This year, for the first time, I tracked my outfits. I also kept track of everything I bought. So now, I can do a data-driven review of the year! It's been a good year for clothes. Without further ado...
The Wardrobe Awards!
- For being exactly what I've wanted for years, this new Laer leather biker jacket
- For surprise star power, this amazing Zara cropped nylon jacket
- For most dramatic plot, the Everlane boyfriend jeans that I fit-tested. Funny end to the six-month saga: I managed to buy them finally, in a 27, from Nordstrom. Then I decided I also wanted a size smaller, so I ordered them from Everlane this past Tuesday. The very same day, I went to Crossroads (consignment) and found a brand-new pair in size 26 for $30. The unopened order is going straight back to Everlane.
- For being exactly the shape of my feet, these new Dr Martens Danica boots
- For all around awesomeness, my old J Crew boy's oxfords that have broken in to look exactly like super expensive oxfords (a salesguy at Totokaelo complimented me on my Marsells...)
- For future potential, a tie for the Frye campus boots I found at a vintage store and the Paul Green x-strap flats
- For general utility, my old Uniqlo boiled wool cardigan
- For making an outfit instantly, my Everlane square silk shirt
- For most frequent wears, last year's Uniqlo U tunic shirt with a slightly monastic feel
- For new directions in style, my Everlane white men's button down
- Lifetime achievement award: all R13 jeans
What I bought
I bought quite a lot this year: 56 items, not including underwear, socks, or gym clothes. That's far more than any past year. My expenditures are actually in line with budgeting suggestions for those who need professional clothes, but quite high given my casual lifestyle.
I am embarrassed to have bought so much, but I have to say, I absolutely love my wardrobe right now. I am particularly pleased that I added a small capsule of more professional items: an Equipment floral silk tee, perfect Paul Green flats, a Helmut Lang blazer and an Alexander Wang tailored vest. I got a sizable raise this year, and I became more willing to buy new items that I particularly wanted rather than foraging thrift and overstock stores (that said, I got amazing deals on all of those). I also bought a new leather jacket, a goal I've had for several years, with the honorarium I got for giving a big lecture.
I bought a lot of shoes this year, by my standards. Eight pairs! I buy long-lasting shoes, so these weren't replacing things that had worn out. (I also did a lot of cobbler repairs.) The big expansion was four pairs of sneakers, a category I hadn't worn much in past years (since I stopped wearing Converse daily). I also bought a pair of lightweight Dr Martens that have been worn almost daily this fall, and I found a pair of perfect, almost new Frye campus boots at a vintage store. I don't regret the purchases (though I might pass on a pair of fancy sneakers that didn't quite work) but I'll avoid buying shoes for the next while.
And lots of jeans - I shifted my jeans style substantially. Wide leg crops, full length straight and boyfriend jeans, and higher rise vintage-style slim jeans. Since jeans are the core of my wardrobe, I'm happy to put money in this area, though I overdid it and I might prune some accidental redundancy.
Half was purchased from my go-to stores: Everlane, Uniqlo, Gap, Madewell, and Zara. A third was bought used, and the rest was mostly from Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. I only bought two things from local boutiques. (And it was not all black! Two white oxford shirts, a white tank, silver ballet flats, and light gray jeans.)
What I wore
Bottoms: I have thirteen pairs of jeans in regular rotation. No real losers here aside from a pair I already passed along. The most-worn were all my R13 jeans, especially the relaxed and boy skinny styles. The Gap wide leg crops were also winners. New entrants that are rising fast: AGOLDE high waist button fly relaxed skinnies, Everlane boyfriend jeans.
Tops: Uhhhh. I wore ~80 different tops this year. That seems absurd. My essential tees and tanks top the list, followed by a large handful of beloved silk and cotton buttoned shirts and wool tops. But then there's a long tail of things that were only worn a few times. Most were things I've owned for years. I will work to pare this down and be very, very selective when buying new tops next year.
Toppers: This category is where I shone. I bought a few cardigans this year and I wore the heck out of them. But, I need to make sure I stop the cardigan hunt now. I'm all set. I also bought some expensive toppers that I need to make sure to wear more often, especially a gorgeous Alexander Wang tailored vest and a DKNY cape-sleeve bomber that saw very few wears.
Outerwear: Another category that shone. I just bought a new leather moto jacket, cropped and loose-fitting, that is clearly going to be a winner. Sadly, I lost one of my jackets on my flight home from Thanksgiving, a wool-blend boucle bomber from H&M. It was my least favorite, and I'd considered passing it along anyway, but it filled a real niche.
Shoes: This is the one I need to think about most. I wore 25 different shoes this year, and 14 were worn often enough to count as workhorses. Those were Dr Martens, fancy Converse, Frye boots, men's oxfords, and sneakers. It's interesting that these comfortable shoes won out, since over the previous few years I'd tried to buy and wear slightly dressier options. For next year, I'd like to focus on wearing a mix of both categories. I'd also like to be very careful about adding things that I'm unlikely to wear often.
All items in my wardrobe are here -- I'd committed to the pinterest board before YLF Finds came along