Thinking of buying a new pair of jeans? Breaking down the cost over time might help you decide
Outfitting & Bundling
August 18, 2023

Thinking of buying a new pair of jeans? Breaking down the cost over time might help you decide

Rohan Deuskar, founder and CEO of Stylitics, shares insights into trends reshaping e-commerce.                                                                                                                                    

Jake Welch, a 36-year-old brand director, has transformed the process of getting dressed into a mathematical endeavor. He meticulously calculates the cost-per-wear of his wardrobe, meticulously tracking 200 items in a spreadsheet, excluding socks and underwear. He records the price and wear count for each piece, updating the spreadsheet daily to assess the value of his purchases.

Initially considered unconventional, Welch’s strategy of prioritizing long-term value over cheap purchases has gained traction over 12 years. With ongoing inflation, more shoppers are adopting his approach.

Retailers are taking notice and altering their marketing strategies. Gap’s Old Navy offers refunds for uniforms not lasting a year. Kohl’s, Untuckit, and American Eagle have revamped campaigns for durability and longevity. The idea is that a pricier item worn frequently can provide better value than a cheaper piece seldom used.

“Cost-per-wear is another way to combat inflation,” notes Christie Raymond, Kohl’s CMO, emphasizing the need for versatile, enduring items. Some shoppers seek eco-friendly options, reducing landfill waste.

However, cost-per-wear thinking suits those who prioritize quality and versatility, as tighter budgets often prioritize appearance over long-term use. Fast-fashion brands like Temu and Shein still thrive, but there’s a growing pushback against disposable fashion.

Rohan Deuskar, CEO of Stylitics, observes shoppers becoming more selective, seeking value beyond mere affordability. 

Shoppers are being more considerate about every purchase and being willing to spend only if they get value — and that no longer just means cheap, we’re reaching a little bit of an oversaturation of buying a bunch of stuff. 

Market research indicates higher-priced items are outpacing lower-priced ones, driven by the demand for quality and longevity.

Welch’s approach of neutral, versatile pieces has been successful, aided by inflation’s clarity on needs and wants. His meticulous calculations have identified high-value items, indicating the importance of longevity.

In this evolving landscape, retailers are adjusting marketing to showcase various ways of wearing items. Welch’s family also embraces the concept, with his wife favoring quality and his daughters fitting well with the new approach. As shoppers rethink purchases, value and longevity are becoming key considerations.