Cost Per Wear Analysis: Are those $200 Shoes Worth It?
Dolce Vita Haku Booties (From late summer 2015, similar here, here, here) | Chelsea28 Drop Waist Dress (limited sizing, similar here, here, here, here) | Kendra Scott Sophee Earrings | OPI We The Female Nail Polish
I am well aware that money doesn't grow on trees and with the insane amount of fast fashion shops out there, it is very easy to be tempted by their easy on the eyes price tags. I understand. Sometimes you just can't swing the higher priced item. When you're shopping for paper towels, do you by one 2 roll pack every 2 weeks, or do you buy them in bulk, so they are cheaper per roll and always at hand? (fun fact: Nick has a whole closet full of paper towels. He bulk orders them from Amazon!! I honestly don't know where they will go when he moves in...) That's honestly a good way to think about investment clothing, if you don't believe in that kind of thing or don't understand why someone would spend more than $50 on a pair of shoes.
I've spoken time and time again about investment pieces - my top 3 things to invest in are listed here! The easiest thing for me to purchase or talk myself into buying, are shoes. Granted, I keep mine forever. My black converse are still from the 7th grade and my favorite chocolate riding boots are from my senior year of high school. Um, I'm 25. But anyway, I can usually spot a good investment shoe when I see it, and these Dolce Vita Haku booties are IT. They are soft, comfy, chic, and go with everything! I always get compliments when I wear them.
Now, they might scare people off with their $189-$200 price tag (depending on the retailer); however, if you know your shoes, then you know that they are a good buy. These are the PERFECT example of a cost per wear analysis, so here goes. I first debuted these booties here, on February 25th, 2015. When buying a higher priced item, I always think about quality. With these shoes specifically, I am very familiar with Dolce Vita. I trust the brand and know that their prices reflect the quality and craftsmanship put into making their products. So, how do I figure out if they are worth it? That's where cost per wear (CPW) comes into play! I went through and counted all the times I have worn these booties on the blog thus far and it came out to about 20 times. We'll call the "times", "days".
CPW = Total cost of the item / Number of days you’ll wear it
Dolce Vita Haku Booties $10.28 CPW = $205.66 (with tax) / 20
So, basically if I only wore these shoes the 20 days I featured them on Southern Elle Style, then their cost per wear would be $10.28. What?! Yep! Now, I have worn them WAY more times than just 20 uses. I have had them for over 1.5 years, so let's say conservatively, I have worn them 100 days. That brings the cost per wear down to $2.05. The reason this calculation is valid and worth considering, is because most of the time you can't wear a cheap shoe for that many times, because they break due wear and tear. That's definitely not to say that all expensive items are worth it, because some are just overpriced; however, definitely consider CPW on your next purchase.
If this is still confusing you, let's do some easy, round math. Let's say you buy an $1000 Burberry Coat. To get that CPW down to a reasonable number, like $1 a day, you'd have to wear it 1000 days, or a little less than 3 years, every day! Make sense? Burberry has good quality, so you should be able to wear it for 5-6 year, pending that you take good care of it. It probably makes mores sense to measure it on the 5-6 year scale, because you aren't going to wear a coat every day... BUT compare that to a $45 coat you got from a mass chain. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing wrong with them; however, they are more on the fast fashion track, which is notorious from lesser quality. Let's say you only get to wear that jacket for a month, before the lining comes undone or a button falls off. That's $45/30 days, which is about $1.50 per day. That is not only a higher cost per wear than the Burberry, but you don't get to wear at as long, either! Note that it doesn't have to ruin or break for cost per wear to be lower...if you simply don't wear you $60, but live in your $250 jeans, your higher priced denim is going to come out with a lower CPW than the cheaper one. C R A Z Y! Bottom line? Don't buy what you don't love, and expect to wear it.
Now, I'm not trying to get you to justify spending a lot of money, but if it goes well with a lot of stuff / you'll get a lot of wear out of them, why not? Please don't live outside of your means, though. If you need to buy the $50 item instead, that's okay! Do what you have to do; however, if you can, go for the longer lasting piece. You'll appreciate that decision in the long run. I'm definitely against cheap fashion and all of its repercussions, so this is just me trying to push you to think more about what you buy, rather than just swiping that card because you can. One of my favorite books on this top of fast fashion, is Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline. One of my favorite brands who practices this is Cuyana, with their "Fewer, better things" campaign. If your clothes, shoes, and accessories last longer, you'll buy last and hoard less stuff. You tracking?
If you still think I'm weird or have never considered this, remember that I studied apparel merchandising, so this was definitely from my curriculum. Speaking of school studies...this December I will have graduated from Baylor 4 years ago. I feel old.
To answer my own question, yes. I believe that the $200 shoes were well worth it, and the math proves that they were! So, what do you think? Do you put this into practice with all items, or just certain categories, like shoes? I'd love to hear how you consider big ticket items and how you deem them worthy or not!