Wardrobe Investment: Jamie + The Jones T Sweater

One of the most intriguing ideas to me as I venture into making more ethical purchases is looking into an items lifetime cost per wear.

My former consumer-self was a clearance rack scouring, bargain hunting, hobby shopper. My new consumer-self is aware of the perils of fast fashion and is more willing to invest money in clothes that are the best for my wardrobe, for the people who make them, and for our planet. I believe that taking into consideration an item’s lifetime cost per wear is the best of my two selves colliding.

Cost per wear is taking the cost of the item and dividing it by the number of times worn and is a great way to look at your investment pieces.

Past vs Present

I’m still a budget shopper. I am a teacher, married to another teacher, raising four kids, so I don’t have an endless shopping budget. However, in the past few years I have shifted how I choose to spend that budget.

In the past, it was all quantity. More, more, more was better. A $6.48 top? Heck yeah! A $11.99 sweater? You know it! Only $9.88 for shoes? Wait until everyone hears about this!

And I had SO much, that many of those items were worn once. Or (covers eyes) never. I have been known to donate items with tags still on them (and I know I’m not alone, because I’ve also benefitted by thrifting someone else’s NWT items).

Once I discovered the island of calm that is my small wardrobe in the chaos of my life, I switched gears. It wasn’t as scary to start spending more on items because I knew they’d get worn again and again. Because they had to. In a small wardrobe, favorite items are bound to be repeated because there are no other options. And I don’t mind a bit.

And my biggest splurge to date is this Jamie and the Jones T Sweater. 

jamie + the jones

At $228 it’s without a doubt an investment. I purchased mine in October with a 15% discount code, which put it under $200, but boy I remember freaking the heck out as I hit submit on that order.  I had some pretty strict standards about how amazing this sweater had better be for the cost of 10-15 of my old sweaters.

And then it arrived.

And it was...the greatest thing ever. Seriously.

It smelled good (which is weird, but it totally did). It was soft and cozy. The cut and texture completely elevated the sweater. And I felt AMAZING wearing it...like I looked way more stylish than I actually am. And all of that happened just by throwing it on over jeans. Plus, it was designed and made in Nashville, so it’s a small business I am proud to be supporting.

My most expensive and most worn item

My T Sweater arrived December 24. (weird that I remember that, right?) Over the course of 5 months I wore the sweater 19 times. At my cost of $193 that puts my cost per wear at $10.15. $10.15!! That’s less than an average cheap-y sweater that I used to wear maybe once per season before getting sick of it because I never really loved it. Not to mention, I’m not done wearing it, so that cost is going to continue to decrease as far as I can see. The new me has learned that a few well-planned purchases per season end up costing about the same in the end, and I end up with a closet of clothes I’m excited to wear.

Someone asked me on Instagram if this sweater was really worth the cost and I said, “absolutely”. Every single week I looked forward to wearing this sweater. When I had a blah morning, this was my go-to because I knew no matter what bottoms I threw it on with, I’d feel great. And every time I put it on, I did a little math calculation in my head and watched that cost per wear fall, which became like my new ‘bargain shopper’s high’.

How to fit investment pieces into your budget:

  • Shop less. I know, I know…that’s easier said than done, but it really is the easiest way. I can make Target and Old Navy runs every weekend and easily spend $10-40 on random stuff. Or I can stop those runs and buy one really nice item every few months.
  • Balance the cost with less expensive items by shopping secondhand. Another way to be a conscious consumer is to shop secondhand and extend the life of an already made item. Not only does it save items from the landfill, but they’re usually inexpensive and can help balance the investment purchases.
  • Sell unworn items and put that money toward a big purchase. One of my favorite things to do is to sell items (on Poshmark or sent to Thred Up) that I no longer love or need and use that money toward something I really want.

I had drafted this post a while back and it got lost in the end-of-school-year shuffle, but I dug it out because Jamie and the Jones has just restocked their Mid Weight T Sweater (which is totally worth this 30×30 interruption). I have posted my T sweater regularly throughout the winter and spring, but it’s always been sold out, so I was excited to see it’s back and in a lighter weight fabric that is ideal for summer evenings and warm fall days. Mine is slightly heavier weight and I was honestly bummed to see my favorite sweater packed up for summer (and probably quite a bit of fall) because it’s just too warm, so I’m thinking this Mid Weight Sweater may be even more versatile and wearable year round. There is a full comparison over on their site, if you’d like more information.

Tell me…what’s your biggest investment piece? How has it worked out for you? How do you decide what/when to invest?

