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30 Wears: Olive Pants

As I mentioned in my first 30 wears post way back in June, for a few years now, I have adopted the 30+ wears / <$1 cost per wear (CPW) ideal for my wardrobe. There are several different versions of the 30 wears concept, from a pledge to wear an item in your wardrobe 30 times over the next 3 months, to a more general challenge to only purchase things you expect to wear 30 or more times. And I see $1 CPW as a common goal, though some people vary the target by the type of item and many people adopt goals that are easier to meet, like $3 or $5 CPW.

But there is nothing scientific or magical about 30 and $1 as targets, so I've been thinking about this in a bit more nuanced way recently when I noticed how relatively difficult it is to get a new retail purchase to the $1 CPW target and a secondhand thrift purchase to the 30 wears target. I wonder if it even makes sense to use the same goals for retail and secondhand purchases, particularly for number of wears. Surely most of my thrift store purchased have already been worn at least a few times, right? (Several sources cite a study finding an average of 7 wears per item, and I also see several using an average of 10 wears.) And some higher priced retail items that will last a long time, like my leather boots, hit 30 wears very quickly but are hard to get to $1 CPW even though I consider them very good buys and well worth the money.

The entire situation is complicated by the fact that I often create and plan outfits based on what in my wardrobe has the highest current or planned CPW. So my stats do not reflect the patterns in which I would "naturally" wear my clothes, but rather are part of my process for moving my items toward the $1 CPW target.

When I was doing some outfit planning last month, I decided that I would really like to see my CPW down to $0.65 rather than $1. I am still going to be excited to see items hit that $1 CPW target (especially higher priced items) but I am going to keep prioritizing items that are above the $0.65 goal when planning outfits. On the flip side, I also realized that here on the blog, I wanted to celebrate some of my items that have hit 30 wears, even though they are still over the $1 CPW target.

An item that hit the 30 wears goal last week is a pair of olive cotton pants that I bought from Lands End in September 2019 for the high-for-me price of $44.59. I went to the store to return some items for store credit and looked around for promising items to purchase with the credit. I liked these pants a lot, and had been interested in a pair of olive pants for a while, but wasn't sure I would wear them enough to be worth the cost despite their versatility. But I decided to buy these and a replacement long beige trench coat with my credits, and I have been very happy with both purchases.

Olive cotton pants - Lands End - 22W - $44.59 - 9/2019

Total wears: 30

Cost per wear: $1.49

Just getting started!

As it turned out, the work-from-home mode that started for me in March 2020 (and is continuing) made pants into my go-to choice even in the snowy seasons, so I've put these olive pants through their paces year-round and have hit the 30 wears number faster than I thought I would. I think olive pants are even more versatile than I'd expected, and the fact that they are a traditional all-cotton full-length chino style has added a different silhouette from the many stretchy slim leg, ankle, or trouser style pants in my closet. I am not as on the ball as Mica to have photos of all 30 outfits (most recently she shared 30 outfits with a grey dress), but here's a round-up of a dozen ways I've worn these pants, organized by season.

Winter Outfits

In last week's 30th wear outfit, I actually started with the striped shirt (also a Lands End purchase, this one online) and built the look from there. It's funny that the light red cardigan (a thrifted Lands End purchase; I hit the trifecta!) and olive pants combination were inspired by the very first outfit I presented for the 2021 #4 Beige & Olive, Kiwi capsule wardrobe! In the capsule outfit, I used a cream lace-front T, but I thought the striped shirt with its variety of colors would work well here despite the absence of olive. I really liked how it turned out, particularly with the fun layered necklace pulling together the range of red colors. And I couldn't resist adding my cheetah Oxfords for some subtle print mixing.

OOTD 2/10/2022

My bracelet stack of the day was a real hodgepodge: olive/black/silver beads from CJ Banks, DIY red plaid paper tube beads (made from a Lands End catalog, haha!), gold beads from Amazon, green jade chip beads (a gift from my husband) from Etsy, and DIY red/black/white bicone beads with a silver snowflake.

Oddly enough, with the exception of the Oxfords, this outfit could also have come directly from the January additions to the Kiwi wardrobe (though I did not include it as one of the outfit options in that post)! I like the brightness of the scarf against the muted olive background.

I was really tickled by how this one turned out with the floral blouse and fleece blazer. This blouse has an ever-so-slight amount of an olive-y green flecked in the center of the flowers, but it was enough to give me the idea to pair it with the olive pants. The combination of the olive and the soft blue of the scarf is lovely to me.

