I rounded up my favorite clothing purchases of the last year for you in a prior post but here is where we get to the not-so-good stuff. My list of regrettable items fortunately doesn’t outweigh my list of good picks, so that means I am getting some of this right. I think a few of the pieces I have on this not-so-happy with list will surprise you though.
Last weekend I was going through my closet, cleaning it out a little bit and looking for pieces to resell. I didn’t really think I’d have much to get rid of because I’d just done this in the summer. I did, however, come across quite a few items that I’ve purchased this year that I regret buying. All for different reasons that I’ll get to in a moment. I’m hoping by compiling this list it’ll help me, and you, learn from my buying mistakes. Ultimately the goal is to make better purchasing choices and spend less while still maintaining a closet I’m happy with.
Let’s get started!
London Times Cassia Dress from Stitch Fix
This dress came in my October Stitch Fix and at the time I thought it was great. It was $68, probably a bit high for a dress that wasn’t very versatile. Maybe too unique for me. This dress is my most re-pinned clothing item from any Stitch Fix review I’ve posted. It’s been re-pinned thousands of times, yet it sits in my closet with the tag on. I’m not sure why I’m not interested in wearing it. I think maybe because there’s not many ways to mix it up. Also, it’s form-fitting and I have to be honest with myself, form-fitting dresses are difficult to wear for an entire workday. I do not have the patience to suck my belly in all day, it’s as simple as that. Since this dress, my stylist has sent me a form-fitting pencil skirt that I’ve said no to, and it’s because of this dress. I’ve learned my lesson. If it’s tight and has a difficult pattern, I’m unlikely to get a ton of usage out of it.
Grey J. Crew Factory Herringbone Vest
So this vest. Sigh. I basically knew I wanted a black and tan herringbone vest since LAST fall. J. Crew had been the previous makers of this wildly popular style but this grey version was the only available option when I decided to start looking early this fall. So, I waited and it went on sale, 30% off. I settled for this color and bought it. Then a month or so later, J. Crew, and many other retailers, came out with the version, and other like versions that I had originally set my sights on, the vest that made my favorites list (which I waited and waited and did end up buying on sale for 70ish% off). So now I had two very similar vests, one in the color I settled on and one in the color I actually wanted (and wear all the time). I am selling this one. This is my MOST regrettable purchase and I learned a huge lesson. I’d rather wait for what I want then settle because I wasted a ton of money.
J. Crew Factory Printed Shorts
I went on a kick this summer when I thought, if tight dresses and skirts were “work appropriate” why weren’t mid-length dress shorts. I can personally move around more effectively and appropriately in shorts than I can in a dress. I bought a few different styles and it seemed almost everyone at work had something negative to say about wearing shorts to work. This specific pair is a bit too short for “work appropriate” so even if the trend had taken off I wouldn’t have worn them. They are dressy and so I had a tough time convincing myself to wear them on the weekends too. I haven’t worn them, but I didn’t give them away just yet, because I do like them. I’m determined to make them work in some way. Maybe for a bridal shower or luncheon.
Mid-Rise Harper Trousers from Old Navy
I bought these pants in both grey and black against my better judgement. I have enough experience with fits/cuts and pants to know that for my own personal build mid-rise actually means high-rise and that I’d be really uncomfortable in these. They were mildly uncomfortable in the dressing room but I was so desperate for some new work pants that I bought them anyway just to get by. I wore both the grey and the black pair each just once. Not only was the cut too high but they stretch out during the day. When I first put them on they are so incredibly tight I can barely walk and by the end of the day I need the belt to keep them up. Lesson learned again, don’t invest in items you plan to wear on a frequent basis if you’re having serious doubts about them in the dressing room.
Green Military Jacket from Old Navy
A green cargo jacket is a closet staple and since my closet is primarily comprised of neutral tones it was evident to me that this would be the perfect addition to my wardrobe. It was basically the first one I found and tried on. Only, what I don’t think I realized at first is how oddly this was shaped. First, the collar is so big and bold it’s almost showy – like this jacket is meant more to me a flamboyant piece than a laid-back casual layering accent. And then there’s the fit. It goes up high in the back and then starts to descend a bit towards the front, kind of the opposite of what I aim for. I did force myself to wear this a bunch because I was so ashamed of being unhappy with it, but ultimately it’s bulky and uncomfortable and not what I wanted out of a military jacket.
Cognac Pumps from Maurices
These pumps are gorgeous and I pair them with outfits all the time! Unfortunately they are really difficult to walk in and I often switch them out for flats or wedges. They are pretty for photos but just not practical for me.
Drapey Wrap Blouse from Abercrombie and Fitch
I do love this top, but here’s why I regret buying it. First, when I received it in the mail it was defective – the front was missing a stitch where the two panels meet at the V so they were completely separated. So, it sat in my closet for months before I repaired it myself. Then I wore it here in the above photo, and it looked gorgeous right? Yep. Obsessed. Then I washed it, and shrunk it so tiny It’s now a flowy crop top. Saddest regret ever. I can’t remember the exact price but I know I paid at least $50 for this top, poor quality, poor material, and I didn’t take care of it well either.
Another regrettable purchase, or purchases rather, were two black pencil skirts I bought this year. I was on the search for the perfect pencil skirt, as though I needed to have one. I haven’t worn either of them because I’m just not a pencil skirt kind of girl and that’s ok. I will be selling them.
Just looking over all of my regrettable purchases has brought up so many good, but probably obvious points. Pay close attention to fit and cut. If it is uncomfortable in the dressing room, it’s going to be even more uncomfortable in “real life”. Something may look great on, but if it’s uncomfortable to wear, how likely are you to put it on? Hold out for the items you really want instead of settling for 2nd best pieces. Always keep in mind what will be practical for your lifestyle when buying items because that’ll make a huge difference (and you won’t wind up with pencil skirts you’ll never wear, pumps you can’t walk in, and “work shorts” you can’t wear to work). I think, for me, and probably you too, these are the biggest determinants of whether you’ll actually want to wear something over and over.
Thanks for stopping by!