My Least Used Products of 2017

Greetings and happy Thursday! Earlier this week, I fell down the proverbial rabbit hole and found myself lost in the strange world of designer handbag reviews and YouTube channels.

I’ve long known that there are forums for the handbag-obsessed and YouTube channels dedicated to handbag reviews, but I’ve never gotten caught up in them… which is truly ironic because I’m both a handbag girl and a bit of an info junkie. I don’t make any significant buying decision, be it a car or a household appliance or a pricey handbag, without considerable research. I actually enjoy the research aspect of making purchases, in some strange way.

But I never really paid attention to that alternate reality of handbag review forums and YouTube channels until the other day when I started researching classic black totes, and I fell upon this strange and wonderful world! Ha! (Just search designer handbag reviews on YouTube, if you’re curious.) Their bags are all pretty much out of my league, but I still find the videos fascinating to watch.

I spent the better part of yesterday immersed in this particular YouTube channel, which is where I got the idea for today’s post.

I realize we’re well into 2018 at this point, but I thought this post would tie in nicely with My Best Purchases of 2017, which was so well-received. Better late than ever, right!?!

To be clear, this is not a “worst purchases” list. These are all things I still like and would recommend, but I just didn’t end up wearing or using them all that much. Either they didn’t work for my personal style, for my lifestyle, or with the rest of my wardrobe; but they weren’t bad purchases, so 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.

My Least Used Products of 2017

#1. Vince Rachelle Slides

I absolutely love these shoes, but I don’t seem to ever wear them. Of course, it’s currently wintertime, and they’re not winter-friendly shoes, but even back in the fall, when the chestnut suede open toe slides were perfect for our mild weather, I hardly wore them. I wanted to, but they just never seemed to work with what I was wearing or where I was going.

I think it’s both a color issue and a formality/practicality issue. One reason I was drawn to this chestnut color is because it complements my LV Neverfull so nicely, but the color doesn’t seem to work with most of my wardrobe, even though it’s a neutral.

Also, I think these shoes are just a tad dressier than what I like to wear on a daily basis, but not as dressy as the shoes I like to wear for my date night outfits, so they  just fall in this nebulous in-between category that doesn’t get much use.

I’m not giving up on them yet, but if I don’t wear them frequently this summer and next fall, they’ll need to move on to a new home.

#2. Rebecca Minkoff Unlined Convertible Hobo

It pains me to add this bag to this list. I bought it during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and I thought I’d carry it a ton through the fall and winter, but I only carried it a couple of times, and mainly for photo shoots. It’s an absolutely gorgeous bag, the color is on trend, and it’s comfortable to carry and a good size, but I never seem to go for it.

I think it’s a color issue because I purchased a pair of booties in the same color that I never wore or even featured in an outfit for the blog. It just never quite seems to work with everything else I have on. Either the color is too close to something else I’m wearing, or the gold hardware clashes with my silver accessories, or… I dunno. It’s always something!

It still hangs in my closet taunting me, but it’s probably time to pass it on to a new home where it will get some good use.

#3. Current/Elliott Cropped Straight Released Hem Jeans

It’s rare that I regret a denim purchase, but I sure wish I could return these. They were pricey, and while I thought I liked them, almost every time I go to wear them, I end up taking them off and putting on another pair. I know this style is trending, but they seem to cut off my leg at an awkward spot… either that, or I just haven’t figured out how to style them in a way that flatters me. They’re called straight cropped jeans, but for some reason they look flared on me.

If I need a pair of cropped jeans that aren’t super skinny, I usually go for my slim boyfriend jeans. For some reason, the boyfriend jeans seem to suit me better. I think it’s because they have a slight taper, which follows the line of the body instead of belling out at the bottom, and that silhouette is more flattering on me.

The lesson here is don’t kowtow to trends just because they’re trends. If they don’t work for you, it’s fine to take a pass.

I haven’t passed them on just yet… I’m afraid that as soon as I do, I’ll wish I had them, but if I can’t figure out a way to love them this spring, they’re going up on @shopjolynnescloset.

#4. Hobo Reghan Leather Crossbody

This was another Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchase. (What is it with my #NSale handbag purchases this year???) I only carried it one time, for a trip to the mall, and I knew on that day that I would never carry it again. I believe I passed it on to one of my nieces at Christmastime.

While I love the glazed leather and it’s the perfect shade of taupe, I found it very uncomfortable to carry, and that’s all there is to it. By the time I realized that, I’d removed the tags and thrown them away, so I was stuck with it.

