I always find it useful when other people share their favorite purchases of the year (love this extensive roundup from one of my fave bloggers and this is a fun one from a cool site I work with). But I also wanted to try this exercise to help me get a better feel for what I actually wear out of all the stuff I buy (and I mean wear, wear). I find it helpful to look back on what I bought in a year to see what actually earned its place in my closet. It’s actually a really good way to think about what’s worth the money and what’s not in order to help you make smarter purchases the next year. I also find it useful to see what other people found was really worth the money, so I decided to share my best clothing purchases of 2019.
When I’m talking about my best clothing purchases of 2019, I mean the most worn, loved and worth the money clothes I bought during the year. It was admittedly a somewhat weird year for me, as I was pregnant for a large chunk of it, but I really tried to avoid buying many maternity items and instead, stuck with things I could wear during and after pregnancy. I’m happy to report that in doing just that, I ended up purchasing a lot of items that I ended up wearing on repeat throughout the year and am looking forward to continuing to wear now that I’m no longer pregnant. Looking back on my best clothing purchases of 2019, I found some common traits. There were a lot of dresses. I tend to live in dresses and love that you can just throw them on, add shoes, and you’re good to go. This year, I learned that investing in pretty dresses that I feel good in is worth the money. In fact, the majority of my best clothing purchases of 2019 were dresses. I will wear them over and over again and feel good every time. While I don’t like to spend a ton on clothing now that I have kids, I find that it’s worth buying dresses at all different price points as long as I love them, but often, I held out for an item to go on sale and 9/10 it did, which made it an even better purchase. Likewise, I love a good sweater, but I have found that I get more use out of sweaters when they’re not super expensive, so I’m not scared to get it dirty when I’m with the kids. I won’t think twice about investing in H&M and Zara sweaters that I find and really love in the future — I basically lived in the ones I bought this winter.
When it comes to accessories, I always cringe at spending a fortune on a bag or pair of shoes, but it’s worth it. When I do invest in a quality accessory I love that I know will go with everything and that fills a much-needed hole in my closet, I’ll wear it on repeat. Case in point: The Celine tote I agonized over buying for way too long. It’s the perfect size to carry all my work stuff for my commute and to double as a diaper bag. It’s neutral and chic, and I wore it to work almost every day and used it almost every weekend as a diaper bag. In terms of cost per wear, it’s already paid for itself. I know if I had bought a cheaper bag, I would not be as excited to reach for it all the time, and it would have ended up languishing in my closet after a couple months. Well worth the price tag and I”m confident I’ll have it for years to come, but if I do grow sick of it, the beauty of a designer handbag is you can always resell it.
Here are all my best clothing purchases of 2019, many of which are still available now.
Now this isn’t the Amazon nightgown but I am a bigger fan, and I’m going to make it #1 on my list of best clothing purchases of 2019 because it’s that good. Best $37 I’ve ever spent. Wore it with and without a bump and wrote more about why I love it here.
Buy It: Amazon Dress
This year I finally broke down and bought a nice work tote. I needed a non-black bag for work that could fit basically my entire life. I had been carrying cute purses to work and then throwing my laptop, shoes etc in various nylon and cotton tote bags for my commute, which made me feel
schleppy and junked up my whole outfit. I have a decent size black tote, but it doesn’t go with all my outfits, and honestly, it’s just a touch too small to comfortably fit my laptop and shoes and other crap. And honestly, it was time to admit I will never be that woman who doesn’t have a big bag of crap with her. So I decided to embrace it and get a bag that I loved for work and could also work as a diaper bag when I wanted to step up my game. Rather than going with a mid-price bag that felt more reasonable but I wasn’t iin love with, I decided to splurge on a timeless Celine tote in a neutral grey that I really loved. I’m so glad I invested in it. It is hands down one of my best purchases of the year. It makes me feel so much put-together, whether I’m going to work or taking the kids to brunch. Plus, it’s roomy enough to fit all my crap and the kids’ stuff.
