Cost-per-wear: How good is your Fashion Math

Today’s lesson in math will show you how to justify expensive items to help you build your dream capsule wardrobe. Remember the essence of this exercise is to invest in classic, high quality items that will/should last you a long time. Again, we want to lean towards becoming stylish not trendy!

The Fashion Math
This is quite basic math. To help you find your Cost-Per-Wear, take the total price of your favourite item, and divide it by the number of times you will wear it. The ultimate goal here is to lower the CPW. The more times you wear your item, the higher the price can be! Take a really expensive  pair of jeans, for example. Jeans are worn so many times throughout the year, that you can easily rationalize spending between $200-$300 on a good quality, well fitted pair of denim jeans. If you end up wearing these jeans every day for a year, they will have paid for themselves! What a deal.

Sometimes we buy into the trends of fast fashion and get lured into purchasing lots of pieces that we don’t end up wearing, or we spend a ton of money on one not-so-key item. When you use the CPW as a common indicator, you can quickly see how you probably should not have purchased that $1000 ball gown, you will never wear again! (CPW= $1000… Consider Rent Frock Repeat, you crazy girl! What’s wrong with you?)

A few things to keep in mind when you are calculating CPW:

  • Durability- don’t sacrifice on the price! Invest in leather shoes and bags, they get the most wear and tear. I cringe when I see fake leather or plastic purses deteriorating.
  • Quality vs Quantity- buy nice things, just less of them.
  • Functionality- Do not compromise when it comes to functionality. Invest in warm, weatherproof boots and coats. Splurge on well-made and supportive heels that you will wear all the time.

Lastly, I want to close with the value of thrift shopping. This is an excellent way to splurge on things you don’t want to pay full price for. Maybe it’s a season too late, but who really cares! Paying less also means you can buy stuff that is outside your ideal “capsule wardrobe” collection. This is also when you can have a little fun and go outside your comfort zone.

Here are a few items that yield a low CPW… depending on your daily habits! What do you think of these price points? Sorry for all the black… it’s seems to be my go-to this season.


Paige skinny jeans • Paige • $507.02
Lord & Taylor Wrist Length Knit Cuff Leather Gloves • $40
Hudson’S Bay Company 100% Cashmere Scarf • HBC • $120
Merrell Women’s Decora Sonata Waterproof Winter Boot Brown 8.5 M US • Merrell • $169.99
La Canadienne Womens Mazy Knee-High Boot,Black,10 M US • La Canadienne • $274.63
Caley-F5 Large Black Mesenger Bag • Mackage • $595
Kay-F5 Long Black Winter Down Coat With Fur Hood • Mackage • $795
Pierre Hardy Black Suede Ultime Pumps • Pierre Hardy • $455
Ann Marino by Bettye Muller Fleetwood Booties • Bettye Muller • $130.30

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