Fashion Math: How to Know if That Pair of Shoes is Really Worth It

One of the things I’ve employed for YEARS now is what I call “fashion math.” I use a simple equation to figure out if a purchase is “worth it” to me. So let’s take this recent purchase — a cashmere sweater at Brooks Brothers marked down from $398 to $89 (pictured below).  The circumstances: it’s hot outside, I am hugely pregnant, and if all goes as planned, I’ll be breastfeeding through the fall and winter. This sweater will probably only be worn a few times in the immediate future, so was it a good purchase? Brooks Brothers Long Sleeve Cashmere V-Neck Sweater

To start with, the dealbreaker question: do I have the money to pay for the item NOW? As always, avoid credit card debt at all costs. Here, the answer is yes, so let’s move on…

My fashion math: A + B + C + D – E = what this Brooks Brothers sweater is worth to me

A) $1 x the number of times I expect to wear it. Here, this is a simple cashmere sweater — it isn’t trendy, it’s a flattering color on me, and it’s the kind of thing that I can wear with jeans or a much nicer skirt or pair of pants. Once the piece arrives, though, I’m going to have to assess it for durability — some items are “snagarific,” as I like to say, and if the knit snags or starts to look lousy, I’m probably not going to get THAT much wear out of it except around the house. So let’s assume maybe $20 here, even though in theory I might have to retire it after 5 wears, or I could wear it until the year 2020, far more than 80 times. (Update after seeing it: it’s a nice tight weave and doesn’t look that snagarific at all — I’ll bet this guy will stand the test of time.) Which brings us to our next point:

B) $5 x the number of times I pat myself on the back for getting a great deal and owning a lovely piece. Also in this category: the internal pride you get from buying something from a brand you’ve wanted to own for a while. (Yes, of course I feel MORE pride in my son, or my accomplishments, or whatever modicum of good I’ve done in the world than I do in my clothes. That goes without saying but, hey, we’re talking FASHION MATH here.) So, I’m looking at $400 sweater marked down to under $100, from a “nice” brand whose cashmere I trust is top notch. If this sucker is soft enough and luxurious enough I may pat myself on the back EVERY time I wear it. Let’s say $15.

C) $5 x the number of compliments I get from other people. Is it flattering enough, interesting enough, or otherwise noteworthy enough that someone (my mother, a friend, even my husband) might say, “Hey, that’s a nice sweater.” Sure, the fact that I like the sweater myself holds more weight, but a few compliments here and there just make something like this sweater more fun to wear. I’m going to assume at least $5 here, but it may prove to be less than this.

D) $5 x the number of seasons I can wear it (or: the likelihood that it WON’T be forgotten in the back of my closet). I’m going to say that this will probably be a fall and winter sweater, but less likely a spring one (although with a light blue tank top or chambray button-front it could make the leap…). Let’s say $10 for the first year I own it, and because it’s Brooks Brothers quality, let’s assume it will last into a second year as well — so let’s say $20.

We’re up to the sweater being worth $60. Finally, I have to consider:

E) The amount of money I’m going to have to spend on care. A “dry clean only” piece will get $10 subtracted every time I have to dry clean it. But because this is a pure cashmere sweater (and the tag says “dry clean,” not “dry clean only”), I’m likely to just pop it in the washer with Woolite and let it air dry. So hopefully I don’t have to subtract anything.

So we end up with a $400 sweater being worth, to me, $60 — and it’s priced at $85. That, to me, is close enough that I’ll order it. Obviously reassessments happen — if it isn’t flattering on me (but is still functional/wearable) that’s going to cut into the value assessment that stems from B and C. If it’s too heavy to wear in the early fall, that’s going to cut into the value that stems from D. If it looks snagarific, that’s going to cut into the value assigned from A. On the flip side, we have this sweater’s happy conclusion: it arrived and I’m delighted with the color, the weave, and the softness — so its value has only increased to me (and I’m already patting myself on the back for buying it).

Ladies, what kind of fashion math do you do when assessing whether to purchase an item? What pieces have you bought for next to nothing that you wore into the ground — and what pieces have you paid too much for that didn’t last?

Fashion Math: How to Know if Those Shoes Are Really Worth the $$$
Picture via Stencil.


  1. I like this math! According to it, any of the Lo & Sons bags are worth about $600 to me. Plus, an older colleague whose fashion sense I really love said “YOLO” when I sent her a link and asked her opinion.

