Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Clothing Cost Per Wearing
Old 06-21-2009, 12:52 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,899
Clothing Cost Per Wearing

What does your clothing cost you?

A while back, I posted about elderly clothing that is still being worn by the owner, and got some fascinating responses (hint: The men "won"). My oldest wearable items are in their 20's and still doing good duty. I have resolved to make my wardrobe last until retirement (although some of my shoes are getting to be unwearable and will have to be replaced, and panty hose is an unavoidable expense).

Today, I handwashed a Land's End bright-orange sleeveless cotton tank top, of which I am particularly fond, and hung it from a tree to dry in the breeze when it occurred to me, "I paid $10 for this top on sale and have worn it probably 10 times. That means the cost to me is $1 per wearing."

I pay $100 for a pair of New Balance running shoes (women's size 8EE, so I can't be picky) and wear them daily for 6 months, by which time they are in ruins. My cost per wearing: $.55. Not bad.

I own a lot of pairs of jeans, some of them nearing 25 years old, some only a couple of years old. The old ones must be down to $.15 or less per wearing! But I need to wear the new ones more often, especially the Ralph Laurens that I broke down and paid $45 for (40% off) I'm counting 6% sales tax in the cost, since after all it comes out of my pocket.

Last winter I bought 2 Jones New York sleeveless summer dresses @ 75% off, and have worn one of them twice and the other, not at all. Cost per wearing, Dress No. 1: $15.00. Dress No. 2: $30.00 (same as if it had been worn once). Gotta wear those dresses more, to get their cost down!

I don't dry-clean my suits as often as some folks do, which keeps those costs down (probably $2.00 to $5.00 per wearing) and I handwash silk blouses and dresses, rather than dry cleaning them.

Oh, and my engagement ring, worn daily for 23 years: Less than $1.00 per day! You couldn't rent one that cheap!
__________________

__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-21-2009, 12:58 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Gone4Good's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,381
On the one hand I'm still wearing some 10 year old tee-shirts that I got for free . . . cost per wear = $0.

On the other hand I have some expensive work shirts that seem to only last a year or so before the elbows blow out . . . cost per wear ~ $3.50
__________________

__________________
Gone4Good is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 01:01 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,019
If you buy quality items in the first place, their life cycle cost, or even the clothing cost per wearing (ccpw) will be less. Unless you get really tired of them!

In my experience there is no clear relationship between the price of clothing and my fondness for it over time. Some items just become favourites because they feel comfortable, make me feel good, are durable, or mix and match well with other favourites. Often, the most expensive items are worn rarely.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 01:05 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,764
Since Jan 2006. We have averaged 1500 a year on clothing and shoes.
__________________
Notmuchlonger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 01:06 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Lay to old clothing next to new clothing to see the difference.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 01:11 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
Except for socks and underwear and some shoes, most of what I wear is ~20 y o or was free.
__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 01:12 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
CuppaJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: At The Cafe
Posts: 6,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
.... and panty hose is an unavoidable expense....


I don't dry-clean my suits as often as some folks do, which keeps those costs down (probably $2.00 to $5.00 per wearing) and I handwash silk blouses and dresses, rather than dry cleaning them.

...
Panty hose!! in this day and age? Good golly, Mrs. Amethyst, you are one elegant lady! I haven't dry cleaned anything since retiring 9 months ago, that may go on the five-year plan, just a few items for the cleaners, kept one suit, a few sweaters and a couple of jackets. Hand wash, almost never. Yeah, I see your point about shoes, I broke down and bought three new pairs in the last year, partly because my sandals developed an odd odor even when the feet are clean. Lands' End clothes are now made in places like Nam and cost next to nothing. Sad.
__________________
CuppaJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 01:54 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,626
I have 2 pairs of jeans that I have worn 4 times a week for the last 2 years. They cost about $19 each.

I have a blazer ($200) that I've worn maybe 4 times in the last 5 years and a suit ($300) that I have worn about 8 times in the last 15 years. These are quality garments, but unfortunately moths get to my them before I do.

