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Friday, July 11, 2014

Catching Fall(ing) Cash

'Money often costs too much.' –Ralph Waldo Emerson

I saw my first email ad for a 'back to school' sale last week. Imagine my shock and feeling of frozen horror at the realization that I've already let half the summer slip by me and I've accomplished pretty much exactly nothing of what I planned. First it was that wonderful feeling of not having to get up before dawn to get my day started, which for some reason seems to mean my day doesn't actually begin to be productive till after about 3, then added to that was the distraction that is The World Cup…Oh well, there's no time like the present to get started, right?

And yes, I guess it's also time to start thinking about getting ready for fall, and back to school, and all that those things entail. Including taking stock of your wardrobe; what you have and what you need. What will you be doing this fall and winter? What parts of your wardrobe need replacing, repair, tailoring, or dry cleaning? Two wee thoughts this week to keep in mind during this process.

Are there pieces that you're just kinda sick of, but still have plenty of life left in them? Depending on how much you initially invested, you might want to think this through fairly carefully.  If you can't afford to replace it you might someday seriously regret having gotten rid of it. It might be good to pack it away for a few seasons. If it doesn't fit or isn't the right color; then by al means either have it fixed or sell/get rid of it. Don't give a non-working item prime real estate in your wardrobe. As far as I'm concerned, that goes for most 'sentimental' pieces, too. The exception might be something like a wedding dress, especially if you plan on passing it on to someone.   

As for planning on what you need to buy- keep in mind the ever helpful 'cost-per-wearing' formula.  Guesstimate how many times a week or month you'll wear an item you're considering. Figure out how long you think it might last. Figure out how many total wearings that would theoretically be, and divide the cost by how many times you'll wear it- that's your 'cost-per-wearing.'  Here's an example:

1. Basic skirt, $150.00; which you’ll wear approx. 2x per week, for 3 years; total of 312 times.

$150 / 312 = .48    

So, it costs $0.48 per wearing.  Wear it for 5 years and it’s $0.29 per wearing.   

2. Unique evening top, $150; which you’ll wear approx. 5x per year for 7 years; total of 35 times.

$150 / 35 = 4.28

Clearly, the skirt is the better investment. Me being me, I'd look at consignment and thrift shops for a unique evening top, and spend as little as possible, but then I don't have a rollicking evening life. If you do, then your cost-per-wearing formula would look much different than this.

In the end, it really depends on your priorities. (And your bank account.)

Happy Dressing!