Best and worst purchases of 2018

One of my favorite (and least favorite) things to do at the beginning of a new year is reflect on my best and worst clothing-related purchases of the previous year. I love doing it because I love picking out my best purchases, and I dislike doing it because I don’t like facing the harsh reality that not all of my purchases end up being that great. Haha!

In years past, I split up my best and worst purchases into two separate posts, but after looking through my 42 purchases this year (I added 47 new items to my wardrobe, but five of them were gifted to me as part of collaborations), I realized that I only have a couple of “worst” purchases, so I decided to group them all into one post. I guess I’m getting better at purchasing after all!

I picked six best purchases (one being a slight cheat…) and only two “worst” purchases out of my 42 purchases (that honestly weren’t that bad, hence the quotes). If you’re interested in specific outfit details, just click on the photo of interest to be taken to the original post. :)


BEST PURCHASES

Abercrombie & Fitch Packable Down Puffer {purchased December 2017}

Okay, so, this one is a little bit of a cheat because I technically purchased it in 2017, but I purchased it at the end of the year so it didn’t make it to my best purchases of 2017 (by the time that post was written, it had already been worn 14 times and made my honorable mentions). I have to mention this packable puffer coat (similar by Amazon) because I’ve worn it the most out of any of my items the past year (80 times total since I got it!). I originally purchased this coat because I wanted something lightweight to travel with to Mexico and it ended up becoming a staple in my wardrobe! It’s so easy to throw on and go. I purchased it in a size small to accommodate some sweater layering.

Everlane Modern Boyfriend Jeans {purchased January 2018}

These boyfriend jeans were by far my favorite denim purchase of the year. I featured them seven times in outfit photos, but according to my Stylebook app, I wore them a whopping 51 times (in 38 different outfits). Wow! These rang in as the third most-worn item in my closet from the past year. I love the slouchy, effortless fit—they’re incredibly comfortable to wear and I tended to reach for them a lot when I just wanted to be comfy at work or during the weekend. I tried ordering this exact style in a different colorway and found that they did not fit the same, so that was unfortunate. But at least I have these! (I sized down one from my usual denim size.)

Amour Vert ‘Kim’ Dress {purchased March 2018}

This tie-waist dress ended up being a surprising favorite considering the fact that I don’t wear many dresses nowadays. The fit is absolutely divine, and I love how the tie-waist detail conceals a full tummy (even though it can be tricky to get the tie looking just right). Plus, long sleeves are so nice for the mild spring and fall days. I wish Amour Vert would release this exact style but in a sleeveless version for summer! I took it in a size small. I had to order it because of the name, haha! ;) Do you do that, too?

J.Crew ‘Sophie’ Open-Front Sweater Blazer (heather grey) {purchased June 2018}

I don’t know what took me so long to discover the wonders of the sweater blazer! This heather grey blazer was my first foray into the world of sweater blazers, and I am hooked. This particular one is a perfect lightweight layer for the summer months (because that office A/C is out of control) but would also work well with a thin, fitted sweater layered underneath for winter. It fits perfectly in a size down from my usual, even on my broad shoulders, and the light grey color is super versatile.

Everlane Soft Cotton Square Crew {purchased August 2018}

Everlane’s sweaters are hands-down my favorite sweaters. While their cashmere reigns supreme in my opinion (and I had difficulty picking my best purchase between this sweater and my ribbed cashmere sweater), I appreciate that they release cotton options, and I’ve worn this cotton sweater a number of times since purchasing it in the heat of summer. It’s my favorite casual, slouchy fit that works so well with high-rise denim or layered over other drape-y tops. It fits oversized on me in a size XS.

& Other Stories Short Faux Fur Coat {purchased November 2018}

I had to finish off this list with this beautiful faux fur coat! It was love at first sight when I saw this coat pop up in an email, and after thinking about it for a few days, I decided to go for it. I’m not going to lie, I feel a little out of place when I wear this around town, but I love how fluffy and cozy it is. Plus, it just makes me happy! I looked through my private clothing wish list Pinterest board and saw a coat very similar to this one on it (past season H&M), so a coat like this has really been on my list for quite a while! I took this in a size 4; I probably could also fit into a size 2 but the size 4 accommodates layers.

Honorable mentions go to my Everlane cashmere rib round crew (purchased October 2018; last seen here) and Everlane slim classic French terry crew (purchased March 2018; last seen here).


WORST PURCHASES

Madewell Chambray Cutout Cami Mini Dress {purchased June 2018}

I purchased this chambray dress kind of on impulse early in the summer for a wedding, and I only ended up wearing it that one time. No other occasions came up! It’s a great dress, but it’s not the most practical for everyday wear, which is why it landed on my “worst” purchases list. I recently realized that my dresses haven’t been getting much wear at all since starting my job, so it’s probably time to rethink them and maybe pare down that part of my closet. I’ll hold onto this, though, in the hopes that I’ll get a chance to wear it this summer! I did spent just over $100 on it after all…

J.Crew ‘Sophie’ Open-Front Sweater Blazer (heather khaki) {purchased September 2018}

I know! It’s funny that I chose one of my sweater blazers as a best purchase and one as a worst purchase. It all came down to the color, though. I only wore this particular sweater blazer a couple of times this past few months, and I think it’s because I don’t like how the color looks against my skin. I think I would like it more if it were a deeper camel color or if I layered a long-sleeved top underneath to add contrast between it and my skin.

