Continuing on my cost per wear series, I thought I’d write about one of the types of clothing which I particularly utilize a lot of during the summer months – dresses. I love dresses and will totally take a dress over a top + skirt any day. I just think they’re so much easier…pop it on and you have your whole outfit! Plus I don’t think anything can beat a trapeze dress for comfort.
So, I took a look at my wardrobe and pulled out some of my most – and least worn pieces. Here we go!
Lowest (best) cost per wear: Equipment, Gap, Zara dresses. I wear these types of simple shift and shirt dresses in cotton and silk several times a week at least, especially in spring/summer and early fall (the perks of living in the California!). Because of this, dresses have to be machine washable (for my Equipment silk ones, I just wash on delicate cycle and then air dry), and comfortable to wear all day with no confining zippers, etc.
Simple, machine washable dresses in easy fabrics means that I usually end up going with less expensive brands without a lot of adornments and fancy fabrics – but of course I wear them the most! My cost per wear on some of my Gap dresses are well under $1 by now.
Medium cost per wear: Diane von Furstenberg dresses. I love DvF dresses because they generally fit me pretty well and even full priced, they aren’t so bad, but better yet – if you’re patient, you can usually find them on sale or at least on some kind of Friends and Family discount. More often than not they are my go to for wedding dresses, more formal events where coworkers are involved, etc. I also have a few more casual DvF dresses (love their maxis), but they’re pretty expensive for random impulse purchases.
For some of my “go to” DvF dresses (like the Zarita), my cost per wear is running around ~$25 or so by now.
Worst cost per wear: Isabel Toledo, Balenciaga, Prada, etc (basically all high end designer) dresses. It’s painful for me to admit this because I absolutely adore a really gorgeous fancy party dress, but all of my really nice ones from pricier labels have the absolute worst cost per wear. I pretty much only wear them to formal events, and if the dress is light colored, ones where the likelihood of being hit by a sloshed drink are slim (aka the more boring events…kidding!). Some of them aren’t work appropriate at all…or they’re almost work appropriate except for a huge armhole, or a daring back slit, etc. Because of these factors, and their initial high price, my high end designer dresses have the worst cost per wear.
I suppose the lesson would be that I should start buying more versatile designer dresses from brands like Akris, Loro Piana (or to not buy them at all). But to me there are few purchases more giddy-inducing than a really gorgeous dress. Even if I don’t find myself wearing it that often…just seeing one of my favorite dresses in my closet cheers me up. So I’m not sweating the cost per wear too much…though I think I’m all set on fancy dresses for now!
What are your best and worst dresses, from a cost per wear perspective?