We are half way through 2020! How fast did that go? I guess hibernating for 3 months made it go a lot quicker. I wanted to take some time to reflect on my purchases so far this year. I’ve listed everything I’ve bought here, and rated whether I now think it was a good decision or not.
This isn’t something I’ve taken the time to do before, so I’m hoping by reflecting on past purchases, it will better inform me going forward. After writing this post I do feel like I will buy less in the second half of the year. I think lock-down and being stuck at home contributed a lot to my online shopping. Getting post was something exciting, and different from the day before. Sounds crazy but it’s true. Also my birthday played a part. I spent most of the day alone so I felt like I earned a few birthday treats. I didn’t spend money on cakes or drinks or meeting friends, so why not clothes!? This isn’t me justifying it now; these were my thoughts then 😛
Ok let’s see what I bought…
Grey mohair & wool mix oversized jumper, Fara Charity shop, £4.50
This was my first purchase of 2020. I can’t remember if I was doing a ‘shopping ban’ in January but I didn’t buy anything anyway.
I remember seeing this jumper in a charity shop near Fulham, and the first time I saw it I managed to talk myself out of buying it. I kept thinking about it however, and so I went back a few days later and it was still there. This definitely wasn’t an impulse purchase and for that reason I think it was a WIN! A lot of the knitwear I own is a more fitted sweater style, so I thought an oversized jumper would be a great fit in my winter wardrobe. I’ve worn it over skinny jeans, skinny trousers, skirts, dresses etc. I definitely got a lot of wear out of this from Feb – April. It’s now packed away for Autumn/Winter again. The only negative thing I can say about it is that because it is a mohair blend it is a little bit itchy on my skin, so I have to wear at least a t-shirt underneath, but sometimes a long sleeve top, which is fine when it’s very cold but might not be ideal for in-between seasons.
Faux Leather straight leg trousers, bought new from Mango £15
One of my favourites I don’t have to think too long or hard about these. I adore these. They were such a nice addition to my Winter wardrobe and I can’t wait to bring them back out again. I wore them 3 times in my first week of owning them. They were my first new new purchase in quite a long time, so I really deliberated about them. I searched Depop for weeks trying to find a pair, and I did find a few pairs of leather look trousers on there, but not in the style I wanted them. I came to the conclusion that for me the most sustainable or considered purchased was the pair in the style I loved and would wear again and again, rather than the pair that I was buying in a style I didn’t love so much JUST because they were second hand.*
*Since Covid-19 happened, and I saw how high streets brands treated the factories they work with by cancelling orders or not paying up for already completed orders, I have been rethinking this concept. I don’t want to support brands who are mistreating garment workers, whether I ‘really really’ love the piece and will wear it loads or not. I can make do without. I would recommend checking out Lost Stock if you want to support a garment worker and their family through this time. For just £35 you can support a garment worker’s family for a week, and you will receive 3-4 items of ‘lost stock’ from cancelled high street orders. That’s another thing I bought this year, but I have yet to receive it and I have no idea what I’ll receive, other than it will be my size and in neutral colours.
Beige suit, pieces sold separately. Bought new from Zara, Join Life collection (made from recycled polyester & viscose), blazer £14.99, trousers £9.99
I bought this suit for work mainly, so although I’ve worn the blazer quite a bit, I haven’t worn the trousers much yet. I have been searching second hand sites like Depop for aaages trying to find a nice suit or co-ord and I actually think that’s one thing that’s quite difficult to find. There are a lot of typical ‘fast-fashion’ suits from Boohoo etc which aren’t the classiest looking pieces, and I wanted something that felt really in line with my style and something that would be quite timeless. I ended up getting the blazer in 2 sizes bigger than my usual size. I ordered 1 size up because they didn’t have my size, and they send me the next size up again. I think it’s nice that it’s a bit more oversized though, because a full skinny fit suit wasn’t what I wanted. The trousers are a nice slim fit and then the blazer balances out the silhouette a bit on top with some padding in the shoulders.
I’ve worn the blazer quite a bit with jeans and a tee, but the trousers I had in mind for my work wardrobe, or maybe wearing the suit for a dressy occasion – neither of which I’ve had a chance to test yet. So the blazer is a WIN but the trousers are a STILL DECIDING (although I’m pretty sure they will turn out to be a WIN.
EDIT JAN 2021: I will put this down as a WIN as once I went back to work in the office I wore these pieces loads, both as a suit and as separates. They’re also comfy enough to wear when WFH once it gets a bit warmer.
Leopard Print Slingback shoes, 1 inch heel, square toe. Bought on Depop for £6, originally Topshop.
These were a little birthday treat to myself , and as you can see I was a little bit spendy in April because of my birthday. I started to miss having leopard print in my wardrobe (I’m not sure where I lost it) so I decided to add in a cute leopard shoe. These are a lovely style, I love the little heel. They feel dressy but also feel practically flat. I thought they’d be a lovely shoe for work and for weekend outings [still to be tested]. I have worn them to the Post Office once though and they seemed kind of comfy!
