So I Did the Math, and These 18 Affordable Pieces Basically Pay for Themselves


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

You know those special pieces in your closet that you wear so much you literally don't know what you would do if they didn't exist? They're the building blocks of your wardrobe and the foundation of basically every outfit you put together. Have you ever considered the cost per wear (CPW) of these pieces? Well, I have—and that's the gauge I use when I'm considering a new purchase. I look at the total cost and then divide by how many times I realistically see myself wearing it, and that gives you the CPW. For example, the CPW of a flashy party dress is probably pretty high, considering I'll probably only wear it once or twice (definitely once if there are tons of photos in it, just being honest).

Then there are other items, like the aforementioned building blocks of your wardrobe, where the CPW is almost non-existent because of the high number of times you wear them. Take your everyday work bag—if you carry that to work with you five days a week, the cost per wear on that ends up on the low end of the spectrum. To me, this makes spending money on these items infinitely easier. And if the item is already affordably priced? Well, that's a no-brainer. 

Below I've highlighted the pieces that, according to my calculations, have a CPW so low they basically pay for themselves. From the chic $69 sunglasses you'll wear daily to the $20 belt that goes with everything in your closet, these are the 18 items with CPW's so low they're almost free—almost.


(Image credit: @lindatol_)


(Image credit: @cincostore)


(Image credit: @jen_wonders)


(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

Next up: I ditched jeans for a week—here's what I wore instead.

Caitlin Burnett
Contributing Editor