Fashion: What I bought in 2016

I’ve kept track of all the clothes/accessories I purchased in 2016 and how often I wore them (to the best of my ability) up until the end of January 2017. I definitely cut down a lot on spending and chose a lot of pre-owned pieces. Some have been great purchases that I’ve worn a lot, some have been great purchases but don’t fit into my everyday wardrobe, and others have been bad purchases.

Ziera sandals (pale pink) – Purchased in January via Ziera ~$150. I haven’t kept track on the wear count, but I’d guess it’s over 50 times. Because of inner and outer colours, they’re not the most practical to keep clean, but they’re not too bad one year on. The comfort is not exceptional (only because they rub against my bunion after a while, but this is minimal).

Ziera sandals (taupe) (not pictured) – Purchased in January via Ziera ~$150. Worn once and since sold. The removable half insoles were incredibly irritating.

Ted Baker coat (black) – Purchased in March pre-owned via eBay $62 (including shipping). Worn 15 times. The coat is absolutely beautiful although there are signs of wear. I’m happy with it for this price point. It’s my warmest coat and I’m thinking about future coat purchases thanks to trying this. The neck situation is a bit annoying and my only regret.

Cue long suit jacket (black-ish) – Purchased in April pre-owned via eBay $25 (including shipping). Worn twice. The jacket is gorgeous, thick, amazing quality and in as new condition. I love it but haven’t had many opportunities to wear it. It’s handy when I need a formal jacket.

Hi There by Karen Walker ruffle skirt (teal navy) – Purchased in April pre-owned via eBay $23.25 (including shipping). Worn 11 times. The skirt is also great quality, easy to care for and interesting. I was unsure about the shade at first.

Saba striped tunic dress (navy and white) – Purchased in April pre-owned via eBay $23.75 (including shipping). Worn twice. I have no idea how to wear this and writing this makes me consider getting rid of it. It was listed in my size and meant to fit two sizes above, but I didn’t find this to be the case. It’s too short as a dress and not comfortable enough as a top/tunic.

Hi There by Karen Walker bow skirt (black) – Purchase in May pre-owned via eBay $28.50 (including shipping). Worn three times. It looked quite worn when it arrived (despite the condition listed to be as new) and I hated the awkward pleat at the front so had it tailored shut. But the material is itchy, it’s always wrinkled and with the pleat closed there is little stretch in the skirt while walking. I got rid of this.

Cue peplum top (dark eggplant/almost black) – Purchase in May pre-owned via eBay $32.00 (including shipping). Worn once. This is amazingly tailored, of amazing quality and condition. It’s very much an occasion top.

Uniqlo cotton cashmere jumper (grey) – Purchase in June via Uniqlo $39.00. Worn 22 times. This is without doubt my most successful purchase. I am practically “allergic” to wool touching my skin, but this 90% cotton and 10% cashmere blend is almost okay. I still can’t wear this without a collared shirt underneath (I wear sleeveless shirts) though, but I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of it! I machine wash it on the gentle cycle and it’s still looking good with very minimal pilling.

Uniqlo silk sleeveless shirt (black) – Purchased in June via Uniqlo $14.90(?). Worn 4 times. I picked up this basic piece because collared sleeveless shirts are so convenient to pair with or layer underneath jumpers, plus it was so cheap and “washable silk”. It is noticeably thinner than Uniqlo’s normal silk though, but I think it’s fine for what I bought it for. It hasn’t been worn enough because it is also usually in my steaming pile.

Uniqlo cable-knit jumper (cream) – Purchased in June via Uniqlo $49.00. Worn 17 times. Cotton is easier for me (both to wear and to wash) but I don’t like it as much as the grey jumper. It’s a bit cropped on me and I wish I had sized up.

