Does that saying sound familiar? You may (or may not) have used it to justify an expensive purchase to the significant other so he doesn’t hit the roof when the credit card bill come in, but bare with me, there is definitely some truth in it!

For the uninitiated out there, Cost-Per-Wear is exactly what it sounds like – take the price you paid for it, and divide it by the amount of times you a) intend to wear it or b) have worn it. This is your cost-per-wear.

Let me explain:

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COST PER WEAR: Divide the initial cost of purchasing the garment by the amount of times your have worn it

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I am definitely a advocate of shopping on a budget, I don’t think that you need to have money to have style, in fact, often the two are inversely proportionate…. but I also think that you need to spend good money for good quality pieces in your wardrobe sometimes.

Look for fashion that is good value for money – this means only spend what you think the clothes (or shoes, or handbag) are worth.

Let’s take the example of the image above: it might seem that an initial outlay of $400 is unaffordable for a pair of boots – BUT because they are a good quality leather, a classic style and a neutral colour, you are not only going to wear them with lots of different outfits, but you are also going to have them for years!

The on-trend floral blazer on the other hand, seems affordable at first, but let’s be realistic – you are probably not going to wear this everyday, and the floral look is going to date quite quickly. So even though this piece is cheaper up front, it’s cost-per-wear is way higher! (*CPW calculated on 1 season being 13 weeks, or a quarter of the year).

|| sidebar: on that note, I bought an AWESOME floral blazer from a chain store recently – I LOVE the print and thought I would wear it ALL. THE. TIME. Can you guess how many times I’ve worn it? Once. ||

Even very similar garments can have very different CPW:

Take these two maxi’s from boohoo.com – they are a similar style and price BUT the versatility of the black dress will give it a much lower CPW!

During the warmer months, you could potentially wear the plain black jersey version at least once a week. Dress it up for a night out with wedges and heels, accessorise it with neon accessories for a catch up coffee with your girlfriends, or add a denim jacket or blazer and some ballet flats for Casual Friday at work – no one will know it’s the same dress if you accessorise it differently!

The gorgeous butterfly print dress however, would be a much more memorable dress – you could wear it once a week, but people might start to wonder if you have any other clothes! Because of the print, this dress stands out a lot more, so realistically, you might only wear it 5 times over the summer?

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Be thrifty on trend purchases, spend more on classic pieces

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So next time you are trying to decide if that $400 frock is worth it? Ask yourself what it’s Cost Per Wear will be. Are you only buying it because you have to wear it to a friends wedding next weekend? Or can you wear it to said wedding, AND to work the week after, AND to your partner’s footy club awards night, AND your girlfriend’s baby shower…… get the message?

What is your best Cost Per Wear buy? Share it with the rest of us in the comments below!

Cait xox

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