Welcome to Cost Per Wear, a series where we break down how much value really lies in certain items so you can make well-informed shopping choices. Given that many outfit ideas we have saved for each item, we've calculated the cost per wear for every time we step out in the piece (given that we copy each of the following outfit ideas, of course).
Wardrobe basics—being told to invest in them is kind of like being told to eat more broccoli. It's the smart thing to do but hardly counts as exciting. Let me guess, you've put off investing in high-quality basics and instead supplemented your wardrobe with quick fast fashion buys? I get it. So instead of hammering the lesson into your head any longer, I'm going to prove to you just how valuable each of these investment clothing essentials really is.
A black blazer, high-waisted jeans, mules, and a slip dress—these are the key investment buys that everyone should own. Sure, $50 per wear sounds like a lot, but after the years of love these pieces will get, $50 will easily become $5. Keep reading to see the photos that prove our cost-per-wear analysis, check our math if you're so inclined (we didn't even include wears that aren't pictured!), and then shop the items guilt-free.
Double-Breasted Black Blazer
Why it's worth it: Nothing, I repeat nothing, has stood the test of time more than a classic black blazer. It's one of those investment pieces that's not only timeless but guaranteed to go with everything. If you don't already own one, your closet is probably the worse for it, to be honest. But if you had been putting off taking the plunge on it, the following outfit ideas and cost-per-wear breakdown should dispell any doubt left in your mind about its value.
The cost breakdown: $349 blazer ÷ 8 wears = $43 per wear
White Pointed-Toe Mules
Why it's worth it: Stuart Weitzman's shoes are known to hold up for years, and the below pair of crisp white mules is arguably one of its most seasonless styles. Combine those selling points and you've got yourself a shoe that will go with nearly everything in your closet and still feel just as fresh years from now. What more could you want in a shoe?
The cost breakdown: $455 mules ÷ 10 wears = $45 per wear
Why it's worth it: Our editor in chief Kat and market editor Nicole have been plugging these jeans for months now thanks to their legendary fit. They come in a mid-wash rinse, high rise, and clean hem, and might just be the last pair you purchase for a long time. Yes, they're that good.
The cost breakdown: $178 jeans ÷ 4 wears = $44 per wear
'90s-Inspired Slip Dress
Why it's worth it: The slip dress is a staple that deserves a spot in anyone's closet for its unparalleled versatility. Need a date-night look? Throw it on with strappy sandals. Going for something more casual? Wear it under a sweater and toss on boots. The point is there are endless ways to wear it.
The cost breakdown: $240 dress ÷ 5 wears = $48 per wear