Last week I was working with a client in her closet. I was helping her to build a core wardrobe and make decisions on what should stay and what should go. As I do this...
...my first consideration with every piece of clothing, "Does it fit and flatter your body?" Often when something doesn't flatter your body, you stop wearing it and those become the regrets hanging in your closet.
About half way through the closent inventory my client held up a pair of jeans, and bragged, "These are $300 jeans!"
"Great! Why don't you try them on and we'll have a look," I encouraged her.
I looked at the cut of the denim and I knew they wouldn't look good on her body-type, but I wanted her to see that for herself. So she proudly put the expensive pair on, making sure I saw the label and that's all she seemed to look at as well. Then I asked her to put on another pair of jeans that cost her $30. She only wore these in case she was going to get dirty. With the "cheap" pair on, I pointed out how well they fit her waist and how they didn't gap when she would squat (showing her goods to everyone). But she insisted that the expensive pair were better.
I asked her to put the expensive ones back on and then had her squat and move around. It took several times of going back and forth between the expensive and less expensive pair for her to finally look past the label and see that the cut of the cheaper jeans was actually much, much better on her body-type. Just then her husband walked into the closet and told her that he's always like the way her butt looks in the cheap jeans. This got her attention.
Does this mean go out and buy cheap jeans? No, not at all. It means look past the label and worry about the fit first. When clothing fits you well, it flaunts your assets and camouflages the challenges with your body.
My client was right about a couple things. More expensive jeans are typically constructed better and made of a higher quality fabric so they should last longer than cheap jeans, but does that really matter if you stop wearing them because you don't look good in them?
I then instructed my client on which cut of jeans would be the most flattering on her body-type and then suggested several brands, all at different price points, that would look good on her body. This is at the heart of what I try to do as a wardrobe stylist. I teach people my Fit & Flatter principles and then they can decide where they want to shop and the price point they are comfortable with.
So the next consideration is cost-per-wearing. If you take any article of clothing and divide its cost by the number of times you wear it, you get a good feel for its value. The most expensive item in your closet is the piece of clothing you wear once or twice, or not at all. But a lawyer that wears a suit daily should make an investment in their core wardrobe. More expensive clothes will most likely last longer and look better even a few years down the road. But if you don't have to wear a suiting on a regular basis, don't invest as much into it. It all comes down to this cost-per-wearing.
For my client she wears jeans on a regular basis so she was a bit surprised when I told her that a more expensive pair, that fits her body-type well, would be a good investment.
In my personal life I know which cut of jeans fits my body best and I do want a high quality so it will last longer and endure my children and all that I do, but I NEVER pay full price for my expensive jeans. An upcoming post will share my strategies for shopping for denim.