Before I had a blog, I was a really bad analytical shopper. I'd buy things that didn't match anything else in my wardrobe... or that I had no place to wear. Now, "analytical" and "shopper" are not words that you would automatically put together, but there is a lot of discussion around the web about "finding your personal style," "being a smart shopper," and, perhaps most nebulous of all, "investing in the basics."
Finding your personal style can be more difficult than it sounds, but there's nothing quite like looking back on over a year's worth of posts in a personal style blog to make you start thinking about what has been working for you. Accordingly, I've looked back at the three items of clothing that have appeared in my life in the last approximate year, that have each been blogged a variety of ways, and that were overall stellar buys: the kind of investment that every purchase should be.
The boat print dress, Topshop via ebay
Saw it on a blog, had to have it, ebay stalked it until victorious, all the while wondering "is this really what you should be spending your money on?" The answer was a resounding yes. It has astoundingly only appeared on my blog four times since I bought it in the summer... but I must have worn it about forty times... not bad for a very summery dress.
The birdcage skirt, Snoozer Loser
If you break down a successful purchase by a cost-per-wear ratio, this isn't the best piece I own. I spent $120 on it (I can hear all your thrifters gasping in horror, but whatever, it's handmade and from an independent designer, and, as Aya points out, it's my money)! I don't wear it non-stop. But I find cost-per-wear limiting, because this is a skirt that I feel is so completely me that I automatically feel better wearing it. Wearing it too often might deprive it of its magic, which is that some person I never met figured out what I never would have: that my personality can basically be boiled down into a moody and faintly gothic birdcage print on an obnoxious mustard colour. Also, I thought this piece would be hard to remix... wrong. I've worn it five different ways already on the blog.
The multicoloured gingham shirt, vintage
This one wasn't a purchase at all. I bought a few items from Veronika's blog shop, and she threw this in the envelope as a gift. Basically, my favourite shirt ever (I'm wearing it as I type). I've worn it at least twice a week for the last six months... and I don't see that changing.
At first glance you might say: "So,she likes independent designers, high street brands and vintage... and has paid everything from $0-$120 for her favourite pieces, and either wears them all the time or only occasionally... what does that say?"
But there are patterns--literally. All my favourite pieces of the past year are patterned. Two of three are novelty prints. Also, they are all multicoloured, which I find extremely useful for remixing and layering... you can play up any of the colours they contain. I really like that they all contain a hint of red or orange, as red is one of my "neutral colours." They're all quite classic shapes: a poofy but not indecent skirt, a nipped waist dress, a boyish blouse. They're all made of nice but basic materials (cotton or linen). They're all my basics, but still a bit quirky.
What would your top three purchases of last year say about you?