Privilege Blog

All The Clothes I Bought In 2018, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:50am

I was inspired this week by Sue’s post about her intent to buy fewer pieces of clothing in 2018, and how that worked for her or didn’t. Something I’d not thought of trying ’til now.

Never too late.

I found the quick inventory quite interesting. You all might, with a nudge, remember that at one point last year I thought I might avoid buying anything at all. Not quite. Leaving out underwear, which after a detour into Cosabella I continue to buy at Target, I managed to acquire 19 new things. Here’s the list.

Five Pairs of Shoes 


Two Pairs of Jeans

Six Tees/Turtlenecks

A Skirt Suit and A Dress

Pool and Seaside Gear

Nine of these pieces were pretty darn Sturdy.

  • Two of my five pairs of shoes are the podiatric equivalent of underwear. I walk for exercise; I alternate between Nikes and hiking boots, even when I never leave our suburban sidewalks. Comfort, she rules.
  • Four UNIQLO tees. I mean, that’s what I live in. Their prints are edgy enough that I feel like I’m Artsy even when I’m not.
  • Jeans, yeah, sadly I am no longer comfortable in my GAP 1969 jeans. Too tight. Ah well. But one must cover one’s posterior in public, so I bought one pair from Levis and another from A Golde. I do wonder, occasionally, if I will come to an age when I don’t feel right in jeans, when in order to get my little bit of style without having to make too much of an effort with hair/makeup and accessories I will have to wear different pants. Not yet.
  • Waterwear. I need two bathing suits so I never, ever have to get into a wet one. Yuck. I need coverups because, well, sun? Occasional decorum? I admit I did enjoy my black J. Crew suit with that pale blue pareo and a white shirt.

Which brings us to things I bought solely because they were pretty, or fancy, or Fashion. First, two pairs of sneakers that I did not technically need and a pair of ballet flats I surely did not need.

  • Black Eccos. I realized that these were the most comfortable shoes I owned, and they are cute. I had them in brown, so, similar to when I had to buy a second pair of Dickers, I bought the Eccos in black. All set.
  • Blush pink Common Goods. Great color, but not very comfortable yet. I have to break them in, which seems antithetical sneaker ideals. And it’s harder to break shoes in as I age, because my skin rubs so much more easily. I’ll give them another summer to prove their worth, and then consign if they fail me.
  • Chanel ballet flats. I got these as a birthday present, to wear with the floral Dries van Noten dress. I had very good counsel from a friend – I very much enjoy their ladylike look in my Polished Tomboy context.

Second, two outfits for we what might call “dressing up,” in my family. Both well-suited for daytime or casual evening events. That’s a Dries van Noten dress (I wore it on our trip to Hawaii), and a Commes des Garçons Tricot top and skirt. My brother gave me the top last Christmas. Obsessed by the demon Aesthetics, and encouraged by my millennial son, I scoured eBay to find something to wear it with. Lo and Behold, a groovy skirt. I wear it with my brown Dickers. Phenom.

Third, two turtlenecks. Someone asked somewhere what tops I’d wear with baggy jeans, the answer is “Tight ones.” The Dries turtleneck is brilliant and clingy, I adore it. The J. Crew turtleneck isn’t quite fitted enough for my purposes, but I might have it taken it on the sides. It’s cute in its current incarnation, I’d aim for, of course, edgy. Tight turtlenecks are very 70s, and thus au courant, don’t you know.

And finally, to what I did not buy, although I wear it most often: Loungewear. I’m still spending much of my time in these dang flannel pajama bottoms and whatever tees I’ve decided are too ratty to wear out the door. Anyone remember this post? About expensive sweatpants? Maybe I’ll just go to UNIQLO.

Those of you who work at home, or spend a lot of time on your sofa for one reason or another, what do you wear in situ? Any brands you might recommend? And do you keep track of yearly purchases?

Never too late.

Have a great weekend everyone.


None of these links are monetized, links on old posts probably are


48 Responses

  1. You are a marvel, Lisa. Only 19 pieces, that’s impressive.

    But, no outerwear? Coats or blazers? I need my coats and blazers, and even cardigans in a pinch. I can’t wear just a tee and jeans… I need what Stacey and Clinton used to call a “completer piece.”

