cost Per Wear

Quality, quality, quality. I’m the type of person who doesn’t buy something just because it’s on sale. It has to be a quality item and of good value. The biggest factor to take into consideration when doing cost per wear is how long the item will last. It doesn’t matter if you want to wear this floral dress every single week if it’ll fall apart in the wash and start looking old in a few weeks. You’ll end up discarding it before you know it.

That’s why it’s so important to look at what the garment is made of, how it’s made and ask yourself if it’ll withstand the test of time quality-wise and style-wise. I spend a good amount of money on my jeans. Usually in the $170 to $225 range. Yes, that is a lot of money to spend on jeans. But, if I can wear them at least one to two times a week, every single week, for at least five years, that’s a really great investment.

How to Spot Quality Items

When it comes to picking out quality items, fabric and stitching are dead giveaways. Avoid synthetic fabrics such as polyester, rayon and acrylic if you can. These break down easily, don’t wash well and start to degrade quickly. You want natural fabrics such as cotton, silk and wool. These will stand the test of time and your washing machine if you treat them right. Below are some of my tried-and-true quality items I’ve had for years and can wholeheartedly recommend!

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