OK guys, it’s time to talk cost-per-wear theory, which (sorry) does involve a little math. Have you ever walked by a designer brand window and coveted everything in it? Have you ever picked up a pair of designer shoes only to feel frustrated at the price tag, run to the nearest high-street shop and splurge on a load of cheaper substitutes?  After all, a £30 pair of discount trousers is a bargain when Jbrands are 5 times of that.

However, we challenge you to look in your wardrobe, analyse how many ‘splurge’ items are there, and how often you wear them? Be honest with yourself, if not with us! How many “ok” tops are there? How many “meh’? How many pairs of trousers do you own, that were cheap, but don’t really flatter you? Or tops that were on a clearance rack, but which you thought you could do something with (but haven’t!)?


If this have you feeling shame don’t worry, there is a better, and more economical way to be fiscally responsible when it comes to fashion, and it’s known as cost-per-wear-theory. To apply it, take the cost of the garment and predict how many times you would wear it per month, now time that by how many years you plan to own the garment. This gives you a number which will suggest how many times the garment will be worn in its life-time. Now divide that number into the price tag to get your magic cost-per-wear figure.

Still with us?  Ok, some examples.

You have lusted after a pair of Seven jeans, but have never been able to justify the £150 price tag. Use the cost-per-wear theory and learn that they are a non-seasonal item, that you think you will wear twice a week, so approx. 8 times a month over 5 years. This means the jeans will be worn 480 times, resulting in a cost-per-wear of 31p. Now, compare this to a Primark dress you just picked up for £25 for a ladies’ night out. You will wear this once a month and disregard it after a year, plus it has short sleeves and is very seasonal – so it’s likely to be worn for just 6 months. So the cost per wear becomes £4.16, which is actually more than the Seven jeans.

On the other-hand, you’ve seen winter boots from Hobbs that costs £300, which you know you will wear every day during the winter season (which we’ve calculated to be 120 days). You will wear them for 3 years, meaning the cost per wear of the item is only 84p.

The general rule before you buy anything is getting that cost-per-wear down to £3, which means the price tag must be lower or you must wear the item more.

This theory only works with honesty – don’t overshoot the number of times you will wear the piece, or the longevity it will have. Always bear in mind that fashion moves fast, and most items are seasonal. Stay focused on looking at investment pieces, items that trends can’t touch and you’ll declutter your wardrobe for the better.