Buy It: Celine Tote
Madewell High-Waisted Skinny Jeans
I had these in both maternity and regular and I can’t recommend them enough. They are so comfy and flattering and the perfect amount of stretch. I’m not a huge fan of skinny jeans (as I’m not a huge fan of my thighs) but I loved these maternity jeans throughout my pregnancy and the regular ones before and after.
Buy It: Madewell Jeans and Madewell Maternity Jeans
Most comfortable maternity item I have ever worn. It also happens to be super cute and people love a bump in a jumpsuit and will constantly tell you how cute you look, which makes you feel good so it’s like therapy clothes. See more of it here and more cute maternity jumpsuits here.
Buy It: Hatch Jumpsuit
Ganni Plaid Dress
I bought this dress on sale and it was one of my best purchases. It hid my bloat during fertility treatments and my bump during the early stages of my pregnancy. It got me through my first big presentation after I took over as editor of seventeen magazine (technically in 2018) and debuted in my first EIC headshot for the magazine. I loved the ruffle and pattern and i wore it to death, the sign of a good dress imo. See more of it here.
Buy It: Ganni Plaid Dress (similar here)
Zara Camel Coat
I have needed a camel coat forever and purchases this one from zara last winter. It goes with everything, it’s warm and I will definitely be wearing it into 2020.
Loeffler Randall Silver Mules
I debated this purchase forever before finally scooping up a pair this summer and I wore them with everything. They’re comfy, festive fun and versatile. Worth every penny.
Buy It: Loeffler Randall Mules
Chanel Ballet Flats
After my French sole two tone flats bit the dust, I debated and debated investing in these. I mean I love them, but I am also hard on my flats. I finally bit the bullet and treated myself to a pair and I’m so glad I did. I wear them with everything and just really love them. Yes, they’re expensive but cost per wear more than makes up for it imo.
Buy It: Chanel Flats
Cult Gaia Bamboo Bag
This was my bag of the summer and beach. It goes with every summer dress and I wore it to death. Again, in terms of cost per wear it more than paid for itself.
Buy It: Cult Gaia Bag
Zara Turtleneck Sweater
I wore oversized sweaters on repeat while hiding my pregnancy last winter, and this was my favorite. It feels and looks so much more luxe than it cost. I dressed it up for work and date nights and down with boots and jeans for the weekend. I honestly wish I had gotten it in more colors.
Buy It: Zara Sweater (sold out but similar here)
The Row Slitted Black Pants
Every chic pregnant woman had these in 2018 and I treated myself to them this pregnancy. They work just as well after baby making them worth the cost and were equally as flattering and comfy with the bump. They’re a splurge but I wear them with everything and love something I can wear pregnant or not, baby weight or back to my usual size.
Buy It: The Row Pants
ASOS Sweater Dress
I never realized the power of a sweater dress until I bought one I loved and wore it at least once a week last winter. It’s so versatile, easily taking me from work to dinners to weekend playdates (I’d just pair with jeans and flats or cool sneakers). It worked really well for apres ski and holiday parties as well, and I’m already wearing it again this winter. sweatere
Buy It: ASOS Sweater Dress
ASOS Eyelet Beach Dress
This was one of my best purchases of the summer. I wore this dress on repeat to just about everywhere. It stayed flattering and comfy as my bump grew while pregnant, and I wore it into fall after I had Charlotte because honestly, it was so cute and comfy and forgiving yet flattering. See more of it here.
Buy It: ASOS Eyelet Dress (also available in non-maternity)
Ganni Polka Dot Dress
This dress is a total mood, and I love it. I wore it for events and work and it cleverly hid my baby bump during my first two trimesters. Sometimes a dress that is a little much but will make a statement and earn you compliments is just what the doctor ordered.
Buy It: Ganni Polka Dot Dress (sold out but similar here)
Doen Floral Maxi Dress
Sometimes a beautiful dress just makes you feel so good, and this was one of them. I also found this one cleverly hid my pregnancy as the weather got warmer and then looked really cute once it was out and about. Check out more pics of it here.