Some of my “bests” are in the Finds below. Unexpected workhorses for the most part.

I think my “worsts” are all relative - some things have not gotten an awful lot of wear but are not outright regrets. However, I bought a couple of bras, thinking they were great, but I guess I gained enough weight to make them not fit right, or I was fooling myself from the start, because now they seem inadequate and give me a slight case of quad-boob, so I can only wear them with loose tops, and I kind of hate them when I do wear them. Sigh. Bras are hard!

Oh best... has to be the tartan skirt and OTK boots.

This post has 1 photo. Photos uploaded by this member are only visible to other logged in members.

If you aren't a member, but would like to participate, please consider signing up. It only takes a minute and we'd love to have you.

rachylou, that skirt is amazing!

I have been good about returning disappointing items, so I have no huge regrets, except for:

1) A cotton cable sweater in dusty pink from Uniqlo. It was gorgeous, soft, and a perfect fit out of the bag, but it shrunk in the wash even though I followed the washing instructions. I wrote to their Customer Service but they couldn't guarantee a return or credit if I sent it back for their inspection. Makes me wonder if people just buy their sweaters, wear before washing, then never wash or throw away when it's too dirty??? For whom could it possibly work?

2) High-waisted burgundy bell bottom cord pants from Old Navy (that was early in the year, maybe Jan or Feb 2017). They look great on me, but I find the high rise extremely uncomfortable. Only wore them once. I knew it when I they arrived in the mail and I tried them on, but I still insisted on keeping it.

Best purchases? Too many to count! Pointy-toed kitten heeled booties and boots in cream and navy, sock booties in burgundy, extremely cute and surprisingly warm sweaters from H&M, Cole Haan tote bag from DSW at a third of the original price, sweaters in beautiful prints and happy colors from Target, a slew of happy Old Navy dresses for Fall and Winter, wideleg trousers from the Gap... I don't have a huge budget for clothes but I certainly stretched it this year with an amazing number of affordable hits.

EF ponte pants
WHBM olive utility long (lemming!)
Athleta wander skinny tall
Athleta linen pants tall
Tommy Bahama linen tee
Plus a couple other tops from spring

Worst -
Lucky Hayden jeans - rise too high
Tee - too thick
Tee - too a line, prefer slimmer silhouette

Trying to figure out how to avoid the not quites. Too thin or too thick on tops isn’t good. Not too short or too long. Too high or too low on bottoms also doesn’t work. No wonder it’s easy to make mistakes.


Almost every pair of fancy shoes I bought on eBay in 2017, which includes:

  • A pair of YSL high-heel dressy boots that lace up the front.
  • A pair of Schutz "Tamarah" over-the-knee boots (a dupe for the SW Thighland boot, but without the back tie)
  • A pair of black Schutz Gilberta pumps.   I love these shoes, this is a duplicate pair, so that I have a pair at my place and at my BFs
  • A pair of Stuart Weitzman Platswoons in nude patent
  • A pair of Alaia haircalf pumps in a snow leopard pattern
  • A pair of Pollini slingback high heels that are a mustardy color
  • A pair of chunkier high heel pumps from Schutz, in nude patent leather
These shoes have all been in frequent rotation this year, and I've been very happy.

Two other big wins:  

I found a vintage St John dress at Goodwill that I LOVE.   I call it my Disco Rainbow Unicorn Dress.   It's black, high neck, long sleeves, with multicolor gems around the cuffs and neckline.   I've worn it twice now, and felt like a boss.   I'll try and remember to post a WIW.

And my sea-green leather Danier jacket that I've been wearing everywhere this fall.   Found on eBay.

What I've learned from my 'bests':   High heels are fine, as long as the shoe is sturdy, lightweight, and very streamlined and snug against the sides of my feet.   And not more than 4".  I purged a lot of 4.25-4.5" shoes this year.   I also learned that mermaid colors make me feel very happy, and look great when I pair them with my beloved black.

