The importance of ‘cost per wear’

Spring is here and it comes with the height of shopping season. For this occasion, I ’m sharing a secret that I always arm my clients with. I call it “cost per wear.” Here’s how it works:

In your closet, find three items that get the most use and three that get the least. On a sheet of paper, create two columns and estimate the cost you paid for each item. Total both columns. Now estimate how many times you have worn each item and tally. Divide the total cost by total wear in each column and that will give your average cost per wear. Are you surprised by the outcome? Any savvy shopper knows, your most costly items in the wardrobe need to be the ones that are used the most. Adding a few high-quality items each season makes sense when they can be used in multiple looks. A pair of shoes that cost $500 and can be worn more than 20 times this season becomes only $25 per wear versus the shoes you pay $80 for that hurt your feet even in the store and leave you crippled and bloodied for weeks the first time you wear them. They stay $80 per wear once you vow to never put them on again.

Before spending money this spring, do the math. You’ve been inundated with trends and must-have lists. Determine which ones speak most to who you are as an individual and then splurge. Oftentimes, things that are more expensive are made better, with a higher-quality fabric and a shape that can fool the eye and make you look trimmer. They last longer and they stay more relevant in the world of fashion.

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Susie Lee and Todd-Avery Lenahan

My Object of Affection

Susie Lee and Todd-Avery Lenahan

Great friends Susie and Todd love their furry friends. Lizzie and Scooter, the labradoodles, and Windsor, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, can be credited among their prized possessions. Close seconds and of the more material variety, Susie loves a necklace and Todd adores a hairbrush. “My ultimate object of affection is my 15th anniversary gift from my husband—a Jennifer Fisher charm necklace,” Lee says.