Survey says …

Ah, surveys! I love surveys. They’re kinda meaningless, but they make good fodder for casual conversation. For example, according to a new survey from the UK, women wear on average US$1,500 worth of clothing every day. In the immortal words of the Keanu, whoa! 

To be fair, that amount includes accessories (down to knickers and handbag contents apparently) as well as clothes. But, still … whoa!

My second thought upon reading that statistic was to embark on an informal survey of my own. I love crunching numbers! The more meaningless, the better. For the sake of expediency, there would be only one test subject – moi – and one work week’s worth of outfits (i.e. 5 work appropriate outfits). For the sake of, ahem, propriety, the calculations would exclude undergarments and my engagement ring. After much deliberation, I decided to also exclude my wallet ($150, in case you were curious) because, though technically an “accessory”, it’s “clothing” only in the loosest terms. For the same reason, I didn’t count the rest of the contents of my handbag. As a frame of reference, I work in a professional position in a relatively conservative office. No sweatpants for this girl. And, as of last week, no coats either – Edmonton is finally on a “hot streak”, with temperature hovering above +20C.

So what did I find? Well …

The average actual1 cost of my clothing was … $245

Quite the difference, right? But …

On the other hand, the average retail cost of my clothing was $1,012.2

To anyone who knows me, this should be in no way surprising. I love to shop, but what I love even more is my budget … and a good bargain. I am firmly of the opinion that good quality, brand name clothing can be found at reasonable prices if you are patient, persistent and know where to look. This “survey” confirms that … meaningless though it is.

Just for fun, here is how my most “expensive” day/outfit broke down:
Diane von Furstenberg top         $25 (paid)  $200+ (retail)
Banana Republic cardigan          $32         $60
Valentino R.E.D. label skirt      $40         $300+
Goldenbleu suede wedge shoes      $45         $200+
Banana Republic necklace          $0 (gift)   $70
Michael Kors tote bag             $225        $225
                                 $367        $1,055
And here is what it looked like (minus the bag … and my head):
So, how do you stack up?
1 Meaning what I paid for it.
2 This is an approximate number because I didn’t have the actual retail prices handy for each item. So the way I estimated prices in those cases was to find a similar item from the same brand on eBay or in store and use the pricing for that item in my calculations. It’s not an exact science but I think it gives a pretty good estimate.

The hotness

Like Maria von Trapp, I too have a long list of favourite things. And it keeps growing all the time. Currently, my favourite thing is my new pair of cropped iT jeans. I wore them everywhere in Vancouver this weekend.

I always find pants, and jeans in particular, really hard to shop for. I have a sizable backside and the hips that go along with it, and a somewhat disproportionately small waist. This usually results in either an unflattering gap at the back of my pants’ waistband or a drooping crotch. Neither a particularly attractive look. I also find that a lot of straight-cut jeans end up being baggy around my knees; I have yet to figure out why that is (and whether it’s attributable to some peculiarity in the anatomy of my knees, or the vagaries of the design process).

Needless to say, my new jeans possess none of these problems. They’re fitted but comfy, and the leg is cut straight but without any knee-adjacent bagginess. The cropped length is perfect for summer, because it allows me to wear flats or high heels without the necessity (and cost) of any hem adjustments, or the relative discomfort of skinny jeans. The best part is the colour – a cool, washed-out grey. It’s ever so slightly reminiscent of 80s acid-washed denim, without being a total throwback. Which will come in handy when the 80s revival trend dies out again (and it needs to, stat!).

I’d never heard of this brand before, so I did some googling and it looks like it has popped up in Oprah magazine before. And you know that if Oprah likes it, it’s a good thing. Or, wait, is that Martha? Anywhoo … I’m keeping an eye to see if I can figure out who carries iT jeans around here, and I will keep you posted.

Here’s a pic (I’m wearing my Taryn Rose flats — still comfy after hours of walking):