Dorothy Perkins ankle trousers (black) – Purchased in July via The Iconic $47.96. Worn 8 times. In June and July I was really hunting down ankle trousers. My legs are tricky to find pants for, and after ordering four pairs from DP via The Iconic, I settled on this one as a piece to start with (to see if I actually get good use out of pants like these). I can’t say whether it’s been a success or not, but mostly because I don’t think any of my shoes really pair with it…

DIY skirt (black) – Made by my mum. Worn 4 times. It’s a bit short, but it’s such an easy skirt thanks to the waistband and colour.

Marcs shirt dress (black) – Purchased in July via Marcs $63.20. Worn 3 times. Honestly this dress is great and so versatile, but it takes ages for me to steam out small wrinkles. I do all my steaming in huge batches which means this dress is rarely available to wear, haha. Nonetheless it’s a great simple black dress for almost all occasions.

Cue long tunic top (black) – Purchased in July via Cue ~$69. Worn 10 times. I find the neck area scratchy, but otherwise it’s an easy drapey piece and I love it.

Saba leather biker jacket (silvery biege) – Purchase in October pre-owned via eBay $63.50 (including shipping). Worn 16 times. I’ve been toying with the idea of a leather biker jacket for a long time, but they’re expensive and hard to find the perfect one. I took this pre-owned option to try out since it was cheaper and the colour is much softer than black, which I don’t think would suit me. Figuring out how to DIY clean it was a bit tricky. I’ve enjoyed wearing it. One of the lapels keeps sitting weirdly though, which annoys me.

Banana Republic midi dress (purple and black) (not pictured): Purchased in October pre-owned via eBay $13.00 (including shipping). I thought this would be perfect as a more covered-up piece for summer (for work etc). I assumed it was labelled as Australian sizing even though I know it’s an American brand. Unfortunately I made the wrong assumption and it was too big on me. Even after simple alterations, it swamped me. I gave this to my mum.

Country Road tee (black) – Purchased in November via Myer $33.71. Worn 6 times. I started hunting for comfortable and soft material tees. I love the look of the T by Alexander ones, but read mixed reviews and didn’t want to order it online without seeing/trying it in person. I landed on this option from CR. It’s soft, light and has stretch thanks to it’s 50% cotton and 50% modal material. It’s comfortable but really thin, so I chose black.

Cue panel blouse shirt (white) – Purchased in November pre-owned via eBay $16.47 (including shipping, was $54.45 but had a coupon). Worn once. This shirt is great quality and I wore it to an interview. I see it getting more wear when we move out of summer.

Karen Millen midi skirt (pink) – Purchased in November pre-owned via eBay $14.18 (including shipping, was $49 but had a coupon). Never worn. I learned the hard way that their UK sizing runs one whole size smaller than AU, so this did not fit. I probably would’ve gotten rid of it anyway, as it was a lot puffier than I had anticipated and I didn’t see it being practical for work. I’m re-selling this.

Plenty tulle mesh midi skirt (navy) – Purchased in November pre-owned via eBay $30.00 (including shipping). Worn 11 times. I’d never heard of this brand before but I looked up retail prices and this was a bargain. I’ve found this so versatile to wear. It has a nice weight because of the double layers, but isn’t heavy or stuffy thanks to the mesh layer and cotton layer. I love this!

TFNC pleated midi skirt (mauve) – Purchased in November via ASOS $41.30. Worn 7 times. Can you tell I was on a major midi skirt hunt? Apart from being a tad long, this is everything I was looking for in a pleated midi skirt. The colour, weight and comfort are all spot on.

Country Road tee (navy, grey, burgundy) – Purchase in December via Country Road $33.71 * 3 = $101.13. Worn 3-4 times each. Yes, when they went on 25% off sale again a few weeks later, I purchased them in all the colours I could ever want. The only thing that would makes them perfect was if they were a bit longer, and if they didn’t stretch out after the first wash. Nonetheless I love these and wear them all the time!

