Cost Per Wear
Mathematics is not my strong suit but I live by the Cost Per Wear equation and have done so for years. If you are not savvy to the cost per wear rule, let me explain.
Cost per wear is equal to the cost of the item divided by the number of days you will wear it. See equation below:
CPW = Total cost of the item / Number of days you will wear it
CPW makes you consider your purchases, inspect the quality and determine the longevity of each piece. It stops you buying cheap, throw-away garments that you wear once and it disappears down the back of your wardrobe.
This rule is not to be used to justify spending big. Instead use it as a means of reinforcing good purchases. The aim is to buy classics that will last. For example, if you purchase a camel Burberry trench coat ($2,995) and wear it for fifty days each year over a decade, the CPW will drop to $5.99. However if you purchase an on trend purple puffer ($500) but only wear it twice (because the trend didn't last) the CPW will be $250. The Burberry looks like the smarter choice.
The CPW rule is not only used for big ticket items however. If you happen to buy an affordable piece that you get a lot of wear out of, well done you!
One example of my cost per wear purchases is my vintage Gucci tuxedo suit I bought in Paris. The suit was perfect and fit like a glove. Instantly I calculated the cost per wear. It wasn't cheap at €400 (equivalent to $594AUD) but for two pieces, the jacket and pants, I knew it was a good deal. And I was right. Since purchasing them in October 2014, I have worn the jacket and pants around fifty times. That brings the CPW down to $11.88AUD. This figure will continue to decrease as this suit will last me for years, if not decades to come.
Another example was my most recent purchase, a vintage Cartier Must de Tank watch from Leonard Joel Auction House. It cost me $700 and I have worn it everyday since. That brings the CPW down to $14 so far. If I continue to wear it every day by next June the price will have dropped to $1.90. If I was to purchase another watch next year for $200, it would cost me more than to continue wearing my Cartier. Worth every cent I say.
Cost per wear is a philosophy: buy less, buy better. Once you begin to think this way, you'll approach your purchases cautiously and save for those you want. You will become more aware of quality, how long it will last and how much use you will get out of it.
Try the cost per wear rule next time you are contemplating a purchase, big or small, and see how you can reduce your purchases and make them smarter choices.