The annual dissection of last year’s acquisitions is no longer on the back burner. After much delay, it’s definitely high time to scrutinize the nitty-gritty of how my wardrobe curation went in 2011, so that I can surpass myself this year. Last year I posted my shopping resolutions for 2011:
1) Admire certain garments from afar and face the truth that they will never work for me
It took me about six months to realize that some of my purchases turned out to be items that I should just have admired from afar. For instance, short fitted jackets à la the Isabel Marant jackets that I ended up reselling. They’re decidedly pretty and chic but truly downright wrong on me. Maybe they are too feminine for me or somewhat revealing, as I’m more partial towards wearing coats or jackets that cover my back. Or generally more lose-fitting jackets and tops. I feel more comfortable this way. Be that as it may, they didn’t work out both wardrobe-wise and lifestyle-wise, period. No reason to hold on to clothes I won’t wear regardless of how beautiful, expensive, or sought-after they are.
2) Not fall into the list trap
I didn’t really make seasonal lists except for the one summer list, which explains why I made so many regrettable purchases last year. I stopped adhering to lists. Quite liberating indeed, but that also made me fail to keep track of my spending habits.
3) Give in sometimes to unpredictable finds
This one works like a charm if I don’t dwell upon an item that I’m rather ambivalent about – which usually indicates that it’s just another unsuccessful buy.
4) Go with my instinct more and quell the over thinking
I do trust my instinct but that totally depends on my mood and situation. What I’m trying to say is that I should stay away from shops when I’m a bit down in the dumps, as I haven’t been fully aware that I’m not just an emotional eater but verging on emotional shopper as well. Anyhow, last year’s successful buys were a result of long-term planning and unpredictable finds bought on a whim.
5) Focus more on the basics
Well, I wouldn’t call my clothes just “basics”, because to me basics are underwear and socks. My wardrobe consists of very simple pieces, which, to some people, are basics but to me they are merely clothes and staples and not just a basic thing to wear underneath a non-basic piece of clothing.
6) Not exceed the limit of 15-20 items a year
I undoubtedly blew this challenge. And I suppose it’s partly because I didn’t keep a list of potential purchases each season. It’s a bit funny though, as I managed to buy less than 10 items in 2010. However, I made more money in 2011 as opposed to 2010, and I befriended my nemesis called “MasterCard”. Hence I could afford buying more, which is a pretty bad evolution. For all I know my income will increase every year as I get older. What if I’m rolling in money in five years? Is that a reasonable excuse to purchase five times as much as I did last year? Nope, it ain’t a valid reason. I’ll be more prudent, I promise!
7) Stop settling for second best
I’m almost nailing this one, but I’m still making mistakes now and then.
And what did I end up buying/adding to my wardrobe in 2011? Let’s start with the successful buys:- A.P.C. navy and white breton shirt.
- A.P.C. light blue liberty shirt
- A.P.C. cashmere/merino wool breton sweater
- A.P.C. navy cashmere/wool ribbed sweater
- A.P.C. blue/gray shirt
- Ann Demeulemeester black sandals
- Barbour navy trenchcoat (gift)
- Cheap Monday light blue jeans
- Dries Van Noten black suede heels
- Hope black winter boots
- Isabel Marant Étoile navy peacoat
- The Kooples taupe suede boots
- Mardou & Dean dark blue jeans (gift)
- Sessun liberty shirt
- Zara black dress
No need for explanation. These items have been worn to death day in, day out apart from the black dress from Zara. I don’t wear it often but I save it for special occasions. Actually, I have only worn it three times since I bought it. I’ve also realized that I don’t have to invest in an expensive dress, as I couldn’t rationalize the so-called investment by using the cost per wear calculation. I rarely wear dresses, maybe when I’m getting older I will wear dresses on a daily basis, but alas I’m not shopping for my potential future self right now.
I also got my hands on a few accessories but I don’t count them as part of my wardrobe planning, as these were more or less necessities.
And here are my out-and-out unsuccessful purchases, which I either returned or resold.
- A.P.C. chambray shirt
- Current/Elliott boyfriend jeans
- Isabel Marant Elali jacket
- Isabel Marant Étoile white linen longsleeve
- Isabel Marant black linen trousers
- Isabel Marant Étoile blue shirt
Fortunately, I know why the abovementioned items didn’t work out: Wrong size or fit, not really my style, weight-gain, purchased online.
However, seeing this list of items, I’m at a loss of words. Just from reading all the labels I name-dropped above, I wonder how on earth could I afford all these things in the first place? Well, I did end up reselling the items that didn’t work out, including a few other items that have been languishing in my wardrobe for a while. I also bought several items discounted, through readers, or on eBay.
Nevertheless, last year’s spending habits went a little out of control, so this year I will be more careful as to money management. And perhaps I should start making lists of potential or future buys. I won’t shop online unless I have already tried on the item on beforehand. My style and wardrobe is ever-evolving. It’s an extension of me. So when I’m looking for inspiration, I will look inwards.
But what about the limit? At this point, let’s get back to this one later on as I haven’t completely figured out what to do in 2012 wardrobe-wise. That said I’m all in for quality, not quantity. Quality as in buying things that I will wear to death and hold dear for many years to come. Albeit I added 15 (!) new items to my wardrobe last year, I don’t regret any of them. Yes, that’s hell of a lot but let’s not focus on the amount because I’m content, and that’s what matters!
Speaking of wardrobe editing, how did 2011 go for you?