Olive pairs very nicely with many shades of pink, particularly the dusky shades that match the olive's muted quality.

Spring Outfits

Olive + navy is a color combination I turn to again and again, one that I'll happily wear in any season. Coming out of winter, I liked the playful exuberance of this polka dot blazer, and of course I had to do a print mix with the scarf.

In this outfit, I used the inner column outfit formula to pair the olive pants with an olive tank (a different brand but a very similar color that coordinated well) and topped it with a pretty sky blue cardigan. The blue floral scarf serving as the bridge piece is the inspiration scarf for the 2021 Kiwi wardrobe!

Summer Outfits

This is a very simple outfit for a WFH day, consisting of a print top + neutral pants, which must be one of the most common wardrobe formulas for business casual. (The green in the floral print doesn't really match the olive pants but I think it looks totally fine; we have a lot more leeway in coordinating pieces of different shades than we probably realize, especially when one of them is a print.) Another layered necklace makes an appearance.

Of course I love this sweet bunny print blouse, and putting it with a combination of olive and navy solid pieces is an easy but satisfying way to style it. The gold loafers create bookends with my hair but also pick up the small yellow flowers in the print. This is what Bridgette Raes calls "road map styling," and it's a wonderfully simple approach to combining colors for a highly coordinated look.

Road map styling again, this time switching the print to the topper piece and the navy to the top. Because I'm wearing silver instead of gold jewelry, I used my navy flats instead of a metallic option. See what I mean about how beautifully navy and olive together?

Fall Outfits

Another season, another navy + olive combination. But whoa, this time it's an outfit consisting of solid pieces! I didn't even add print shoes. But I wanted all the attention on this layered necklace made from 3 bold pieces...two of which function a bit like prints in that they contain multiple colors.

I love navy and white stripes, so I rather whimsically put two versions of them in this outfit, plus a leopard print scarf with a hint of olive in it as a bridge piece. This is a pretty classic summer-to-fall transition outfit for me with the three-quarter sleeve top and the lightweight utility vest.

Once true fall weather arrives, I'm back in Sweater Land, and the olive and ivory striped pullover appears once again. This time I chose a very traditionally-fall-colored print scarf for the print mix and added a light brown scarf ring for an extra bit of earth tone color. The cooler season also brings out the cheetah Oxfords, which work very well with the tan/light brown accessory theme.

The navy + olive combination is the clear favorite from this review of OOTD photos. I am surprised, though, that I have not worn the olive pants with black much! Black was another neutral in the 2021 #4 Olive & Beige, Kiwi wardrobe so I am certainly aware of the possibilities there, but I haven't actually worn the combination all that often. Well, that gives me a lot of room to develop new outfits for the next 30 wears of these olive pants!

Do you wear olive? Do you have a favorite color combination with it?

Blogs I link up with are listed here.

6 comentarios

27 feb 2022

Your olive pants are lovely! I haven't hit 30 wears with my olive jeans yet but I'm hoping to this winter and looking forward to putting a post together. I have a few thrift finds creeping close to the 30 wears mark too, I guess it depends how worn pieces were and what the quality is before you buy them, often we have no idea and can only do our best! :) $1 per wear is always good to aim for too, but I've decided to prioritise number of wears in my goals as it means I buy less that way as I have so much in my wardrobe to wear to hit the 30 wears count, ha!

Thank you…

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27 feb 2022
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You are so right about the 30 wears goal leading us to buy less! I have a LOT of things that I'm working on to reach that target, so any new purchase just sets me back :)

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22 feb 2022

You really get a fantastic cost-per-wear with these olive pants. I like all the outfits you created here, and the scarves add a nice, complementary touch to the neutral pieces. Thank you for linking up at Talent-Sharing Tuesdays.


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22 feb 2022
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Thanks for hosting the link-up, Carol! I like olive as a semi-neutral that has color but works like a neutral. I really didn't expect to get so much wear out of these pants so quickly.

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jodie filogomo
jodie filogomo
16 feb 2022

I know what you mean about being surprised at how olive green just seems to work with everything. I remember an olive green velvet top I had once, that would look olive green in some lighting, yet brown in other lighting. And that's the thing, I think it's basically on the brown spectrum in a way, which is why it translates to a neutral so well.

Love all the options here Sally. And that's a fabulous goal to get the CPW down so low. I think I fail at that only because I have SO many clothes, haha. XOXO Jodie

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17 feb 2022
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That's a good point about olive being a bit of a chameleon color! And I hear you so much on the CPW and wardrobe size; I hope that concentrating on CPW will help me wear what I already have and not add very much at all this year.

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