The $weet $pot
Cost per wear counts in paying for jeans
The cost of jeans stretches from the very affordable to the stratospheric.Spend $29 for a basic at a fast-fashion chain – or $3,000 plus (😮) for apair of Gucci buckle-embellished jeans. Prada’s fetching feather-trimmedboyfriend jean comes in at $1,500. (And yes, we want them.)How high or low you go in paying for any item of fashion is based onmany factors: budget, status quest, details, style, brand, how and whereit is made. One more factor to consider: cost per wear.There are three price levels for denim, according to stylist LouiseLabrecque, owner of the Académie Avec Style styling school and authorof the book Avec Style.
* Under $75: The fast-fashion category. They may look good, but thesejeans won’t last, Labrecque says, because the stretch fibres – probablygeneric elastane – may not be top quality. That means the fabric losesshape or buckles sooner rather than later. And they’re likely madeoverseas under questionable conditions for workers and seriousconsequences for the environment.
$100 to $180
* $100 to $180: Here you get a better quality of stretch factor and softertextures. The more the fabric is washed and worked – this is done byhand – the more expensive the jeans. Also, jeans in this price range maybe made in North America with ethical and ecological considerations.Yoga Jeans are made in Quebec under the highest environmentalcontrol standards.
$200 & up
* $200 and up: The fabric is probably good quality, but you’re paying formarketing, Labrecque says. Aside from top international designer denimthat runs into the thousands of dollars, the premium brands thatemerged in L.A. at the turn of the millennium are the big purveyors ofpricey jeans, now going for as much as $450 U.S.
“If you’re paying $300 for jeans, you’re paying too much, Labrecquesays.So the sweet spot, especially if you’re considering cost per wear, issomewhere in the mid $100s. Your jeans will cost more than fastfashion, but you will get good mileage out of them, wear after wear.Under $75, they won’t last – so each wear costs more. “Cheap isexpensive,’’ Labrecque remarks.As you move up in price brackets, your jeans will cost more per wear.Say you buy those L.A. numbers for $450, and wear them about once aweek for a year. That’s almost $9 per wear.Your $150 jeans, worn weekly for a year, ring in at about $3 per wear.As for those buckled Guccis, maybe you would wear them 10 times – fora lofty $320 per wear.And the pretty Pradas? They’re very, very special so we might wearthem twice in their first year. And then, who knows, lose them in the backof the closet. Ouch.
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