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This is not a sponsored post and I have purchased both of my Jamie and the Jones items, but they did ask if I’d share the re-release of the T Sweater since they know I’m a super fan and I happily agreed. They did offer to send me an item as a ‘thank you’ for sharing, which is a cherry (a really big cherry) on top.

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13 Comments

    1. I love this mindset! I’m still wearing a pair of leather boots after 8 years, and they just get better with age. I’m working on curating an ethical closet that will work with me for years to come. I hope the pieces I chose will be around to become my children’s vintage.. ? A mom can hope!

      1. B,
        I love it when I have an item I’ve had for that long and that I still love wearing (maybe even more with age). That’s when you know you’ve found a good investment piece!

        And I love your long-term focus on your wardrobe…it took me a while to get there, but it’s so good!

        Best,
        Paige

    1. I love this post! I 100% agree with everything here. It makes so much more sense to wear your favorite item repeatedly if it makes you feel like a million bucks. And I bet you’ll get two more years from this sweater! Please keep these posts coming. Loving your perspective.

      1. Mary Beth,
        Thanks so much! It is definitely a new mindset, but it’s almost a sense of relief to know I’m not always out hunting for the latest-greatest thing (plus all the hassle of the buy-return cycle).

        I was definitely sad to pack this sweater up, so I know it will be a favorite again next fall/winter!
        Thanks again,
        Paige

    1. What size did you purchase? Gorgeous sweater. Love your Blog!!!

      1. Jamie,
        Thank you! And, I can’t believe I forgot to put sizing info in 🙂

        I ordered a medium because I wanted a bit of extra length. I’m 5’2″ and a size 6 for reference.

        Thanks again,
        Paige

    1. I love this sweater! How many times have you washed it? Have you ever gotten any spots on it and then tried to get them out — did they come out? I’m so worried about spills and splatters, given the color!!

      1. Melissa,
        You are such a big help! I wanted to address the wear and tear of the sweater (one of those middle of the night brainstorms) but couldn’t remember for the life of my this morning what it was 🙂

        I have washed the sweater 3 times. Always inside out and it’s held up beautifully. I haven’t gotten any major stains on it, but I did get a bit of a ‘wring’ around the cuff that came out easily in the wash.

        I think the nubby texture helps hide imperfections like small spots and snags, which is a big plus for me.

        I am always extra cautious when I wear it (aprons in the kitchen, primarily), but fingers-crossed it’s stayed in great shape so far.

        Thanks again!
        Paige

    1. My favorite part of this post was when you referred to tracking cost per wear as the new bargain shopper’s high! What a great concept/idea. I’ve been trying to limit my bargain shopping ways and think about cost per wear and ethical shopping, and this tip +trick is going to really help my mindset. Thank you for sharing!!

      1. Bri,
        Thank you! It definitely helps me not only justify the larger price tags, but it’s fun to see how I can get this investment into a cost-per-wear range similar to that of all the cheap things I used to buy, but only wore once. I do still get my bargain shopping ways in by tracking down secondhand deals.
        Let me know how it goes!
        Paige

    1. This post is everything! Thank you for taking the time to write down these thoughts. I”m going to start my own closet project where I go back and estimate my cost per wear for the other items in my closet – I think the cpw might surprise me! I was one of the instagram users who asked how this investment piece worked for you and your thoughtful response was much appreciated! I just pulled the trigger on this piece and am so excited! Your sizing and care info is also greatly appreciated 🙂

      Thank you again!
      Meredith

      1. Meredith,
        I love your new closet project…I may just start a more formal project doing that same thing moving forward. Thank you for asking such a great question and prompting me to share more in depth about my biggest purchase.
        I’m so excited that you pulled the trigger and got the sweater…please keep me posted when it arrives if it meets your expectations!
        xo,
        Paige

    1. I really appreciate your thoughts, reviews, and mindset. I am about the same size as you which makes it easy for me to visualize how the different looks could be on me. I ordered the pocket dress (in black in grey was sold out) and absolutely LOVE it and so I took the plunge and ordered this sweater as well. A. I almost never wear sweaters, I tend to wear hoodies. B. I hardly ever wear white. But I have loved this piece on you, I like the lighter weave of this production run, really like the folding of sleeves option which isn’t available with hoodies, and I do want some sweater option for when I could use a hat for rain or to avoid the double hood when I’ve got my winter jacket on. Looking forward to this sweater coming in the mail when it’s time. Today, the air conditioning is very strong that this sweater would have been great with my dress.

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