The other day, I took a walk down memory lane and browsed through my 2015 wardrobe Pinterest board where I record all of my sartorial purchases and many of the items I receive as part of a collaboration. It was an eye-opening experience to see just how many pieces I made room for in my already-overstuffed closet. Beyond that, though, it was a chance to evaluate everything I purchased in hopes that it will lead my 2016 additions in a more thoughtful direction.
For the purposes of this exercise, I excluded sponsored items for one very important reason: I didn’t spend my own money. I do want to note, however, that I’m terribly picky about the collaborations I work on and it has led to some incredible pieces, especially when it comes to my jewelry collection.
I spent almost an hour scrolling through my purchases and thinking about each item — specifically, how often do I wear it and how much joy does it bring me — to come up with the list of my favorites and the items that fell flat.
Observations about the top 10 list:
- I love patterns, color, and unique details.
- Dresses over everything.
- Each item was something that I immediately knew I wanted — and I immediately purchased most of them. I mulled over the Tory Burch bags and the Tory Burch monkey earrings (the latter only because I was waiting for my tax refund to buy them). The rest were basically impulse purchases. (I walked in Zara, saw this dress, and left with it no more than 20 minutes later.) This probably isn’t a good bit of advice to bring into 2016, unless the moral is to trust my gut and don’t overthink it.
- Four of the clothing items were pieces I tried on in the store. I’m actually surprised by this because I hate in-store shopping.
- Only two of these items were discounted. The rest I knew I wanted regardless of price. I wasn’t going to wait to see if it made it to the clearance section. (I don’t believe in claiming that “it wasn’t meant to be” if it sold out. Pssh.)
- With the exception of the black dress and the Monica Vinader ring, these aren’t my most-worn pieces. While I suspect that makes the items feel special when I do wear them, I’m not sure if I can make that generalization for myself. My black Ferragamo “Varina” flats and Karen Walker sunglasses are by far two of my favorite items this year, which I received as part of a Shopbop collaboration, and I wear each almost every day. Perhaps I need a good mix of special items and beautiful everyday pieces.
Observations about the bottom 10 list:
- While navy is my favorite color, I don’t want a wardrobe of humdrum items. (It’s kind of depressing to look at all of these items together!)
- I don’t wear shorts. I bought six pairs of shorts this year and only love the pair I’m wearing here. I bought some of them to make getting dressed easier when I was on crutches, but I could have gotten by with just one or two pairs instead of five failed attempts.
- I don’t care for the fit of LOFT clothing. The periwinkle shorts and black top are the only two items I’ve purchased from LOFT this year. I only wore the top two or three times.
- The Trina Turk pendant I own has a red center instead of black. I don’t wear a lot of red and couldn’t find the right thing to wear with it. I might cover the center with black nail polish, since I do think I’d wear that more often.
- I won’t wear uncomfortable shoes.
- In retrospect, it’s probably unfair to put that scarf in with the least loved. I bought it on sale back in January when it was too cold to wear it. I forgot all about it until I worked on this post. (Which, yes, makes me realize I need a better scarf storage solution.)
- All of these items were either budget buys or sale finds. I got caught up in the thrill of the deal and didn’t hold them to the rigid standards I did other pieces.
I’d encourage you to do something similar with your own 2015 purchases. It’s an interesting — albeit humbling — task, but I think it makes for a good reference post when curating your 2016 collection.