I think we can all agree that there is a unique satisfaction in purchasing a piece of clothing that you still find yourself wearing YEARS later. On the flip side, we likely all have a piece of clothing (or a few) that we spent way too much money on, and have barely worn. We want to help you avoid the latter!
This brings us to the cost per wear formula. The basic formula is this:
The most simple way to use this formula would be to take the price of an item and divide it by the number of times the item is worn. But we encourage you to go a step further (trust us, it’s worth it). The true cost of a piece of clothing goes beyond the price tag.
You’ll want to consider the environmental cost, the quality, and how the item was produced.
It’s no secret that ethical and sustainable fashion is more expensive, but for good reason. Firstly, fair trade/ethical production is significantly more expensive, especially if an apparel company is producing in North America, or Europe. This cost ensures a safe work environment and fair compensation for workers, which is always a worthwhile cost.
Second, the fabrics are inherently more costly for us as designers to purchase. One of our core fabrics, Modal, is about 2.5-3x more expensive than a standard cotton weave. However, not only is it much more sustainable, but it will also last longer, and not fade as easily.
When you combine better materials and construction, you end up with a high quality piece that should last you a very long time. While it may seem like the $5 basic cotton t-shirt will ensure you a low cost per wear, the reality is that this shirt won’t last as long, whereas you’ll be able to wear the more expensive Modal t-shirt 10-20x more. So, not only will the Modal t-shirt provide you with a lower cost per wear, but you’ll also feel good knowing your shirt was made ethically and with a much lower environmental cost.
When using the cost per wear formula, we recommend setting a cost per wear goal for your clothing. You’ll likely need different goals for your everyday clothing and clothing for special events. When considering a clothing purchase you can then use this goal to determine whether the purchase makes sense for you. We understand that it's not easy trying to estimate how much we will truly wear an item once it’s in our closets. One thing that can make it easier though is having a good sense of your personal style. Checkout our “How To Define Your Ideal Style” blog post for tips on this!
While some of us love the idea of having a quantifiable way to make purchasing decisions and optimize our closet, some of us also don’t want to do the math, totally understandable! In this case, the cost per wear method can be used more as a philosophy. A reminder that less is more when you invest in quality pieces you love, and that the cost of our clothing goes beyond the price tag!