Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shopping Math

Please pardon the late post, everyone - was feeling very under-the-weather today, to say the least, and have just gotten home from a killer exam that (excuse my crudeness) I could've just bent over for.


The bright side is, the course is finally, finally done and I won't have to do any more school...for a month or so. Then I'm back slaving away in academia again, but I'll be in the French Riviera (where the two newest Jolie-Pitts were born!) and it'll be my last year, so that'll make things more palatable. I wouldn't really be able to complain, anyway.

But enough about me. Let's talk about you! Let's talk about how wonderful you are, and how much I adore yous. You are, and I do!

I especially love how we've opened up a line of discussion here. Have you been keeping up with the comments? Lemme fill you in - or you can see for yourself here.

So my friend Lexie bought these cute Italian shoes on sale at a store that was closing down, originally priced $140, marked down to $10. But she realized belatedly that, despite their innocent esthetic, they are absolutely torturous to wear. So she's decided to wear them only "to interviews or occasions where [she] can kick them off without anyone noticing," perhaps with a bandaid in some spots, because at least she's got dressy shoes out of the way.

Now, I think a pair of shoes shouldn't count as a functionable pair of shoes in your closet unless you can stand somewhat comfortably in them for at least half an hour. If they are sheer agony to wear, you may as well not have them because why put yourself through the pain?

Also, I think that wearing uncomfortable shoes to an interview will definitely affect how you do, and interviews are serious business, so it's very, very important to wear comfortable shoes to them - and of course, comfortable doesn't necessarily mean fug. I have a pair of really well-cut, 4-in. pointy stiletto pumps that are so comfy I can easily last in a four hour party in them (I got them from Spring, then known as Transit, in case you were wondering, for a great price of $60).

Besides all that, bandaids sticking out from shoes are a HUGE no-no. Not only because it looks terrible and garners pity/derisive snorts/weird looks, but mainly because you deserve better than that!

So let's look at this another way. Let's be logical.

As the incomparable Cindy Lu says, "I'm Chinese. We're good at math."

I'm Chinese and I was never at the top of my class in math at school, but when it comes to shopping math, I'm pretty good because I've had impeccable training.

There's a really important concept to keep in mind when you're out for some retail therapy: cost per wear.

The Fashion Girls' Maxims of Style strongly advocate quality because you'll look way better and in the long run, your cost per wear will be lower, which saves you money.

If you get a trendy sweater that was poorly made for $40, say, and you wear it maybe five times for one season (because trendy pieces get worn less often since they're easily recognizable), your cost per wear would be $8. On the other hand, if you got a good quality cashmere sweater in a colour that looks amazing on you, that is well-cut and fits like a glove, for say, $200 and you wear it 10 times per season, for 10 years (to be conservative - a great cashmere sweater can actually last you forever provided you take good care of it and can be handed down to your kids, as my mum has done for me), your cost per wear would be $2. That's a quarter of the price for the trendy, poorly made one.

Lexie bought her shoes for $10 and she's worn them once, so her cost per wear is $10. I told her it's not bad because if I were to go to Aldo, say, and get a pair of shoes of mediocre quality for $90, I'd have to wear them nine times to bring my cost per wear to $10. If I went to a party every week, that's a good two months of partying. My shoes would probably be in really bad shape at that point and they would have been seen very frequently. Lexie got to a great cost per wear value right away, her shoes are practically new and people have seen them on her once. Even if she were to not wear them again, it wouldn't be too bad, I think.

However, don't abuse cost per wear calculations and use them as an excuse to frequently buy things that are beyond your budget, because it'll come back and bite you in the butt - let yourself be warned!

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