2016 Style Reflections: Looking Back
Now for the final reflections roundup, you can read the summary of everything I bought in 2016 here, and each category was lovingly separated out.
Man, this has been a seriously shopping-heavy year, no?
In some ways, worse than 2015, but because of thrifting and getting items secondhand, I spent less dollars overall.
Let’s see if I can get quantity down even MORE, and never mind the cost of things as long as they are luxe.
Most expensive item I bought all year
My half of the house in cash. ZERO regrets even with the stock market and all that blabbeddy-bla bla.
It is quite an emotional and mental relief to be mortgage free particularly when you don’t work consistently.
Least expensive item bought
For this gorgeous yellow silk fleur de lis scarf!
Favourite gift given
White Chanel-like Tweed Jacket (Zara) to a friend I consider like a sister. She seemed very happy with it.
Favourite gift received
A jewellery rack from my partner & Baby Bun.
Isn’t it pretty? Now my long necklaces won’t tangle!
Favourite clothing/wardrobe purchase all year
This gorgeous Seaside Isles Dress I wore to a wedding. I want to put it on all the time.
D’you think I could pull of wearing it to a grocery store? LOL
Favourite footwear purchase all year
Obviously my seriously lusted over secondhand Rag and Bone Moto Boots.
Favourite Jewellery piece all year
Most Practical Purchase all year
I spend a lot of time at home and wore only ratty crap. This sleep shirt changed it all.
Best deal all year
My favourite is the YSL Paint Splatter dress. I mean… REALLY. 🙂
It’s fabulous and it was only $100.
10 favourite outfits all year
So hard to pick. Really. I had a tough time.
They’re all on my Instagram by the way if you want to follow along..
Upon reflection of how I shopped and what I bought this year, I am realizing a few truths about myself that I knew.. but am really seeing materialize.
SHOULD STARTING WEAR WHAT I HAVE, EH?
It is hard not to want to wear what you buy right away.
I always want to wear the items I buy and that means I throw aside my current loves in my eagerness to do so.
I need to start wearing more of what I already have. Or start layering them altogether. A lot.
THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW TO BUY
There is always something new to lust over, from a gorgeous suede moto jacket, to a few leather pencil skirts in various colours and the most amazing black moto boots (secondhand)…
This will never change in me and will never end. I won’t necessarily fight it but I need to be aware of it so I don’t start buying things just for the sake of collecting them.
THRIFTING ONLY WORKS FOR ME ON CLASSIC PIECES OR UBER LUXURIOUS DESIGNER GOODS
I like secondhand clothing and thrifting but only if it is a classic piece, in good condition, and preferably, also a designer name (for the origin of the garment, fabric, style, and quality).
I thrifted a heck of a lot of things this year compared to previous years, and the only items that stayed in my wardrobe were actual items I would buy at retail in a store.
Take for instance my Ralph Lauren navy crested blazer ($7!). Gorgeous and absolutely what I would buy in a store had I seen it, and wanted to capitalize on being a prepster one day.
I also found over 7 skirts, mostly vintage ranging from 100% wool and not at all itchy, to my most prized find, a CAMELHAIR pencil skirt that would normally be thousands in a store, had a designer label been slapped on it, and some security tags.
I did find a Proenza Schouler bag so that was nice but that was after countless trips to various stores, toting a toddler.
The items that went back, for instance, was this badly worn, ragged green moto jacket that in theory looked like it filled a hole in my wardrobe but in fact was so worn, it didn’t bring me any pleasure to wear it.
I also gave back an otherwise nice looking linen blazer because although it was vintage and made in France, the drape and fit was off, requiring more structure in the whole garment with lining and light shoulder pads.
ALL the things that I thrifted, a good 60% of them got purged or re-sold. That’s a high rate of turnover for my wardrobe in such a short amount of time, frankly. It’s not a good feeling, even if it’s all secondhand.
The problem, is that the really nice classic, well-made pieces that you can keep and wear daily, DO NOT COME OFTEN. I managed to find great pieces but I have spent hours in stores doing so.
I’m not saying I will stop doing it, but I am realizing that during the thrill of the hunt, I need to step back and imagine it in a store for $500.
Just because it has a label doesn’t mean it is good, and unless it fills a hole in my wardrobe, it stays put in the store.
I LIKE THE SAME THINGS …IN DUPLICATE
This is not a surprise, but I like simple items in the same colours. I don’t venture out into wild prints or trendy items unless it is in a dress, skirt, top or accessories.
I also just like the same things, so I buy it over and over again in different colours, like Blazers, or High Rise jeans.
