Fun: What's your lowest Cost Per Wear (CPW) item?

Started 9 years ago. There are 4 replies by 3 different members. The latest reply was from carleen.
  1. MSP talks about evalutaing investments in your wardrobe in terms of Cost Per Wear, CPW, defined as the purchase price of the item divided by the number of times you've worn the item. As I think about spending some $$ on new clothes, I was thinking about how to identify those items that will have lowest CPW. Also, we all love to get a good deal!

    Among those items that are currently in your closet, what's your lowest CPW? Exclude those things you got free (such as a gift) and only include those things you actually paid money for. Did you get a fantastic deal on a basic trench coat during the Clinton administration and you're still wearing it? Was it a cami you bought on clearance and have worn dozens of times? A thritfed blazer that's been a wardrobe staple for ages? When you bought this item, did you know that you'd have it forever? What qualities about this have made it such a great bargain over the long run? Post pictures of you items for fun if you can!

    My lowest CPW item is most likely the black sweater I wore yesterday. I purchased it probably 6 years ago at Ross for about $15. It's an unknown brand (Belldini) and it's made of rayon/nylon/spandex in a rib knit. It is my go-to work layer that goes with everything, and seems a bit dressy without looking overdone with jeans. The rib-knit has it cling to just about any shape, yet it moves easily. It has often lived at my desk for when I get cold, which is almost every day. I've probably worn it 200 times at least, giving it a CPW of less than $0.08! Because I wear it over a shirt, I don't have to wash it often, which I'm sure has contributed to its longevity. After all that use, the only visible sign of its age is the zipper pull. It was once a silver tone with rhinestones, but now most of the stones are gone and the silvery plating is showing the copper color underneath. It's only visible if you look closely. I imagine it will be in my wardrobe for many years to come, although I may need to invest in a new zipper at some point! :)



  1. Mine is definitely a pair of black "stovepipe" pants with a self-lined waist (no band), purchased at Express, probably at least a decade ago! I've altered them over the years, and as my most neutral, versatile "workhorse" pants (mostly cotton), I probably wear them at least 2-3 times a week. So, that adds up to about 1000 wears, I'm guessing.... Not sure what I paid for them, but probably no more than $30. = 3¢ per wear. WIN!

    My favorite jeans get worn equally much, and cost even less (thrift, $20?), but they're a more recent purchase. Plus they're going to wear out sooner.

    Next up, I suspect will be:
    - hot magenta heavy-weight cashmere turtle-neck sweater. Paid $30? Wear it multiple times a week from Oct-May.
    - Old Navy v-neck t-shirts (especially my magenta one), purchased for $8? Wear a couple times each week, then wash and repeat. Won't last for ever, but after only 6 months, probably already at 25¢ per wear... or less. Also want in black, white, blue.
    - Shoes worn almost daily for last 6 months. Although purchased for $130, that's already under $1/wear. It would quickly drop to half that, but I now own them in black, too. My only fear is that I don't polish them enough, thus they're likely to wear out from abuse before I'm actually done with them!

  2. Qualities that make these things work, for me:
    • comfortable: fit and texture
    • goes with everything /or/ a color I adore
    • good material that doesn't wear out too quickly.

  3. For me, this is difficult because when I moved here we only brought three suitcases each so I purchased a lot of new clothes. I think my ruffled leather jacket from the Black and White store, I paid $300. I kept going back on forth on buying it for two weeks because I usually never pay that much for something I don't think I will wear that much. I have worn it with everything from jeans to LBD, the ruffles make it feminine the leather gives it a bit of edge. The second purchase was a teal silk blouse I bought at Talbots for $2, and have worn at least at least thirty times, and it is good to go for this summer. Something that I thought would be useful but wasn't was a peachy-beige blouse - the fabric looked great on the bolt at the tailors but once I had made up into a blouse it was a disaster, I looked washed out in it. If I wear a red jacket with it, it is OK but - shoot, it makes me feel invisible. Middle aged women are invisible I will Goodwill it when I go to the states $20 down the drain...

  4. I bought a black lambswool cardigan at Marks and Spencers, when I was holidaying in London about 20 years ago. It was on sale and I think it only cost about 5 pounds. I would have worn it at least 10 times per year which works out at about 2 pence per wear. I have changed the buttons but apart from that it looks almost brand new. I bought a magenta jumper at the same time and it is also going strong but haven't worn it as much - probably 10 pence per wear.

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