CPW=Cost Per Wear
LBD=Little Black Dress (LBD has just entered the dictionary, I read)
Sometimes I think the CPW concept just encourages overspending. All the experts--fashion mags, especially--counsel determining what's "worth it" by COST PER WEAR:if you buy a jacket for $1000.00 and wear it 1000 times, it only costs $1.00/wear, and hence is cheaper than the $3.00 yard sale sweater that languishes in your closet unworn. This seems to make sense.
I thought about a potential CPW fallacy when I was in a three-generation shopping excursion with my mother and daughter in Lenox Massachusetts. As a "resort" area, Lenox sports boutiques that tend to have very nice items and that tend not to have sales. I'm not too comfortable in these boutiques, but my mother likes the people who run one, and so buys a few things a year.
While we were there, Miss Em tried on a Michael Stars dress--just cotton, with some modal, and a bit of spandex--that was around $100.00. It was my fault, because I showed her the dress. Of course, being 19 years old, and extremely tall, Miss Em looks good in almost everything. I thought the price was too high for what was really an elongated tee shirt.
Miss Em exclaimed, "Think about cost per wear! I could wear this every week for a year!!" And, "I don't have an LBD!" And, "I need an LBD!"
I got all crabby and at the end everyone was mad at me: Miss Em and my mother, not to mention the store owner my mother likes so much. We did buy Miss Em a nice cotton gauze tunic, which she has worn a number of times.
I knew I had an argument, but I couldn't formulate it. Then, after a few days, it hit me! The CPW concept ONLY works if you have ONLY a few things.
If you have a closetful of stuff (all nice, by the way) as Miss Em does, by wearing the LBD once a week, you are displacing other items from your rotation. So, at one a week, the LBD would have a low CPW, but the other items would end up having a higher one.
Therefore, the CPW concept only works for those disciplined enough to have a very streamlined wardrobe. You can't stuff an expensive item into a full closet and talk about CPW, can you?
Interestingly, our next stop was Northern California, another very affluent area with a resort component. We were in Sonoma, where there is an excellent thrift store, The Church Mouse. There Miss Em found a Susana Monaco--you guessed it--LBD for $10.00. It was nicer than the first LBD.
Miss Em didn't want it, but I made her buy it. She recently thanked me for pushing it on her. The CPW is down to about $1.00!
What do you think of the CPW concept? Helpful? Or a marketing ploy?
If you're ever in Sonoma, stop by the wonderful thrift.