Monday, October 13, 2008

Cost-per-Wear and Wardrobe Planning

The concept of cost-per-wear is a handy tool for moving beyond the idea that the price of a garment is the sole determiner of its value. Obviously, the more times you wear a garment, the less it "costs".

Take just a second, and see if you can't bring to mind the number of shirts you have in your closet. Can you do this? For illustration's sake, let's just say your number is 25. This would mean that on average, each shirt gets worn around 14 times in a year (once every two weeks or so). So the CPW of each shirt would be cost/14. Now imagine you have 1oo shirts in your closet. You're going to be wearing each shirt somewhere between 3 and 4 times in a year. The hypothetical CPW is now cost/3.56 .

Can you see where this is going? The more garments you have in your closet, the fewer times you will wear each one. The fewer garments in your closet, the more you will wear each one.

Of course, this is not taking into account that according to the common understanding of the Pareto Principle, we're only really wearing 20% of what is in our closet. That other 80% is neglected because it doesn't fit, is out of style, or is forgotton.

However... what if you've designed your wardrobe so that everything in your closet gets worn regularly? That is the goal of The Very Small Closet: To design a pared-down, functional and stylish wardrobe in which you love everything you wear and everything gets worn regularly.
A pared-down closet will lend itself to a much smaller CPW...and a much more economical wardrobe.

Next time I'll discuss how quality fits into the equation.

See you then...same blog time...same blog channel....

(For more information on wardrobe planning, or to sign up for my free e-zine, please visit my Wardrobe Planning Website.)


Lisa M. McLellan said...

Do you look in my closet before you write these posts? Great post as usual, you always make me think.
Babysitter, Nannies, and Au-pairs

RobFromGa said...

Hi Jenn,
More good stuff to think about to stretch our dollars…
Seize the Day,
Rob Northrup
Is Your Corporation Protecting You?
Protecting Your Assets From The Envious Hordes

DIYlawyer said...


For a guy that does not wear suits, what would be a good number of sweaters or shirts so you are getting a good number Cost per wear but not wearing the samething everyday?


Robert Kaufer

Darryl Pace said...

Hi, Jennifer! I'm looking forward to reading how quality figures into the equation.

Darryl Pace

Kevin Hogan said...

move the link on your blog higher up so people don't click out when they come looking for you!


Matthew Shields said...

Hi , Jenn
. Great information

Your onto something here with the cost per use mindset. I'm sure that people would waist alot less energy if theydidn’t have as many choices to make.
Happy Trails
Matthew Shields
Hotel Resort Energy Management?
Anything Solar

Lena Milukh said...

You 've got so many ideas about the clothes.And that's not just matching them,but even a CPW calculations...
Reading and Decoding Body Language

Anamarie said...

every time i open my closet your posts gets me to see whats inside in a different perspective... Thank you

David J Parnell said...

Great post... I like that you apply science to the wardrobe. It is such and emotionally laden thing and the rational approach is a huge help in decision making :)

David J. Parnell
Communication Expert

John Ho - Melbourne, Australia said...

80/20 rule does have a wide application.

It also helps decluterring!

Thks for the reminder!

John Ho
Understanding Personalities for Better Influence & Persuasion

JohnWShoemaker said...

Hey Jenn-

Do you do house calls? I could stand to have my closet cleaned out..and somehow haven't gotten around to it. Keep reminding me!

Intuitive John Happiness and Peace Of Mind Consultant

Cindy said...

Man do I need you... Great post!
I can tell you that I still have suits and clothes I purchased over 10 years ago... cost per wear... well... as much as I have worn them.. I got my money's worth.


Romance Coach, Online Dating Coach said...

I will be starting my ebay THREADS home DEFINITELY with some CLOTHES!

and now?

well, I only buy if I LOVE it AND it looks FABULOUS on me

otherwise? why bother, I have really way more than enough.

All the best,

April Braswell

Online Dating Expert, Romance Coach, Relationship Coaching

Online Dating Sites Review, Internet Dating Sites Guide