Tag Archives: cost-per-wear

Lotus Love Story

I may have a few accessories. Perhaps 5 or 32 or so.  I believe I have more accessories than actual clothing items in my closet (with no sign of abatement).

One reason for this is that jewelry shopping is so much more therapeutic than clothes shopping (it’s rare that I see a fabulous pair of earrings only to discover that they aren’t available in my size).

But I digress.

On my “Wall O’Accessories” dangle so many baubles that it’s unusual to see me rocking a particular accessory multiple days in a row.

Until June, when I found it.  The lightest, daintiest little sterling silver cross pendant by Lotus.  I found it on a whirlwind lunchtime trip to 1026 SoFlo (where I also saw the most divine blue-rose-encrusted couch–stay on topic, Christina!).

At first, I simply casually observed it among other Lotus pieces, as I’m normally more of a “statement piece” type of girl (for my friends who are fashion neophytes, a statement piece is an article of jewelry so freaking huge that it borders on the obscene, and in order to avoid crossing the border, may only be paired with other pieces on the rarest of occasions when one is channeling Iris Apfel).  Nestled between a group of the Petal bangles I recognized from the February issue of Lucky and the most simply elegant black pearl threaded on a delicate chain, I kept coming back to it because I just felt a connection with it.

Lotus Cross

As I giddily proceeded to make payment for my new little treasure ($30ish–nominal for sterling), I noticed a surprising detail; the pendant is two-sided–so no matter how it flips, it always looks right (it’s the little things, isn’t it?).

Pleased that I had secured such a cute little necklace to wear on the occasional summer day with a tank top and cutoffs, I jaunted back to work.  And then proceeded to wear it every day for the next seven days. And then come back to it again and again this summer.

With a striped boatneck (usually accompanied by earrings of the aforementioned statement variety), layered with other chains above a ripped-up T-shirt and black skinny jeans for a motorcycle ride, or mixed with rice pearls for work, its flattering length and delicacy have earned it overtime in my closet for the past two months (see my post on cost-per-wear).

What does my experience prove?

a. I always advocate buying pieces you feel a connection with, even if you think, “Whatever in my closet will go with this?”  Every.  Time.  I have done this, I end up with something that I wear the heck out of.

b. You don’t have to spend a fortune to collect some really special pieces.

c. It never hurts to try a different style than you’re used to (especially at a lower price point).  You may wind up having a new favorite!

d. Get thee an (infinitely versatile) Lotus piece pronto!  If you’re in Central Florida, drop by 1026 and tell the ladies that AiS sent you; they’ll direct you straight to the honey spot! (And if you happen to pick up a blue-rose-encrusted couch while you’re there, so much the better!)

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Shopping designer labels

I’m starting out this series on shopping strategies with a discussion on shopping designer because I think it’s always a great idea to begin by drawing inspiration from the designers, who often work with high quality materials and turn out magnificent pieces.

Even if your wallet doesn’t yet contain enough cash to take home a designer piece, familiarizing yourself with designers’ work has many benefits.

One, you get a feel for high-quality craftsmanship, which will help you recognize quality workmanship at various price points. Two, you learn whose work you identify with, which can help you when trying to create a wardrobe that reflects a cohesive style.

So check out Tammy’s advice for shopping designer pieces (and forgive my nodding bobblehead; I’m just trying to soak up all the juicy advice she’s throwing out there!).

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It’s in the bag

“I used to buy good shoes; now I buy good bags. They make me feel more confident.”
–Marc Jacobs

The cost-per-wear concept has paid the greatest dividend for me in the bags I carry.  I’m a busy girl, and prefer not to go through the hassle of changing my bag every day, so it’s imperative that I have one that plays nicely with all my clothes.  Recently, I had to replace an old favorite—a B.Makowsky creation purchased at a steal of $90 at T.J. Maxx that had lasted me almost three years (carried every day, it had a cost-per-wear of a mere 8 cents)!!

I loved the B.Makowsky so much that I decided to look for another one, and scored again at T.J. Maxx–a red beauty for $140.  I was a little nervous about it working with my entire wardrobe, but I’ve been carrying it for a couple of weeks now, and it meshes with everything quite nicely.  Even if I only use it on weekdays for the next three years, the cost-per-wear will be under 18 cents.  Not to mention that it adds serious polish to whatever I pair it with.

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Cheap = Expensive

“Lo que es barato sale caro y lo que es caro sale barato.”

(What is cheap ends up being expensive and what is expensive ends up being cheap).
–Cuban expression often quoted by Audrey Hepburn

Need some real-life examples of the cost-per-wear concept? This weekend, scroll through the archives of two of my favorite blogs–Jessica Quirk’s blog What I Wore and Kelly Framel’s blog The Glamourai–for some inspiration. Two ladies with wildly different styles (and clothing budgets), they both embrace this concept and wear certain items regularly.

My favorite item that Jessica rocks repeatedly is a beautiful pair of House of Harlow brown woven wedges, while Kelly Framel incorporates an a.maz.ing Helmut Lang tuxedo blazer in many of her outfits.

Jessica Quirk of What I Wore

Kelly Framel, a.k.a. The Glamourai

While both of these pieces might make a dent in a girl’s wallet initially, they more than pay for themselves over time. In fact, Kelly’s so pleased with her blazer that she says, “At $575, it’s not exactly cheap, but after having seen how useful it’s been in my own wardrobe, I’d happily pay double!!”

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You don’t need a bigger closet

“Elegance is refusal.”
Coco Chanel

I’ve been in people’s closets that held items they had not worn in five years (sometimes longer)! When building a wardrobe, don’t hang on to clothes you no longer wear just because you paid money for them at one time or another. If you keep a well-curated closet (in other words, a closet edited with intention), you will have a more accurate idea of what pieces you have and how they can interact. This can help you save your clothing budget for pieces that will truly add a lot of value to your closet.

I know it’s hard to part with certain articles of clothing, though (after all, they’ve seen us through some crazy times!). What I find helpful is to move the items I’m considering “editing” out of my wardrobe to a different closet for a period of time (perhaps a month or so). If I don’t miss them during that time, they go in the donation bin, and it doesn’t seem so difficult to part with them. However, if I’m constantly visiting the other closet to retrieve something, I re-consider keeping it.

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