    And since I’ve been retired I’ve let myself buy more than one “good winter coat” as my mum used to say. Because up here in Canada that’s all most people see of outfits in the winter, coats, and jeans and boots peeping out underneath. And now that I’m not working I don’t often take my coat off when I get to where I’m going.

    Tight turtlenecks and baggy pants are so cool. Wish I could still wear tight tops tucked into baggy pants.

    By the way… thanks for the mention and the link:) xo

    1. @Sue Burpee, Not a marvel, I promise:). I own coats and jackets! From Max Mara, UNIQLO, Barbour, AllSaints, nameless raincoat maker, and so on. I just didn’t need another one this year!

      And my long waist enable high-waisted jeans, and high-waisted jeans cover flesh that may want to run free, thus enabling tight turtlenecks:). You are welcome to the link – thank you so much for the inspiration!

  2. I just love your dress, especially with the Chanel flats. Sturdy, with a hint of Grande Dame.

    As for me, I wear jeans a lot, because, you know, Idaho. Also I’m older than you. As for brand, LL Bean makes some called True Shape which have a teensy bit of something that moves. They hold their shape well. I currently have three pairs and will replace with same when the time comes. I also find that simple knit pants are just as comfortable as sweats or flannel pjs, with the added benefit of being able to run to the store if necessary. Wouldn’t wear them for anything that required self respect, but great for house. They are also from Bean.

    1. @MaryAnne, Finding something that works, something simple, makes it all so much easier. Glad you like the dress – it definitely has a hint of Grande Dame;).

  3. I love this post! In 2019, I will plan to keep a list of what I buy–and report it to whomever is interested. I am definitely going to try Uniqlo this year–based on the recommendation of many. and the photos you have shared.

    I like your shoe choices.

    My main aim these days is to buy things that work for me–and don’t look too “old lady”. I have to admit that for several years, I gave up on blue jeans and didn’t wear them–thinking I had passed that threshold. Lo and behold I found pairs from both Lafayette 148 and the more thrifty J Jill that worked for me. I could not be happier.

    This was such a great post!

    1. @Susan D., I’ll be interested, also to hear how you like UNIQLO. BTW, I think Lafayette 148 is a great brand, I love their stuff – if I lived in a city I’d probably buy their stuff.

  4. Your Chanel ballet flats look fabulous with the Dries dress and I agree with you about comfy shoes for daily walks.
    I do keep track of my clothing purchases!
    I buy very few items each season…I bought a few pieces from Eileen Fisher which are the workhorses in my wardrobe. Several other pieces are from consignment and thrift shops. I also need to buy a new pair of dark denim jeans my old ones are looking sad…I bought some Jungla black walking shoes for my fall trip to Italy and France. We will walk a LOT so I need to have happy feet!
    Interesting post…I may post one too!

    1. @Leslie Lord, I hope you do post something similar, the idea of tracking shopping in a one-year period was oddly illuminating to me!

      I wish I felt right in Eileen Fisher:(. Maybe someday when/if I finally make that transition from jeans. For now, just too flowy for me even though I love the concept.

  5. Interesting post Lisa. I have been keeping a list of clothing purchases for a couple of years as I’ve transitioned to a retired lifestyle. In 2017 the total number of new things was 12. In 2018 I bought 26 new additions – more than I needed! It’s interesting to take note of the emotional purchases. I gave away bags of work clothes and am slowly buying things that suit a more casual and comfortable life – while keeping true to certain looks that make me feel like me. I’ve been a jeans and boots girl for decades and will not give that up – but tucking in – well that’s a thing of the past. I recall seeing a woman of a certain age, back when I was a young “tucker” – and she was tucked in when she clearly should be untucked! I vowed there and then I would be an un-tucker when the time comes. And 60 is usually the time for most of us, except for a few lucky tuckers.

    1. @audrie, Ha! I love the lucky tuckers and non-tuckers. I have ceased to tuck, for the most part, except when wearing high-waisted jeans and a good belt;).

