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Ever wanted an item of clothing or a designer handbag more than you wanted to eat for the month but talked yourself out of it because of how much it cost? I get it—you don’t want to be forking out for something that seems embarrassingly expensive. But here’s the thing: When you tot up how often you’ll be wearing that piece, it’s surprisingly more affordable than you realise. How do I know this? Because I’ve been there and have made those purchases and, more importantly, have never regretted it.

I spoke to the rest of the Who What Wear team who revealed some of their most expensive buys, and then I worked out the items’ cost per wear. From a £600 coat that is actually less than a tenner (over time) to an over £200 T-shirt that’s worth 30p every wear, here’s how you can feel less guilty about purchasing that expensive piece you’ve got your eye on. Keep scrolling for the Who What Wear editors’ best-ever cost-per-wear pieces.

“I bought a Saint James top in high school because Alexa Chung wore one. That must’ve been 10 years ago now, and it cost me $200 (approx £114) to ship it to Canada (it was an ordeal at the border). It was so much money at the time, but I still wear it once a week—at least.” Cost-per-wear: 34p
“Anyone who knows me will know that I agonise over new purchases and can be a very indecisive shopper. I talked about the Gucci Soho Bag (the small, round version) nonstop for approximately eight months, and after dragging my sister to see it in Selfridges for about the 20th time, she said ‘That’s it—you are not allowed to talk about it anymore. So you either buy it right now or you forget about it and don’t talk about it again.’ So I bought it. I was so nervous about the speed of the decision that I forgot my pin code at the Gucci counter in a total fluster and had to go back five minutes later. It was £530 when I bought it five years ago, and I have worn it at least four days a week ever since. I use it every day at work along with my larger tote bag for my laptop. I have even talked other friends into buying it based on this cost-per-wear maths.” Cost-per-wear: 51p
“Eight years ago I bought a Sonia Rykiel navy and black Mongolian lambswool coat when I was an assistant, nearly bankrupting myself. I had been saving for something else and then had to put the rest of the damage on a credit card—it was the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought (around the £600 mark, and that was in the sale) to date, aside from a Céline handbag. I don’t know who I thought I was at the time, but it is the one thing I pull out every winter without fail. And I still love it just as much as the first time I put it on in the store, got over-excited and made a massive splurge. Sonia’s tailoring suits me, and the brand is such good quality—this will hopefully last me a lifetime.” Cost-per-wear: £7.50
“Three years ago, for my birthday, I bought his A.P.C. bag for myself. I knew I wanted an everyday designer tote that wasn’t ostentatious and would last me forever. But I also wanted it to have a bit of a subtle flash about it, which is why the gold chain makes it look more expensive. And, boy, has it delivered. Not only does someone ask me every time I wear it where it’s from, it also goes with everything in my wardrobe, as it’s navy blue. I wear it at least twice a week, if not more, and it fits in everything I need, including a book (the commuter’s saviour). Final point: Looking after it has really meant it’s stayed in a great condition. So, remember to keep your dust bags!” Cost-per-wear: £1.58

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