Sandler sandals (black) – Purchased in December via Sandler $52.51. Worn 16 times. All my sandals are too casual, and these filled a hole. They’re comfortable and go with everything. I’m also so proud of myself because these are current season and were $149.95 but I piled on three different promos to get it for a third of the price. Yay!

Dune London flat sandals with jeweled heel (pink nude) (“Ninah”, not pictured) – Purchased in December via Dune London and Borderfree $64.17. Never worn. I had actually wanted these “Ninah” shoes for half the year because I thought they would be the perfect dressy shoes for someone who can’t really wear heels. I had only found it in faux-leather and a different colour (for over $100) previously, but then Dune London had their big post-Black Friday sale with free international shipping and returns! I have yet to wear them because there hasn’t been the occasion and the soles are too slippery so I need to get them soled first. They were such a good deal too (I did order more to try on and returned this in a different size).

Dune London heeled sandals with jeweled heel (pink nude) (“Harah”, not pictured) – Purchased in December via Dune London and Borderfree $64.17. Never worn. Unbelievably just as I was about to check out with the above shoes, I happened to remember these “Harah” shoe and did a word search. I found they were also on sale with only one left in one of the two sizes I was trying the above sandals in. Thanks to the option of free returns, I decided to just order to give them a try – because FOMO and just in case. They’re too similar to the other pair, and seemed too high for my poor feet. But when they arrived, the size ended up being the right one and actually my feet feel secure and seemingly comfortable (without actually leaving my house). I know it’s a bad habit, but these were special enough and well-priced enough (did I mention last one?!) that I decided to also keep them (eep) JUST IN CASE – I know, I know, terrible. Like the above pair, they need to be soled.

Total: 27 purchases, 1 hand-made from mum. 3 of the purchases are going. Spent ~$1271.7 (some prices unknown).

I’m fairly happy with the spending and the purchases. I don’t know how I fared in previous years, but I would have spent at least three times as much. I used to average ten pairs of (new) shoes a year… that’s probably well over $1000 already. I did also purchase two scarves, a cheap ring and some underwear and hosiery which I didn’t include here.

  • I think it’s really great that you buy a lot second hand. I’ve been trying to get into the habit of looking on ebay or carousell first, but haven’t had luck finding what I want on there!

    • It’s definitely hard especially if I’m actually looking for something in particular. It’s mostly a waiting game or a case of buying unplanned things when they pop up. So there are definitely downsides too. I especially like shopping pre-owned for things that I don’t wear a lot (ie a formal suit jacket) because they are often steep bargains, and I just don’t get enough wear to justify the high retail price when new.

  • I’ve been very tempted by the idea of the long version of that Ted Baker coat (though the retail price, even with a sale, is probably too high for me – I’d only be able to pull the trigger if I found it secondhand). Is the neckline difficult to button up?

    I love Uniqlo’s cotton cashmere! I have a tunic-y cotton cashmere sweater from two years back that I still love. It’s pilled a little bit and has some signs of wear because of how often I wear it, but it’s great and fairly easy to maintain.

    • One of the things I want to purchase this year is a Ted Baker long coat! I like the long coats they’ve been making the past few seasons. I’m also looking on the pre-owned market. The one I purchased above is quite different (and probably quite old), with the funnel neck reaching up the neck and then layering down (hard to explain…), and needs to be buttoned. It doesn’t really work sitting open, because there’s too much fabric. This is of course less practical (than http://images.tedbakerimages.com/WA6W_AURORE_41-OXBLOOD_1.jpg.jpg?o=W$Lz9Qql9M@9ZhBEKuIMzXDpWx8j&V=u3J9&&w=365%26h=456%26q=85 ) because it only looks right with the neck “done up”, which is a hassle to do every time and it gets too hot. I’ve tried on something like the one in the picture attached and it’s much more versatile and practical. Good luck and I’d love to hear if you manage to get a coat!

      I actually just ordered two more of Uniqlo’s cotton cashmere jumpers yesterday since they had a discount!