Ask a Stylist: Is It Worth It?


Wearing expensive clothing is fun, buying expensive clothing? Not as fun. It’s often painful to see such large amounts of money slip away for a piece of fabric.

Is it really worth it?

This is the question I answer daily during my client fittings. Is this expensive [insert garment type here] really worth [enter high dollar amount here]? My answer isn’t always yes and it isn’t always no. I have a simple formula that will tell you if it’s worth it and its called ‘Cost Per Wear’.

The ‘Cost Per Wear’ formula isn’t a rationalization tool for spending tons of money at Barneys (although I’ve used it as one before) it is a realistic formula that helps let you know it something is actually worth the money. This works on expensive items and less expensive items. Let me show you …

Item –Zara cropped jacket with zippers 

Price- $159

Estimated times I’ll wear it- 2x

Calculations- $159/2 + $10

Cost Per Wear- $79.50

Things to consider – Dry cleaning because you know if you wash something from Zara is might fall apart.

Item-Balmain Structured Blazer 

Price- $2,250

Estimated times I’ll wear it- 50x over 3 years

Clothingmaintenance – $200 dry cleaning

Calculation – $2,250/ 50

Cost Per Wear- $45

Things to consider – Dry cleaning costs add to the cost per wear total BUT the great thing about more expensive items is that they have great resale value. Once you are finished with this piece you can resale and make around $500.

Lauren Messiah, is a Los Angeles based stylist and the creator of, a blog about designer deals, the hottest trends, and Lauren’s life as a fashion stylist.Lauren styles some of Hollywood’s most successful women in entertainment, celebrities, fashion editorials, and national ad campaigns. Lauren has been featured in Marie Claire, Vogue Italia, Grazia, WWD, OK! Magazine and Health Magazine.