I’m aware of this need to Collect but it also doesn’t help that I love Variety, one camel shade is not like the other! Or if it had an incredible detail like a pleat in a black skirt, of which I own multiples of (I think 5 black skirts now, two of which were thrifted this year).
ALL THINGS NEED POCKETS NOW
If it has pockets, and deep ones in particular, I am sold.
It is hard to tear me away from things with pockets.
I just get so googly over them….
THEY NEED TO BE INSANELY COMFORTABLE
Only a few items break this rule, but otherwise, I need my clothing to feel like a a cloud against my skin. Even if it is a coat that you’d normally wear over a long sleeved shirt and therefore would not feel the scratchy wool or lining, I won’t buy it. (Acne Studios & All Saints shearling I am looking at you!!)
The fit also has to be one size larger, I have even started taking everything one size larger and not fitted, just to be comfortable.
The only items that break this rule are fitted items like tanks, or shirts, and that gorgeous Olivia Palermo striped cotton bustier top…
…and the SportMax Cacao Scribble Print peplum dress which needed to skim my body.
OVERSIZED IS MY NEW JAM
I don’t know if it is the Olsen twin hobo lady chic look in my feed reader or what, but I am liking the look of larger coats, sweaters and blazers on me.
I mean these blazers are looser than what I am used to:
I don’t love it as much on the bottom as a wide legged pant (though I own two, bought this year), but it is starting to make sense when I just have an oversized jacket and everything else is skinny and fitted (pants and tops).
Maybe I’m turning into a hipster. O_o
Or perhaps as a result of having Baby Bun, and being off work for a year has made me have less tolerance for tighter, fitted things. I guess this is my version of the ubiquitous Mommy Sweatpants/Yogawear look that everyone falls into after giving birth to offspring.
I also think that my hips got slightly wider even though I had a C section and didn’t give birth naturally, and my shoulders widened too. Now, I’m closer to a size 6 than a 4. That may have something to do with it.
STILL DO NOT LOVE ATHLEISURE WEAR
I can’t wear tights or sweat anything outside. I just can’t. Even in my darkest funkiest days of stress with a very obstinate toddler at home, I couldn’t really bear to wear sweatpants outside, and if I did, I wore jackets to hide them.
My idea of athleisure is a pair of high rise jeans, some comfortable cotton top, and a topper (blazer, leather jacket, sweater). I can’t go lower than that, I’m afraid, and I am not apologizing for it.
The only time I have conceded to “leggings” are my thrifted The Row black leather leggings which feel and look so badass.
KHAKI GREEN MADE A BIG APPEARANCE
I call 2016 the year of khaki green.
I added jackets, three tops, and a bag in khaki green because I was so enamoured with the colour this year.
Something about it, makes it such a nice neutral to wear other than black, navy blue or whites.
Another nice neutral is burgundy and caramel tones for me, I’d like to add some of more of that in my wardrobe in 2017 but need to find the right shades of it.
It’s so hard..
I NEED TO TRUST MYSELF & WAIT FOR PERFECTION
Near the end, I started to stop buying items things that weren’t 100% perfect.
I really have to trust myself more. When I FEEL a piece is not perfect — itchy, too big, too small, not the right colour, shade, fit… I have to just NOT BUY IT even though I REALLY want something like it.
Case in point, I really wanted a banker’s style striped shirt. I saw it on someone and thought: OMG! WANT!
So I went out searching for it and bought the first one I could find. It wasn’t quite what I wanted. It was a tunic, the white cuffs were 2 inches too short, and it didn’t fit nicely.
Did that deter me? NO.
I STUPIDLY bought it anyway, and wasted that $40 because now it’s in the donation bin.
I need to start trusting myself more.
I saw this Smythe jacket for instance, in my size (US 6) PERFECTLY the ONLY one left on the rack for sale at 50% off — $300 at Simons (SUCH A GOOD DEAL) in a gorgeous black and white heathered tweed. There were 3 things I did not love about it:
- The shoulders were a little peaked (that brand LOVES accentuating shoulders and I got plenty of it, so I hate this)
- It was to the floor (really long!)
- It was slightly itchy — VERY slight but I felt it
I hemmed and hawed, and almost bought it… but then decided no, and passed it up.
I need to start learning that I know what I love and if there is even a single thing wrong with it I need to let it go back on the rack, especially a retailed piece.
Thrifted pieces have to go through my trust filter too, but the financial sunk cost of them are of a lower impact so I don’t feel quite so bad.
I have been VERY good at properly returning things now, and really, scrutinizing what I buy before I buy it. No sense in keeping what I don’t love, right?