An interesting question that I get asked a lot is where do I shop. People want to know if I have favorite designers or boutiques. Most people assume that I do the majority of my shopping in high end department stores and small specialty stores. This assumption is based on the fact that I spend so much time immersed in the fashion industry.
Well, I'm about to punch a hole in that illusion. I shop everywhere. What I buy is more about the shape and style of the piece than the name on the label. Whatever I buy has to make sense in my overall wardrobe plan and it has to have an attractive cost per wearing.
Yesterday I wore a gold turtleneck from Walmart, a fabulous Vera by Vera Wang jacket from Kohl's and a pair of St. John knit pants. I accessorized with an antique pin that was my grandmothers, earrings from the gold souk in Dubai and Stuart Weizman boots. If there was ever an outfit with diverse price points...this was it. So what made me decide on each of these pieces?
- The turtleneck was around $17.00. I figure that this time of year I will wear it about once a week. It looks great with this little black velour jogging suit, my jeans, my business suits. It is a great top. If I wear it for the entire season (Nov.- March), I will most likely get 12-15 wearings out of this top. That makes it somewhere in the range of $1.40-$1.13 per wearing. I really think that this top will only last one season.
- The jacket was approximately $52.00. It is a substantial fabric that will last at least two seasons. Again, it goes with slacks, jeans and is even cute thrown over a dress. I can get away with wearing this jacket at least once a week, maybe even two (it is a neutral navy). It has a little longer season to it because the fabric can transition into Spring. I will be able to wear it all the way through May. Therefore, my cost per wearing looks like this 30 weeks x 1.5 wearings per week (some weeks 1...some weeks 2) = 45 wearings a year, for 2 years = 90 wearings. $52/90 = $.58!! What a bargain.
- The pants were St. John knit and I got them on sale for $210. Now, this might sound like a lot, but I just can't find pants that fit well without having them severely altered. They can actually make the alterations on St. John fairly easily because of the simple construction. These are basic black, high quality and will last me for at least five years (I am already into my second year with these pants and they look brand new). I wear them at least twice a week during Fall, Winter and Spring. Therefore, my cost per wearing looks like this 36 weeks x 2 wearings per week = 72 wearings per year, for 5 years = 360. $210/360 = $.58!! Can you believe that they are the same value as the $52 jacket?
- My jewelry is always something with some sentiment attached. My grandmother's broach wasn't ever an expensive piece, but it looks great and it makes me think of my beautiful, stylish grandma. The earrings were a gift from my mother. She picked them up on her most exotic trip ever and I like to think of her bargaining with the gold dealers in the souk
- The Stuart Weizman boots? Expensive!!! I looked for black, wedge boots all over town...on the internet...everywhere! My husband and I saw them in Neiman Marcus one weekend and I think I left a trail of drool as I passed through the shoe department. If they end up being anything like my brown wedge boots, I will literally wear the soles off of them within the year! The cost per wearing? Yet to be determined, but I do feel sassy every time I put them on so it was worth every penny.
Next time you go shopping think of how a piece will look on you and what it will really cost you to wear it. Don't ever shop labels just for the sake of putting someone else's name on your back. Shop to make yourself look your best regardless of price. You will feel like a million bucks, even if you are only wearing $100!!