  2. If you’re hugely pregnant, how can you be so sure it will be flattering when you return to your pre-pregnant shape? I could usually tell, but not always, and I always ended up returning non-maternity clothing that I bought while pregnant. I guess if it’s not final sale and has a generous return policy, it’s worth a try.

  3. I love your math! and I concur, absolutely. In fact, I got a dark green cashmere cable crew from BB at the same sale price and also a black cashmere t-neck. I have some other BB cashmeres, so I knew the quality was good, the green was a color I didn’t have, and one that I like, and who can’t use a black t-neck? (replacing a fifteen year old Lauren t-neck) So although I didn’t want to spend money on winter clothes in May, I’ll be happy in November!

  4. Oh my goodness. I just reread that twice. How did I miss that Kat is pregnant?! Belated congratulations to you!

    I use fashion math too. For me, I wear sunglasses practically every day. I only buy them on sale, capped at $100. That means less than $1 a day, at most! I replace them every year because I worry about the UV film becoming worthless.

  5. I don’t really use fashion math. I buy something if it fits, flatters, and is affordable. What makes something “affordable” is a fluid term, but it generally aligns with how I feel about paying for it. If it feels good to buy it, I get it. If I feel guilty, I put it down and walk away. Usually, if the fit is flawless and and the color looks amazing on me, I rarely feel guilty because I know it’ll be a wardrobe staple. I’ve recently developed the mentality that I want to feel amazing in every piece of clothing in my closet. It’s been a daunting task to assess my closet, purge what I don’t love, and restock with true favorites, but after working on it for a couple of months, I already feel better for it.

    • +1

    • Just want to add that loving everything in your closet is actually a huge timesaver. In the long-ago past, it often took me half an hour to get dressed after rejecting half a dozen outfit choices. When all your clothes make you look good, you can get dressed in a minute and be out the door.

      • +1 I’m realizing as I add quality pieces to my closet that I’m becoming far pickier about what it is then before. Sometimes the purge is tough, but I’m working through it. And getting dressed has been a tad easier in the morning.

        • Same here! It’s been so worthwhile because I love everything that I’ve kept and I feel like I only buy something that is or has the potential to be perfect, which cuts down on my spending (although not my browsing . . .) Although I don’t typically do fashion math, I do generally consider the points that Kat outlined.

    • Diana Barry :

      YES, this. “If I feel guilty, I put it down and walk away.”

      I have never gotten to love something after the fact. If I feel guilty buying it, I will STILL feel guilty wearing it. Example: black suit I bought when I already had a black suit. I feel guilty wearing it! Never mind that I’ve gotten lots of wear out of it. I don’t feel that way about the preexisting black suit (which I also still wear).

    • Anon in NYC :

      I agree with this. I don’t do financial math. I also find that I tend to hold out on buying clothes until I absolutely need something, which doesn’t lend itself well to sales. It would be very unlike me to buy a cashmere sweater at the start of the summer. I find that if I stick to dresses, blazers, and sweaters, I’m usually good with a season-less wardrobe.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I don’t really use fashion math either. I’ve tried to purge my closet so I only keep what I absolutely love but I find this difficult with weight fluctuations and feeling guilty about getting rid of clothes that I don’t really like but are otherwise in great shape.

      • I really struggled with the guilt of getting rid of clothes that I don’t really like but are otherwise in great shape. I’ve learned to handle this with a two-step process.

        First, I set those items aside for about a month. I just fold them up and put them in a trash bag and put them in the corner of my closet. (It’s usually work clothes.) Second, after about a month, I look at them and ask whether I still want to try wearing any of the pieces. Of the handful of pieces that I think I still might want to wear, I schedule them for wearing that week. On a Monday, I’ll wear my absolute favorite work outfit to work. Towards the end of the work day, I’ll consciously reflect on how I felt in my outfit all day long. Did I feel good? Did I feel I looked good? Was I comfortable? Etc. On Tuesday, I’ll wear one of the questionable outfits (that I pulled back out of the trash bag) and make the same assessments at the end of the day. I always find, 9 times out of 10, that my answers are significantly lower. In some cases, I don’t even get to the end of the day before I start regreting the outfit. When I get home, I take it off and put it straight into the trash bag. When the bag is full, I wash everything in it and then take it straight to thrift store. If there is something in particular that I know a friend would like, I give it to her.