EDIT Jan 2021: I’ve decided that these are a FAIL as I barely worn them all year, and when I did I didn’t find them incredibly comfortable. So unfortunate as I was so excited about them being comfy because they’re a flat, but alas, it’s not to be.
Leopard print jeans, button fly, straight leg fit, bought on Depop for £10, originally Zara.
One of my favourite purchases in a long time, not just for 2020. Again in a bid to add more animal print back into my wardrobe, I added these high-waist straight leg jeans (which is my favourite fit at the moment too). I was actually inspired by The Anna Edit to get these, although she doesn’t have this exact pair. They’re surprisingly comfy for denim, they go with most of my tops and jumpers because I have quite a plain collection, and I’m so very very happy. I’ve worn these loads, even just lounging around at home.
Pink & Other Stories Jumper, 100% cotton, bought on Depop for £10
After buying the leopard print jeans I saw a photo on Pinterest of leopard jeans and a pink jumper, so I bought a pink jumper. It was also coming into Spring when I was getting bored with my lack of colour and needed a pep in my step. I found this 100% cotton jumper on Depop and fell in lust and needed to have it. I hmmmed and hawweedd for a while actually, so it wasn’t impulsive or anything, but even after thinking about it for so long, I’m still not putting it down as a win. I’m actually just not really sure, because of a few reasons.
- I haven’t had much chance to wear it during the last 3 months.
- It’s too warm for it now so it’s packed away for next Winter/Spring)
- I bought another pink jumper which I wear soooo much and really love.
I’ll have to see next time I pull it out if it was a good decision or not.
EDIT JAN 2021: I’ve since sold this on Depop as I didn’t wear it as much as my other pink wrap cardigan. I think the shade of pink might not have suited me so much, and as a roll-neck it was so ‘i my face’ that it needed to really compliment me. The lighter pink works so much better. Hey, you live and learn.
100% silk shirt, dark grey/charcoal, oversized fit, bought on Depop for £9.75
I love this shirt sooooo much. You might know I already have a cream 100% silk shirt and it sparked my love for 100% silk (but sourced 2nd hand, cos it’s not very ethical unless it’s ‘peace silk’). I also watched a movie about The Doors and was very inspired by Jim Morrison’s ‘leather trousers and black shirt’ outfits so I had to recreate. I’ve styled this with my leather look trousers from earlier and I loooove it – It will be a great going out outfit. Also it’s worth noting that it’s not actually a black shirt, but very very dark grey, but it works just as well as black. It’s actually a little less draining on my colouring then black would be.
Blazer & Skirt co-ord, bought from Depop £8
Hmm ok.. This co-ord. Still on my hunt for some boss co-ords for work, I found this one. The photos on Depop made the suit look like it had a bit of a pinky beige colour scheme going on. Kind of Clueless-esque. It is in fact full of green and red and a bit of blue. 100% not my types of colours. I’m not sure I’ll ever wear it, but I’m waiting until I go back to work to see what happens. It may just end up back up on my Depop shortly.
Pink Angora wrap style cardigan, bought on Depop for £6, originally Monsoon.
This is the second pink jumper/cardigan I bought that totally wiped my & Other Stories Pink Jumper off the leader board. This is super soft, almost as soft as cashmere, with just a little bit extra itch but nothing I can’t handle. Definitely not as itchy as Mohair. The silk tie is just such a beautiful detail and this cardigan makes me feel so feminine. I think how this cardigan makes me feel is why it trumps the other pink jumper. The lighter pink colour is also more flattering on me and compliments my more neutral wardrobe better. This cardigan has been worn with my leopard print jeans a couple of times too. So much love for this piece, although I do have to regularly give it a de-bobble/trim.
Over the knee boots, grey, bought on Depop for £7
I bought these on a whim, probably because they were so cheap. I know I know, worst reason to buy anything. I did really like them, but the grey colour didn’t go with any of my wardrobe, so I resold them on Depop. FAIL! The features I did like was the fit and the heel height. I would have worn these loads if they had been black, or even a tan brown. I used to have a pair of black thigh high boots, but they had a 3 inch heel and just didn’t work for my everyday. These grey ones had about a 2/2.5 inch heel, which actually makes a huge difference.
Brown jumper, 3/4 sleeve, bought on Depop £7, originally H&M.
When I bought this I didn’t realise it was 3/4 sleeve, so I thought the proportions were a lot different. It’s a lot more fitted than I had anticipated; I usually prefer a more oversized fit for jumpers. I do really like the colour and the button up detail, so perhaps it’s a piece I’ll wear more coming into Autumn/Winter.
EDIT JAN 2021: I sold this on Depop. I wasn’t keen on the 3/4 sleeves so I never reached for it. The end. haha. I need a full length sleeve to enjoy anything, especially jumpers. I’m a cold creature.