Post-holiday blues

Winter outfit with alpaca scarf, flannel shirt, Kitty flats — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Lamini Carmine multi-stitch scarf winter outfit — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Cozy and casual winter outfit with Lamini alpaca scarf — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Winter outfit with flannel shirt and alpaca scarf — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Charlotte Olympia navy kitty flats winter outfit with ivory scarf — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Hello 2019! It’s crazy to be welcoming 2019; I feel like I blinked and 2018 was over. It’s officially the year I turn the big 3-0. Ah! In some ways, I feel like I’ve had a fairly accomplished life for my age…and in other ways, I feel like I’m still making it up as I go. I wonder if the feeling of “making it up as you go” ever really goes away though.

Now that the craziness of the holiday season has passed, it’s back to business as usual: working, cleaning up and organizing the house, and trying not to freeze whenever I venture outside. I signed up for The January Cure hosted by Apartment Therapy for the first time this year, and I’m already off to a great start by not having time today to do the first assignment. I am hoping it ignites the organizing bug in me so I can finally finish the whole house. I’m tempted to watching Tidying Up on Netflix too…have you seen any of the episodes yet?

One area of my life that needs slight decluttering is my closet. That’s honestly the one area of my life I’m really good about paring down relatively regularly, but I’ve been lazy the past few weeks and haven’t listed many new items on Poshmark. My goal this weekend is to list some items, especially because I added lots of new items to my wardrobe in December. This gorgeous alpaca scarf by Lamini is my most recent purchase thanks to Amour Vert’s recent sample sale! My scarf collection was feeling a bit bland until this beauty showed up. It goes perfectly with my past-season flannel shirt.


OUTFIT DETAILS

Madewell shirt / old; similar by Old Navy
Madewell jeans / old; similar
Charlotte Olympia flats c/o Shopbop / exact (last seen here)
Lamini scarf / exact (on sale - limited availability)
Moorea Seal sunglasses / old; similar by Le Specs
Dior Addict Lip Glow in pink / exact

2018 in review

I always love reading these posts on other blogs but have never put together a proper “year in review” post in over five years of blogging…until now! I went through the past year and picked out the most read posts from the year (not including review posts) and a few of my favorite looks (click the look to go to the original post). I also recapped the travel I experienced and looked back at my purchasing trends (but, as always, I’ll be sharing my best and worst purchases of the year in their own posts later this week). Happy 2019, and thank you so much for reading! xo


MOST READ POSTS


FAVORITE OUTFITS


TRAVEL RECAP

I didn’t do a whole lot of traveling this year, unfortunately! I did use a work visit to Seattle, WA, in June as an excuse to extend my trip and visit my mom and step dad in Sequim. My mom and I took the ferry over to Victoria, BC, Canada to visit The Butchart Gardens for a day (or half a day, as we missed the first ferry we were supposed to take!).

Over the Independence Day holiday week, Korri and I set off on a road trip to South Dakota to visit family. We drove through Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in one day (twice) and saw many other notable sights in Idaho, Wyoming, and South Dakota along the way. The crazy part is that we still liked each other by the end of the trip, haha! ;)

We wrapped up the year back in the Pacific Northwest for a day trip to watch the Seattle Seahawks—on my birthday. After getting in later than originally planned due to flip mishaps, we met up with my mom and step dad downtown for brunch, watched the game (they beat the Cowboys!), and flew home.

I also featured some new local spots in 2018: the Central Addition neighborhood in downtown Boise (thanks to Stay Alfred at The Fowler), Cabalo’s Orchard and Gardens for apple and pumpkin picking in the fall, and iconic Harrison Boulevard with its gorgeous fall colors on display.

(I should also mention that we went to Seattle and Minneapolis for the Reputation Stadium Tour, too! I just didn’t blog the evidence…ha! You can catch the highlights on Instagram.)


BUDGET RECAP

This year was the first year I blogged my clothing purchases every quarter instead of every month. I started off strangely slow with only three purchases in January and February (after making six purchases in December for a total of nine new items) and stayed way under my $500 quarterly budget. I ended up not rolling the extra amount over because I had a lot earned from Poshmark sales.

I added 11 new items in the spring (and opted not to roll over the extra amount saved), 12 new items in the summer (went over budget if not for Poshmark sales), and 14 new items in the fall (went way over budget if not for Poshmark sales). I spent my entire winter budget this month so the next quarter is already off to a great start…ha! Those darn sales in late November and December always get me. And if it weren’t for my Poshmark sales this year, I would have gone way over budget for the year. You can see all of my wardrobe additions for 2018 on this Pinterest board.

Here’s more random stats from the year:

  • Total number of items added: 47 (including December; down from 53 in 2017)

  • Total number of items from my “main” closet sold on Poshmark: 56 (over double from 2017!)

  • Donated many older items that weren’t in my “main” closet (on Stylebook)

  • Added 4 sweaters

  • Added 2 sweater blazers from J.Crew

  • Added 4 pairs of jeans (2 from Everlane and 2 from Madewell)

  • Added 2 pairs of wide leg pants (!)

  • Added 3 midi skirts (!)

  • Added 3 dresses

  • Added 9 new pairs of shoes (5 pairs of boots, 2 pairs of sneakers, and 2 pairs of sandals)

  • Added 4 new pairs of shoes thanks to my longstanding collaboration with Earth (and one new pair in exchange for content on their end)

  • Added no jewelry and only 2 accessories (one beanie and one scarf this past month)

  • Added 2 pre-owned items via Poshmark (both Madewell flannel shirts)

  • Spent the most money on Marc Fisher boots ($265—full price plus sales tax) and the least on a J.Crew beanie ($19 on sale from $40); both were worn in this outfit

  • Top retailers: Everlane, Madewell, Nordstrom