Most of my other clothes are given to me as gifts, so I figure my annual expenditure is about $100 of which $80 is shoes.
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 02:15 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
I'm a blue collar w*rker and therefore don't need fancy business clothes so my clothing cost is probably less than most. I haven't spent a penny on clothing in over a year. I get one pair of shoes free per year from w*rk so I haven't spent my own money on a pair of shoes for nearly 10 years. I've accumulated 7 free safety shirts from work and that's all I wear except in winter i'll put a $10 hoodie over the t-shirt. I w*rk 7 12-hour shifts every 2 weeks so I just rotate the safety shirts and do laundry every 2 weeks. I have 1 pair of jeans and 2 pairs of shorts for w*rk(the same ones for several years). I have 2 pairs of jeans and 2 pairs of shorts for outside of work(the same ones for several years). I got a free jacket from work several years ago and wear it anytime a hoodie isn't enough. I just have 1 hoodie that I paid $10 for and it'll last for several years.
I may average close to $50/yr on clothes but many years the total is $0.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 02:27 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
CuppaJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: At The Cafe
Posts: 6,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
.... I w*rk 7 12-hour shifts every 2 weeks so I just rotate the safety shirts and do laundry every 2 weeks....
I can't imagine being that organized! Years ago, I knew a women who owned 15 dresses, and always wore them in order (although I don't think anyone noticed). She would wear the full 15 supply 2 or 3 times and then have them dry cleaned 5 (in order) dresses at a time.
__________________
CuppaJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 02:30 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by CuppaJoe View Post
I can't imagine being that organized! Years ago, I knew a women who owned 15 dresses, and always wore them in order (although I don't think anyone noticed). She would wear the full 15 supply 2 or 3 times and then have them dry cleaned 5 (in order) dresses at a time.
I don't actually wear them in any particular order. I just meant that I have 7 w*rk shirts that I wear every 2 weeks. I do laundry and wear the 7 again in no particular order.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 02:47 PM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
CuppaJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: At The Cafe
Posts: 6,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
I don't actually wear them in any particular order. I just meant that I have 7 w*rk shirts that I wear every 2 weeks. I do laundry and wear the 7 again in no particular order.
Phew! I'm glad to hear that, Aaron; I think that lady from way back was a freak of nature.
__________________
CuppaJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 02:56 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 291
Whew, this is a dangeous topic for me! I believe I have a shoe addiction. Mention shoe sale, and I'm there. At least I only buy on sale. On the panty hose, stop wearing those things. Apparently, they are out of style anyway, they are hot and miserable, and tear at the most annoying times. Just use a little bronzer lotion daily, and away you go. I do dry clean work clothes, but my friend swears that Dryel works. Have any of you tried it? I would love a second opinion. I don't worry too much about my clothing costs because I try to plan my wardrobe with my budget in mind. Other than shoes, I am not an impulse shopper. And, I do buy with cost-per-wear in mind. I read a book about this a few years ago, and it made so much sense. I do buy nice things but really try to get my money's worth. The handbag I'm carrying this summer cost I think $245 three years ago. But, I have carried it every day for the past 3 summers, and will probably get another year out of it. In the fall, I'll change out to my winter handbag - same story regarding cost/use. Agreed, it is an area that needs close examination in our budgets. It's an easy area to overspend if you don't have a plan.
__________________
bubba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 02:56 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,195
Front load washers are supposed to be easier on clothes (no agitator) so clothes should last longer, right?

I caught grief last Christmas from my niece for wearing socks with holes in them. She said she thought I could afford new socks now and then.
__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 03:06 PM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
CuppaJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: At The Cafe
Posts: 6,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
....

I caught grief last Christmas from my niece for wearing socks with holes in them. She said she thought I could afford new socks now and then.
I hear sox make great gifts; I'd wait till New Years before buying any new ones.
__________________
CuppaJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 03:18 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
I used to work for someone who had pretty much solved the wardrobe problem for himself. He found pants and a shirt that he liked, and bought something like 20 of each. Then, to extend the lifespan of his selection, he went out and got the top end Miele washer and dryer, as they were both quiet and produced the least wear on the fabric.

It was a little odd seeing him show up every day in the 'same' shirt and pants, but he seemed happy enough. I suppose he saved a few seconds in the morning with not having to decide what to wear!
__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 03:45 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,764
Quote:
Originally Posted by CuppaJoe View Post
I hear sox make great gifts; I'd wait till New Years before buying any new ones.
Good sox are great Christmas gifts! I love a good cushy pair.
__________________
Notmuchlonger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 04:36 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,531
Free polo work shirts - I wear them probably 2-3x per week and some on weekends or around the house. $0/wearing. Casual khaki slacks for work - I probably wear any given pair 50-100x per year and they typically last a few years. Never pay more than $12-20 for a pair of pants. So $.10/wear. Shoes - in the five years of my professional career I have bought three pairs of dress shoes for ~$50 total. Still going strong on the second pair and the third pair is virtually unworn. So I figure about $0.03 per wear. Socks/undergarments, etc - under a penny per wear??

Clothes are so cheap and relatively well made these days that I consider clothing costs for me (as a guy) to be near zero. The DW on the other hand, definitely non-zero. Unfortunately my new career will likely require additional expenditures on professional attire like suits, dress shoes, belts, ties, etc.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 05:39 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
It was a little odd seeing him show up every day in the 'same' shirt and pants, but he seemed happy enough. I suppose he saved a few seconds in the morning with not having to decide what to wear!
Sounds like me. I have several plain light grey t-shirts that I wear when I don't work. If it's too cold for just a t-shirt then I have a $10 hoodie to put over it and a free(from work) jacket to put over the hoodie if needed. I either wear jeans or jean shorts every day.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 05:52 PM   #20
Moderator Emeritus
CuppaJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: At The Cafe
Posts: 6,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
Free polo work shirts - I wear them probably 2-3x per week and some on weekends or around the house. $0/wearing.

....
Whoa whoa whoa, Fuego. Several others mentioned free work clothes. But but but, what does it cost you to qualify for those free clothes, work? Full-time employment? Overtime? Scary! You wear them on your own time. I see people doing that, some polo sweaters have nice logos but what are you, a walking billboard, just kidding.

I modified my work clothes for the first few months of retirement; they are mostly sweaters, slacks, polo shirts. But now I'm tired of being reminded of work and bought some more casual stuff.
__________________

__________________
CuppaJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Oldest Clothing You Still Wear Where People Can See You Amethyst Other topics 49 03-25-2009 07:58 AM
Wearing too many hats. vt74 Young Dreamers 10 05-07-2008 05:41 PM
Clothing archives; getting to be the Smithsonian here ladelfina Other topics 29 09-20-2007 04:52 PM
Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia? Orchidflower Life after FIRE 20 04-02-2007 11:20 AM
What Are You Wearing Right Now Danny Other topics 42 07-24-2006 04:51 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:42 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.