DKNY bag, bought new from the Outnet, £52, faux leather
I bought this bag as a total treat to myself. It was my birthday month, and I earned a bit of money setting up a blog for someone, so I decided I would spend that extra money on myself. Pure indulgent. I don’t often spend a lot on just one item, so this was kind of a big deal to me. I’ve also never owned a designer bag before – actually I did once for about a week, but I sold it because I was a poor intern. This was my ‘You launched your new business and website’ token, so I definitely think of that when I wear it. I really love the neutral tones in the bag, although looking at it now it is on the slightly cooler side than much of the tones in my wardrobe. However, I do love it, and I love what it signifies.
Again, not a sustainable purchase, but it is faux leather so at least it has one ethical attribute. I also don’t plan on throwing this at the back of my wardrobe and forgetting about it, especially as I only own a handful of handbags, so I will get my wears out of this piece. I’m also hoping because it is a more expensive piece that is will be a better quality piece and will last longer than your typical high-street handbag, but that is to be determined. I have marked it as ‘still deciding’ because again I haven’t been out all that much, and when I do go grocery shopping I usually bring my tote bag, so I can’t judge yet. But I did take it out to meet a friend yesterday 🙂
EDIT JAN 2021: I love this bag. I think the overall colour/print makes it quite neutral and versatile, but the pop of red compliments my more basic colour palette. I’ve always been a fan of a red bag and this is a more subtle way of doing that.
Converse, off-white/beige, bought new from Net a Porter, £70
I’ve had a few pairs of Primark’s fake converse style trainers before and I wore them to death. I have had it in my mind to buy a pair of the real deal for years, probably since I was about 16, so 12 years later I thought I would treat myself. They aren’t a sustainable brand, as I’m sure you’re all aware, but I know I will get about 100+ wears out of these, which in my mind will make them a sustainable purchase in the long run. I bought the light beige colour because I thought they’d stay a bit cleaner than the pure white pair for longer, and also would go with more of my wardrobe. They have already gotten a bit grubby after a few wears but the colour does help a bit.
High waist 100% cotton jeans, bought on ReFashion.co.uk for £12, vintage style / oversized straight fit
I bought these jeans thinking they would fit like a pair of Levi 501s, a nice vintage style straight leg jean, with a slim enough fit. It turns out they’re a lot more oversized than that, BUT I still love them. They remind me of my Dad’s jeans which I suprisingly like. They are really comfy and REALLY high waisted, so that’s a WIN in my book.
I have since purchased another pair of jeans because i am on the hunt for the PERFECT pair of light blue jeans, so follow me on IG @gemmaamclean to see if they turn out as planned 🙂
Black faux leather fringed shoulder bag, bought on Depop for £15 inc delivery, originally Stella McCartney!!
I haven’t received yet so can’t really review too much but I think it will be a winner!! It has that classic SM shape and the chain detailing which is really nice, and I like that its a shoulder bag because my other 3 smaller handbags are all crossbody, and sometimes you just wanna throw something over your shoulder.
I used to have a bag just like it about 10 years ago, and I loved it to absolute death. I bought it for 1 euro in a Penney’s sale and the cost per wear must have been less than a cent by the time it fell apart. It gave my style that little bit of edgyness that I like, so I’m hoping I can bring that back now.
So far in July, I have purchased 4 items from eBloggers.co.uk, a second hand online store the sell pieces from Influencers and give a % to charity. These are the jeans I mentioned earlier, which I’m hoping will be the perfect fit, but of course buying jeans online can be risky business.
You’ll have to wait for my next review to see if these pieces worked out for me or nor – or you can follow me on IG @gemmaamclean as I’ll have these pieces in my stories once they arrive.
EDIT JAN 2021: jeans WIN / Silk Cami WIN / cream jumper WIN, blazer dress FAIL (sold on depop)
I hadn’t realised just how many items I had bought in just 6 months –
PURCHASED: 17 (not inc 4 in July) [4 brand new / 13 second hand]
FAIL: 4 (inc 1 resold)
TOTAL WIN: 8
STILL DECIDING: 5 [I definitely need to see post-lockdown whether I get my wear out of some of these items, especially as part of my work wardrobe.
Total spent on clothes/shoes/bags in 2020: £272.50 . For some people this isn’t a lot to spend on approx 20 items of clothing, but it is still the price of a holiday, or a few trips home to Ireland, or a month’s worth of savings into my Help to Buy ISA, or it could be the Consumer Psychology course I want to study at LCF.
If I was to spend the same again in the second half of the year I would be spending approx £550, which could get me something a lot more meaningful than just a few new bits hanging in my wardrobe. That being said, I do love fashion and I’m never going to give up shopping altogether. I love that I find such amazing pieces second hand and I really enjoy styling outfits. Even as a teenager one of my ‘hobbies’ was trying to clothes in my bedroom 😛 However this little reflection will allow me to make better decisions going forward, and I’m very happy about that 🙂
I would love to hear some of your WIN or FAIL purchases so far this year. Share them in the comments below ❤️