Calculating cost per wear is one of the most valuable things you can do if you are shopping on a budget.
As a college student, my income typically hinders my ability to fulfill my impulse to shop. It is easy to accommodate for a lower income by shopping at stores with lower price points, such as Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe. While these stores are great in many ways, the lower price typically means a cheaper garment. I’m guilty of making trips to these stores several times a week to pick up cheap items, leaving me with a closet full of “average” items.
Throughout my experiences in college so far, I’ve realized that the items I have worn since my freshman year are typically my “splurge” pieces that have lasted for 3 years and are still in great condition. I’ve found that it is important to have “investment pieces” because they usually pay themselves off. If you really love something you’ve bought from one of your favorite high-end designers, you will wear it all the time. Yes, you may spend $200 now, but you will most likely wear it 20 times more than you will wear that $20 skirt you bought from Forever 21 last week.
When making shopping decisions, it is important to calculate cost per wear. My finance nerd side is about to come out…
Here, we have two pairs of basic jeans at two drastically different prices. Let’s say in this scenario, you purchase the Forever 21 jeans at a lower price, but they are ill fitting and uncomfortable so you rarely wear them. Whereas, the 7 for All Mankind are a perfect fit and make you (and your butt) feel like a million bucks, so you wear them several times a week.
In one year, if you wear the “splurge” jeans on an average of 2 times a week, you will wear them approximately 104 times in a year. Also, since the Forever 21 jeans do not fit well, you wear them once every two months, totaling 6 times per year.
The equation for calculating cost per wear looks something like this:
Price of Item/ # of Times Worn in a Given Time= Cost per Wear
7 for All Mankind Jeans: $178/104= $1.71 per wear
Forever 21 Jeans: $11/6=$1.83 per wear
This shows that in a year, you will save $0.12 per wear from buying the 7 for All Mankind jeans over the Forever 21 jeans. In my opinion, this justifies splurging on something that will last forever. This is also just in a year, so if they last 3+ years, the cost per wear will go down even further.
Think of your clothes as assets. They depreciate over time, but some depreciate faster than others. Some, such as designer items, actually gain value over time because they could be sold in vintage stores someday. Think of the “income” these assets are producing as the confidence you have from wearing something that looks great on you.
I recommend calculating cost per wear on items that are classic and will last a long time such as jeans, shoes, handbags, suits, classic dresses and swimwear. Trendier items tend to have a shorter life span in the fashion world, so going the cheap route makes more sense. I hope this was helpful!
My most beloved piece in my closet is definitely my trench coat. Trench coats are a timeless staple for any woman’s wardrobe. They can be worn year round and add polish to any outfit. The trench coat has recently gotten a makeover, and now there are several variations of the classic trench available in stores.
Here are five unexpected ways to wear a trench:
Trench Dress- My personal favorite, the trench dress is the perfect warm weather option during these unbearable temperatures. These dresses are usually appropriate for work as well! Feminine details like the twisted hem on the Modcloth trench dress above keep the look from looking too much like a coat.
Trench Vest- The trench vest serves as an awesome layering piece. It would be great over a girly sundress in the spring or summer, and layered over a long sleeve top in the fall or winter.
Trench Shorts- While I have not seen a lot of these in stores in the U.S., the trench short seems to be a hybrid of a trench coat and classic khaki shorts. These would be perfect for running errands on a rainy summer day!
Trench Skirt- For a fun, sophisticated look, trench skirts are an updated version of the trench that adds more of a “preppy” element to the trend. I can imagine wearing one of these while on a golf course or trying to make a good impression on someone’s parents.
Trench Cape- If you already own a trench coat but you want another similar option for winter, I would recommend purchasing a trench cape. It is a modern take on the staple and allows your arms to let loose during colder weather. Capes were all over the Fall/Winter 2011 runways, so I am expecting this trend to stick around for awhile.
Colour blocking is one of my favorite trends of the summer right now. Mixing two unpredictable colours against each other adds flavor to any outfit. This trend may seem unrealistic for everyday wear at first, but the truth is that anyone can pull it off. I’ve created three outfits that highlight different “levels” of color blocking ranging from subtle or extreme looks that are perfect for summer:
Fashion is about discovering who you are at a given point in your life. It is about taking your circumstances and turning them into wearable art. For the last few years, I’ve seen my style evolve in several ways as I have matured and become more aware of unique aspects of my personality. I generally see my body as a canvas every morning and tailor my outfits to my mood, daily activities, and the statement I want to make to the world that day.
Perhaps the most valuable lesson I’ve learned through this evolution is the importance of pushing the limits of what society says is acceptable to wear to cater to your personal style. This doesn’t mean wearing something inappropriate, but rather dressing the part while letting your quirks be known through your outfits.
My self-awareness through fashion has built up my overall confidence in several areas of my life, and I hope to share that with others who are looking for the same satisfaction. Gaining the confidence to “pull things off” is an extremely powerful feeling. When I am strutting through campus wearing something loud and unusual, I feel like I’m on top of the world. Finding the styles that can give you that feeling can truly change your life.
The main goal of this blog is to make my readers aware of current and upcoming trends, and highlight different ways to incorporate them into your personal style. I will give tips and insights into finding your personal style and incorporating that into what you can wear to work, class, dates, etc. I’ll provide a fashion journal that breaks down different outfits that I wear on a daily basis, and inform readers of any fashion challenges that I am currently doing at a given time.
I’m excited to see where this blog takes me over the next few months! I encourage you to keep reading, check back daily for new content, and give any feedback!