The Key Fashion Equation: Cost Per Wear

February 14, 2010 • Magazine

The Key Fashion Equation: Cost Per Wear

The Key Fashion Equation: Cost Per Wear

Mon, 2000-02-14 09:00

Jacqueline Zenn

While my “Get It Now” column usually covers the latest and greatest must-have pieces, this month’s is going to be a little different – it is all about that most important fashion equation, cost per wear.

It is simple mathematics:

Price of the Item/Number of Times Worn = Actual Cost Per Wear

Using this formula, that expensive Burberry trench is actually cheaper than that $40 number from H&M. While it is often used to justify splurges, the cost per wear equation actually makes very real sense for most women who mix their high end pieces with Zara, bridge lines, or vintage. Here are five pieces where the cost per wear is a tiny fraction of the original cost:

Winter Coats: All of you who live in a cold climate know that a warm coat is an absolute necessity – and having one you love makes those freezing days less painful. Find one that makes you look sleek and elegant (as opposed to puffy like a marshmallow) and it will be more than worth it, like this long Jil Sander wool coat. Just change up your winter look every year with new hats, scarves, and gloves.

Cashmere: Nothing keeps you cozier or feels more luxurious than plush cashmere, and now is the time of year to pick up fabulous sweaters and luscious scarves at a discount. As long as the style is classic and the color flatters your skin tone, you’ll reach for your favorite cashmere pieces for many winters to come. Pick up a fringed cashmere scarf by Loro Piana and it will become your favorite thing to throw on whenever it’s the slightest bit chilly.

Statement Shoes: Shoe lovers will understand that sometimes you simply have to have that pair that makes your heart beat faster. These Maison Martin Margiela peep-toes have a traditional forties silhouette but the two-tone black and nude colorway is utterly modern, but neutral enough to wear with nearly anything.

Everyday Bag: If you’re the type who carries the same handbag day in and day out, it only makes sense to invest in a high quality, durable one you love. Something like the Foley + Corrina Mid City Tote fits the bill perfectly.

Classic Timepieces: A great watch is perhaps the ultimate cost per wear piece – you want a style that is simple enough for day but is still elegant enough to coordinate with cocktail attire. Think metal, think subtle bling, think Swiss-made. You can’t really get more classic than a Cartier Tank Francaise, which is the kind of watch that will be passed on for generations (think about how low the cost per wear will be by the time your granddaughter is wearing it!).

Next time you’re thinking of splashing out on a piece you love, remember the cost per wear equation and see how the item you covet fits into the formula. If you know you’ll wear it for years and it is high quality and “you” enough to stand the test of time, go for it and get it now.

1. Jill Sander Ermont Cashmere Felt Coat $3995
2. Lora Piana Fringed Cashmere Scarf $265
3. Maison Martin Margiela Two-Tone Leather Sandals $695
4. Foley + Corinna Mid City Tote $444
5. Cartier Tank Francaise Watch/Med $4350

Image Layout: Tiffany Carlin

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