Are You Saving Your Good Clothes to Wear for Special Occasions? Don’t!
Do you save your “good” clothes for special occasions? “Good” typically means expensive, but clothes that were purchased for a specific event can also fit into that category.
I used to do that. The clothes that I was saving to wear for special occasions pretty much hung in my closet waiting for the few and far between special times that would qualify for the honor of pulling those clothes out of the closet.
And I felt kind of sad about these clothes that I really liked a lot that mostly spent their life hanging there. I would wonder if the money I’d spent on them (typically they were expensive) was worth it for the very few times (sometimes only one) I wore them.
Then one day I just decided to wear these “special occasion” clothes on regular days. What was the point of buying something that I loved and letting it hang in my closet?
A perfect example is these new(ish) coated denim jeans in this cool mocha color. I bought them on sale from my favorite AG Jeans website (I subscribe to their emails so I get first notice of sales – I always do my AG shopping when they have sales) after stalking them for a week. I finally rationalized buying them when I decided that they didn’t have to be a special occasion purchase but could be a pair of jeans in my regular rotation. I’ve so far worn them to the office a couple of times and for a girls’ shopping outing – not very fancy expeditions!
Play with Color
I love to have fun with color and try unexpected combinations. I’ve tried these pants with a light aqua blue top, pink (here), red, gold, green – they all work well and feel a bit more creative than the go-to black or white top.
If you’re not sure whether two colors can be worn together, use the color wheel as a reference. I’ve included two versions below. The first shows how you can aesthetically combine different colors (colors that are analogous – adjacent to each other, complementary – across the color wheel from each other, etc.). The second image is a more detailed color wheel showing the expansions of colors.
If you’re interested in exploring color combinations based on the color wheel, check out my post Be Your Own Color Stylist (a blast from the past but still relevant).
Flexible Purchasing Mindset
My rule of thumb these days when I find something I love and the cost is a little budget UNfriendly is to think of how I could wear it in a variety of situations. Does it work for the office, for going out, for a casual girls’ date, for a winery visit? You get the picture.
If you haven’t tried shopping with an open mindset related to flexibility of wearing an item of clothing, give it a try.
I have a dress that was fairly pricey that I purchased to wear to a wedding. I decided it would be really versatile. Knowing it would work for a number of regular life situations made the decision to spend the money more comfortable for me. I’ve worn is as a summer vacation dress in Hawaii and Australia, as a summer work dress, as well as to a couple of weddings (see those photos below).
Cost Per Wear (CPW)
You may have seen me talking about this in other posts, but it bears revisiting.
The Cost per Wear formula is simple math. It’s basically the cost of a item divided by the number of times you will/do wear it = Cost per Wear.
Here’s a fun Cost per Wear Calculator to try that takes into account variables like does it need to be dry cleaned, what seasons will you wear it, etc. You can download it to your phone and bookmark it to use when you’re shopping.
My cost per wear for these coated denim jeans is $9 per wear. That justifies the $142 cost of the pants for me.
This calculator has a different calculation used for shoes. I entered my Rothy’s sneakers that I’m wearing in this post and my CPW is $4. Not bad!
The dress below has a cost per wear of $12.50 – that’s a bit high. The relatively high expense of the dress new and the fact that I only wear in summer and early fall factors into the higher cost per wear.
You can decide what your cost per wear threshold is and take that figure with you as you shop and make purchasing decisions. That could be helpful when you find something you love that is more expensive than your budget. If you discover that the cost per wear is within your threshold, the decision may be easier to make.
My Versatile Dress!
Shop Some of My Favorites
Browse through the coated denim, Rothy’s shoes, and Banana Republic sweaters from the retailers I find the most success.
Coated denim is my most recent obsession. I have three pairs now since I decided that I didn’t have to wait for a glam night out to wear them.
Rothy’s are one of my favorite brands! They aren’t inexpensive, but they are SO comfortable, machine washable (what?!), and last forever! Use my referral code on checkout: https://share.rothys.com/x/E6VewU if you decide to buy (I’ll get a $20 credit on my next pair – thank you!). There are a variety of style and colors. I really love the slip-on sneakers that I’m wearing in this post. I have three pairs and wear them all the time. Pair them with Bombas low cut no-show socks for the most comfortable wear. Check out Rothy’s discount program for teachers, first responders, and medical professionals.
Banana Republic sweaters are budget friendly (often on sale), wear well, and are easy to care for.
Photos for this post were shot at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. This is one of my favorite locations for photographing for the blog – it’s close to my house and offers a variety of backgrounds for my photos. I like to have an interesting background when possible. This day happened to be a windy afternoon, which isn’t the best condition for taking pictures. But I managed to find a bit of shelter in the entrance to the music venue and snap a few pics in between gusts. At this time of year, I love the gorgeous pink blooms on the trees, and the corridor of color is an impressive statement announcing that spring is on the way.