Archive for November 11th, 2011

November 11, 2011

Fashion Maths: my best successes.

Let’s play a game of fashion maths. Everyone knows fashion maths, don’t they?

It’s the cost of an item, divided by the number of times you wear it, which gives you a cost-per-wear figure. The lower the cost-per-wear, the better the bargain.

It’s otherwise known as the way in which you justify to yourself spending a small fortune on a single piece of clothing – especially useful for those classic items; the perfect white shirt, cashmere sweater, trench coat, tote bag, blazer. Things that you might wear forever, and are therefore worth spending extra on. As an aside, if you ever do find the perfect white shirt, or a pair of trousers that are just right, and you can afford it – buy more than one. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

This is not to say that all of my wardrobe is expensive.  Most of it is high street, second hand or actually so ancient (vintage!) I barely know where it came from. I do, however, believe in buying quality over quantity and am very much against very cheap, throwaway fashion.

So, what are my best ever fashion maths results?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a few classics. My Mulberry Antony in a great burgundy colour, which I wear almost daily (you can see it here). It was a few hundred pounds new – but owes me nothing now. It’s a bit like an extra limb, I can barely bring myself to leave the house without it! I also have a Mulberry Ledbury in a black crocodile finish, which is smaller and more structured – better for when I’m without the kids, as I have to hold onto it.

Alongside that, I have a handful of Longchamp pliage bags, which I use all the time, and have over the years acted as nappy bag, carry-on luggage, laptop bag, gym bag and shopping bag. Again, they’re not terribly cheap (cheaper in France than in the UK) but I love how they fold up when empty, yet remain stylish  – just take a look around if you’re ever in Paris and you’ll see half the female population toting one.

The most expensive pair of shoes I ever bought are this pair, from Bottega Veneta.

Favourite red shoes.

Yes, they were ‘take-a-deep-breath-and-hand-over-the-money’ expensive, but they’re beautifully made, stylish and (importantly for someone who is always in a rush) they’re flat. Plus, with a pair of cropped slim black pants, they make me feel as gamine and Hepburn-esque as I am ever going to feel and so I wear them a lot.

So, those are some of my successes – where I’ve not felt bad about spending a bit more money to have something that I love and get a lot of use out of. Not surprisingly, they’re accessories rather than actual pieces of clothing. I find it far easier to buy high street clothes and then accessorise well, than the other way around.

But what about my failures? I’m going to own up to them soon…

What are your best fashion maths successes?