I’ve done posts like this at the end of the year, but I don’t know that I’ve done a seasonal one before, so I decided to round up my hits and misses (best and worst purchases) from this spring and summer.
My 11 Best Purchases of Spring/Summer 2019
These are things that I purchased this year and have used a ton. The cost per wear on each of these items is low, even if the price tag is high.
If you also snagged some of these, let me know how they worked for you!
#1. Paige Mayslie Slim Cargo Pants // These Paige cargo joggers have probably been my biggest surprise of the season. I usually gravitate to denim, but I’ve worn these so much. I love the casual vibe, and they’re super comfortable.
Cost-per-wear is maximized with these because they’re basically a 3-season pant; I will wear these well into fall. You can also find them at Nordstrom and Anthropologie, and they do go on sale from time to time. I ended up sizing down to a 28, so take that into consideration if you’re wanting a pair.
This whole outfit could actually be included in this list, although not every piece was purchased this year. My Tory Burch Miller sandals in Makeup were a 2018 purchase, and I literally wear them every day at some point.
The Boden tee is fun, and I’ve worn it a lot. It looks great with denim too, and it’s back in stock!
The Everlane tote is a nice classic leather carryall, and the Vince Camuto denim jacket is soft and comfortable. The mid-wash denim works with almost all pant colors, and it also looks great over dresses. (Size down if in between.)
#2. Joe’s Jean Shorts // These are my most-worn shorts of the summer, for sure. I really like the cuffed frayed hems and the 5″ inseam. They’re comfortable and flattering, and they don’t bag out.
#3. Treasure & Bond U-Neck Tank // This is such a basic little tank, but it’s super soft and comfortable. I like it so much, I have it in 3 colors. I wear it alone or layered under cardigans, and I even sleep in it sometimes.
I’m wearing this stripe one in a size small, but I got the grey in a medium for a more drapey fit. I thought I liked the medium better, but I noticed in a few pictures recently that it’s not very flattering. It seems to add visual weight, so now I like the fit of the small better… go figure!
#4. Minnie Travel Flats in Goan Sand // I pretty much wore my grey Minnie travel flats to death over the past few years and they were looking pretty beat, so I splurged on a new pair this spring.
The Goan Sand is such a nice neutral, and they go with so much. They take a little breaking in, but I walked all over Boston in them a few weeks ago, and my feet held up great.
#5. Rag & Bone Cate Raw-Edge Ankle Skinny Jeans // These jeans were an impulse purchase last spring, and I love them. (I don’t recommend spending impulsively on big ticket items, but this one worked out!) I’ve worn them a ton, even through the summer. I love the fit and feel, and the wash is just so good.
#6. Mother Looker Ankle Fray Skinny Jeans // If I include the Rag & Bone jeans, I have to include these Mother skinnies. They’re super spendy and rarely go on sale, but somehow I lucked out and got them for 25% off at Bloomies early in the season.
I probably wear these a little more than the Rag & Bone pair because they have a more casual vibe, but I’ve worn both a ton this spring and summer, and they’ll continue to be wardrobe staples through the fall and winter.
As an aside, I can’t wait to start wearing that Everlane v-neck sweater again this fall!!! There are a few sizes still available in the heather grey; I have a small, for reference.
#7. Tory Burch McGraw Bucket Bag // This bag is the perfect size for everyday. I love the minimalistic design, and the leather is so luxe. It’s sold out in the ivory that I have, but there are other good colors available.
#8. J.Crew Roll Cuff Linen Tee // I’ve worn this top probably more than any other this summer. It’s just got a great fit and feel, and it’s easy to throw on with jeans or shorts for a polished but casual look.
It washes up well (I lay it flat to dry) but it does need an iron. For size reference, I have the small.
Another top I’ve worn a bunch is the Bobeau side tie tee…
Both of these tops wash and wear well, and they’re super versatile.
I’ve gotten so much wear out of this swimsuit this summer. I have one other Prima Donna suit (purchased last year) that I sometimes wear instead, but I like this one best.
These suits are so worth the investment if you have a larger chest and need bra cup sizing that really supports the girls without looking matronly. (After seeing these pictures, I tightened the straps for a little more lift.)
The pareo is perfect for throwing overtop, and it’s easy to remove when I want to go in the water. It offers just enough coverage for me to feel comfortable walking around in front of family and friends.
#10. 1901 Striped Ruched Sheath // This dress is sold out, but I have to include it because I’ve worn it more than any other dress in my closet. I’d wear it even more than I do, except I don’t want to repeat it too often.
