I'm nowhere near as organized as Sue, and I don't keep a record of purchases as I make them through the year. Perhaps this needs to change. . . But for now, I made a list by brainstorming, and then double-checked by going through drawers and closets.
Last year, as far as I could remember when brainstorming, I bought,
-- Mango cashmere sweater -- bought in Bordeaux in an independent boutique. The colour is not one I'd normally wear, but the extended cool weather was straining my Carry-On-Only Capsule Wardrobe; I was chilly too often, so my husband bought this for my birthday. Not a considered choice, but I like the sweater and wear it regularly, more in transitional weather (it's very light) . . This former prof would rate this a B. Maybe a B- if I were penalizing random buys. . . .
--Brown plaid skirt: Shopping January sales with my visiting ex-pat daughter in a local boutique. Synthetic fabric, but this one just nestled right into the rotation and has been worn 10 or 15 days, at the very least, this year. Grade: A, except for synthetic fabric and the reality that I didn't strictly need another skirt. In its ethical favour: local shopping. . .
-- Navy Uniqlo skirt, A+ for finding the skirt I'd envisioned for years, natural fibres, pockets, easy, flattering, funky fit. . . Although. . . chain store (in Bordeaux) and I'm not so sure about Uniqlo's overall ethics. . . However, worn often already and will be for years
--Pink Uniqlo hoodie -- also bought in Bordeaux under influence of extended cool weather. I haven't owned a hoodie in decades (not convinced of cotton's warmth), but determined to give this a good try
-- T-shirt (white, hokkaido blue-and-white graphic), also bought in Uniqlo Bordeaux. Not a good shape for me and I knew that when I bought it but loved the graphic. Almost immediately demoted to pyjama top. A lesson in why Uniqlo shop must be done with a list, strictly adhered to. Or just stay outside.
-- oversized boyfriend jacket (herringbone printed pattern in a cotton-synthetic blend) Inès de la Fressange collaboration with Uniqlo. On sale, but only Large left, which I told myself worked with the style for layering underneath. Illustrates why sale-shopping is dangerous. This purchase embarrasses me and perhaps should stay in my closet as a reminder. . . But someone will find it useful, so I'll send it to the thrift shop, without kidding myself that I'm absolved. . . More penance is required (Yes, learned my Catholic catechism well, confessed regularly for enough years to know the drill)
--black felted-wool Eileen Fisher skirt. No regrets. Pockets, slim fit, classic but with a bit of 90s street funk (hey, it's all subjective, right, and that's how it makes me feel, especially worn with my Blundstones)
--"Spruce" coloured EF merino sweater. same shape (swingy, boxy, with divided hem, longer back) as the navy one I bought last year. Wanted another because first gets worn so often and I'd like both to last. Not perfect as the merino is blended with a synthetic which makes the fabric more prone to wear (although also pretty delicious in the first months for feel, performance)
--Raincoat M0851. No regrets at all. I've needed to check this box for a few years now, have been making do with cheaper coats that compromise in various ways. This has a capacious hood, is slim-looking yet roomy enough to fit a sweater under, pockets are yummy thick flannel inside, and the (technical/synthetic) material is weather-resistant enough and will age into a patina that looks like fine lambskin. Check. Check. Check.
--Olive linen jumpsuit. Bought at a local boutique, designed and made locally with ethically sourced materials. Love this and it's comfortable to wear (easy on my tummy, but flattering enough).
--Burgundy-white striped T-shirt, bought at same local boutique when I bought the jumpsuit. Didn't need it, but I wear it a lot and like the addition of stripes and burgundy to revive other combos
--M0851 Backpack. I have purses/bags enough that I could have managed, but I bought this because I do so much city walking (often 8 or more kilometres in a day) carrying a bag, and even a cross-body was causing shoulder problems, required shifting and shifting. No regrets about this one at all.
--2 pairs of sneakers, one white with green stripes (Stan Smith Adidas), one black New Balance for wearing with everything and anything all over the city. . . Both purchases I feel good about and my only new shoes last year (unless Georgia remembers another pair -- see below ;-)
--scarf bought in Paris this last visit. Cotton and I loved the colour combo for introducing something new -- I'll show you someday. This was inexpensive and worth the price simply for the delightful conversation I had with the Italian boutique owner in a shop not far from "my" hotel in Saint Germain, all in French, and she even wondered if I was living in Paris now!!! (Okay, maybe she did see me coming, but it felt genuine). Also, she showed me how this scarf's shape will work well to manage a bad hair day or simply to keep it out of my way in the summer.
