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The Cost-per-Wear Closet Guide

by guest blogger, Julie

No matter if you’re a luxury-exclusive lady, a hoarder of high-low, or fascinated with fast fashion, the way you choose to curate your closet says a lot about what you value and how you view your pocketbook. The Fast Fashioner can’t comprehend spending hard earned dollars on a single purchase of posh heels while the Luxy Lady doesn’t see value in opening her wallet for terribly trendy $20 blouses she deems unwearable by season’s end.


Toscana Jacket $498 & Mandala Trousers $159, Maidstone Jacket $299 & Mojave Pants $169

So, how do we stay true to our style whilst remaining a fiscally responsible fashion seeker? It all comes down to a little equation called Cost Per Wear or CPW.

Cost Per Wear = Item Cost/How Many Times The Piece is Worn.

For example, a seemingly budget-blowing, well-made designer handbag that’s non-seasonal can be used 8 seasons on average, but a more money-friendly high street purchased purse, while on trend, is built to last only one season. Which investment is actually more frugal: the Fab or the Grab?

Designer Handbag:
$1500/730 (average wears) = $2.05 cost per wear

High Street Handbag:
$350/90 (average wears) = $3.88 cost per wear

OR…you find yourself fancying trendy punches of pink floral this season. You’re well aware that this hunger for flower power will pass at season’s end, maybe squeezing 7 wears out of the piece. Should you shoot for the stars and invest in the couture or pinch your pennies and opt for an online deal??

Fancy Floral:
$600/7 (average wears) = $85.71 cost per wear

Conservative Carnation:
$70/7 (average wears) = $10.00 cost per wear

Now that you’re thinking about the value of clothes you covet, not just the price, how do you find “Can’t-Live-Without” pieces that are ROI high?

1. Look for figure flattering items that accent your assets. These pieces will become your grab and go most loved items because you look amazing in them.


Kampala Jacket $299, Callista Sheath $279

2. Seek classic, well-tailored and constructed pieces. No one ever fell into an expertly-made money pit.


Regatta Stripe Dress $239

3. Get your hands on timeless, versatile pieces…think Little, think Black, think Dress.


Leticia Dress $498

4. Covet comfortable basics in premium fabrics…because the only thing better than basics, are basics that last.


Branock Cardigan $159, Magnolia Tunic $159, Prescott Striped Pants $169

5. Sack yourself a seasonless bag that takes you from fall to summer in neutral colors and materials. This takes the “think” out of accessorizing.


Wythe Leather Bag $398, Dakota Clutch $149, Monterrey Bag $199

6. Develop a fetish for hand finishing. Whether it’s a hand knit piece or hand finished detail, these garments are often made out of sublime fabrics and higher quality threads. No need to mention the great care and attention to detail. The price tag might be slightly higher, but expert experienced hands can execute much more than a well-oiled machine, producing pieces that will outlast any production line-made good.

Crochet on Intarsia_resized

And remember, smart shopping doesn’t mean price chopping! If you keep CPW in mind you’ll be able to wear your clothes more wisely because you’ve looked beyond the price tag and found the true value.

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One Response to The Cost-per-Wear Closet Guide

  1. jdp081990@yahoo.com' Adele says:

    This really helps me! I have a closet stuffed with clothes, so many I do not wear and agonize over what to wear.
    Lately, I just want to sell every piece I own and start completely over with just a few, quality, hand-picked and tailored clothes. I’m not sure this is realistic but I am simply tired of too many clothes and not enough to wear.
    And I am so tired of department stores as it is just too overwhelming with all the choices! It’s as if each clothing line has a “barker” when I top the escalator.

    Thanks – I need some courage to shop wisely from now on.

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