Fashion Philosophy: Cost Per Wear

Question: What’s a better buy?

This Louis Vuitton handbag (retail price: $1030)

louis vuitton

Or this pair of Nine West heels I got on clearance for $21?


Many will say the shoes for many reasons: lower price point, not full retail price, great find or other reasons.  I evaluate my purchases on a philosophy introduced to me by my sister-in-law: COST PER WEAR.  Simply put, COST PER WEAR = purchase price/# of days worn.  The idea is that the more that you wear something, the more value you are getting out of it.

Some of my quick rules of thumb:

  1. It’s OK to spend a little more on quality daily use items.  I like to pay a little more for higher quality on things like handbags, outerwear and jewelry because I tend to wear them more often and therefore, have a lower cost per wear!
  2. Decide on a goal cost per wear ratio for you and stick to it!  For me that ideal ratio is $1 for most things.  That means if I buy a $300 pair of shoes, I better be wearing them at least 300 times!  Puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
  3. A bargain isn’t a bargain unless you actually use that item!  Don’t buy things just because they seem like a great savings.  You’re not saving money if you’re spending money!  This has helped me curb my impulse buying to almost never.

In this case, I own both these items.  The LV bag is my daily use bag and I have worn it pretty much every other day in the past two years.  This means that my cost per wear has so far been about $2.82, or the price of a small coffee every day.  I plan to wear it until I can no longer wear it, which hopefully will be never because it’s classic and will never go out of style.  My cost of wear will eventually get down to my $1 goal!

On the other hand, the peep toe shoes has been worn a grand total of ONE time, making the cost per wear what I paid for them: $21!  On top of that, being the specific color and style it is, I don’t know if I’ll always love them. Using my handy dandy Cost Per Wear philosophy, it turns out my LV bag is a better value than the shoes!

What are some of your fashion philosophies?


2 thoughts on “Fashion Philosophy: Cost Per Wear

  1. Pingback: Simple Ways to Stretch Your Dollar (Think Cost per Meal) | the effing life

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