All The Clothes I Bought This Year Part 2

This post reflects all my clothing purchases in 2017 after I wrote the post “All The Clothes I Bought This Year.” For the most part, I mostly got winter gear to help with the increasingly chilly season (curse you polar vortex!). There were a couple somewhat unnecessary vanity buys like my new leather jacket (gasp!) and a bucketful of tailoring.

Everything I Bought

Brunello Cucinelli silk tank (tan) – $46.50


I got this from The Real Real to go underneath my slightly-too-sheer Hugo Boss white silk shirt. It’s also a nice addition to my wardrobe generally since I don’t have any other tanks or camis. It looks really powerful solo with my pencil skirt or with a blazer. Probably more expensive than I needed, but the delta between this (EUC) and a new lower-end silk tank was pretty small.

Patagonia quarter-zip fleece (navy) – $26.50


This was a replacement for my old North Face shell which after five good years of service ended up twisting all up on its zipper. Being a fleece piece, it can’t exactly be worn alone especially since it gets windy out here. But it’s cozy and nobody blinks an eye when I show up to work with this and a T-shirt.

Coach lambskin leather bomber jacket (black) – $168.00

coach jacket

Pure vanity buy. I was craving a quote-unquote classic piece and don’t particularly care for trench coats so I decided to go for a leather jacket instead. Seriously, I spent about a full month contemplating whether to buy it. Save for my loafers– maybe including my loafers?– this is the most expensive item in my closet. The leather is super buttery but thin (it’s lambskin so that was expected), so I can only really wear it when it’s in the 40-60 F range and not raining. Which in my New England city is, oh, approximately never. But it’s darn beautiful.

One thing I will say is that I got this off The Real Real and I was really disappointed in their team when checking this item. There were definitely more scuffs on it than the listing noted and there was a half-opened piece of nicotine gum in the pocket. Major ew. They outsource their customer service to Zendesk so I wasn’t particularly hopeful my note to them will reach their garment review team. Though I love the jacket and plan on keeping it, I do not plan on using TRR again.

Neck gaiter (black) – $10.00ng-teal_1024x1024

I lose about two neck gaiters a year so I don’t bother to buy an expensive version, else I’ll be saddened when I ultimately misplace it at a restaurant or whatever. Fleece-lined, does the trick solo or, even better, layered underneath a scarf.

Patagonia better sweater mittens (marled white/black) – $39.25


A replacement for my old Isotoner gloves which, though they let me use my smartphone, fail miserably at keeping my hands actually warm in the freezing winter weather. I like that these can convert between mitten and fingerless glove style, makes it easier to access my fingers quickly during my commute.

REI silk sock liner (white) – $11.00


These are to go under my thick calf-high Smartwool socks for the coldest days in winter. They’ll help with the itch from my wool allergy. Also, they’ll add an extra layer of insulation when the polar vortex comes.

Patagonia beanie (navy) – $26.50


A slightly cuter replacement for my current beanie which looks like a nerdy winter helmet. Made with recyclable materials, which I love. Also covers and keeps my ears warm, which is a major win.

LL Bean silk long llbean.gifunderwear (black) – $50.50


In previous years, I have used hosiery, thick fleece lined tights, and even yoga pants as an extra bottom layer during winter. All these were fine, but left a lot to be desired in terms of comfort under my trousers– so many layers left my legs feeling like sausage stuffed into its casing. I haven’t gotten a chance to take these for a spin since it hasn’t gotten below freezing yet, but they certainly are thinner and feel more flexible than what I’ve tried before.

Red Coral Necklace – $5.00


Statement piece to jazz up my otherwise boring neutral-color wardrobe. The picture isn’t of my exact necklace, but it’s pretty similar with the same thick finger-like coral protrusions. I particularly like to layer this over my crew neck Everlane silk tops.

Coach Willis messenger bag (black) – $56.50


Originally I was going to try to get the lock on my burgundy cross-body from Cambridge Satchel fixed. But this was the third or fourth tie it broke in two years and it costs $25 each time to get the push lock shipped in from the UK. At some point I might bring it to a cobbler to fix and then resell, but for now I’m going with a classic alternative that I know has already been through a couple decades of wear and is still going strong.

Tailoring, dry cleaning, repair – $191.50

This is how much it cost me to hem and take in at the waist four silk shirts and to dry clean and re-line my peacoat. Tailoring is expensive. It basically doubled the cost of my shirts. But now they fit slightly better. Worth it?

Total – $631.25

Next steps

Altogether I’ve spent around $1825 on clothes in 2017. That’s about six to seven times as much as I’ve spent in any other year. While I don’t regret spending that much– I wanted to upgrade my wardrobe and am still in a great place financially– I would like to ratchet it back to my previous spending levels for a good long while.

Now that I’ve finished filling all the holes in my winter wardrobe, I feel pretty set to not buy any more clothes until at least April 2018. I would like to set a budget for 2018 to spend no more than $350 total, or just below $30/month. That includes all alterations, underwear, etc. This does not include my wedding dress, for which I’d like to spend less than $250.

Insofar as I might upgrade my wardrobe next year, I’d like to keep it to cheap basic items. For one, I’d like to get a few V-neck cotton shirts (probably American Apparel or another good quality cheap tee brand) to replace my current suite of crew necks. I’d also like to streamline my work socks so I don’t have a variety of too-large-for-my-feet hand me downs making up half my food wardrobe. Lastly, a good tote bag or backpack would be nice as well. These are all minor wants though and– given how burnt out on shopping I currently feel– I think I can go without for a year or more.

What do you wear for winter? Have you purchased any clothing in Q4?


10 thoughts on “All The Clothes I Bought This Year Part 2

  1. I got some new jeans because mine had holes in the knee. I mostly wear similar clothes year round, but of course more sweaters in the winter with a fleece or a lightweight down. I may copy this post idea!


  2. Too bad about your TheRealReal purchase! I’ve never had real issues with their quality control, but I’ve also been extremely reluctant to consider anything even a little bit more expensive than $70 or so. Their product measurements, especially, are so weird and inconsistent that it’s an active deterrent from shopping there, plus shipping and returns are so expensive that every purchase feels like a risk.

    The convertible mittens/fingerless gloves sound like a great idea. I’m normally perfectly happy with Uniqlo’s tech gloves, but they don’t work with the IPhone 7’s home button, womp womp, so the Uniqlo option no longer works for me. The weather hasn’t regularly been cold enough here for me to wear gloves though, so I’ll probably hold off for a long time on trying to find a new solution for keeping my hands warm.


    1. I find it interesting, weird, and kind of cool your gloves got outmoded by advances in technology, though I’m sorry you’ll have to find new ones. Do you have a lot of Uniqlo winter products? I was considering getting their Heattech stuff since I’ve heard good things about them and they’re relatively inexpensive, but ended up going with outdoor brands with which I had more personal familiarity.


      1. I’m pretty satisfied with Uniqlo’s winter products! (With the caveat that it generally hasn’t been getting very cold in New York, and I usually prefer to feel a little cold rather than overheated.) I think they do a good job with being one of the most frugal options for things like tech gloves or hats with a wide color range, at least at the beginning of the season, though I’m sure the outdoor companies make things that are better for keeping warm. I

        For Heattech specifically, from my experience with Heattech leggings (both a thinner one and a thicker one), I think their Heattech base layers are probably a nice frugal solution for warm layer. They’re very thin, though probably not substantially better for layering under pants than other thin leggings that don’t have problems with shifting/rolling down. I used to like the Heattech tights a lot because they’re fairly sturdy and reasonably warm for down to 40s Farenheit temps, and maybe even high 30s, though last year’s pair feel strangely tight to put on, which has dissuaded me from buying more. They still fit more or less the same and are comfortable once put on, but the extra effort and minute it takes to wear are annoying.


        1. Good to know that they’re good quality for milder cold temperatures. For the most part the last couple winters have been pretty mild here, but there are always those 0-20 F days that I keep feeling terribly unprepared for.


  3. On your North Face shell, be sure to check with them – they have a lifetime guarantee and if it was caused by a broken zipper, they may fix and/or replace it. They replaced my zipper that broke on a sleeping bag, fixed up the snag and even washed it for me.


  4. These all look great – I hope they wear long and well!

    I bought a handful of basic tees from Target because I needed something for FinCon but since my job doesn’t require me to look any specific way, I’ll stay living in old clothes for another winter. This was the year of updating half our tech and it was SO expensive!


    1. 2016 was my year for all the tech upgrades and it was so much $$$ here too. The good thing about buying a new laptop though is that I can be reasonably assured it’ll last me five years at least with a low “cost per use.” Did you end up getting anything “fun” or was it mostly necessary purchases?


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