Friday, March 2, 2012

cost per wear

It's me again, with another post of "just another day around the house so I feel silly showing you what I'm wearing because it's nothing special but here we go anyway!"

So the outfit consists of yet another pair of colored chinos- I wasn't kidding when I said this was my new uniform of the week. They ROCK. I made a good choice for me and my lifestyle. :) These are from J.Crew Factory and I got them for $35 instead of the usual $69.50. They don't have any more left, but they do carry them in the store and you can check them out here. The Waverly Chinos are my favorite fit of the moment, and I wear them rolled because otherwise they're a little baggier than I'd like. But baggy is accepted in Becker Style when rolled. :)

Now, the shirt. This is where we'll discuss the concept of cost-per-wear. The chambray shirt (yes, you can call it a jean shirt if you really want to) is also J. Crew. You can check it out here. I'm having a major love affair with all things J. Crew at the moment...seriously.

I have a chambray shirt I got from Forever21 a year or so ago and I find I wear it often. Now, if you clicked on the link you'll see that it wasn't cheap. I don't call $78 for one shirt inexpensive. And it's not that my budget it infinite. It's very small, actually. (This shirt took my personal spending money for a whole month.) But for me, the key to a successful wardrobe is knowing where to spend the money and where to save it. This is a shirt that I had previously owned the cheaper version of, and knew from experience that I wear it often. And what I discovered is that you can tell quality and price are closely connected in the land of chambray shirts. I found that the dye is less attractive, the fading is shoddy, the fit is less flattering, and the fabric is poor when compared to the "good" version. But when I got the first one I wasn't sure if I was really going to like it so spending $20 or less was reasonable. Now that I know I'm going to wear this thing to pieces, it was time to invest.

Question: Why is this such an investment piece? In Becker Style it can be worn: 1)with leggings, a tall pair of boots (I'm excited to get my pair of dark green Hunter rain boots for my birthday. They are going to be magical together) and a statement necklace 2)I wear it with a long maxi skirt and feather earrings with gladiator sandals 3)with ANY color chinos around the house or out around town with a pair of boat shoes and a chunky gold watch 4)with a pair of skinny jeans in a darker blue wash and a thin, leather, braided belt tied around my natural waist, right below my ribs 5)as a blazer substitute over a white lace, overly feminine dress...and the list goes on. That's literally just off the top of my head how I've worn it. I look forward to creating new outfits with it, too. And seriously, the fading in this shirt transforms when you put it on. I don't know what spell is on it, but I will be wearing this shirt for the next decade, at least. It was $78 but in terms of cost-per-wear, which is how you're supposed to think when considering the cost of an item to purchase, it's very reasonable.

So here we are- let's talk about the concept of "cost per wear." The name says it all but I'll still explain it. When considering an item to purchase, first look at the cost of the item in question and consider how much you will wear it. Sometimes this makes a $35 item more expensive than a $100 item.

Seriously. I swear.

Example: Say you want to get a cute new date night dress and you go to Forever21 where you buy one for $35. You wear it once, but it's not the kind of piece you're going to wear in your weekly wardrobe. Through the year you might wear it two more times, if we're being generous, making the price $11.67 per wear. Now, you also consider buying a pair of skin-colored ballet flats from Nine West for $100. You can/will wear these shoes with absolutely any outfit you ever want to put on, so we'll say you'll wear them a conservative estimate of twice a week. That's just once on grocery day and once to a friend's house. But you can wear them year round. That's 104 times. Thus making them a total of $.96 per wear.

Now, which was cheaper? Yeah...the $100 shoes. :)

Even if you only wear them ONCE a week, you still only spent $1.92 on the shoes. That is ten times less expensive than the Forever21 dress.

That's the way I look at clothes buying. I have cheap clothes in my closet next to more expensive ones. But the items that are pricey are ALWAYS the classics. I don't have money to spare. So I have to make it count.

What I'm saying is that this $78 shirt is one of the cheapest shirts I own when you consider cost-per-wear. And that's exactly what I'm looking for. :)

**A Tip- if you don't know where to start investing in pieces for your closet, look at the things you currently own and wear out. Is it a pair of shoes that are falling apart? A shirt you've had forever and still wear regularly? THOSE are the things you can consider replacing with a better quality item. You've already shown yourself that you will wear it, so why not have it in a version that will last you forever. Old Navy shoes can only last you so long... ;)Link


  1. love the outfit on the pics, you look adorable!

    Lily @ wear with chinos

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.