I’m a big believer in cost-per-wear. My mom taught me that the more often you’re able to wear something, the more you can justify paying for it.
This is why I’m willing to invest $100 in a fabulous pair of shoes, even though it hurts in the short run. They’re well-made, they’re comfortable, they match everything. I wear them 5 days a week for years. That CPW is tiny in the long run.
CPW can change your mind about what’s really a “deal.” If that $7 fast fashion tshirt is holey after two washes, it’s not a great value—especially not compared to your spendier ones that last for years.
I love CPW, and I always think about it before making a purchase. It appeals to my inner maximizer. (I’ve spent the last 5 years trying to beat her into submission, but she’s still most definitely pleased by the idea of paying $.15 per wear on her favorite shoes.)
Don’t think you get a free pass if you’re not into fashion! The concept applies to more than clothes: it’s the same reason I’m okay with owning a $300 Le Creuset dutch oven. (I’m especially okay with it because my parents gave it to me as an awesome Christmas gift, but I still cringed at the price tag. I am thrifty, people!)
But I’ve used that pot four times a week, six months a year, for five years. It’s well-made and built to last. If there comes a time when I don’t use it anymore, I’ll pass it down to my kids. It’s heirloom quality: I’ll be able to do that. My cost per use is tiny.
when cost-per-wear and love-per-wear converge: 2 1/2 years ago Stitch Fix sent me a sweater ($44) and scarf ($24) that I still wear all the time
I love the cost-per-wear idea so much that I forget about the big exception: love per wear.
Some purchases have a terrible cost-per-wear, but make me very happy. I read about this recently on the Men’s Style Lab blog (where they also share more caveats about cost-per-wear).
I love this shirt, but I don’t wear it often. I have some great heels that I don’t wear much, but I love them when I do. I have more scarves than I need: my CPW is higher than it could be because I wear a different one every day. But they make me very happy.
The Men’s Style Lab blog says to break the CPW rules (as long as it doesn’t break your wallet) if a purchase makes you feel amazing, even if you don’t wear it very often. These items are investments, too—in your confidence and happiness.
The maximizer in me loves CPW, but I also want to open my closet and see clothes I love.
Love per wear: it’s a real thing.
Do you rely on CPW? What’s your favorite garment with a great love-per-wear ratio?