Thursday, January 01, 2015

Best and Worst Wardrobe Purchases of 2014

I keep track of what I spend on my wardrobe each year, but I lose track of the items themselves. What were the best deals? What did I pay most for? What were my best buys? What were the worst?

I hope to start an annual tradition of listing my top five cheapest, most expensive, best, and worst purchases of the year.


These were all (surprise!) second-hand finds.

1. Tilt denim skirt $0.74 (thrifted)
2. Anne Klein red envelope purse, $1 (garage sale)
3. Floral blouse, $1.48 (thrifted and already returned to the thrift pool due to it’s fiber content)
4. Dana Pierce wool tweed shorts, $2.33 (thrifted and not listed under my “worst” buys although some may beg to differ!)
5. Turquoise open-weave sweater, $2.50


The most expensive items are shoes and/or made from leather or silk.

1. Ariat Dahlia Dainty boots in Brown, $199.00.
2. Ella Moss Marigold Print Silk Dress, $158.90.
3. Joe’s “Abby” cutout leather bootie, $132.90
4. Brynn Marina shoe, $109.00
5. Zara leather biker jacket, $99.99.


Of everything I purchased in 2014, I most regret these:

1. Zara leather biker jacket, $99.99. Not only was this one of the most expensive items I bought, it’s also one of the crappiest. First of all, it’s too small. I’m not a big person and I can barely zip this size medium jacket. Second, the hems are finished with something that feels like wire, so the bottom edges and lapels and cuffs are stiff and emerge from my closet in odd contortions. I’ll give the jacket a few more tries, but I’m pretty disappointed in it.
2. Kelly and Katie leopard slippers, $59.95. The irony is that I went to DSW specifically to buy these shoes after I hurt my ankle. I’ve worn the other two pairs of “sensible” shoes I purchased on that DSW trip far more than this slipper style shoe. I may like them better in the spring, with bare legs and skirts. We shall see.
3. Zara Combined leather high heeled court shoe, $39.99. These are utterly useless. Despite inserts, they fall off my feet with every step. I gave up and sent these to the thrift store. Have I mentioned that nothing I have ever bought from Zara has worked out?
4. Willi Smith ikat trousers, $29.99. Like nearly every other pair of pants I own, these “grow” over the course of the day. They go from slightly slouchy in the morning to super saggy in the afternoon. I continue to hate pants.
5. Leggings Queen ankle zip faux leather leggings, $24.95. I am regret spending a $20 Amazon gift card on these leggings (bringing my cost down to $4.95). The zippered ankle makes them painful to wear with boots, so the only shoe they look right with is a pump. But I’m not a fan of leggings and pumps. These leggings could NEVER be worn as pants because the effect above my thighs is obscene. Trust me.


Spoiler alert: classics in neutral colors are my best buys. I love statement pieces, but it’s the well-made basics that I wear to death.

1. Joe’s “Abby” cutout leather bootie, $132.90. These were one of my most expensive, but also best, purchases. I’d been searching for a black bootie with special details for months when these showed up on a Nordstrom sale. The double zipper and cut out makes them special. The chunky heel makes them practical. I debuted them in October and have already worn them 8 times. They have become a wardrobe staple.
2. Lauren Ralph Lauren Bethan Tall Dress Boot in black, $89.99. I only paid $39.99 for these, thanks to a $50 gift card, but I would have paid full price for these beautiful and versatile boots. I bought these in February and wore them 17 times in 2014.
3. Black and white Merona purse, $34.99. This isn’t real leather and it is a knock-off of some designer, but I carry it all the time. Over 32 times. (I carried it so often that I stopped including it in every outfit photo, so I don’t have an exact count of the number of days I used this bag.)
4. Audrey Brooke boots, $25.00. This isn’t a super fancy brand (I think it is a DSW house brand) and I bought them at a consignment shop. I would have paid much more than $25 for these buttery boots in rich cognac with warm gold-tone accents. I bought them in February and wore them 10 times. I have a pair of dark brown Nine West boots and thought a second pair of brown boots would be redundant. Instead, I discovered that the difference in sheen, tone, and heel and toe shape make these quite distinct from my other brown boots.
5. Under Skies Dress, $21.99. This was another consignment purchase. I think Under Skies is a crappy junior’s brand, but this dress is mostly cotton, so I forgive the juvenile label and lack of lining. I love the black and white pattern, fit and flare shape, pleather details, cut-outs, and suitability for layering. I’ve worn it nine times since I bought it in July. This post reminds me of all the ways I have yet to wear it!

Over to you: what were your best deals? What did you spend the most on? What did you regret buying? What has turned out to be a wardrobe staple?


laniza said...

What a cool feature! 2014 seemed to be the year of shoes for you.

LostRoses said...

I love this post. I'm sorry the leather jacket hasn't worked out because it's just stunning on you and goes beautifully with your hair color. I don't keep track of what I buy but the worst mistake this year was buying three pairs of colored jeans. I haven't worn them and never will, not even sure where they are. Not sure what I was thinking. :-)

Sonya Benson said...

Happy New year! I know what you mean about zara, I am five feet two and about the same build as you, but struggle to fit into the medium at zara! Not sure who they are making clothes for, pygmies, perhaps?! The brown jacket does look great though. I don't blog about fashion, so I can't be as accurate as you, but hands down, the things I wear the most come in neutral colours, and tend to be quite "safe" items, eg navy and white stripey t shirts, navy jeans, black leather jacket, cream blouse. All in fairly classic shapes. I think the magic comes when you team something quite unique with those things. For example, my black leather jacket is quite biker-y and masculine, but put it with a floral, red scarf (from zara, hahaha!!) and it makes the whole outfit look much more feminine and interesting. (I'm afraid I'm a bit of a serial jeans wearer!)

Anonymous said...

Great post! I don't keep track of my purchases as well as you do, but a couple of my favorites have been long, cotton cardigans I got at thrift stores. One is a Lands End, the other an Eddie Bauer, and they are warm, comfortable, cover my waist, and match a lot of my clothes, even though one is rather orange. They were both still tagged, and I think I spent around 2.50 on each of them and have worn them tons!

I also thrifted my outfit for my husband's company party and got some compliments on my sequined top (Elie Tahari, new with tags, orig $230!), velvety skirt, and red beaded sweater. Total cost for clothes - around $9.


The Suburb Experiment said...

This is a great idea for a post! Zara is super hit or miss for me. Mostly miss. My best most-worn purchases are all nice basics, but some of my favorites are the crazy pieces I found this year.

Lorena said...

You've got me thinking.. I do keep track of what goes in and out of the closet so I will check my 2014 purchases.
What a bummer that your items from Zara don't work well. In my case 80% of the time they do.

DressUpNotDown said...

Hmmm, one of my best purchases was a 101 Dalmations sweatshirt bought at Target. It's an all over Black and White print with pops of Red and Blue (their collars). I wore it with cutoffs at the end of Summer, with jeans and floral leggings during Fall and Winter. I have dressed it up and let it just be casual. I was inspired to buy it after seeing your Mickey shirt. :o)