It’s super flattering, even when I’m up a few pounds or not feeling as svelte as I’d like, and it’s comfortable to wear all day.
It’s hard for me to find a dress I feel that way about. I usually find myself pulling and tugging and sucking in my gut the whole time, and that’s no fun. 1901 nailed it with this one.
#11. Boden Melinda Jersey Dress // Speaking of dresses that are effortless to wear and flattering even when I’m not feeling my best, this Boden dress is another winner.
It’s super cute on and so comfortable, plus the quality is really nice. I will definitely be trying more Boden dresses next summer!
Honorable mention: (ha!) I have to mention my Veja sneakers (more sizes here.) Honestly, I haven’t really worn these enough to get the cost per wear out of them… yet. But I think I’ll wear them more when fall rolls around. I just don’t reach for shoes I have to tie in the summer months.
I could keep going. Writing this post makes me realize how many purchases I’ve made this summer that I really love, and I didn’t even touch on accessories… but let’s move on.
My 5 Worst Purchases of Spring/Summer 2019
I really don’t like calling these bad purchases because these are all things I like. I just didn’t end up wearing or using them all that much. Please don’t feel duped if you bought any of these off of my recommendation. They might work great for you; they just didn’t work for me.
This a helpful exercise because I was drawn to each of these items for one reason or another, and hopefully I can learn from these purchases and make better buying decisions going forward.
Let’s get started!
#1. Madewell The Addie High Heel Mule // I don’t know why I haven’t worn these more because I really like them. I just tend to overlook them when I’m choosing shoes for an outfit.
The good news is, they’re a style I can wear into fall, so I’m going to keep them in my closet and hope to get some use out of them before the weather turns cold.
#2. Banana Republic Stripe Knit Dress // I kept this dress after this shoot, and I haven’t even worn it once.
I think it’s a combination of it being a body-con fit, and not feeling comfortable in it for that reason, and just buying more dresses than I needed for a season. Oh, well. Live and learn!
I actually had these on the other night to wear to dinner, and I opted for my new cutout shield sandals instead.
#4. LOFT Ikat Shorts // I really wanted to love these shorts, and I thought I’d wear them a lot, but I always end up wearing denim shorts instead.
The truth of the matter is, they’re just not very comfortable. I should have sized up, but I was worried that would make the leg opening too big.
Oh, well. You win some, you lose some! I still think they’re cute shorts.
#5. AG Farrah Skinny Ankle Jeans // I can’t believe I’m including a pair of AG jeans in my worst purchases list, but it’s simply that I got these, and then soon after I got the Mother Looker pair (#7 above) and they both serve basically the same purpose in my closet.
I’ve learned over the years that it makes no sense to have two pieces that serve the same purpose because I will always reach for one over the other.
I can nit-pick all the reasons why I reach for the Mothers first, but at the end of the day, I decided it was time to pass the Farrahs on to someone who will love them as they deserve to be loved. Because they do deserve to be loved; they’re great jeans.
#6. Sam Edelman Bay Slides // There’s obviously a theme here… I have not done well with shoe purchases this summer! This is partly because I can’t return shoes after I wear them for a photo shoot, and I like to have more variety for my shoots than I do for daily living, so I keep more than I really need.
On a daily basis, I pretty much wear the same 3 or 4 pairs of shoes over and over and over… You know what you mean if you’ve seen What I Wore Lately! I’m perfectly happy that way, so I need to be more discerning about shoe purchases next year.
#7. Alex Mill Ruffle Blouse // I really thought this blouse was fun, but I didn’t care for the heart buttons, and of course I never got around to swapping them out.
At that price, it really needed to be worn often to justify keeping it, and after a couple of months, I could tell that wasn’t going to happen. So I finally returned the top because the tags were still on, and I had only worn it 5 minutes for this photo shoot on my back deck.
Again, if you bought and love it, that is awesome! I truly did like it and wanted it to work for me, but I dress casually 98% of the time, and it never seemed to be exactly what I wanted when I was dressing to go out somewhere.
I’m sure I could go on, but I’ve got to wrap this up somewhere.
It was a lot easier to come up with hits than misses this season, which means I’m getting better at knowing what works for me and more discerning with my purchases. That’s a good thing! I still need to be realistic about what I truly need and will actually wear. I hate to look through my closet and see things I’ve only worn once… or not at all.
I realize my job does make my shopping habits different than the average Joe… Jane? Ha! But I still want to be smart about what I decide to keep after the photo shoots.
Doing these posts is helpful and eye-opening for me, and hopefully they’re fun for you too!
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