Kalyn’s Shopping Rate of Return

Is it time for a new purse? Suit? Do you need a new cocktail dress for the round of parties you’re invited to this Summer?  It may be time for something new, but for most of us the question is, “Can I really afford to buy a new XXX right now?”  I’ve come up with an equation to help you really figure out how much one of these “needed” items may cost you, I call it KALYN’S SHOPPING RATE of RETURN:

The Relative Market Value of the Item ≑ The Number of Wears Per Year = The Expected Rate of Return on Clothing Assets

Look at it like this, most of us have, at a minimum, a few items we regret purchasing. You know, those items you haven’t worn because: (i) it looked better on the hanger in the store than it does in your closet; (ii) you thought you’d lose that 5 pounds you needed to in order for it to fit properly, or (iii) you bought it in a pinch because you didn’t have something to wear, you wore it one time and each time you reach for it you put it back because you just don’t love it … So, let’s say you’re in the process of dusting your resume off and your old interview suit as well. If your old interview suit doesn’t make you feel like a million bucks, you may want to consider buying a new one that does – think of it as an investment in your future. Now, its time to do the math. If the suit is on sale for $600 and you wear it 10 times in the next year (let’s say you wear it to 4 interviews, a Bar Mitzvah, 2 luncheons, and to work 3 times because you did get that new job), the suit only ends up costing you $60 per wear. That’s as much as you spend on Starbucks in a two-week time span …  Think it over while you sip that latte.

3 Responses to “Kalyn’s Shopping Rate of Return”

  • Great suggestion!I’d never thought abut amortizing the cost of my clothes but it makes a lot of sense. I don’t know how many great pieces I passed up because I thought they were too expensive – only to blow that amount of incidentals like coffees, meals out, etc.

  • That’s a great idea! Now I won’t be so reluctant to buy that nice suit or dress that I love.

  • Some very good advice!

    I know I am addicted to buying clothes on sale. Therefore, If I had read this article years ago
    and utilized your formula I would probably be able to close my closet doors today. I am guilty of buying clothes on sale that often I never use. Of course I know it’s better to have 2 or 3 great
    expensive pieces that I feel good in, and even feel proud to be seen in than to have several less
    expensive pieces that are just hanging in my closet not ever being worn. I am aware that this is a
    waste of money, and I also realize it is an immature, bad buying habit that I’ve developed and have held onto way too long without curtailing it, but I am working on it. Your style tips are very helpful, and I look forward to each publication.

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