      I agree, we keep true to certain looks as long as they make us feel like ourselves.

      And I also make note of the emotional purchases – not impulse on my part but definitely dressing for my mother’s voice sometimes.

  6. I work from home and have two uniforms, warm weather and cool weather. Cool weather is yoga clothes with Uggs (I don’t do yoga). Warm weather is a tank top and skirt. I’ve worn Tommy Bahama reef rib tanks for years and they changed the style a year or two back, I’ve bought every one of the old style I can find on eBay and have a good supply. Title 9 and Athleta have great selections of casual/sport skirts that look great if you decide to run to the store or go for a walk. This is “dressed up” a bit, bacsuse last year I was taking the trash can out and realized that I could have easily been mistaken for homeless. Haha!

    1. @MarlaD, This sounds like a fun and sport way to tackle the problem. I am not comfortable for long periods of time in stretchy yoga pants, but I would like to recreate aspects of this with joggers, tees, tanks, and sweatshirts. Intentionally, not just the castoffs of mine and other lives.

  7. I admit to having few clothes though I do love my simple, lovely jewelry. I am rather inspired by the Late Steve Jobs who lived in jeans and a turtleneck. I want to be fashionable but I might have missed that train.
    Your wardrobe is lovely and is what I imagined.
    Your doing great things Lisa.


    1. @luci, I think having few clothes is to be celebrated, as long as you are happy in them. A uniform is great – as is simply and beautiful jewelry.

      Thank you:).

  8. You must do a bit of research on the Kit and Ace website. It’s less $ in your currency than mine and these clothes are a) totally chic and b) secretly sweatpants. Like everything. But you cannot tell. It’s workwear for the lady who likes to close the door of her office to do stretches, every once in a while. And they also work well for actual lounging! PS: Mailed your little package but not till after Jan 1. Apologies for the delay, but I got sidetracked by crap weather…

    1. @K-Line, Oh my gosh I just looked at their site – that just might work! I’m going to start by looking at UNIQLO and Target, for the sake of my wallet. But a really good next step up would be Kit and Ace. Thank you for the recommendation!

      No worries about the package, it’s a gift and thoroughly appreciated at any time!

  9. 19 pieces – and such classic pieces – seem very economical to me. You are so efficient and purposeful in your purchases, which I is so admire! 2018 was the year that all my clothes – work, play, dress up – all came to roost together in our small Cape Cod cottage.[ Insert Munch “Scream”.] So many summer, winter, all season suits, blouses, striped shirts, silk tops, bags, blazers, and shoes! ! I am slowly making our local thrift store, which supports the Cape’s large, economically challenged population, with my work clothes donations. I’ve also lost 25 lbs and am wearing a lot of clothes from several years ago , so the only apparel I really “need” are athletic pants and jeans. Despite the weight loss, ageing has turned me into an”pear” and shawl collar camel hair coat, cashmere reefer, and black military midi coat Just Don’t Work. The ladies at the thrift store were very excited and that made me feel good. I can’t account for what I bought because we were in Italy in the fall and I ordered and returned so many things in preparation for the trip that even the CPA husband couldn’t account for it (and who wants him too!)

    1. @Loretta, I applaud you for taking so much to the thrift store and I am 100% sure that the women who run the store and the women who buy from the store are thrilled to pieces at what they have to work with now. As for Italy, yes, well, there has to be room in an intentional life for impulses borne of desire.

  10. No, I do not keep track of my clothing purchases. Lately, I am very picky. My entire wardrobe is pretty classic. Living in cold NE, although, this year we swing warm 40-50 degrees for a few days. and then down to freezing. The rain/snow/sleet makes everything feel damp.. Due to the constant chill, I do love my Patagonia fleece pullover, LL Bean flannel nightgown, and Barbour weatherproof, breathable comfort wear car coat. Like Susan, above, I do enjoy my collection of coats and jackets. I have them for every season, weather variation, and occasion..