A lot of the warm-weather items I picked up this summer, including:

  • Half the stuff I bought at Zara.   I never shop there, but I bought four things in August.   Two were fine.   Two had quality issues:  "The Skirt of Awesomeness" that I featured in a WIW.   Beautiful embroidery.   I wore it twice, laundered it in gentler conditions than the tag stated, air-dryed, and now the lining hangs out of the bottom.   It's not really noticeable because the skirt and lining are both black, but it irks me that I paid $50 for this skirt and it did that.   The second 'worst' was a blush tee I bought at Zara that had a hole in the sleeve, on its first, gentle-cycle-in-a-lingerie bag, washing.   I mended it and continue to wear it.   Love the tee, sad about the quality.   No more Zara for me, thank you.
  • A couple of pencil skirts for summer that just weren't as casual and easy as I'd hoped.
  • A pale gold metallic linen-blend tee from J. Crew.   I bought it for those 95+ F days this summer.   It shifts around when I wear it, just enough to drive me batty.   I like it well enough as a layering piece, because it stays put under a jacket, but the point was to have a stand-alone summer tee.   I'm going to stick with more fitted crew necks and slash necks in the future.   Side note, it also lost a bit of its luster and crispness, even though I washed it in gentler conditions than the tag indicated, and air-dryed it.
  • My biggest "worst" was a Wolford Cordoba Tulle top in a beautiful blush color called "Bellini".   I love the look of this top, and I am a rabid fan of Wolford.   The color lights up my face, and the fabric is beautiful.   But it's a M, and too big through the torso and sleeves.   If I don't pair it with just the right bottoms and just the right amount of tuck, I feel frumpy-dumpy in it.   If I'd paid $50 for it, I'd be fine.   But I paid $149 for it.   I'm planning to get it taken in a bit, and if I don't love it then, I'm going to list it on eBay or Poshmark.
Lessons learned from my 'worsts':    
  • Don't shop at places that have a known reputation for quality issues.
  • I need more shorts for summer, and a 2.5-3" inseam, preferably with a cuff, is my favorite look.
  • I prefer a more fitted tee or top.
  • When I try on something, take a few minutes, move my arms around, sit down, check my phone, then get back up and see what the clothing item has done in those few minutes; how it's shifted, if it's fussy, etc.

Great thread. I have a hard time remembering the whole year but I will give it a try. I had a pretty good year.

My successes:

1/ Jesse Kamm Pants - A big investment but worth it. I love the colour. I love how high waisted they are. Well, I just love them.

2/ Sanctuary Camo Peace Trooper Pants - Finally I found something that I can wear in the summer. I was in desperate need for summer bottoms. I wore these constantly.

3/ Lululemon Puffer Vest Olive Green - I have been looking for a puffer vest in olive green for a few years and this one is perfect. It is a rich dark olive colour and not too puffy. It is also extremely warm.

My failures:

1/ Joe Fresh - Olive Green Silky Joggers. They looked perfect but I never wore them. Not once. I have no idea why.

This post has 2 photos. Photos uploaded by this member are only visible to other logged in members.

If you aren't a member, but would like to participate, please consider signing up. It only takes a minute and we'd love to have you.

Bonnie: I love those Cole Hahn black sandals you pictured! It's funny I have an exact pair from Zara from 2 years ago, and adore them. So comfy! Great purchase~
Sterling: That is a very pretty pink clutch! Not too dressy at all, you can wear that everywhere! Great purchase.
I also wanted to mention another fav fav: "So slimming ponte pants" from Chicos. They are without a doubt, my favorite pants I own. Love them, super comfy, the material and the fit is heaven! It's one of those items you could wear every day! Check them out ladies~ I have a black pair, a brown pair, and a leopard pair which I haven't worn yet~

The biggest thing I realized is that I still managed to purchase and return a tremendous amount of clothing, and it seems I kept very little. That's probably my biggest mistake.

I love my purple dotted Talbots top (team purple, yay!), but I am concerned with how it will fare long term. The dots are raised and don't seem that well attached. It can through the first wash fine. And I have gotten more wear than expected out of a black long vest.

Perhaps a mistake- A navy blue cardigan and tank I love, but I am turning back away from navy and they haven't gotten much wear yet.

Mistake - I bought a duplicate pair of pants and didn't try them on, as I had tried on almost everything else in the store and it was an at the register decision to buy them. Washed them before wearing, and they run at least one size smaller than the first pair.