      • Same. I’m just coming out of the end of my first 3 year “pregnancy corridor” and planning to head down another one soon *fingers crossed*. The massive weight fluctuations that have come with that make it difficult to purge things that don’t fit perfectly right this second. I’ve been anywhere from a size 16 to a size 4 over the last 3 years, so I have a lot of rubbermaid boxes filled with clothes. Do I love them all? No, but they help to fill in the gaps when I’m desperately trying to piece an outfit together that fits.

        So my current math is – is it massively on sale? Does it fit reasonably well? SOLD! Hopefully once we are done with babies I can stick to a weight for any length of time & then there will be a massive purge!

  6. Senior Attorney :

    Kat, your fashion math is hilarious!

    I don’t do anything so detailed, but this year for the first time I have been keeping track of my purchases and computing cost per wear, which has been super interesting. I can’t wait until I have a full year’s worth of data! But so far the clear winner is a black ponte knit Gibson blazer I got at the Rack for under $50 that I have worn at least a dozen times since I bought it in January, which is a lot for me given that I have a really big wardrobe.

    Biggest mistake lately is probably a pair of lovely (and pricey-for-me) black leather booties from last fall that are holding up just fine but turned out to hurt my feet by the end of the day. I hate when that happens.

    • Do you just do this in an excel spreadsheet?

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes. I have columns for date of purchase, place of purchase, item description, price, dates of wear, and then it calculates cost per wear (including tax). At the bottom it calculates total YTD including tax for all purchases. I like that I can see at a glance whether I am sticking to my budget (which I have been so far — four-and-a-half months down, seven-and-a-half months to go).

    • Yay! Kat is pregenent! I would LOVE to be with child now, but unfortunately the only “children” I have are the guy’s that want to “date” me (which transleates into just haveing sex with me)! FOOEY!

      The hockey guy texted me from Pitsburg to tell me it was probably MY fault that his team lost to the RANGER’s, b/c I some how jincxed him into thinkeing of ME rather then HIS team and that HIS team should be the champion’s NOT the RANGER’s! I did NOT even know how to respond to this dumm text b/c I do NOT even follow hockey exept to the extent that this dufus kept texteing me about HIS team and HIS champion’s and HIS comeing into NY to watch HIS team. I doubt he is the team owner, and in all liklihood is just another idiot that make’s grunteing noises at games (and in the toilet) with his beard and all. Now it is MY fault? PUH-LEESE! Imagine If I married this doosh and had to put up with that in PERSON? OMG, I think I would swear off men 4-eva!!!!!!

      There are guy’s that are OK– this Investement Banker I met on the street yesterday texted me to follow up on our date. I want a FILET for dinner I think but NO wine. This guy is big on wine, I think b/c he think’s women think more of men that are wine efficienado’s, but I could NOT care at all about wine, especialy after Alan and his alchohol issue’s. Do I realy want to have to nursemaid another guy? I hope he does not turn out like Alan. We shall see. Wish me luck, hive!!!!!! I need a guy with money to marry me soon! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. I like this. I usually only consider the cost per wear (which I don’t have set at a particular amount), the number of seasons I can wear it, and the care costs (which is why I almost never buy anything dry clean only). I wouldn’t take into account compliments or my own sense of satisfaction – to me it’s only a good deal if I like it and wear it enough, and that doesn’t change based on the original price versus on sale.

    • Same here. The first cut is whether it fits, is cut well, and is of acceptable quality. After I meet those conditions, I do a cost per wear assessment. For me, it needs to be $5 or less per wear to make the cut. Also, I when doing my cost per wear assessment, I vaguely factor in the number of items in my closet that, even if they aren’t identical, could serve the same purpose and thus will cut into the number of wears I get. For example, I have a pair of grey patent pumps that pair well with most of the same outfits as my eggplant purple leather wedges – I love them both, so no need to get another pair of shoes that fits the same purpose for work shoes until one pair dies.

      • Did you happen to buy the grey pumps recently? I swear, it is impossible to find professional grey shoes! My one pair of suede pumps is giving up the ghost and I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement pair for months. I can’t quite get myself to pay $200 plus but I’m starting to get there…

        • Senior Attorney :

          Have you seen these? Low-heeled ankle strap suede pumps, not too expensive, come in a nice light gray:

          • Cute, but I’m looking for more of a true grey. Basically this….but 65% off or so!

      • CorpLawyrChk :

        I bought them a few months ago but from TJ maxx – pour la victorie, $60. Slightly pointy toe, 2.5″ heel, slate gray. Doubt you’ll find them again but they are great!

