Photo by Andrea Araya
Have you ever thought about how much a garment is really worth?
I’m not just talking about production, materials and delivery costs. I mean how much it is worth for you personally. Cast aside emotional and sentimental value - I’m talking about numbers here.
When I first heard about this concept, it blew my mind away and changed my whole perspective on shopping, wardrobe and fashion.
Flashback to 12 years ago. Picture this: it's New York City at the Fashion Institute of Technology in the Professional Studies Faculty. An aspiring style consultant (that would be me - I actually studied to be a stylist) is clinging to every word of an experienced image maker who actually works with non-imaginary human clients.
Suddenly a revolutionary concept becomes clear to me: Cost Per Wear.
Now everything starts making sense and chaos of shopping becomes a system.
HERE'S HOW THE COST PER WEAR WORKS How much did you pay for your work dress? How many times did you wear it?
Let’s say you purchase a 250€ classic body-con dress. You wear it at least 2 times a week, one as is, one with a jacket, a cardigan or a vest over it. It lasts you at least a year, which means about 100 wears. That's a cost per wear of 2.50€.
Do you see why it was a life changing moment for me?
WHAT IS AN INVESTMENT PIECE?
We stylists call the core of every wardrobe "investment pieces." These are the pieces that will not go out of fashion next season (actually, the best will not go out of style ever). They should have a classic silhouette with subtle designer details to make them timeless and special at the same time. The color should be neutral: blue, black, grey, beige, brown or dark red. The tricky part is the fabric. It needs to be suitable for all year round, not too thick, but also not too thin. It needs to look chic, feel comfortable and be durable. Think natural, think high quality, think stretchy and certainly think sustainable. We do not want to create excessive waste and contribute to the ecological catastrophe. And if you take only one rule away from this, your investment piece needs to fit like a glove. A great fitting piece that makes you feel fabulous is sure to give you lots of wears over the years.
So, join the circle of enlightenment, and remember to invest rather than spend.
Galina Charni, a co-founder and CEO of VeryClothe, a solution that makes offline shopping as easy as online. She studied at FIT in New York City and has more than 10 years of experience in fashion and retail. An Ex Chief stylist and a host of a TV shopping Channel, Galina has co-founded 2 startups and worked with individual clients as a personal shopper in Europe, Israel, US and Russia.