Polka Dot Tee
View Info
Top Pick

My worst buy was what I would have thought was the best at the time - i.e., the dress that got a k to the power of K from Angie - and then whose zip burst on the way home from the wedding.But I got a refund so no damage there.

I also "settled" in my search for a striped top, by buying 2 cheap kmart ones for $7 each. They are ok, but were 3/4 length, which I find uncomfortable under any layer, which makes them not very versatile.

My best buy was probably the pale blue long sweater  that was such a great colour. Unfortunately I stained it, so it will be lounge wear now. It was a target cheapie, and had not great quality either and beginning to pill after only a month or so. But it points to a (hopefully) easy purchase for next year in getting something similar.

This post has 4 photos. Photos uploaded by this member are only visible to other logged in members.

If you aren't a member, but would like to participate, please consider signing up. It only takes a minute and we'd love to have you.

Best purchases:
- Denim skirt (it is such a versatile piece, can be worn all year around)
- Mother The Looker "Coffee, Tea, Me?" skinny jeans (the most comfortable jeans and I love the dark wash)
- Favourite dress, a blue taffeta dress (which is washable)

Worst purchases:
JCrew coat - a beautiful item, but I did not need it (hangs head in shame)
Floral dress - this is dry clean only and for that reason, I rarely wear it!

Lessons learnt: No more coats, I have enough and I need to dress for the climate that I live in.
Do not buy "dry clean only" work dresses or blouses because you will always reach for the items that are easier to launder.

I had pretty good success this year but still a few mistakes. One is a lovely smoky taupe tank from Lucky Brand which *should* work for me but doesn't. Just doesn't feel like "me" for some reason. I even made the second mistake of buying a taupe cami to wear under it. Both escaped the return window and I got stuck with them. I might try wearing them again as sometimes when I hold something for a while I end up finding it works at a later date.

Several bests include some casual slip on sneaks in a fun print. A handbag that matches my hair, and new sandals to replace some too loved tan sandals that I've worn into oblivion. Also, my white till EF cropped pants were a favorite this summer and my sphere necklaces (I have a rose gold one too now as I found another source at Gorjana).

My worst purchases were colored jeans from LOFT. Their "normal" blue and black denim holds it shape okay. The colored ones bag out and look terrible after a little while wearing them. I've already cycled out a sage green pair. I have a light grey pair that does okay, and a turquoise one I keep for the color.

I had many great purchases, though! Especially in the realm of shoes and pants/jeans. It's hard to find pants that look good but don't pinch my belly too much. I also got a great dress and a wonderful wildcard velvet kimono. And I found out that a jumpsuit can work for me.

I agree, Sterling. 12 outings for a dressy clutch is a win in my book!

My best: The Precious, for sure! I was in London for New Year's and pulled the trigger on a fabulous Burberry handbag, which I have loved!!


Rebecca Minkoff gold backpack, which turned out to be the perfect bag for traveling. I also love it to punch up my office outfits.

Unexpectedly fun patch-covered jeans.

Fab black suede pumps with gold stars. I'm tempted to buy a second pair for when they wear out!

Gold lariat necklace I've been wearing almost non-stop since I got it a few weeks ago. It reminds me of a similar necklace my YLF buddy Ornella sent me years ago so it's extra special!

Worst: Kate Spade bag that is lovely but really too big, and I bought it on no-returns-no-exchanges sale so I'm stuck. Also the cropped flares that I could never really style properly.

I don't know what my best purchase has been this year, since I just had to buy warm clothes to fit my new body (weight gain). Perhaps my tactical boots were the best acquisition, since they have been workhorses for both work and casual; however, those were a gift so they don't exactly count.

My best purchase? Maybe scarves and hats. They're recent purchases but they're already working overtime because it's cold and I hate cold. I don't know why I didn't have more scarves before this winter, but I'm glad I have them now! And hats too; I had exactly one but now I have 5 and want more because I hate cold ears.