  8. Meg Murry :

    For me, I’ve found that too many places seem to have way inflated prices, simply so everything can be on sale all the time and you can feel like you got a great deal – after all, is that $400 sweater for $100 really that much better than the $125 sweater from another company? Did you really save $300, or just $25?
    A trick my thrifty mother taught me is to never look at the price tag first. Pick up items you like, try them on, and in the fitting room, decide how much you would be willing to pay for them. Then take them to one of the price check kiosks and see how much they actually are. If your mental price is less than or close to the purchase price, buy it. If not, don’t. Don’t talk yourself into buying a “great deal” if its still more than you would otherwise be willing to spend on an item. I’ve found most of the “great deal” sale/clearance rack items are the things I wear or like least, while items I’ve paid full price or almost full price for because I loved them get much more wear and I feel better in them.

    • This is also excellent advice.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes! One of the questions I always ask myself is “would I pay full price for this?” If the answer is “no,” I put it back and walk away.

    • That’s a great mindset but I do look at the price before trying on an item just so I don’t fall in love with something that is out of my price range. I have become much more critical and only buy items that I love and that suit my lifestyle. I was shopping on Monday and had to keep reminding myself that I do not need more casual clothing.

    • I agree with the point about inflated prices but I think it’s like that almost everywhere now so that a $400 sweater for $100 IS much better than a $125 sweater because that sweater will be on sale for $50 and the quality will vary accordingly. Obviously there are exceptions and I definitely think of certain brands or stores as being particularly discount happy (e.g., Gap/BR) and shop accordingly.

  9. ExecAssist :

    I’ve NEVER done fashion math, but as someone who like to quantify things before making a decision, this post is golden! I’ll be using this formula from now on!

  10. I consider three things while buying clothes or accessories (other than it looks good, fits well and of good quality).
    1. I should be able to buy in cash (may use credit cards to get points, cash backs or extra discounts, but should have that money in my checking account at the point of purchase).
    2. I want to get maximum discount that the retailer can offer on that purchase. For example, for LL Bean it can be 20% and for loft, it can be as high as 75 – 80%.
    3. I try to wear it at < 1$ per wear though I have not calculated it accurately. But I still wear coats which are 5 years old and are in good condition and cashmere sweaters which I have worn for 3 years already and can be worn easily for next 3 years.

    I have observed that I shop for clothes in bursts. I had not shopped for anything from last october till last weekend. I just shopped for a couple of blouses and two pairs of sandals to get me through summer. At the same time, I bought a winter jacket for 70% off (that I really wanted to buy in winter but didn't as it didn't meet my 70% off mark). I don't think I will shop again till october now..

    • I think this can work if you already have a pretty complete wardrobe and are just buying for the sake of enjoyment. But if you really need a particular type of item, or a particular fit from a particular merchant, it may be impossible to wait for or get the maximum discount.

      • I think I should have added that I work in a super casual work environment (west coast tech firm) and so I don’t have to be very particular about what I wear to work. And I am not particular about merchant and I am not by any means a fashionista. But in general I have a work uniform. In summer, I wear t-shirts or cotton blouses with jeans or linen pants and sandals. In winter, I wear the same jeans but with v neck cashmere sweaters or with sleeveless boluses and a cardigan or a jacket (and a coat outdoors) with shoes. I have a couple of dresses and skirts which I wear a couple of times a year. So it works for me.

    • +1 on maximum discount for that brand. I never ever let myself (or my husband) buy anything full price at a mall store I know runs sales all.the.time. Other stores I just know won’t discount more than 20% or offer much more than free shipping.

  11. Unfortunately I never figure out the true value of an item of clothing until after a few wears. Like the Ann Taylor top I’m wearing right now was worth every penny and I’m glad I bought it in two colors.. But I wish I realized how much I liked it months ago so I could have bought all the colors. Same with this amazing gap sweater I have. Took a few wears for me to appreciate the fact that it doesn’t stretch out or pill, something that can be hard to tell at first sight. And now I find myself wishing I stocked up on multiples bc I’d rather have multiples of this sweater than half the junk in my closet. Maybe the real problem is that my wardrobe is too big to begin with so it takes too long to cycle through outfits :(

    • Yes!

      I do a good job of getting value-likely pieces in the door, but ask me after a week or a month or a year. Everything starts off promising. And yet I find myself donating things to the thrift store b/c they just weren’t making the cut (and other reasons, but everything is subject to performance reviews).

