the MOST important factor to consider when shopping

I wanted to take today and talk about one of the most important factors to consider when buying an item…


What is Cost Per Wear? (hint: just what it sounds like)

What an item costs each time it is worn.

(Ideally a very different number than the initial price of an item). I’m going to share 3 separate items from my closet purchased during the past 3 years that cost a lot (by my standards) up front, but get a lot of love.

Why is Cost Per Wear important? Because I would rather spend $100 on a pair of jeans and wear them 30 times ($3 cost per wear) then purchase an impulse sweater at Forever 21 for $15 and wear it once ($15 cost per wear). Although the price of the sweater seems less daunting up front, in the long run it isn’t worth it. Besides, it is better for your wallet and the environment to buy something a bit nicer and wear it a ton!

This isn’t necessarily about buying the most expensive or nicest item, but moreso about making sure you’re buying items you truly love and want to continually reuse than something because you have nothing to wear, or you found a great sale at Nordstrom.

Up first:  Rebecca Minkoff Sofia Mini Tassel Crossbody (2016)


this little gal was $245 (I know, sorry Mom!) but I had a coupon code so I ended up paying $210. It was one of those “I love this and I bet it will sell out quick” finds so I hopped right on it back in late February. Plus, with the tan leather & multicolored tassels, I was confident it would match with (almost) EVERYTHING.

So far I’ve probably used the bag about 30 separate times, so my Cost Per Wear is about $7 right now. ($210/30 times)

This cute bag isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so that number will continue to decrease.

As I predicted, this bag sold out rather quickly in the spring, but Rebecca Minkoff brought back a super cute suede version for fall in more muted colors – if you’re interested you can find it below!

A few times I featured it on the blog:

April 15th // May 17th // June 6th // June 16th // August 8th


Louise et Cie booties (2015): 

up close 2 louise et cie booties

I got these last fall and (no joke!) I wore them 1-2 times a week from October 2015 – April 2016. For our calculation let’s say I wore them 55 times (still a pretty conservative estimate)  and the retail price was $185.

My Cost Per Wear is about $3.36 ($185/55 times) for only last fall and winter. I plan on living in them again this fall and winter (or whatever those seasons look like in SoCal) so again, that number will continue to decrease.

Love these boots? Here is a similar pair by the same designer!

Here are a few times they made it on the blog:

October 15th // October 21st // October 29th  // December 2nd // December 7th

Last but definitely not least…

Line & Dot Floral Jacket (2014):

Floral Moto 3.17.14

Confession – I paid the full price of $180 for this jacket my senior year of college. In my defense, I used part of my tax return, but at that point in my life it was the most I’d ever spent on a clothing item. I told myself I would have to wear it a TON to justify that cost, and years later it is still one of my favorite pieces to mix with black and white stripes. Digging through the archives I realized I haven’t featured it on here in years(!) but I will work on that for the fall 🙂

I would guess that I’ve probably worn this jacket 25 times.

Cost Per Wear = $7.20 ($180/25 times)

I also don’t see this beauty leaving my closet anytime soon!

I found it lightly used on Tradesy (here) and Poshmark (here)

And a few others:

And here are a few times I featured it on the blog:

March 17th // April 8th // April 18th // April 28th // May 5th

There you have it, Cost Per Wear; something you should absolutely consider next time you’re creating a seasonal wishlist or shopping. Tell me, was this post helpful at all? Is this calculation something you already do?

I would love to hear from you.

xo, Maddy

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  • Reply Sarah T

    I do this quite a bit to see if a big purchase is really worth it or just something I want. A good example of this for me is my Rag & Bone distressed boyfriend shorts. They’ve been pretty popular for about 3 years now and last summer (2015), I bit the bullet and paid full price for them ($210). That was the most I’ve ever spent on a pair of shorts (or a pair of jeans, though pricey denim to me can be worth it). However, since then I’ve worn them about 60 times (and there’s still time left in this summer and even into early fall for me to wear them) so right now it’s right at $3.50 per wear. They’re one of my two favorite pairs of shorts so they get a lot of wear and the fit is great. Totally worth it in my opinion.
    I also do this with handbags. I have both an LV Speedy and (recently) a Neverfull MM. They’re pricey (to say the least). But my husband got me the Speedy as a surprise for Christmas. Since then, I’ve probably carried it 50 or 60 times (that’s a rough estimate since I switch bags a lot and only carry it when the weather is good). So CPW on that is right at $19 or so. AND LV’s don’t really depreciate that much IF I should ever decide to move on from it (especially if they’re in good shape, which I tend to baby my bags). So now, I consider if there’s any type of appreciation with bags too which can justify the cost. Just a thought. 😉

    August 10, 2016 at 5:07 pm
    • Reply madelinewp

      yes definitely a good point with bags – the resale value! I know a handful of bags do appreciate so those are good potential purchases 🙂

      August 10, 2016 at 6:04 pm
  • Reply Annessa

    I am a cost-per-wear fiend as well. It’s so helpful in curbing a impulse purchases, and you really only end up buying things that will last for years. Anything I haven’t been wearing I try and sell on Poshmark!


    August 10, 2016 at 9:50 pm
    • Reply madelinewp

      same here! I have definitely been trying to clear out using Posh as well!

      August 10, 2016 at 11:53 pm
  • Reply bianca roman

    i absolutely love that i stumbled upon this post!!! i am always telling myself and my mom that i need to spend a decent amount of money on a pair of GREAT jeans instead of spending $20-$65 on semi OK jeans!!! i never thought to look at clothes with a cost of wear!!! it makes total sense!!! i can’t wait to try it out haha. i would love to see more of your cost of wears from your closet!!

    August 10, 2016 at 11:49 pm
    • Reply madelinewp

      glad you found me Bianca – I can definitely share most cost-per-wear items soon! xo

      August 10, 2016 at 11:53 pm
  • Reply dressing for fall (when the weather says summer) - cassidy lou

    […] PS. Unfamiliar with Cost Per Wear – you should check out THIS post then ? […]

    September 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm
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