    1. @Susan, If I lived in the cold NE I imagine I’d have twice as many coats and jackets as I do. To start with, a long or mid-length waterproof down coat:). No such thing here. Picky is good, I think. I’m getting pickier and pickier myself.

  11. With the in-house clothing, I’ve truly gone to the dark side. Men’s lounge wear is the best. Elastic waist and pockets. Fabrics range from flannel to a t-shirt weight. If you’re in an area with Fred Meyer, they’re good. Target is also good, although they’ve cheapened up in the last year or two. I do love the Uniqlo tee shirts. I think I have one pink and 4 grey, maybe 5. It’s too bad the pink lace up shoes are not comfortable, they are way cute.

  12. Hi Lisa, re. new shoes rubbing – have you ever tried using Barriere cream? I’ve found it helps a lot when breaking in new shoes – must be the silicone.

  13. I don’t have loungewear, although I probably should. I wear jeans and ordinary-ish trousers a lot. But I love to dress up but have fewer opportunities. So am resolving to wear more ‘dressy’ clothes as often as possible. Obviously on occasions when not embarrassing! I have a lot of dresses – just did a wardrobe purge but still have a lot. While wearing a dress most days in hot summer weather feels easy, in winter it feels rather a statement. Also I’ve just bought my first leather skirt, and a leopard-print skirt. Time for the sassy sixties!

    1. @Ruth Slavid, Love the idea of leather and leopard-print skirts. I am not sure I’ll ever get all the way to sassy, but I do feel a strong surge of Who Cares coming on, and a desire for more vivid style. Hence my new dress covered in enormous flowers. Never would have owned that as a young woman. Well, might have owned it having bought it on someone else’s encouragement, never would have worn it;).

      I need the loungewear because I literally sit on my sofa with my laptop for 3-4 hours every morning and I cross my legs as I do so – comfort is critical. If I spent more time doing other things I imagine I wouldn’t bother with special morning clothes.

  14. In 2018 I bought exactly two items: a pair of ankle boots and a pair of skinny jeans (second hand). I was also given some clothes (a cardi and another pair of jeans) by a friend who had lost much weight and was getting rid of things that did not fit her any more. I upcycled two T-shirts (changing the fit or covering up small holes with colourful patches), knit myself a cotton cardigan (design by Kaffe Fassett) and, as a way ofcelebrating retirement, got out my sewing machine and made two summer skirts.

  15. I work at home but not on the sofa because I’m an artist not a writer. If I’m doing clay work I put on overalls because clay & appropriate colourants are difficult to wash out and form dangerous dust when dry. Otherwise (drawing,watercolours,sewing,admin.)it’s just ordinary clothes which for me are more limited by my going swimming 1st thing in the morning and having to pray 5x a day as a practising Muslim than anything else! This means no lace-up shoes or foundation – one must wash at least hands & face & remove shoes before praying.
    Generally I can’t manage changing outfits during the day and wonder how anyone does or did? I guess some women had maids….
    Actually I got rid of my worst clothes when I moved from Leeds to York and realised that little old ladies out for shopping were much smarter here and I was looking too scruffy – if not quite homeless! (Of course at 65yrs and 5’3″I too am a little old lady, now.) I don’t know how much I bought during this year but have the feeling more was at full price ie not on sale or at charity shops than usual. I will have to watch the tendency!
    I only wear pyjama type things when I stay overnight at my son’s – no hot water bottle and his cat only sleeps on his bed – they are old selwar or tracksuit bottoms with oversize T-shirts.

    1. @Rukshana Afia, Yes, you have a set of requirements that you recognize and fulfill – both for your art and for your faith. I was thinking about maids for ladies dressing – they used to serve a real function when clothing was a) more complicated b) changed more often.

      My mother grew up changing for dinner. I wish I could ask her if she needed help with her clothes in the 30s and 40s.

  16. While you are in Target for underwear, see if they still have the Champion C-9 pants (active wear section)–looks like yoga pants. Just under $30. Bought a two pairs a couple of years ago when hiking the Utah parks over a 10 day period. Held up nicely and are good (and comfy) for wearing around the house or running errands.