    • ExecAssist :

      You make an excellent point. I had a pair of sandals that I wore to the ground. They were comfy, and I got a TON of compliments and they cost me a whopping $10! By the time they started to wear out and I realized I wanted to stock up, they were all out of stock and the manufacturer had discontinued it. I could have cried. So yes, it would be nice to know in advance: “THIS IS A STEAL OF A DEAL! YOU SHOULD BUY AS MANY OF THESE AS POSSIBLE RIGHT NOW!”

      • I am also a fan of buying duplicates. The other thing that makes it hard these days is how poorly manufactured things are in terms of consistency. I recently got a great pair of slim black pants online from Loft but when I went back to grab a couple more in my size on sale, the 2 pairs they had in the store just did not fit the same so I had to pass.

        • The inconsistency is really terrible and it drives me crazy.

          • Oh agreed. I *usually* make it a point to try on all the multiples. Gap and old Navy have also had consistency issues.

    • Exactly. I have some items (I am wearing one today: a garnet cotton blouse from AT that I bought in 2008) that I purchase in duplicate. It used to be easier to do because stores stocked so much merchandise that even if I bought something midway through the season and wore it a few times before determining that I would want another, it was usually still available. Since the recession, stores don’t stock as much inventory, and I sometimes miss that opportunity.

      Also, is it just me, or do people get only a season or two out of clothes? I have items in regular rotation that I have had and worn for 5-10 years. This includes suits, sweaters, sheath dresses, shoes and skirts. Something that didn’t last more than 2 seasons would grossly disappoint me.

      The other factor that I consider in addition to all of Kat’s is fit. It has to fit perfectly, or be tailorable to fit perfectly, before I will buy it.

      And I totally do what Meg Murry’s mom taught: decide on my own how much the item should cost and purchase it if it is within that amount. (Maybe that is because one of my favorite childhood books was A Wrinkle in Time?)

      • I definitely expect to get more than one season out of my clothing – many more – but it depends how many items you have and how much you rotate them. If you wear a basic like a black sweater very, very often, it won’t last as long as if you have a couple of similar ones to rotate.

      • Well, thus far the only thing that has prevented me from getting multiple seasons out of a clothing item is weight loss.. The top/pants are too big. Not the worst thing in the world. Some sweaters wear out a lot faster or fade, but several other items have stood the test of time.

      • +1 to having it fit perfectly or be tailorable to fit perfectly. Also I really look at how something fits in with the rest of my existing wardrobe. When I was younger, I used to pick things on sale that I really didn’t have a bag/shoes to go with and since money was tight, they would just sit in my closet unworn. Even though I can afford more now, I still keep to the same color palates and my goals are nothing in my closet unworn, nothing I don’t feel really good wearing.

      • I agree that I would expect more than a couple of years out of most items – it always surprises me when people here talk about only getting a season or two out of clothing from manufacturers that I would see as on the expensive side. Today, I’m wearing a (BR) dress that I think was purchased in 2007 and a suit jacket that I remember wearing to an interview in 2008. I’ve gotten several compliments.

        (The dress is in bad shape around the arm holes and could be retired, but as long as I’m wearing a jacket or cardi, you can’t tell, and I absolutely love the dress.)

        I agree with having an idea of what you would spend for the item and basing it off of that – I sort of have ideas for how much is a good price for various types of clothing, and might adjust for versatility, quality, wow factor, etc., and go from there. That said, I’m solidly in the pregnancy corridor, as Kat would put it (1.5 yr old and hoping to TTC again very soon), so I really have hardly bought much since starting to TTC for the first and probably won’t buy much again for another year or two (until I’m sure that the post hypothetical baby-2 weight is gone).

        • It definitely depends on the frequency of wear. I buy tshirts mostly from J.Crew, but I only own 4-5 at a time and wear them constantly through a given season until they wear out. So they rarely last more than 1-2 years.

      • There’s been a serious decline in quality pretty much everywhere in the last 5-7 years. I think it started with the cotton crop failure in the mid-00s, and the manufacturers just never went back to the previous content levels. I buy clothes expecting them to last for at least five years; thus I end up at a lot of consignment stores. It’s more expensive to buy cheap-quality, cheap-price clothes than to buy higher-price but higher-quality.

  12. My fashion math is much simpler and was developed with my sister in high school when we used to shop together. I like to pick up an item and decide that I’d pay X amount for it. Then I look at the price tag. If it costs X or less, I consider it a good buy. X is usually determined by some of the factors Kat uses (how much wear will I get out of it, is it for work or work/play, how many seasons can it be worn, do I have to dryclean it, is it trendy and likely to go out of style soon, and does it fit fine vs. makes me look AMAZING).

