The Secret to Buying Anything is Cost-Per-Wear

Sometimes I get things for free. But most of the time, I’m shelling out my hard-earned cash for clothing items I desire.

As a minimalist, I try to buy quality because it is usually long-lasting – but sometimes quality = expensive. Worry not! There is a way you can buy anything you want, as long as you follow this one rule:

Aim for the cost-per-wear to be $2.

If you feel strongly you can achieve that, then go ahead and buy anything from a diamond ring that costs $2000 (cost-per-wear is $2 in less than three years) or a designer bag that costs $300, like this Rebecca Minkoff satchel:


As long as I use that bag once a week for six years, I’m good to go!

Sherry, from Save. Spend. Splurge. has been using the Stylebook Closet App to track the cost-per-wear of her purchases:


Photo from Save. Spend. Splurge.

I love having a way to justify my expensive desires, however infrequent. I find it very useful to shop with this strategy and it’s perfect for my minimalist needs.

Do you ever calculate cost-per-wear? What’s your number? Is $2-per-wear a good goal?


The Perfect Red Lipstick

mac-russian-red_300Russian Red by MAC.

I am a minimalist. I want to keep my make-up collection very small, and this requires me to make some tough decisions. If I own a product, it better be perfect and I better only have one.

After a long wait, the perfect red lipstick has finally entered my life. I had tried a few reds in the past, but was never very impressed. I’d go to Sephora on my lunch break, test a new shade, and get opinions from my coworkers. Nothing stuck.

Then, like in a romance film, love found me when I least expected it! I had given up on my hunt for the perfect red. Until one day, I turned around, and was greeted by a customer who was glamorous in an understated way. She looked gorgeous, yet relaxed. Very chic. But what really stood out to me was her lipstick. Such a delightful shade of red! And to me, maybe because of the matte finish, it looked so positively French, which (whether or not it’s true) is always appealing for me.

Here’s the nice part… when I complimented her on her superb choice of lipstick, she actually told me the name of it! I thought that was very generous of her, especially since some women protect their beauty secrets like crazy.

I rushed out and bought Red Russian right away. And I’ve been happy with it ever since. I can put it on rather thick and have a nice bright red, or if I blot it a bit, it’s more understated and demure. I LOVE IT.

I can also tell you that it will make your teeth look very white – which is so important with a red lipstick. I mean, that’s the whole point, right? There is nothing worse than wearing red lipstick and having your teeth look yellow just because the lipstick has orange hues, instead of blue.

Here are some reviews if you need some final convincing that this is the perfect red shade that you’ve been spending your whole life looking for:


Be the Protagonist in Your Life by Wearing an Iconic Outfit

What would your life be like if you wore the same thing all the time?

A lot of characters in books and TV do it.

I’ve been watching the Netflix show BoJack Horseman, and the characters are consistently wearing the same outfit. Sometimes they change it up for a minute, but they always go back to their standard ensemble. I think about this a lot.


There’s a woman in New York who created a uniform for herself, and she wears copies of it every day. Obama admits that he essentially wears only a grey suit or a blue suit. I’ve also been watching the hilarious web comedy Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and Jerry seems to have a uniform pretty down pat: jeans, funky athletic shoes, dress shirt, and a blazer. I have not seen him significantly deviate from that formula.

With all of this in mind I’m compelled to ask, what would my uniform look like? Lately: Jeans, dark top, scarf, and jacket or cardigan. But sometimes: dress with blazer. Or sweater with burgundy or forest green pants. For someone with a capsule wardrobe, I actually change my look quite a bit. I’m not sure the “one look” iconic outfit is for me. Would you try it? Are you already doing it? What would your uniform look like?

Happy is Beautiful

If you were to ask me to think of times when my mother has looked most beautiful, I would tell you quite easily:

  • My wedding day
  • Her 30th anniversary

I have these two days in mind not because she was wearing fancy clothes or perfect make-up. Nope, she looked lovely but not so different than normal. The reason these days stand out is because she was radiating happiness. Her smile lit up her face, and she was positively glowing with good feelings.

Ask yourself this question about the people in your life. When do they look beautiful to you? I think part of style and fashion goes beyond what we wear.

Reality check from George Carlin:

‘Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.’

Fashion is fun. We can express our individuality and play with different looks. But always remember that the surface is just one layer of what you’re expressing to the world.

Feel good, look good. It’s as simple as that.

Laundry: Minimalist Style

My husband is not a minimalist, and he really lets his laundry pile up. When he is finally forced to wash his clothing, he ends up having to do four loads! It takes 30 min. for a wash and 1 hour for a dryer cycle: that’s 6 hours if he wants to finish it all in one go! INSANE!

Alternatively, he could be a little more like me, and keep a minimalist/capsule wardrobe. I do not have enough pairs of socks and underwear to last more than a week and a half. I am forced to do my laundry, and it is always just one load. It is amazing.

People often talk about the perks of a capsule wardrobe:

  • Save money (buy less clothing)
  • Save time (less decisions to make)
  • Save space (less clutter)

But they don’t always highlight what a dream it is to do small loads of laundry as opposed to four colossal loads. I love having a capsule wardrobe and I will never go back to having piles of options. It simply is not for me.


Minimalist Make-up

My last job was in a downtown shopping mall. The lunch hour would bring in parades of gorgeous people who had escaped their high-powered jobs for a few minutes of blissful shopping. They looked great, and very done. Hair done, nails done, make-up done. Even the men looked perfectly coiffed.

Now, I work at a non-profit in a small town. The attitude towards dress and style could not be any more different. People are dressed for comfort, designer labels are simply not seen, and everyone has a more natural look about them. Less make-up, less hair dye, and less keeping-up-with-the-Joneses. It’s a very refreshing change.

When I worked at the mall, I’d delight in wearing statement necklaces and bold lipstick. It was fun! And I do still enjoy dressing up. But my style is adapting to my new environment, and I’m finding that I’m wearing MUCH less make-up.


What I used to wear:

  • Under-eye concealer
  • Cover-up with SPF
  • Pencil eyeliner (bottom lash line)
  • Liquid eyeliner (upper lash line)
  • Mascara
  • Blush
  • Eyeshadow
  • Lipstick

What I wear now:

  • Mascara
  • Blush
  • Tinted lip balm or very neutral lipstick
  • [Upper lash line eyeliner if I’m feeling fancy]
  • [Neutral eyeshadow if I’m feeling REALLY fancy]

I am saving time each morning, and developing more confidence in how I look without make-up. TRUST ME, if people are used to seeing you in “full make-up” all the time, the one day you go clean-faced you may be asked if you’re feeling ok. It’s a sad truth, but who can blame people?

I’ll admit – I used to agree with the infamous quote: “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.” (Helena Rubinstein) But I now see less make-up as a sign of confidence and self-acceptance. I’m really enjoying this make-under. It’s definitely a good way to love your natural self, spend less money on make-up, and have more room in your make-up bag.

What about you? Do you wear a lot of make-up, or a little? None? Comment below!

The Gypsy Love Blog

Some link love for ya today:

I simply adore The Gypsy Love BlogFacing my shopping addiction one post at a time.

I have no idea why it’s called that “The Gypsy Love Blog”. But it’s great. What an honest and revealing account of a shopping addiction. I’ve enjoyed following her journey and I feel like by paying witness to her progression, it’s like I’m showing support and helping her face new challenges. Or maybe I’m just spying. Either way, definitely check out the blog.