Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Cinderella Dress and the Lemon: Designer Fashion and Cost Per Wear

We’ve all done it. We’ve all bought clothing or accessories that look good the first few times, but then, after a few uses, they lose their initial glamour and sometimes even their shape and color.

It’s a treacherous cycle. It kind of reminds of when Cinderella’s dress disappeared and turned into the sad pink dress her stepsisters tore and threw dirt on. If we use a car analogy, it’s like when the car salesman sells you a shiny, luxurious car that then turns out to be a lemon, breaking down after only a few miles.

Here at Shoppingberg, our staff has encountered many Cinderella dresses and plenty of lemons (figuratively, that is). We bought from the sale racks and the Forever 21s for many reasons, but the end result was always the same: We fell in love with our purchases, wore them a few times, and then had to buy new clothes because that $24.99 dress or button-up didn’t last as long as we had hoped.

The Day We Found Cost Per Wear

One day, we decided to break the cycle and truly invest in the clothes we wore, justifying it by using something called the cost per wear theory. This is the breakdown: You invest in high quality, more expensive clothes and accessories, and actually end up spending less money over time.

There’s actually a formula behind this that Zady explains pretty well. First, think about how often you’ll wear your new piece of clothing or accessory. Once you have that number, multiply it by 12 (for the months of the year) or 6 (if it’s a seasonal item like a sweater) or however long you think the item will last. Next, multiply that by the number of years you think you’ll use it and keep it in your closet. Finally, divide the cost of the item by that number and you’ll get the cost per wear.

 Here’s our math for the Kate Spade Bryce Flicker in Black: 20 (how many times you’ll use the bag) x 12 (number of months you’ll use it) x 2 (years you think it will be in your closet) = 480. $159 (cost of bag on Shoppingberg)/480 = $0.33 cost per wear. Your mileage may vary, but we think that’s a pretty great deal!
And here’s our math for the Cochni 7760 Orange Woven Leather Tote: 15 x 6 x 2 = 180. $249 (Shoppingberg price)/180 = $1.38 cost per wear.

It turns out that the more expensive something is, the lower the cost per wear because you’re likely to use the item for a longer period of time. Why? Because higher-cost goods tend to be more sturdy, and your brain tells you to get the most out of something you paid more for.

It’s Normal for It to Hurt a Little

Now, the first time many of us here tried out the cost per wear theory, it hurt. Some of us had never spent more than $50 on shoes or more than $100 on a bag.

To give an example, think of this: You buy a $24.99 dress that you expect to get maybe 4 uses out of (it wasn’t made very well but you’re sure it’ll last for a little while). That’s 4 (the number of times you’ll wear your new dress) times 1 (the amount of time/months it will probably last) times 1 (the number of years it will stay in your closet). Divide the cost of the item and you get your cost per wear: $6.24.

If you buy a $100 dress, the cost-per-wear will be significantly lower because your dress will be made with higher-quality materials and will last longer. Here we go: 4 (uses per month) times (6 months if it’s a seasonal dress) times 2 (the years it will be in your closet). You get 48. 100 divided by 48? That’s only $2.08 cost per wear.

Spending $100 instead of $24.99 will hurt in the beginning, people. But it’s really a better investment in the end.

We’re Savers, So We Created Shoppingberg

Call us selfish or cheap, but after we discovered cost per wear, we still wanted to save more. We loved the idea and applied it (our heart rate didn’t speed up when we saw the sale sections anymore), but we wanted to get the same designer products at cheaper prices.

And so we created Shoppingberg. We envisioned Shoppingberg to be the best of both worlds: designer products at affordable prices. Thanks to a lot of hard work (and haggling), we’ve managed to create the store we always dreamed of.

We know you’ll love shopping with us, not only because you share our passion for a good deal, but also because you want to make a good investment with your hard-earned money. That’s what we want, too. We care about our customers and we’re tired of seeing people ripped off on clothes and products that won’t last a month.

Shoppingberg is here to be the fairy godmother to your Cinderella. We’ll give you a product that will last for years, not just a few weeks. We won’t sell you anything that’s not 100 percent authentic, so you can be absolutely sure your math is right. Take a peek and let us know what you think!

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