Last week I shared my Best Fashion & Beauty Buys of 2021, and today I’m sharing my most regrettable fashion purchases from 2021 and analyzing why they didn’t work out, when I clearly thought they were worth buying at the time.
For some reason, this post always gets a lot more engagement than the best purchases post. I guess it provides a lot more fodder for discussion.
I also like to make a disclaimer before I start. If you bought any of these off of my recommendation, please don’t feel duped. These aren’t bad products; they just didn’t happen to work for my personal style and lifestyle, or with the rest of my wardrobe. That’s why I changed the wording to regrettable purchases.
Some of these may have worked out great for you; in fact, if you bought them, I sure hope they did! But for whatever reason, I didn’t find myself reaching for them as much as I thought I would.
My 10 Worst Purchases of 2021
#1. Stuart Weitzman Sierra Sandals // This first item PAINS me to look at. I love Stuart Weitzman shoes, and these are gorgeous. I ordered them during a Shopbop sale early in the season, and I only wore them a couple times — just enough to scuff up the bottoms so they weren’t returnable, and to realize that I couldn’t keep them on my feet. I tried wearing them a few times, and then I finally had to admit defeat. I would just walk right out of them, and it wasn’t safe, so I finally sold them.
#2. AllSaints Alpha Convertible Backpack // This was an #NSale purchase, and I styled it a few times for the blog, but I never ended up reaching for it in my day-to-day life. I thought I would because it’s a different color than anything I have in my closet, but it was kind of awkward to get in and out of, and I just never seemed to reach for it when I was ready to go somewhere. Fortunately, I was able to return it before the window closed.
#3. Sweaty Betty Harmonise Luxe Fleece Sweatshirt // This is a cute sweatshirt, and so cozy and soft, but that high/low hemline just doesn’t work for me. Every time I try to wear it, the top underneath shows and looks awkward. If I had a smaller chest, I think I’d love it, but it’s just not for me. I finally decided to pass it on to a friend who has a better build for it.
#4. NYDJ Marilyn Straight Leg Jeans (similar) // I picked up these jeans during the #NSale last summer, and I like them a lot but they’re definitely a different silhouette for me, and I haven’t worn them yet. They’re still in my closet, and I hope to wear them eventually, but on a cost per wear basis, they’re definitely a fail.
#5. Commando 7/8 Faux Leather Legging // I have tried to like faux leather leggings so many times, and they just aren’t me. I think it’s a combination of my spindly legs and wide hips/larger chest. They just make me look out of proportion. The one way I did sort of like them is with a sweatshirt and sneakers, more of an athleisure look. But they’re so much work to get in and out of, I’d rather wear regular leggings, and I have plenty of those!
#6. Madewell Eyelet Ruffle Strap Top // I really like this top, but it’s a little outside of my comfort zone, so I really need just the right venue and occasion. I took it to Maine to wear for the 4th of July, but our party was rained out.
I can’t remember if I held onto it or not (I store my out of season clothes and shoes in bins in the basement when they’re not in use) but even if I wear it once or twice before I decide to part with it, that doesn’t really justify the price tag. At least I got it on sale, and it made for cute blog pictures, so there’s that!
#7. Sam Edelman Beth Pumps // These are gorgeous shoes, but I haven’t had the occasion to wear them yet. I almost wore them one night in December, but I decided I was doing too much walking for heels this height and I switched into my old faithful Marc Fisher Zala pumps with the 3″ block heel. I can walk in the Beth pumps, but the heel is 3.75 inches, and that 3/4 inch makes a big difference. I’ll hold onto them for a while longer, but once that square toe starts to look dated, I’ll pass them on. I seriously doubt I’m going to get a decent cost per wear out of them, so I decided to include them in this ilst.
#8. rag & bone Cate Mid-Rise Ankle Skinny Raw-Hem Jeans // I knew when I bought these jeans that I was moving away from skinnies, but I thought I wanted a light wash pair, and I’ve always liked the rag & bone Cate style.
I tried to wear them a few times over the spring and summer, but every time I put them on, I ended up changing into something else, so I finally decided to part with them. Also, the 9″ rise is no longer comfortable to me. These days I much prefer jeans with a 10″ – 11″ rise. Lesson learned!
#9. Hudson Gemma Shorts // I definitely found myself moving away from the shorter shorts last summer, and I was never really comfortable in these. Maybe if I’d sized up, I would have kept them for another season, but they had a way of riding up in unfortunate places, and my rear view just isn’t what it used to be, so yeah. I passed those on at the end of the summer.
#10. Rebecca Minkoff Mab Leather Hobo Bag // I think I’m going to throw this one in here for #10. I still have it, and I like it a lot, but I rarely reach for it. I mainly got it to go with the Marc Fisher Alva Booties in this picture, as well as the Tory Burch Chelsea 70mm Lug Booties from the #NSale. I didn’t have a bag that worked well with this cognac color, so I grabbed this Rebecca Minkoff hobo on sale back in the fall. I’m keeping it for now because I don’t have any other bags in this color. (I returned the Michael Kors crossbody in the picture above.) But I’m not sure I’ll ever get enough use out of it to justify the price tag.
I’m sure I could go on because I make SO many purchases in a year, and I can’t possibly keep them all. I try to make wise decisions and return what I can, but some things you have to keep around for a while or even wear them a few times before you realize you just aren’t reaching for them.
And I’m also noticing my lifestyle really changing right now. I’ve always been home a lot, even pre-Covid, but now that everyone is living a more causal lifestyle, I just don’t find myself dressing up as much as I used to. Even the dressier casual looks I would wear running around town seem like too much for most of my days right now.
I actually really like most of the items on this list, but I just don’t have the need for them, which is kind of sad. On the flip side, I don’t have nearly as many truly bad purchases as I used to, so I guess I’m learning.
Feel free to share your worst purchases of 2021 in the comments. I’d love to hear!
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