--And top, both in navy floral, pyjama style, and bought for my nephew's wedding in the spring. I definitely could have found something suitable to wear from my closet, but my nephew was in his last weeks and I was so moved by his and his wife's determination to celebrate their love and focus on joy that I wanted to dress especially for the occasion. Both pieces have been worn a number of times since then (they're a bit light for winter months), but even if I'd only worn them for that wedding, I'd have no regrets. . .
--J. Crew, wool Black Watch pants, bought last month and worn five or six times since, and no doubt I'll be wearing these regularly for years. Lined, warm, classic fit,
--Sweat pants, heavy cotton, bought at local boutique, after feeling a need for casual, easy-to-wear panst for over a year. Unfortunately, these are not the pants, and I'm going to be stuck wearing them out. In front of the shop mirror, I told myself I just wasn't used to the shape and the bulk. But not only do they flatter; as well, the elastic waist is tighter than I want (and no, I'm not opening seams and replacing elastic!) Close to fail on this one, but I'll wear them. Penance, and all that. . . .
-- I also knit myself that welted (striped) navy and grey sweater, which is very much an example of Slow Fashion, although I'm quite conscious that Making can also be indulgent and can be tough on the planet. It's not a free pass, but this particular sweater comes close. The knitting was painstaking, so it made me attentive to the process of consumption, and the yarn was ethically sourced.
There you go. I made the list, Brava Me! for "fessing up" like Sue, and I took a photo of it, and I uploaded it to this post. . . . .
NOTE: RETAIL-shaming ahead. . . Yikes!
And then, how embarrassing . . . to have my memory refreshed by a comment Georgia made last post. She thought she'd seen a recent purchase of mine in the same colour as that cardigan. At first, I drew a blank and thought she must have been thinking of a floral-print yellow top I bought two years ago in Paris. A few hours later, though, I flashed on the Eileen Fisher sundress I'd bought impulsively (because it ticked so many boxes: colour, shape, length, lightness, breathability for summer heat) . . . at the same time I'd (also impulsively, but also justified by the box-ticking) a navy cardigan. . . You can see both in this Instagram photo -- and if you'll wonder how I could have forgotten so quickly a purchase made last spring, I can only say that the dress has been packed in the summer box for months now, and the cardigan won't get worn until coats aren't needed (Its boxy shape means it doesn't fit well under my winter coats, nor does its linen-cashmere blend provide much warmth).
So those two garments bring my numbers up to 19 new garments purchased, plus 2 pairs of shoes, plus a sweater I knit myself.
Except that when looking for evidence of the mustard sundress and navy cardigan, I found under the What I Wore label, a blogpost from last January when I purchased this boldly striped, oversized mohair cardigan, bought after I saw it in the window of the local independent boutique which is dangerously close to my home. I did think about the purchase for several days, but it was a coup de foudre. This one I hadn't forgot. I've been wearing it most days lately around the condo for comfort and cheer. In fact, it's in use often enough that I assumed I'd had it for longer than a year. . .
20 garments bought new in 2019.
20 that I can remember, that is. . . .
I know I've reduced significantly in the last three or four years, post-retirement, post-move. I also know that my buying was indulgent for two decades (40s-60s), more measured the decade before that, and frugal (but never truly deprived) until my mid-to-late 30s (I made more of my own clothes than I bought for at least five of those years). I'm thinking about this now, thinking about how I want to go forward. Thinking about how I can still derive pleasure from dressing myself with Style (my own), with some deference to Fashion (not slavish, but I value being, and showing, connection to the current culture -- and let's face it, at our/my age, the opposite can be assumed and can result in the kind of dismissal/invisibility we sometimes lament). This list, though. . . Can I do better in 2020? I'm going to try. . .
All of that for another day. The conversation continues, and now time for you to add your two cents. . . Mic's open, Comments below. Thank you!