Clothes lasts about 100-200 wash cycles(*) allowing the computation of daily depreciation costs, mostly for fun.

(*) That is, if you line dry and machine wash. If you tumble dry, take 25-50% off those numbers. If you hand wash add some.

For instance, if $50 bed sheets, which is closer to the 200, are washed about once a week, it will last about 4 years or about 1000 days. This means that sleeping will cost about 5 cents a day.

Retail clothing typically last about 100 cycles. This seems to hold for pants, shirts, and underwear. Sweaters seem to last much longer, say 200. Socks last shorter, say 50.

Suppose I wash pants and sweaters every 5 days and shirts, socks and underwear every day. Also, suppose pants and sweaters are $40, shirts are $20, and socks and underwear are $5 each.

Getting dressed thus costs:

  • Pants: $40/(5*100) = $0.08
  • Sweater: $40/(5*100) = $0.08
  • Shirts: $20/100 = $0.20
  • Underwear: $5/100 = $0.05
  • Socks: $5/50 = $0.10

To get dressed thus cost about half a buck a day, 15 bucks a month or about $180 a month if you don’t hunt too carefully for it. I usually do better than this. If you got an eye for it (and I don’t) you can do even better through selective thrift shopping. Check out the affordable wardrobe blog for inspiration. Unfortunately, I find US thrift stores difficult because I am taller and slimmer than most Americans, which makes even retail shopping difficult—I’m usually looking for 34×34 jeans.

Note! From this we should not conclude that just sitting around in your underwear or running around naked is the most frugal solution, although it is.

Daily Yakezie Short Carnival: How I Got $8 Glasses @ Canadian Finance Blog & Are you born to be a SAVER? @ Stay at Home Mom CFO

These posts have been chosen as the best post of the month by the bloggers who submitted them, so check them out if you are looking to add more blogs to your reading list.

Originally posted 2010-03-05 14:40:30.