Building on from my last post, I wanted to really hone in on, and place a focus on Cost Per Wear or CPW for short. If you’re the type that likes to place quality over quantity, or a looking to make that shift in your approach to your wardrobe, it’s likely that you’ve already stumbled across this concept.
Splurging on a little luxury, whether it’s an accessory, a great handbag, a killer pair of shoes or a classic coat, can be enough to make even some of the most seasoned shoppers balk. It’s a serious investment, and when you’re dropping that kind of cash on just one piece, you want to be sure that the splurge is worth it, which is where CPW comes in.
The last time I did any real math, I was at university studying Economics as a major and wading my way through advanced calculus. These days, the most advanced math you’ll typically find me doing is a little fashion arithmetic; calculating the cost-per-wear of my closet.
To put it simply, cost-per-wear (CPW) = Total cost of item / Number of days you’ve worn (or will wear) the Item.
It probably sounds dangerously like an excuse to justify those spendy purchases, but I’ve found that in actual practice, it’s become a useful tool in avoiding regretful purchases, and picking up those high quality key wardrobe staples that I’d been hesitating to pull the trigger on.
The Charlotte Olympia kitty flats that I bought more than three years ago? They’ve had at least a good 450 wears so far – and trust me, they look it – with their cost-per-wear falling a little under $1.50 per wear. Then there’s my completely thrashed Proenza Schouler PS11 satchel, that cost an absolute bomb, but I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth in daily use over the years. CPW is one of the first things that I consider when really investing in an expensive piece; my Acne Studios leather jacket for example, which I splurged on my first year living in Sydney is proof of the concept in practice; it’s the most I’ve ever spent on one piece of clothing, but I’ve worn it so often it’s basically paid for itself. Well, not quite, but I think you get where I’m going with this…
The point being, you can spend $50 on a skirt from ASOS and wear it twice (giving you a CPW of $25) or you could get a little spendy and pick up a classic a-line style from A.P.C for $200 and wear it twenty times for a CPW of $10. I know which skirt I would choose…