    1. @Mary, Thank you. Very useful. Will check out Target and UNQLO first. Hiking the Utah parks over a 10 day period sounds wonderful.

  17. I’m going to try to do this for 2019…I think this goal will make me more accountable as I do purchase too much.

    Common Projects sneakers, from my experience, are never comfortable and never break in.

    Love your going out clothes and I don’t think I’ll ever be too old for jeans.

    1. @KSL, Say it isn’t so! Never comfortable and never break in? The salesperson swore up and down that he found them comfortable. Boo! I have been misled! Sigh. Maybe I’ll never outgrow jeans either. I will look to you for

  18. Dear Lisa,
    I have to giggle when responding mostly because I hate shopping but seemed to have acquired a lot this year-the truth is when I find something I like it has to be comfortable and the fear of it getting worn out prompts me to buy more than one but in different colors. Hence the two pair of Eileen Fisher platform espadrilles, two pairs HOKA running shoes, one HOKA hiking shoe, Paul Green loafers (brown, waiting to get the black soon , my other ones are four years old), gift from my son, Paul Green red suede mules, UGG short street boot (love the ridged rubber soles and low heel for height but no pitch) ….. oh dear there is more, much more in the name of Lululemon, as I still work full time as a CPT – so this my uniform. Lululemon lasts forever when taken care of properly but I receive a 25% discount from the store and regularly report and assess their new styles etc- I’m a walking/working advertisement for the company and I never need to try anything on- same size four always works. These are also a tax write- off , I just learned from my taxman this year! Neiman Marcus “last call,” finished up my purchases with four jump suits ( needed to update my party wear) and a few odds and ends – there is no shopping in Santa Barbara anymore so it’s takes an hour to find a decent store. i have enough jeans from 20 years ago to last a lifetime. Enough said – I’m typing with one finger on my iPhone. Victoria

    1. @Victoria Frost, Are not the Hokas the BEST thing you’ve ever worn? I wore La Sportivas for about 8 or 9 years, but they started hurting. The Hoka One Ones saved me. Perhaps today I’ll order a new pair just in case they change them.

    2. @Victoria Frost, I don’t like to physically go shopping either any more! But I do enjoy figuring out gaps in my wardrobe, real gaps, ones that I will improve my days by filling, and then shopping for those things online;). You have such an original and vivid style, I enjoy the way you dress. Lululemon is lucky to have you.

      Hokas, hmm? The Air Maxes keep popping! Not kidding in the slightest.

  19. You did well on the shoes.
    I had a bad foot year. One foot hurt and I bought shoes I thought would improve that, when they didn’t I finally went to the Foot Doctor and her solution worked, but then I needed a different set of shoes to accommodate her insole. Now that my foot is better and I can get away with a minor insole instead of the big thing I’m revisiting the first set of shoes I bought, and of course adding a few new ones.

    All of which has caused me to stop by the thrift store in my local resort town. Knowing how many hardly worn mistake shoes I’ve given away I look at the thrift shoes with more respect. Many of them are someone else’s mistake and hardly worn.

    1. @RoseAG, Thank you ma ‘am. Sorry about your foot pain, such a misery. I have never wanted to buy shoes at a thrift store, but really you are right. Because when we can’t wear them we really can’t wear them.

  20. RE: jeans. When I was a freshman in high school, we were NOT allowed to wear jeans to school. By my senior year, we had managed to change that ruling. It was our generation that agitated for the right to wear jeans. Let us not forget!

    1. You know, that’s true. And worn with some style, jeans are pretty subversive at 60 too. I should invest in rebellion;).

  21. I can’t say that I’ve done much shopping in 2018, but my adult daughters gave me Athleta and Lululemon wear and I could live in those everyday. However I do change it up with jeans, primarily Levi’s and Madewell. Retirement has lead me to be much more casual and more concerned with comfort in both clothing and shoe – yay Birkenstocks and sneakers/trainers!