#5. Stuart Weitzman Elevated Boots

These aren’t a purchasing regret so much as a color choice regret. Haha! Would you believe I had them in black, and exchanged them for the brown, and now I wish I had the black? Sigh…

I thought I’d get more wear out of the brown because they seemed more casual, but I think they’re actually a hard color to match, especially considering the colors I typically wear. (See #1.)

I’m not giving them up because I do love them, and I got a really good price on them, but I just have to be intentional about creating outfits around them so they get worn, whereas shoes are typcially not where I start when putting outfits together.

#6. Flecked Off-The Shoulder Foldover Sweater

Because I do cycle through clothing rather quickly for the blog, it isn’t unusual for me to wear sweaters and tops only a handful of times before passing them on, and that doesn’t necessarily make them regrettable purchases; it’s just one of the occupational hazards of fashion blogging. This one, though, is a good lesson for me… and perhaps for you.

I only wore this sweater once, out to dinner with my husband, and I wore it simply to wear it — because I had it and felt like I needed to wear it to justify the purchase. I was uncomfortable the whole time. The off-the-shoulder sweater seemed a little “over the top” for a cold winter night and for the venue, plus I found myself pulling and tugging at it all night long because it doesn’t stay in place easily.

I could have easily worn something else from my closet that night, and been more comfortable and felt just as attractive. At the end of the day, off-the-shoulder tops just aren’t very practical for my lifestyle — especially off-the-shoulder winter sweaters.

Funny thing, the day I tried it on in the store, I left it there because I didn’t think I’d wear it much, but then I went ahead and ordered it after so many of you liked it in an Shop With Me post. This is a good reminder to go with my gut. All that said, it was not an expensive purchase, so it’s not a big regret or anything… just a good life lesson.

#7. 1.State Off-the-Shoulder Flounce Sleeve Blouse

This top is a similar example, and for that matter, so is #8…

#8. White House Black Market Embellished Lace Shell

I love and adore both tops, but I never wore them other than for these photo shoots because I never found the right occasion. (Well, in my defense, I took the black top to a fashion blogging conference last spring, and then forgot my strapless bra. Womp… womp…)

The lesson for me here is, I don’t need many fancy tops in my closet… and the lesson for you may be to consider your lifestyle when making purchases. Our closet ratios should represent our lifestyles. If you have fancy dinners to attend only 5% of the time, then you don’t want 25% of your closet to be comprised of fancy dinner outfits. Make sense?

I’m always drawn to fancy tops, and I love to pair them with jeans and heels, but I have to remember that the area in which I live and the lifestyle that I lead don’t require a lot of fancy clothes.

I can’t remember if I kept the black top or not (I may have put it away with summer clothes in hopes of wearing it this season) but I still have the embellished lace shell, and I hope to wear it sometime… maybe next holiday season? Or perhaps I should wear it for my Valentine’s Day dinner on Saturday night. I had something else in mind, but I’m not sure it’s going to work with our weather.

#9. Kork Ease Velma Booties

I’m not giving up on these booties yet either, but for some reason I can’t get terribly excited about them, and I find myself passing over them for another shoe option when getting dressed for the day. I love the combination of grey leather and the wood sole, and the color should work well with my wardrobe, but I feel like they make my feet look huge, which I think is why I always end up swapping them out for a different pair.

That said, I keep holding onto them because they come in handy every once in a while — mainly because of the leather factor. (Most of my booties are suede, which don’t always work for our weather.)

I guess the lesson here is not to buy something purely for a functional reason. If you don’t feel like they flatter you, you’ll never wear them — even if they make sense on paper, so to speak.

#10. Halogen Mock Neck Knit Sleeveless Dress

While I like this dress, I didn’t wear it even once since I bought it last spring, and I’m not sure why not. It would work well for church in the summer or under a cardigan sweater, fitted blazer, or denim jacket in spring and fall, but I just never wear it.

It’s a good thing I kept it, though, because my 15 year-old daughter had nothing to wear to a funeral last weekend, and this worked out great for her. She may end up keeping it for good!

In Summary…

There are probably more, but these are a good sampling of things I bought last year, kept, and then didn’t wear as much as I hoped I would. It’s actually kind of enlightening to talk through each piece as I write this post. After all, you can’t learn from your mistakes if you don’t take time to analyze what didn’t work.

Going forward, I’m going to try to be even more intentional about what I purchase (or more importantly, what I keep.) I’ve already come a long way in the last few years, and my closet isn’t nearly as overwhelming as it was a few years ago, but judging by this post, I still have a ways to go.

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