Cost per Wear
How much does that expensive coat cost you each time you wear it ?
Your clothes are an investment in yourself and in your image. This principle applies whether you are male, female, adult or child. Your image is non-verbal communication, both generally as you walk past people in the street, and specifically in a meeting.
In the 1970s, Dr Albert Mehrabian published a study called “Silent Messages” where he concluded that 55% of our communication is non-verbal, 38% is the tone of voice used and 7% is the actual words used. Translated into clothing issues, this means that even before you have opened your mouth to speak, you are being judged.
If you are being judged, make sure that your clothing creates the image that you want to portray. Identify the main things that you’d like your image to convey about yourself and then look at your wardrobe and see if it agrees.
If you are considering your image in the workplace, you probably want to include professional, responsible, motivated and reliable. In the same way that a multi-national company has an advertising budget which it uses to create an image of itself, you have a clothing budget which is used to create an image of you – even if you have never thought about it before !
How much did you spend on your wedding dress ? £700 ? £900 ? or more ? What about that stunning outfit for your best friend’s wedding ? How many times do you plan to wear each of these items ? How much did you spend on your current top coat ? How many times have you worn it ? What about your favourite work suit ? Studies have shown that you should spend the largest percentage of your clothing budget on work clothes rather than party clothes because that is where you spent the largest percentage of your time.
Cost per wear (“CPW”) is a concept that is thrown around frequently in relation to clothing. It is used to determine whether an item will be a good investment. Will it help you portray the image that you want it to ? To be a good investment, an item needs to match other pieces already hanging in your wardrobe so that you can begin to wear it immediately, rather than being forced to buy other items before it can be worn.
The generally accepted formula that is used to calculate CPW is the price of an item divided by the number of days that you plan on wearing it in a year. Some calculations also include an element relating to the number of co-ordinating pieces you can wear it with but that gets a little confusing.
If you invest in a winter coat for your pregnancy you will use it to help you maintain your professional, smart image. Assume a cost of £200 for the coat. Divide the cost of the coat by the number of days it will be worn over the winter (say mid-October to March - 118days Monday to Friday only ) and it calculates to £1.70 per day. If you invest in a coat that can be worn AFTER your pregnancy, as well as during, then even if you only wear it Monday to Friday for one more winter then the cost per wear reduces even further to £1.70 ÷ 2 =£0.85 per wear ! Add into this weekends when the easiest thing to do is to wear that all enveloping winter coat, rather than a pre-maternity coat which do longer fits and doesn’t keep you warm, and the cost drops even more !
£200 might sound alot for a maternity coat and might feel alot as you click the button to buy, but based on these calculations, it has a very reasonable Cost Per Wear. Is it worth a spend of £0.85 per wear to create the image that is important to you ? Is the image that you want to create and cultivate worth £0.85 every time you wear your coat ?
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