3.1 Phillip Lim silk pleated navy dress
Dress, 3.1 Phillip Lim; cardigan, J. Crew Factory; belt, H&M; shoes, Nine West; bag, YSL (via eBay)

Is the whole hi-low mixing thing still, well, a thing? I hope so, because I feel like I totally nailed it with this outfit. The dress, bag, and my coat (which you can’t see here, but is my camel MaxMara workhorse) are tres, tres expahnsiv, even with the sizeable gift card that went towards their purchase. On the other hand, the shoes, cardigan, and belt? The very definition of affordable fashion. The whole look together? One of my favourite outfits of the year. Writing a post in question format? Probably more amusing to me than you. (My standards for amusement are low to nonexistent.)

3.1 Phillip Lim silk pleated navy dress
bag love
3.1 Phillip Lim silk pleated navy dress
lipstick, Rimmel Colour Rush – The Redder The Better

Think you could guess the total out-of-pocket cost of his outfit just by looking at it? We haven’t had some fun with wardrobe statistics in a while, so feel free to play along at home. I can offer you no prize for getting the right number, but you have my blessing to toast yourself with a glass of wine or other beverage/snack of your choice.


Ok, so the total retail cost was approximately $3,670 – say it with me, “holy s**t!!!” – and my out-of-pocket cost was $890.* All I can say is: Thank God for eBay and generous gift cards. You’ll be happy to hear that the current Cost-Per-Wear of this outfit is a fairly reasonable $62.74 … not a bad price for feeling like a fancy fance for a day. Which goes to show – spending big bucks on the things you wear most, and that last the longest (like coats and bags) is the way to get the most bang for them bucks. With that said, I don’t know if anyone else thought I looked fancy or just, you know, plain old “nice”, which also goes to show that the main benefit of “investing” in expensive clothes is nothing more tangible than the confidence boost you’ll get out of them.

Have you ever tallied the cost of the outfits you wear? What is looking good for 10 hours a day “worth” to you?

3.1 Phillip Lim silk pleated navy dress
all the favourites

* Technically, the total should be $830, because the shoes were a gift; I included them in the calculations so that the totals would reflect the cost of the entire outfit.

15 Comments on The Hi Low Remix

  1. I’m saying “holy s%^*!” with you (in response to the retail cost of the outfit), but I’m also tempted to invoke the Master Card commercials of yore (“Looking good for a day? Priceless”). Seriously, even if you had to pay full price, the outfit is fantastic, and I love the hi-low mixing. And that dress is transcendently, unbelievably beautiful and looks fantastic on you. AND you’re even having a great hair day! How do you put a price tag on that? Clearly, the whole thing just works. Even writing the blog in question format (as a fellow question-asker in my writing, I’m a fan).

    • Haha! Writing a post in question format was seriously fun 😉

      See, I’m usually not a big believer in spending piles and piles of money on clothes, because I don’t think that the psychological difference between a $300 and a $3,000 outfit justifies the cost. It kinda boggled my mind when I tallied up the cost for this one. With that said, the majority of the cost here came from the coat and bag, and particularly the latter. It’s well established (LOL!) that I’m a bag hound, which takes my spending in that category outside the realm of the purely utilitarian.

      I’m curious now how my other daily outfits stack up in terms of cost (and cost-per-wear), so I think I’m going to try to go through this exercise on a regular basis. Cost-per-wear, in particular, is a good metric for assessing the success, if you will, of past purchases, IMO.

      The dresss … ah. It is beautiful and, as cheap as I tend to be when it comes to clothes, I think I could talk myself into buying it even without a gift card (the sale price was $157 or so, but I ended up paying zero). I don’t know. Maybe not. It’s easier to justify purchases after the fact than beforehand.

  2. That dress is fabulous, and a really effective example of a cohesive high-low outfit.
    I really enjoy that you make these high end pieces seem not so far out of reach, with the right foresight and strategy. Were your high end pieces ones that you stalked until you’d found them at a price you were willing to pay, or the fortune of stumbling upon a deal?
    I’d be interested to hear more about how you track cost per wear, also!

    • With the exception of the bag (an eBay find, less than 30% of original retail, it’s about 6 years old), the others were not a question of luck as much as good fortune in having a generous employer who gives me a considerable gift card for Christmas – it helps me get one or two expensive items every year.

      I am a huge advocate of second-hand shopping, though; I found most of my designer pieces (in almost new or brand new condition) at consignment stores or thrift shops. It really helps give meaning to the whole hi-low thing 😉

  3. I think you look extra fancy in this. I would be interested in cost per wear for more outfits.. I have soooo many cheap clothes that I’ve only worn once. Forever 21 and their disposable dresses for stampede… Bad habit.
    I’m interested to see what your most worn items end up being and how much you paid for them.

    • Totally doing it! Stay tuned …

      (I did a post a while back about my most worn pieces from last summer … going to try to dig it up)

    • They are ancient! I forgot all about them. They were on the low side – maybe $40 or so? It was some 7 or 8 years ago, though, so my memory … pfft.

  4. Oh, this dress, it just kills me in every outfit – it’s SO beautiful! It’s one of those garments I look at and go “yeah, I’d pay $150-ish for that” and I rarely pay that much for something. It’s just a beautiful dress, it fits you so well and I love how well the pleats in the skirt were done. I also reallllly love those heels, they have a very high end look to them!
    I always like reading your posts where you break down cost per wear, it’s really fun to read and makes me look at my own favorites.

    • Thanks! I am definitely working on incorporating wardrobe stats into a few posts.

      Those Nine West shoes are quickly becoming a favourite. I hesitated to get their designer lookalikes (the Vince pumps) because of the cost, but I’ve been very happy with these so far. They’re just a little bit edgier than your typical black pumps.

  5. Wow… just wow! Ebay is your friend for sure! But can we take a moment to talk about those earrings?? So cuuuute!! I would love to see a post about the different jewerly pieces you have, I’ve been fascinated by the way people accessorize their outfits recently.

    Roxi – http://www.persianfrenchie.blogspot.com

  6. Obsessed with this outfit. It’s sophisticated, demure, and creative, all of which I’d use to describe you and your most-you outfits. I love how much wear you’ve gotten out of that dress! I think it’s time I find a similarly shaped dress in that fabric. It looks…forgiving…which is high on my priority list lately.

    ETA: that last sentence makes it sound like I’m hinting at being pregnant. I’M NOT. Just growing into the tummy that all the women in my family have. Womp womp.

    • Hehehe … nipping the gossip in the bud 😉

      The dress is pretty forgiving, but it’s also about 2 sizes too big (luckily, the armholes are not too large) which also helps – the belt is now a must, to give it some definition. A tight-fitting top + fuller (pleated) bottom = always flattering dress silhouette for pear shapes.

      By the way, you are totally adorable, and I would kill for those gorgeous gams of yours.