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2019 Purchases - the Highs and Lows

     I keep an excel sheet of all of my clothing purchases (going back to 2014) and at the end of each year I'll go through and evaluate how I feel about my purchases for the year and this year I am pretty darn pleased. Even the lows aren't really that low. I think part of that is because at this point I have, if we are being honest, a lot of clothes so the only things I'm buying throughout the year are things that really catch my eye, because I've got the basics, and then some, covered. The only thing I was a little disappointed about was that I wanted to get myself to a point where 50% of my purchases this year were secondhand, and I've been trying to hit that goal the last two years. Last year I was at 42% and I thought this was the year I'd finally do it. In part due to my move earlier this year, where the secondhand scene hasn't been as convenient or plentiful as in California, this year I actually fell down to 37%, instead of inching closer to 50%. I would say there is always next year but I don't think that is going to happen, so I'll have to come up with something new to target. I usually limit myself by budget each year (2019 was $200 a month) but I know a lot of people also limit by total item number (I feel like 20 or 25 pieces per year is a number I've seen thrown around a lot) so maybe some combo of those two in 2020? We'll see.
High: Hecho in Mexico
carmen rion skirt
    A unequivocal highlight this year was this outfit that I got from the eponymous brand Carmen Rion in Mexico City. The line is made in Mexico and plays beautifully with color and volume (and I first heard about them from Cait - so thanks, girl). Walking around the boutique I fell in love with this pleated wrap-around skirt right away. It is hard to tell in the photos but it has about 4 different fabrics and each fabric section is a different color and weight. My main squeeze is actually the one who grabbed the open-back linen top for me to try it on with. I thought it looked too big on the hanger and had passed it by. When I tried them together, it really felt like a fashion revelation. I felt like a queen in that dressing room and I felt like a queen when I wore it to a wedding later that week. Just writing this makes me want to go figure out how to work it into my day-to-day wardrobe because I don't want to wait for another special occasion. Unfortunately, the skirt is pretty warm - part of it is definitely wool - and the top is pretty naked, so we'll see what I can do.

Low: Goldilocks 
     When I knew I was moving to the desert I wanted linen. That led me to Muji, where I found some great pieces, but I wasn't sure what I was going to want (or if they would have Muji here, which, in case you are curious they do at the Dubai Mall) so I bought a few different items including tops, pants and a dress. The linen dress I chose turned out to be a little more frumpy than modern on me and I don't like it as much as the blue button up top, for example, which I wear all the time, so for now the dress sits in my closet. I haven't totally given up here, as I think with some better styling on my part, maybe it could make a comeback.
This is the one I wear all the time.
High: See Me Roar
nooworks tiger
     I have, slowly and steadily over the years, been showing more and more of an interest in patterns. I've always thought patterns can date clothing. If you have a regular t-shirt, for me it is more likely I'll still own it in 5 years if it is a solid than if it has a print that I can easily remember as being very 90's, for example, or popular at a certain time. To that end, if I had to pick one thing to wear for the rest of my life it would be a solid (good to know that the me of today and the me of 2.5 years ago agree on this) but bright patterned pieces really came into my life in a big way this year. 
     This top and skirt combo from San Francisco retailer Nooworks is a prime example. I have worn them broken up as separates but my favorite way to wear them is as an in-your-face head-to-toe print. That blue tiger is just plain charming.
Low: Fit Issues
     I think this one is a reminder to trust your fitting room instincts. I really liked the lilac color of this Lewit cashmere sweater (which doesn't really come through in the stock photo) and was waffling between the bias cut being interesting or annoying. I think it could have been the former if it was just the bottom of the sweater that was asymmetric and not the sleeves as well. I talked myself into it and then, when I wear it, proceed to tug on this sweater every 2 minutes because my body wants it to the same length on both sides. I'll probably try to resell this one the next chance I get.
High: Connect Four
     I was surprised to see that I purchased four blazers this year but each of them I would purchase again today. In the photo above they are (left to right starting with the maroon one): Elizabeth & James (Crossroads Trading Co., purchased with a trade-in card), Derek Lam (ditto), DMN (a secondhand souvenir from Paris) and Asos (this one is extra but I saw it IRL and fell in love). 
     I really like how I look in a blazer but I sometimes feel a little formal. Even with jeans it is the sort of outfit where a coworker or friend will ask "oh, why are you dressed up?" and that will make me feel, for a split second, like I shouldn't have worn the blazer. When taking a second to think about that, or even having to write that proceeding sentence, it does drive home that that is a silly reason to curtail wearing something that brings me joy. My plan is to wear blazers as a layering piece, like I would wear my jean jacket or a cardigan, so often that it gets to the point where no one asks me why I'm wearing a blazer because they are so used to seeing me in a blazer that the only question they have for me is where I got it. 
dmn paris
What was your 2019 shopping like? Thanks for stopping by!


  1. That first outfit is so cool! The pieces look really good together, and I love that skirt. The contrast cuffs on that Derek Lam blazer are also super-cool.

    Happy new year!

    1. Thank you! It feels like one of those pieces that I will still own in a decade (although I guess I think that about a lot of my clothes, so we'll see haha)