The Cost Per Wear of your clothing (and how you calculate it!)
Cost per wear (CPW)
Did you know you naturally have a sustainable effect? Just like that, without any outside pressure? No? Well, you do. Purely and only due to the following. Don't be shy and read along (;
Women are bad at math #NOT
Scenario-sketch. You are in a store/online shopping environment/on the couch with the latest edition of 'you want to buy all the clothing in this glossy immediatly' (delete what does not apply).
You spot The. Perfect. Pants/Skirt/Jacket/Blouse/Sweater (repeat deleting what doesn't apply)
Then you spot the price. ouch. Ouch ouch, that's not withing budget... What now? How in Jesus'/God'/Allah'/Buddah's name (cross out what… you get it) are you going to justify this purchase? How do you straighten out this crooked excess? Just like that. As you – and with you millions of other fashion lovers – always do.
You do the maths.
You take the price, estimate how often you will wear the coveted object, and calculate the final cost per wearing moment. What a revelation! Suddenly, that purchase seems substantiated to justify.Well done! You just pulled tho wool over the eyes of your budget. But we have to take you out of the dream for a moment: you're not the first and only one to pull this trick on yourself. It even has an official label worldwide: Cost per wear.
Nine times out of ten you arrive at an acceptable amount after a game of calculation. Eleven times out of ten you will praise yourself because this purchase will be at the top of your favorites list for years and will keep you from future purchases with its sheer perfection. Because that's what the Cost Per Wear principle does; it makes you aware of your clothing needs, and helps you monitor the relationship between the purchase price and the estimated use time of your clothing. You care about clothes that last – that's partly why you're a fan of PLEIN PUBLIQUE and you read our blogs. Clothing that lasts a long time is in principle more sustainable than so-called fast fashion.
In the Netherlands we wear an item of clothing on average 7x (Source)
Did you know? Shocking, right? After an average of 7 wears, a piece of clothing is relegated to the back of the wardrobe, moved from the attic to the shed or storage room via a sliding system, and finally deposited in the old-clothes-container, recycled or even thrown away. So old fashioned. Barring exceptions, the Cost Per Wear principle can help prevent bad purchases by ensuring that you make the right purchase decisions.
To pull your head back out of the clouds: not every very expensive purchase automatically has the potential to last a long time, or to remain a favorite for a long time. If you want to make the Cost Per Wear success formula successful, you have to stick to a few basic rules;
1) BE REALISTIC
We are joking about it in the introduction, but the message is dead serious. It is not the intention to fool yourself, or to convince others that an expensive purchase is perfectly justifiable. The Cost Per Wear principle is a means by which you critically approach your own purchasing behaviour, with the aim of pleasing not only yourself but also our overloaded environment. So assume as realistic a number of wearing moments as possible.
2) OPT FOR QUALITY
And we mean especially longevity and appearance clean. A lightweight jersey T-shirt – no matter how high-quality it is – simply detoriates sooner than sturdy jeans. The fabric may last a long time, but the shape is another story. Cotton (mix) denim simply wears down less quickly.
Another example: synthetic textile fibers last 20 to 200 (!) years before they decompose, but they look ugly faster and you may end up discarding them sooner. At the same time, synthetic textiles are not necessarily a sign of lower quality. Just think of your advanced sports leggings with moisture absorbing qualities and breathability. Or items made of high-quality travel jersey that are lightweight, wrinkle-resistant and dry quickly. There are two sides to the same coin. Quality cannot therefore be measured purely, but keep it in mind when purchasing something. Buy with your brain.
3) THINK ABOUT WHEN YOU WILL WEAR IT
Simple example: don't spend thousands of euros on a party dress that you will only wear once (wedding dresses don't count for convenience ;)) If you strive for a great Cost Per Wear, you will have to invest in many different circles of friends so that you can expensive dress without the dreaded 'She's wearing that one dress again' whisper. A black or dark blue blazer can be worn on many different occasions, from work to a visit to the parents-in-law to a trip to the local business association – just to name some possibilities – and is therefore infinitely more multifunctional than the aforementioned dress. With this reasoning,apartment pants are maybe the best investemnt you can make :)
4) STICK TO YOUR STYLE
Perhaps a superfluous comment, but purchases that you expect to enjoy for years to come should be close to your signature style. Example: if you like to wear black often, then a bright pink dress will turn out to be a lot less timeless than you had in mind when you were madly in love and calculated the Cost Per Wear. For pricey pieces, stay close to your natural style. Build a multifunctional capsule-collection that you can always count on to look great. (We are getting ahead of things: in a next blog we will explain in detail how to put together such a capsule-collection. Stay tuned!)
5) MAKE, DO & MEND
If there is something wrong with your favorite item, in many cases there is still something that can be done about it. Loose threads and seams are often easy to repair (or have them repaired), faded colors will brighten up with a home paint job (check whether the fabric is suitable for it), the weared fluff on a sweater disappear like snow in the sun with the FLUFFCLIPPER and we have previously written about (creative) mending holes in knitwear. Just ask nicely any artsy person in your inner circle. Spread the re-love!
Cost Per Wear is larger than you. By the time you're done with a piece of clothing, that piece of clothing may not yet be done with itself. Maybe you are tired of it, your life has changed in such a way that it has become redundant, or it needs a repair that you cannot or do not want to pay for. Don't throw away, recycle! Sell it via Marktplace or Vinted, take it to the thrift store or donate it to a good cause. Non-profit organizations such as Dress for Success are also happy to accept your quality clothing to help job seekers with suitable clothing for job applications with minimal spending resources. Take the time to do a Google search, and you'll find a good place. The Cost Per Wear is in the garment, regardless of who paid for it at any given time.
Have we been able to inspire and motivate you to make your future purchases not only with your heart, but also with your mind? Nice. Mission accomplished.