  13. I don’t quantify my decision making to such degree but I do run a sort of mental check along the following lines:
    – Early or late to the trend cycle – if some style is just becoming trendy and I’m likely to wear it the next 4-5 seasons, I can justify higher price (as a result – I’ve refused to buy dresses with exposed back zipper starting in 2010 – why is this trend still around??)
    – Is it easy to wear – i.e. is this a piece I can throw on in the morning and feel put together without too much thinking (a back shift dress from Vince was my latest acquisition in this category). Easier to wear – easier to justify higher price
    – How deep or not my closet is for specific items – last time I bought a statement dress was 2009 – maybe it’s time to jump on this leopard piece from LK Bennett
    – Similar to Cat – maintenance and dry cleaning cost

  14. I stopped buying things that I can’t wear or use on the day I buy them. I used to buy out of season clothes on sale, but frequently found that when the next season came around I was a different size or the item just wouldn’t work for my needs or the outfits I was wearing then.

    • I often buy things out of season or at the end of the season (like Kat’s cashmere sweater) that won’t be worn for a while but are such a screaming deal that I take a chance. Examples from 2012 that worked are $12 suede boots at Talbots, $20 long-sleeved black ponte dress from Nordstrms, $50 wool jacket from Pendleton. Most of these I did wear and happily. I’ve stopped buying things in a size smaller in hopes that I will fit into it, even if it’s a really good value.

      In terms of cost per wear, I don’t calculate that but I do have a good idea of what will end up being a go-to item and what won’t.

  15. Wow, if I went thru all that fashion math for a garment, I’d be stuck with nothing to wear. Too complicated ;) I stick with a cost-per-wear estimate + does the garment either thrill me or satisfy a definite need? I have to love my clothes OR they need to serve a specific function, such as a new winter coat or replacing a classic black skirt. Not that I can’t love the functional stuff too, but sometimes, you just buy underwear because you need underwear.

    I’m pretty good at guessing my cost-per-wear tho. This comes from knowing your own routine. For example, my favorite “running late in the morning” outfit is a sheath dress + cardigan, so versions of these that I find that fit & flatter, if the cost-per-wear is affordable & I love the specific garment, I’ll buy it.

  16. I add a factor for travel–if I can pack it and it won’t take up too much room and still look good, I’ll pay more or select a less than favorite color. Having things that fit well, look good, and are travel friendly is a stress reducer.

  17. This is interesting! I have never used that much math but I think I might have to start…

    One thing I frequently do is quantify the price of an item in consumables – would I rather have the dress, or a sushi dinner/nice bottle of wine/etc? Since I don’t have a separate budget for clothing vs. other discretionary stuff, I find that if I’d rather have sushi than the dress, the dress is probably not worth it. (a friend of mine uses “How much is this in pizza?” to quantify his tech purchases)

  18. For me, the fashion math follows a series of rules and exceptions: (1) If I pay full retail for anything, it’s too much; except if the money to pay for it was an unexpected windfall like a bonus, gift, or raffle prize then I’ll buy a brand that never discounts happily at full price (e.g. Dooney purse); (2) If I love it and it is retail, I’m going to google it and find it cheaper, then buy there. E.g. if the shoes are selling at Zappos (which has the reviews) for $150 and the reviews are great, I’m going to look at and see if my size is there for 40% less; (3) I usually won’t pay more than $20-$40 for a dress or separate for work; unless it’s deeply discounted designer resale at one of my local resale or thrift shops then the depth of the discount (60 to 80 percent suits me fine and the price can be anything it wants to be as it’s a steal!); (4) Since I’m a size 8-10 on top and 4-ish on the bottom, I have to fit dresses for my top and alter the bottom every time, so alterations are part of the math of any dress (and I love dresses more than separates!); (5) I can’t deduct for dry cleaning because even my cheapest outfits are going to be cleaned at the dry cleaner (I don’t own an iron) – except when the clothes are casual and then I’ll spend whatever I have to spend for them being washable and wrinkle proof as play clothes don’t get to go to the drycleaner.

  19. PutThisOn has a good post on Finding a Good Drycleaner. A good dry-cleaner can really extend the life of a piece. I was recently asked if a 9 year old jacket was new.

  20. I don’t do fashion math as such, but I do invoke my mother often.

    She: “Ooh, this is cute!” (looks at tag) “Oh, dear, no, I was mistaken, it’s not cute at all! Hideous!”

work fashion blog press mentions