In the spirit of reflection that usually occurs during this time of the year, I decided to look back at my most worn items in 2016.
When I first set out to write this post I didn’t realize quite how many things I’d like to highlight, that is until I started gathering my items from around the house and ended up with quite a collection of things. Some of these items were really in full use all year, and some only came into play recently so when I say most used, I really mean most heavily rotated.
Shoes: Heels & Boots
Ferragamo Carla Pump and my Hermès Land boots (no longer available online, would get New Castle boots if I ever found them in my size!) have been on heavy rotation ever since I got them. The pumps have been comfortable enough for me to wear as I run around all day, and the boots have proven themselves to be a must during our early Michigan snowstorms.
While there are no shoes I love wearing more than flats, I think there’s just something to be said about wearing a nice pair of heels. This has been especially true for me since I started wearing my uniform of t-shirt+black skinnies, as I just need a little something extra to elevate my ensemble. My Carla pumps definitely do that, while so far withstanding the abuse my shoes usually see. In fact, I suspect those shoes and I have many more year together head of us. If you are thinking about buying heels, I highly recommend them. Do try them on in person, though. While I am size 35 or 35.5 in most shoes, these are actually size 34!
Accessories: Jewelry & Watch
Much like my basic formula for dressing up, my jewelry and watch selection don’t seem to change much daily. I have been literally wearing my Hermès Chaine d’Ancre Enchainee ring everyday since I bought it in July 2015.
The Hermés Apple watch band is a new addition as of October, purchased at the same time as the Tiffany necklace. I’ve had my Apple watch since it first came out in April 2015 and hated the Sport band, and then another Apple leather band, since they never fitted my thin wrist. I can happily report that the wrap band is the most comfortable band I’ve ever tried and though I am destroying this band at quite the impressive pace… I would buy it again and again in a heartbeat despite its high price.
The Tiffany bead necklace is a gift from my grandmother, and I love that it’s a more modern play on the traditional pearl necklace. I think that when you style it right, it elevates instead of ages, but it can certainly make one look more matron-like. I love wearing it with a scarf, or as a statement necklace over a black top.
Of course I have a category dedicated all to scarves. I wear mine all the time, mostly as an addition of color to my otherwise monochrome wardrobe. In 2016 I added two new Hermès scarves, oddly both in a very similar shade of blue. My MaiTai mother of pearl scarf ring helps me tie them, and I love that it has a dark and a light side.
As the temperatures have dipped to seriously cold as of late, I’ve been really enjoying my cashmere-silk Chianti Cashmere scarf. I’ve always wanted to buy an Hermès one, but I wanted to find the perfect one that would balance color and wearability.
This cashmere scarf is very easy to wear, and is soft to boot. I’d definitely love to buy another one, but perhaps in a smaller size next time.
Skinny Pants & Silk Shirts
What can I say? Paige has won me over. These are on such heavy rotation, I had to sew the pocket of one of them not too long ago. Granted, I’ve own and worn the pants in question for the last four years pretty much once a week.
Another item of clothing that has been on repeat this year are definitely my Cuyana silk tops. They really tried to die on my this year, by stains and a random pull, but made it through the spring, summer, and early fall. I’ll need to replace the black one (stains!), but I’m already planning on adding more silk pieces from Cuyana in 2017.
I’ve been on the hunt for good cashmere for a while, and I spent hours researching the “best” cashmere out there. Chanel’s cashmere was a constant mention, and as luck would have it I found two used cardigans I liked and was able to purchase. Let me say, these have truly proven to be a reflection of the idea of quality over quantity. They are so warm and soft, that I wear them both at least once a week. Every week.
Would I buy these at full price? I will, as soon as I can. Not because there’s anything wrong with buying used, but rather because there are such beautiful options out there that sometimes I don’t have the patience to wait for a new one.
I also cannot speak highly enough of my Brora cropped cardigans (now on sale for $215!), but I think I’ve mentioned them enough on this blog. In comparison, by the way, the Brora cardigans are well tailored but not as warm. They have less interesting details, but I love their pearl buttons. Neither one of my cardigans have shown true wear, as pilling is easily removed.
Laundry Detergents (I Kid You Not)
Speaking of cashmere and silk, there’s really nothing like a great laundry detergent to keep all these pricy investments in check. I don’t send anything to dry cleaning and have hand washed all of these beauties with great success.
I now own and use pretty much all the variants of laundry detergent the Laundress has come up with. These definitely have room in my list of most use items of 2016.
Bags & Wallet
I own two Hermès bags, the Evelyne and Picotin, and I have worn them so much without growing even a little tired of them. I wrote about my experience with Evelyne here, and let me just add that I now carry my MacBook Air, teaching materials, snacks, gloves, etc. in this bag and place it on the floor when I go into different classrooms. In other words, I USE this bag, and ever so slightly abuse it. Pico is my weekend bag, and I’ve been very glad I own it even though I know I wouldn’t have bought it if I had seen it in person (my husband picked it up for me on a work trip).
No list would be complete without an honorable mention of my Calvi wallet, as I have even managed to lose it and have it retuned to me (!) and still it shows zero wear.
Finally, since this post is already super long, let me mention my other heavily used items. The Kypris Antioxidant Dew has been the only constant in my skincare routine since July, and I am already on my second bottle.
The final honorable mentions are of my Lamy fountain pen and the Cereria Molla candles, both of which have kept me sane, cheerful, and writing throughout this year.
Looking at this long list, it’s clear I’ve added and used some very expensive items this year. While I don’t put much faith in the concept of cost per wear as a way of justifying buying really expensive things, I can say I am getting lots of wear out of my possessions. Since I really dove deep into the idea of quality over quantity this year, you are actually looking at most of my possessions. I’m really grateful that I’ve been able to use and own these items, and even happier they aren’t collecting dust.