My worst purchase? I had a pair of pink pants custom made to my measurements and desires, and I have only worn them a couple of times. They hang there in my closet, mocking me. They're wide leg knit pants, which should be comfortable, but the wide legs are just not my jam no matter how much I try to make myself like them. I'm sitting on them until spring to see how I feel about them then. If I still don't like them come spring, they're going in holding-zone-storage to eventually become donations. I'm really upset with myself over it, because I know I prefer skinny pants that don't flap around, but I bought these pants anyway. Hopefully, I'll learn from the mistake.

Worst (mostly first half of the year) – a bunch of boring forgettable spring and summer sweaters/tops. Promising myself to do better this year.

Best (mostly second half of the year) –
- the two coats,
- grey booties, tan pumps that are perfect when I need them, blondo boots, new running shoes (first time I've ever been fitted properly, I mostly walk in them, they are incredible)
- denim blouse with tie cuffs, cat t-shirt, olive embroidered shirt, ruffle cuff sweaters, karen kane velvet top
- burgundy pants
- Gold fitbit leather band – replacement for the original black plastic one that broke.
- grey hobo, plus burgundy and leopard print cross body bags that are not in heavy rotation but perfect when I want them.

I have two best buys of 2017: the Sak guitar strap crossbody bag and the Eddie Bauer sherpa lined sweatshirt. I've used both of them so much. I ordered the bag in early September, and used it nearly continuously until Christmas when I wanted to use a grey bag. The sweatshirt is so warm and cozy in our somewhat chilly house.

As for worst buys, I'm not sure. I bought a lot, but returned a lot. I bought some Vionic sandals in February that are very comfortable, but I didn't wear much. I don't know why.

This post has 3 photos. Photos uploaded by this member are only visible to other logged in members.

If you aren't a member, but would like to participate, please consider signing up. It only takes a minute and we'd love to have you.

This thread is so great! Learning from the mistakes and success of others is a nice way of getting better!

My worst purchase of 2017 are grey pinstripe palazzo trousers from Zara. The fabric is wool and they are not lined...which make them very itchy. I knew it when I tried them in the store, but since it's hard for me to find fitting, flattering dress trousers, I thought I could put up with that. It turns out I cannot. Now I have to wear thick hosiery underneath them, which is both non-practical and far too warm for the climate where I live in.

My best purchases are also trousers. A pair of dark-wash jeans from Citizens of Humanity, that are fitting and flattering for my pear silhouette (not too tight at the hips and not too wide at the waist), classy enough to be worn for work, and long enough to be worn with my everyday heels. It does not seem much, but I had been looking for such jeans for years!

Idk about best purchases--I hold onto things for such a long time that it takes forever for me to decide if I'm wearing something or not. There is a stretch black velvet dress with lace sleeves I bought on a whim in a thrift store with my ex in Berlin. I've worn it as a Halloween witch's costume, but lately I've worn it "for real" a few times too. Every time I get it out, I'm surprised by how great it is. Too bad the same thing wasn't true for our relationship, lol.

My two all-time worst purchases are probably both flare-leg pants. One pair is black, and one is black with white pinstripes by Hilfiger. I think they should be flattering, so I put them on and then feel somehow out of shape and just wrong all day. I've tried dressing them up and down, but neither has ever felt right.

I'm late to this thread, and enjoyed reading everyone's responses.

I'm definitely more picky in the fitting room than I used to be, and that pickiness has saved me from some purchases that would have ended up in the donation bag. However, I still made some mistakes:

1. A navy summer top which is too similar to one I already owned with a better fit. (The one I already owned had the better fit.). Guess which one I NEVER reach for when I need a sleeveless navy blue top?

2. A tee shirt from Talbots I bought specifically to go with a Talbots summer skirt. I liked and wore the skirt but never wore the tee except with the skirt. I don't like the color well enough.

3. A spring top which I bought impulsively in March when there was still snow on the ground. It's pretty pastels, but I felt frumpy every time I put it on.

4. A cobalt blue skirt I mail ordered. I knew as soon as it arrived that it wasn't quite what I'd expected, but I didn't want to spend the postage to return it, so it hangs unworn in my closet.

And my best purchase? My most-loved purchase is a pair of Rieker white Mary Janes. I bought them in September and only had a couple opportunities to wear them before I put them away for winter. I can't wait to bring them out in the spring!