A cheerful “Hello” on a sunny Friday, my friends! Today we are going to talk about money! Uh-oh, some might see clouds gathering when I brought up the $, but hold on to your horses, this is the good money talk, I promise. 🙂
“Oh, I love XX, it is an investment piece, you will wear it forever!” sounds familiar? Sales people would say whatever to get you to spend your hard-earned cash but is there any truth to that statement? What is an investment piece? Let’s look at the literal definition of “investment” — Process of exchanging income for an asset that is expected to produce earnings at a later time. Quite the opposite of what we are discussing here, isn’t it? Buying clothing items and accessories is, pure consumption. The investment we are referring to here is “spending a larger than average sum of money on a single item” that could potentially produce pleasure, confidence and self-esteem, which, are rewards that cannot be measured by $$$.
Now that we have established “investment pieces” are “items that will bring the wearer enough satisfaction to warrant the expenditure of a considerably large amount of money”, the next question is: how big an investment? That is the harder question. I have to introduce another fashionable term “Cost Per Wear”, a.k.a CPW. CPW is the average amount an item will cost each time it is been worn. Say, a coat that costs $1,000 has been/ will be worn a total of 100 times, CPW of that coat is $10/wear. The same coat, if worn 1000 times, CPW will then be $1/wear. Do you want to spend $1,000 on a coat, maybe? How is $1 each time for wearing a $1,000 coat? Most definitely! Aha, I see the math has deceived you! Get real, folks, it is a bit more complicated than a single division.
We have to dive deeper into the contributing factors of total number of wear over the life time of the item in discussion. Take the trench coat I had on for example, its heavy usage occurs between April to June, then September to November each year; Assume this is my only spring coat and I don’t mind wearing the same coat everyday, only to take a break over the weekends, the maximum number of wear each year is 6 months x 30 days(per month) x 71% days(per week) = 127 times. Providing this is the high quality trench that has no strict requirement on waist line, with the heavy usage but proper care, it probably can last 5 – 7 years without looking like a mop, let’s use the higher number for good measure, the total number of wear of this trench over its life time could be 127 times x 7 years = 889 times. For a $1700 trench coat, my lowest CPW would be ~ $1.9 / wear. That is if I wear it 5 times a week half of the year for 7 years. What if I only wear 3 times a week, only 4 month out of a year, that is more realistic for most, CPW will go up to $3.15 / wear. If you are a fashionista like me, most likely you will have multiple coats and your trench will be lucky to be worn once a week, 2 months per year (’cause you will have different colors for different seasons), and after seven years you no longer want to wear it and sell it for $300 (only if it is a classic in good condition) and get to keep $150 to yourself, what would be the CPW now? $28! Will that be the amount you are willing to “invest” in looking good in this trench?
Thank you very much for reading! We covered a lot of grounds today. Next time we will talk about affordability and how to maximize your fashion investment. Would love to hear your thoughts! See you in my next post!
:: Outfit ::
Trench Coat :: Burberry / Kinsington ( here & similar here );
White Shirt :: CH Carolina Herrera ( similar here & here);
Tweed Shorts :: Proenza Schouler (here);
Lace-up Oxford :: Celine (similar here);
Accessories :: Hermes bag; J Crew socks;
heirloom gold collar necklace (similar);
Disclaimer: No bag or shoes were harmed during this photo shoot. ;D