Cost Per Wear. How to calculate the real cost of your wardrobe. 

Since I was a young girl I was determined to have my dream and fashionable wardrobe. I worked all summer saved up to buy pair of Chanel sunglasses. I had dreamed of these glasses forever, and was thrilled to be able to invest in a pair. Why am I telling you this story? Because as a Style Coach, I work to teach  my Style Clients on how to invest in quality and timeless pieces, and I want the rest of my stylish community to adopt this concept as well. I would like to share my tips for knowing which parts of the garment are worth investing in. From many years of experience I know which things are better to pay more for not only to look better and more stylish, but also for which the purchase is more wise. The Cost per wear calculator helps me with this. 

What is Cost per Wear and how to calculate it?

The Cost Per Wear is a powerful concept that lets you understand the real price of your clothes. It can be helpful to compare two potential purchases and decide which is more cost-effective.

The Cost Per Wear (CPW) is a formula that shows you how much does it cost to wear an item of clothing based on the price of the item and the number of times you wore it. The more you wear something, the lower its Cost Per Wear going to be. If you wear something only once, its CPW is the full purchase price of the item.

The Cost Per Wear method gives you a clearer understanding of your clothing purchases because two items might cost the same, but the one you’ll wear more often is going to be a much better investment.

Example: One more expensive item can cost less than a cheaper one if it’s worn enough times

I believe cheap T-shirts cost a lot more than high quality. Let’s start with economics. High quality classic T-shirt with bulid- in durability means your T-shirt is hard to tear and doesn’t suffer from wear. That’s why a high-quality T-shirt isn’t just a purchase, it’s an investment that pays off. 

Instead of dealing with a cheap T-shirt that shrinks and comes apart and then tossing it after a few weeks or months, you’ll have a long-lasting garment that looks great for the long haul.

Don’t be afraid to wear a high-quality T-shirt for utility as much as fashion. The T-shirts are just as good undergarments as they are standalone fashion statements. Breathable, comfortable, and lightweight, you can wear good T-shirts to bed or under your work clothes.  After a wash, high-quality T-shirt still comes out just as fresh as when you bought it. And the quality doesn’t fade. 

The Benefits Of The Cost Per Wear Mindset

You make better investments and avoid unnecessary spendings.

The above calculations speak for themselves :).

Make Smarter Purchases

Shopping can be fun but it can be also emotional. How often do we end up regretting buying something later? Quite often, right?

It would be better to get real with yourself before buying something, calculate the potential Cost Per Wear and realize it isn’t worth buying that crazy flashy sequin dress you’d wear only once or twice (even if it’s super cheap). But maybe you decide you’ll invest in that more expensive but classic blazer you’re going to be able to wear to work (and look amazing in) every other day.

Dress and Feel Better

CPW will help you think about your clothes in the long term instead of seasonal trends and impulse purchases. The calculator is perfect tool to use while starting Capsule Wardrobe. With the more wise shopping approach, you’ll evidently define your personal style and stick to that instead of buying everything you like and then not wearing 90% of it. You might also choose to buy more quality clothes that are well-tailored. As opposed to cheap fast fashion clothes, these will keep looking amazing even after you’ve washed them a couple of times.

Save Time

Whether you buy a 6 Euro T-shirt and wear it 6 times or buy a 60 Euro T-shirt and wear it 60 times, the Cost Per Wear is 1 Euro in both cases. However, in the case of the 6 Euro T-shirt, you have to make a decision and make a purchase ten times, instead of only once. You still save 50 minutes by choosing the “more expensive” T-shirt even if it only takes 10 minutes to make each purchase.

Save The Planet

Wearing your clothes more will result in less textile waste you can also purchase good-quality, sustainable clothes that have a lower environmental impact. When purchasing something no matter how inexpensive it is, you should aim for getting at least 30 wears out of that item. Big fashion companies know that when they invest in the big machinery, the harsh pesticides, the cheap dyes, the seasonal sales, the return on investment for them is not pennies on the dollar for selling you that 10 Euro T-shirt, but keeping you coming back to replace your T-shirt month after month. They might be keeping the cost level for you, but they increase their profits by reducing expenses–by finding new ways to exploit the planet.

Tips To Keep In Mind

  • Instead of only looking at the price of an item, think how many times you’ll wear it, and calculate its Cost Per Wear (CPW).
  • CPW = the cost of the item (including tailoring, maintenance, dry cleaning, etc.) / number of times it’s worn
  • The lower the CPW the more money you save.
  • Sometimes higher price means lower CPW and vice versa.
  • The average CPW is $4.06 which is extremely high.
  • Use the table to calculate the CPW you should aim for based on your budget.

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