In the case of an article of clothing, if you decide to purchase a new sweater you have two choices. You can easily go to a disposable fashion store such as Forever 21 and invest $19 on a sweater. Typically, with disposable fashion, money is saved by making the garments as fast as possible and the attention to detail in finishing stitches is not always there. It is possible that your $19 investment will last just one season. If during that one season you wore the sweater 12 times, the cost per wear would be $1.58.
If you go to a higher end store and choose to spend an additional $10 looking for a sweater in the $29 range, the attention to detail is most likely greater and that sweater could last you five years or more. If during that five year time period you wore the sweater 100 times, the cost per wear would be $.29.
Using a Cost Per Wear/Use Calculation is one of the most helpful tools in deciding when to invest and when to bargain shop.