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.

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

Favorite outfits & wardrobe workhorses: F/W 2017

Even though we'll still get a mix of winter and spring weather for the next couple of weeks or so, I've officially wrapped up the winter outfits now that it's mid March! Since the fall/winter 2017 season is complete, here's a look at the standouts from the past six months.

Out of the 56 outfits I blogged, I chose 18 favorites based on these criteria: 1) Do I like how everything fits? 2) Do I like the color combination? 3) Do I like the silhouette? 4) Would I wear it again right now (weather aside)? 5) Does it feel like me? AND 6) Was I comfortable in this outfit? I try not to focus so much on the quality of the photos, especially because we were learning a new camera and my editing was kind of all over the place as I was learning Lightroom.

My favorites included outfits with layers (of course), skinny jeans (especially my blush pink jeans), and all the cozy sweaters, flannel shirts, and boots you could think of. Haha! Even though winter was rough for me outfit-wise, I still enjoyed a good number of the outfits that I ended up blogging. Phew!

In addition to evaluating the outfits I blogged, I took a look at which items were the biggest wardrobe workhorses in my regular day-to-day life. My favorite closet organization app, Stylebook, updated some of its stats a couple of months ago, and I'm even more obsessed than I was before! I loved the "most worn" and "best cost per wear" stats they included in the original launch, but the update added a feature where you can change the length of time within each stat. Now, I can see what I haven't worn in one month, in six months, in a year, in all time, etc. It's an amazing feature to use when evaluating my closet by season, and I also use it now to figure out what hasn't been worn in the past year and what might be a good candidate for rehoming via Poshmark.

fall-winter-17-items.jpg
fall-winter-17-outfits.jpg

My most worn items in the past six months (encompassing mid-September through mid-March) are shown above on the left, and my most worn outfits in the past six months are shown above on the right. Not surprisingly, boots, jeans, sweaters, and coats dominated my most worn items. I love seeing that five of the items I bought in the past six-ish months were included on the most worn list! Many of those items in the most worn list were also included in the outfits that I wore the most in the past six months. The majority of these outfits were ones that were easy to throw on in the morning for work, particularly on the days that we had rain or snow. My Bean boots had a lot of mileage, but it wasn't so snowy that I needed to wear my snow boots that often. It's also funny how often many colorful tops and sweaters made appearances in those outfits. Red was definitely a dominating color in all of its various shades, haha. :)

In the widget below are some of my exact (or very similar) wardrobe workhorses from this past fall and winter that would also work well into those chilly days of spring! I'm looking forward to seeing what my wardrobe workhorses are after this upcoming spring and summer. I won't be surprised if many of these items are also included in that list!