Friday 12 July 2013

Cost Per Wear.

Ahh, the cost per wear method. This has -in my mind- won me a lot of arguments here in the Stein-Lutz house, with the common used phrase, "Andy, at the rate I will wear these, I'm practically going to make money off of them". This is always followed with an eyeroll, but I do have a point. There are certain items that when you buy them cheap, they fall apart faster, fade faster, and have to be replaced faster. Why? Because if they can be purchased for cheap, you know they were made for cheaper. BUT, when you pay the extra little or lot bit of money for a nicer product, odds are you won't have to replace said item for at least a few years, if not more. My first ever swanky pair of jeans was a Seven for all Mankind bootcut number, bought when my sister and I went on a shopping trip to Vancouver the summer before grade 12. I had saved every penny I made for months prior to going, and I was ready to do some damage. I remember trying them on, feeling like I had just acquired a new set of skin my body had forgotten to make, and then practically losing my lunch when I saw the price. Are you for REAL!? American Eagle makes just as nice jeans, albeit my bum has never looked this good, but that's okay, I can deal. So I put all of my items on hold (this was also my first experience at Aritzia, sigh, shoulda known that place would suck my wallet dry every trip to Vancouver since), and we walked to a couple more stores to see if there was a pair of good jeans for less that did the trick. Guess what? there wasn't. To seal the deal, this is the wisdom my sister imparted on to me, forever changing my life:
"Bri, there is a system called the Cost Per Wear. When you buy something that may be more expensive than you had originally planned on, but you know you will wear the item multiple times, you have to factor that into the cost. These jeans are $250, but you will wear them probably 3-4x a week for the next 2-3 years. Within the first year and a half, you've "earned" back what you spent. Also, you will not have to buy another pair of jeans in that time to replace these ones, saving you the $50-$60 additional dollars it would cost to replace them with something cheaper."

Those jeans? I bought them when I was 17; I just got rid of them this year. Because they fell apart? No, they were still in mint condition, unfortunately the hips I had in grade 12 didn't follow me into adulthood. But! Those jeans lasted me seven years. There is something to be said about where to spend your money as far as clothing goes, and where to save it. White t-shirts or buttons ups? Well, they will yellow at the same rate regardless of the price, so save your money. I also believe this is the case with most casual tank tops. But jeans, boots, winter coats? Now, this is where I strongly believe that you get what you pay for. In the case of jeans, the cheapo pairs can definitely serve their purpose, but getting more than a season or two out of them is pretty rare. The denim is thinner, more brittle, and loses it's shape too soon. Leather boots should walk through years with you, without ruining your arches and creating calluses the size of quarters from cheaply made, hard plastic soles. I quote this theory a lot when it comes to my Stella & Dot jewellery. Yes, it is definitely more expensive, especially for "Costume Jewelry". But? It is practically the only accessories I wear, and the only ones that don't stain my skin, bug my sensitive to metal ears, or break. Now with every piece of jewellery, they have the risk of being a little defective, but in my experience, I still have the same Stella pieces from 4 years ago, in great condition.

My one condition to the rule: One time wears. We know the items; bought for a fancy dinner/wedding, and we know that odds are that we will only wear it a handful of times, at most. In this case, I say it is up to the buyer, but I know for the dresses I spent $100+ on and have only worn max twice, I feel bitter when I look at them in my closet, not like I just made a good fashion investment. If you can achieve the same look without breaking the bank, do it.

1 comment:

  1. Oh... it melts my heart to see I get a shout out in your post...I still live by this rule with shopping. There's many useless things I taught you about boys, fashion, life...this was a very useful thing to teach you even if I did get the stink eye by the parentals! XO