Monday, January 16, 2006

Cost per Wear and other fashion thoughts

In the early..well, never mind what decade--some time ago., I read a book which referenced the idea of "cost per wear" which I found to be brilliant. (To give credit where credit is due, I read about this idea in a book by Anne Weale, an author who I imagine to be nearly perfectly groomed at all times based upon the books she writes.) Anyway, cost per wear is an way of looking at clothes/accessory purchases with the idea that spending more on classic, long-wearing and well-made fashion items makes better sense financially than buying cheap items which are faddish and must be replaced more frequently. Say you buy a winter coat for $300 dollars. (I'll remind everyone, I work in the public schools, that's a lot of money to me.) How many times in one winter season will you wear the coat? 90 times, in a cold climate? And how many years can you wear a good winter coat? Three or four? The cost per wear of such a garment is less than a buck over time. See? Now take a special occasion dress, something you might wear at a wedding. How many times might you expect to wear such a dress? Once, three times? If you spend $300 dollars on such a dress the cost per wear is around $100 dollars!

I try to apply cost per wear to almost all of my purchases. It is why I buy good leather shoes which last forever, even though they cost more than leather-looking shoes from Walmart or Target. I also pay more for purses.

In the fall, while going through my In-Style magazine I fell in love with a Cole Haan purse. It was gorgeous and keeping in mind cost per wear, and my new higher salary I was contemplating splurging on this purse. You carry an everyday purse EVERYDAY and you can put them away as the seasons change and bring them out again year after year. It's good cost per wear calculation. Here's the purse, Cole Haan's Stud hobo:

I love it. Everything about it appeals to me. Then I found out it was $650.oo dollars. It was a dagger to my heart. Even with cost per wear I can't justify buying this purse. ::sigh::: I've looked for cheaper look-a-likes. I haunt e-bay. I've even tried to put the purse out of my mind. It has a hold on me though. I haven't been able to buy another purse since I first saw this one. And you thought unrequited love was something people felt for other people. How I wish I was still so innocent.

No comments: