I recently did an Instagram segment on handbags and came to a sober realization: if you put two seemingly identical items in front of me, even with no labels, nine times out of 10 I will always prefer the more expensive option.
But when you have expensive taste, how much does that add up to at the end of the year?
Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve done annual shopping roundups for transparency reasons, and today I’m sharing my breakdown for 2018.
Psst–there’s a worthwhile giveaway at the very end!
In today’s summary, I’ve added a chart with a new metric. This time I thought it would be fun to track the retail prices, because yeah, I’m not paying those if I can help it. Once you realize that lots of people who are interested in fashion rarely pay full price, shopping premium brands can feel a little more attainable.
Alright, how did I do last year overall?
In 2018, I paid $1,781.11 out of pocket, and recouped $853.09 through reselling, so the total net spend is $928.02.
What I Bought from July Through December
If you want to know how the first half of the year went down, here’s everything I bought from January through June. And previous annual roundups:
In the second half of 2018 I bought 11 items, excluding socks, which brings the grand total to 23 items purchased for the year. Overall, that’s definitely not a number I feel like bragging about, since I like to keep things under 15 items per year. Anyway, here’s the breakdown of what I bought from July through December:
*Affiliate links below*
My Eastpak backpack literally started peeling apart on the inside, so off I went on a quest to find a new backpack. I must have looked at every single brand under the sun, but settled on this Hellolulu one I saw on Instagram. The details that sealed the deal: the clean design and the top handles that let you carry it like a purse if you want.
I have this T-shirt in grey, and the same one in green was definitely an impulse buy when I saw it on sale. This came with me to Asia and so far I’m happy with how often I’ve worn it already.
After packing for our Iceland trip, I realized how useful winter leggings could be. Sure these aren’t merino wool, but for less than $15 they’ll do just fine.
This was another ‘I can’t believe I don’t have this already’ purchase. That’s right, I’ve gone decades having never bought a sun hat before. While I love the look of structured straw hats, I was careful to be practical and buy one that I could easily shove in a carry on.
I bought this shirt blind from a shop all the way in Hong Kong, having never seen it in person, which was a risk. I like that the fabric has a slight sheen, so I tend to reach for it when I want to be a little more dressed up for work, but the downside is that it wrinkles like crazy.
Did I need to spend over $100 for a pair of pajamas? Nah, I could have bought a similar-looking pair from Target or J. Crew. But I wanted that Liberty print. Having particular tastes sure can get expensive…
I’ve had my current A.P.C. coat for almost five years now, and the last time I picked it up from the dry cleaners it looked a little more faded than usual. Once I saw a similar-looking coat on sale for half off, I knew it would be a solid replacement buy.
The wildcard purchase I mentioned in my Black Friday post. For a statement shoe, they are surprisingly versatile with what I currently own, but I haven’t yet worn them outside of the house. Anyone want to throw a fancy party so I have an excuse to wear them?
Incredibly overpriced, but I’ve never paid more than $40 for these T-shirts via sample sales or secondhand on The Real Real. The price keeps going up every year, but I just love the prints, and no one else makes anything close. As you can see, my core clothes are quite plain, so a cool print adds some interest to my closet.
Sandals are hands-down the hardest thing for me to shop for. I can go years without finding any that are quite right. Not only was the price right for these, but I liked the ugly-on-purpose design, the comfort of a thicker sole, and the easy-to-clean patent leather upper. I got rid of my current sandals to make room for these.
My existing travel sneakers had holes in the tops, so these were a replacement buy. They were just cheap enough that I didn’t mind when I tried to be adventurous and turned those white soles brown by traversing through a mud path.
I love the extra pep in my step I get when I wear my Falke socks, but I’m so paranoid of losing them I bought these cheaper Uniqlo options. So far they’ve functioned just as well.
What I Bought from My Wishlist
And an update on my wishlist from the beginning of the year:
1. Cartier watch. I found a secondhand one last fall that came complete with the box and papers (very important to me), but I waited too long and then it was gone. I have a feeling I’m gonna have to wait a while for a new one to pop up.
2. Replacement muscle tank top. I still want this, but I never found one, ugh.
3. Oval-shaped sunglasses à la Dries Van Noten x Linda Farrow. I didn’t want to spend $300+ on these since they wouldn’t be an everyday pair.
4. CB2 Archway mirror. BOUGHT.
As for making a shopping list and sticking to it, I’m not sure that’s the right move for me. There’s nothing I buy anymore that I truly need. It’s all wants that are subject to change depending on my mood! But I do like pinning things onto Pinterest, so I can see the history of how my tastes changed over time.
Enter to Win a $250 Visa Gift Card
If you’ve made it this far, here’s your reward: I’ve partnered with eBates to give away a $250 Visa gift card!
One reason I don’t pay as much for clothes is because I take advantage of cashback sites. Shopping through eBates was how I earned almost $30 in cash back for those Prada shoes above. It’s basically like free money!
To enter the giveaway, submit your existing eBates e-mail address below, or sign up for a new account (and get a $10 signup bonus). You can also get another entry by following me on Instagram. US residents only and ends on February 28, 2019. Good luck!
How did your shopping budget go in 2018? Any favorite buys or regrets? What’s on your current wishlist?
Feature Image: The Luxe Strategist