Cost-Per-Wear (CPW)

Conscious Shopping That'll Save You Money in the Long-run

We’re always looking for ways to save money. Especially when it comes to shopping for those must-have pieces in our wardrobe. Although, how much is that new floral dress or designer jeans truly costing you? The cost-per-wear theory is a guideline that’ll help you save in the long run when you’re indecisive if something is worth pressing “buy now”. 

What is Cost-Per-Wear?

The concept itself is straightforward. Take the RRP for the garment you plan to purchase, add maintenance costs then divide that figure by the amount of times you plan to wear it. The cost-per-wear calculator gives you the ability to see the lifetime value of your purchase and how much it’ll truly cost you in the long-run every time you wear it. 


Rule-of-thumb? Stick to a budget and build a closet that actually fits your lifestyle. Conscious shopping choices prevent over-consumption and wastefulness. We advise spending your hard-earned dollars into garments that’ll last season after season. 

Did you know: Closetmaid did a study which states the average American woman has 103 items of clothing in her closet but she considers 21% unwearable, 33% too tight and 24% too loose? Taking into consideration the inflation of pricing for clothing, this means a majority of the hard-earned money we are spending is utterly wasted.  

An example to better illustrate this theory is: consider your birthday is coming up and you need to purchase a new dress. The brand For Love and Lemons has beautiful feminine dresses such as the Meadow maxi dress which is on sale. Although, taking into consideration the cost-per-wear metric, based on the dress being unwearable half the year (due to weather conditions) and potentially wanting something new the following year, ultimately the purchase is not worth it. Whereas, purchasing a garment with a timeless style such as a the Tiffany Slip Dress enables us to keep our feminine style through the seasons with layering and luxurious knits. 

Shopping Tip

Don’t buy something only because it is on sale, if that garment was truly something you needed the sale shouldn’t be a make or break but instead an added bonus. 

Ethical shopping is actually a better deal

Initially, high-quality garments are more expensive but the longer they last and the more you wear them, will reveal how cost-effective this way of shopping truly is. Shopping from stores such as Shein may seem like a money saving way to keep up with the latest trends but ultimately you’re losing money in the long-run. In my personal experience, there are people who have shown me their latest $200 splurge at a fast-fashion brand only to find they have to rebuy all those items the following week. Fast-fashion stores such as Shein are meant to be mainly for trends that’ll last the same amount of time as the garment itself, only to be tossed in the trash. Through research and conscious choices when buying we’re not only able to create a better impact on the environment but our cost-per-wear will decline drastically. 

You may be wondering if investment shopping means that you’re stuck wearing the same outfits all the time - when in fact it’s the opposite. Investing in timeless, high-quality basics gives you the foundations needed to restyle your best-loved garments, creating new and interesting silhouettes all year round. 

Questions to consider asking yourself when shopping: 
  1. Does it fit my current lifestyle?
  2. Are there over 10 occasions you can wear the garment over the next three months?
  3. Is this piece trans-seasonal? Are you able to layer it for the colder months?
  4. Do you have garments that’ll work with this piece? Or do you need to buy something else to make it work?
  5. Are you purchasing it only because it is on sale?


If you’re looking to dive a little deeper into the cost-per-wear metric and sustainable shopping practices I recommend checking out these blogs below. 

Insider - The Best Investment Pieces for Women 

Goodwear - The Benefits of Sustainable Clothing

The Mom Edit - Cost-Per-Wear: The Trick to Sustainable Shopping 

Euphoros Collective - 10 Timeless Essentials