  22. Really interesting idea to do a stocktake. And interesting too how climate-influenced we are despite central heating and air conditioning according to region. I have a warm weather wardrobe which only gets an airing when I go abroad. This year I’ve bought very little, because of: earning much less at the moment and wearing a uniform for work; living in the rural north of Scotland now rather than Edinburgh; decluttering in the run up to a major house renovation. I’ve also started only buying clothes when we go to France, Belgium or Sweden. Many more non-global brands which are more interesting. But also Uniqlo, which we don’t have in Scotland. Bordeaux is now my local Uniqlo shop!

  23. Just thought I’d throw in a comment made by the original back-to-basics guy, Henry David Thoreau:

    “I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes…”

    (Of course, he lived alone in a cabin in the woods near Lake Walden, where he thought Deep Thoughts – and took his laundry home to Mother every weekend!)

  24. I have those exact Eccos! Bought them for back-to-back work trips last summer in an EU heat wave. Wore them with dark shell dresses tppped by long jackets. They were wonderful.

    I work at home as you (I think?) know and have a very soecific desk uniform that is a “comfy when sitting” version of my preferred long over lean. I loathe stretchy things except when actually in the gym, and anything high-rise, so my “work pants” are Levis 712 slims, topped in the winter with a giant oversized turtleneck and in the summer with an Elizabeth Suzann Harper linen tunic which could fit two of me but is so comfortable and cool.

  25. Great idea to track clothing purchases! My stay at home mom to two teens wardrobe falls in three categories: workout/dog walking clothes that I wear until I get around to showering (brands I currently like for this are Tasc, Nike, and Outdoor Voices); decent-looking casual clothes that I wear after I finally take a shower (Frame denim and Lilla P tees or CABI trunk show tops because I despise the mall); and I usually buy a very small handful of nicer pieces from friends’ Etcetera and Worth trunk shows that work for occasional trips to church, nice dinners out etc. What about jewelry and handbags? You didn’t mention that. The older I get the more interested I am in accessories than clothing. And footwear…sadly I’ve had plantar fasciitis in one foot since last June and have basically only worn athletic shoes and some really heinous Oofos flip flops. All my other cute shoes just sit in my closet and taunt me…

  26. I bought too much but I can’t say that I regret any purchases. I even bought an expensive sweater full price but I love it to pieces and have worn it every day since I picked it up from Bloomingdale. It’s made from a soft cotton chenille–so warm and so soft. When it wears out, I’ll be sad I didn’t buy a spare to put away. Shoes have been difficult for me for years because of myriad foot problems so when I find something that fits, is comfortable, and will accommodate my orthotic, I want to buy them in every color and hoard them, like a demented squirrel. I wait for my darlings to hit the sale price and swoop in. Everything has to lace up so I can adjust the fit as needed. I have idiopathic peripheral neuropathy and have to change my shoes every few hours, too. Such a nuisance. I replaced all of my cute underwear this year with expensive granny panties with covered elastic waists and loose legs. I’ve always had sensitive skin and it’s much worse as I’ve gotten older. I bought 100% cotton socks, too, with individual R and L fit and no elastic around the ankles, ordered from Great Britain. I have mostly given up jeans–the seams bother me in sensitive spots. Instead, I wear Eileen Fisher ponte knit pants in winter and her crepe knits the rest of the year. The woven linen loose pant is soft and cool for summer in LA. She finally came out with a soft, cool, cotton T-shirt with a crew neck and elbow length sleeves, my holy grail. They came in so many colors, too. I bought six of them, in black, white and a couple of pastels, on sale, of course. They’re light weight enough to wear all summer and work under blouses for an extra layer in winter. I’ll probably end up wishing I’d bought more of them. I bought a black dress on sale to wear to funerals–sadly, I’ve already worn it this year. I snapped up a gorgeous long cotton dress by Marina Rinaldi marked way, way down on a European website. I’d been coveting it but had decided against buying last year because of the (for me) exorbitant price. Even after paying to ship it from Germany, I saved over $125 off the sale price at the American website. (Thank you, Passage Des Perles, for suggesting Navabi for older, plus-sized women.) I’m kind of obsessed with prairie dresses right now, and debating whether or not to get out my sewing machine.

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