want list, reviewed
My biggest takeaway from putting together a wishlist for 2018 is that I'm pretty rubbish at sticking to lists.
2018 was a pretty heavy shopping year, despite my intention to shop less. I reverted to comfort shopping quite often, and other times I felt stifled by my lack of options due to going up a size from weight gain.
So while I took a couple months off shopping at the start of the year, I eventually dove back big time, clocking 21 items, excluding basics like undies.
Let's start with a review of the list I made:
The loose jumpsuit - Still mulling
I picked the Elizabeth Suzann Clyde jumpsuit as my first choice, after enquiring about measurements of other possibilities. And my positive experience with the Clyde dress (more on that later) convinced me that the dreamy quality of their midweight linen is worth the fuss. But I kept circling back to the fact that I'm more of a separates girl, so I held off.
The wide-leg, high-rise jeans - Bought alternatives
I was hoping to find these Imogene + Willie Catherines secondhand, and to my surprise, I actually did.
Alas, the fit was slightly off, something I could easily remedy with a trip to my trusted tailor, except that I didn't love the fabric either. Imogene + Willie gets raves for their raw denim, but these ones, in a soft, washed denim (the Abilene), felt too flimsy for me, especially at the waistband. So I sold them.
I ended up with two other pairs of pants that filled the desire for: 1) pants that actually fit my bigger ass, and 2) pants with a wider, more relaxed cut.
One is a pair of Uniqlo U wide/tulip-shaped trousers. The fit and weight were perfect right off the rack, and I liked the unusual "workman" blue, not to mention the deep, functional pockets. I saw that they're bringing back these pants in dark denim for SS19, and am seriously thinking about adding them to my collection.
I also bought a pair of men's jeans from the Uniqlo x JW Anderson collab. They have mid/high rise and a true straight cut - no tapering, no flaring. They're extremely comfortable to slouch around in, and I like wearing them rolled up for a more casual vibe.
The shorts - bought
The Uniqlo U shorts turned out to be everything I hoped for. I wore them for a flight and I LOVED how I could fit my passport, travel docs and and phone into the pockets and fish them in and out in a jiffy. These are coming back in the SS19 collection too.
And now I leave the list behind and go into the "rogue" items I bought, starting with what I'm happy with:
- A rash guard...
- ...and a bikini from Seea (bought on sale). I like rashguards for keeping the sun off me when I'm in/on the water for long stretches, and I also wear them on diving trips in warmer waters where a full wet-suit isn't necessary. I got this rashguard to replace an old one from J Crew when Seea had a sale; the bikini was an impulsive addition but I don't regret it because the fabric is excellent and the cut is practical for my weekly swims in the pool.
- A denim hat from Uniqlo x JW Anderson collection. An impulse buy that I ended up putting to good use at work (I spend a lot of time outside) and when I holidayed in Timor Leste.
- The Easy Dhoti trousers from MATTER (secondhand). I tried these on years ago but didn't buy them at the time, and it seemed like a happy stroke of luck to happen upon them on Noihsaf Bazaar. I can't stop marvelling at how breathable and comfy these are even though I'm working up a sweat everywhere else.
- A white cotton shell top from Beyond the Vines. A lot of brands sell simple, plain sleeveless tops, but there's always something that doesn't sit right on me - too long, too cropped, too boxy, armholes too big/too tight, awkward neckline, wrong fabric. As Goldilocks puts it, this one is "just right", and my favourite part is the zippered back - shell tops can be really hard to put on and off because they're so structured, and it's incredible how few brands realise that a nice, deep zipper at the back makes all the difference.
- A tank top with a gathered neckline from OZMA of California (secondhand). Lightweight and not too sheer, and just pretty enough without being fussy. I didn't hesitate to buy this because I knew it would be a staple. I wouldn't have bought this at full price though; the quality isn't as good my NPL top but it retails for more.
- The Porto tank in canyon clay from NotPerfectLinen. I felt like I was cycling through the same sleeveless tops over and over again during an especially intense hot spell, and decided I finally had an excuse to give NPL a shot. I love the quality and NPL's commitment to ethical, small-batch manufacturing, and I won't hesitate to get all my linen staples from them in future.
- A pair of sandals from Bimba and Lola (bought on sale). Every now and then, I need a wardrobe wild card to keep things interesting, and these colourful sandals are it. I love the punchiness they add to my mostly-plain outfits while being quite practical for daily wear.
- A colour-block skirt from COS. I shop way too much at COS even though I've been trying to wean off. This skirt though is the kind of thing I want to make an exception for - I love the colour-way; it's the kind of visual distinction that makes getting dressed a daily joy.
- The Clyde dress from Elizabeth Suzann (secondhand). This was a "curiosity buy" as I love linen and have heard endlessly about the quality of ES linen. In short, the fabric more than lives up to the hype, and this dress itself is awesome (practical, distinctive, well-made).
- A long-sleeved t-shirt from Joseph (bought on sale). I liked the offbeat pattern mix here and bought it thinking it would be useful when I travel at the end of the year. I ended up shelving my travel plans but I get a surprising amount of wear out of this on the cooler rainy days.
- A plaid skirt from Uniqlo x JW Anderson collection. This was one of those moments when I was captivated by the spirit of a collection and wanted something to hold on to it. I enjoy wearing this skirt, but I wonder if it's something I should have just been happy to admire from a distance.
- A coral pink midi dress from COS. I needed a dress for my sister's wedding in October (long story), and I was pleased to find a dress that aligns with my aesthetics while certain requirements (colour). But I wouldn't have bought it if not for the occasion.
- A sequinned midi dress from Zara (bought on sale). Another buy for my sister's wedding. I wish I spent more time looking for options within my wardrobe, secondhand, or borrowed something. Cute as this dress is (not pictured), it's definitely something I won't wear again.
- A pair of navy leather sandals from A.P.C. (bought on sale). These are adorable but I bought them mostly because I found them steeply discounted, and couldn't resist the temptation of a good find. And I'm annoyed that the soles needed repairing less than six months after buying them.
- A navy off-shoulder blouse from COS (bought on sale). This was another sale buy that I couldn't resist, ignoring the fact that I can pretty much only wear this on weekends and on vacation.
- A wool scarf from COS (bought on sale). I bought this in July when I thought I was going to travel in December (I didn't). Classic case of counting chickens before they hatch.
- An Issey Miyake Baobao tote (bought on sale). Actually I'm still on the fence about whether I regret this, because for the longest time I refused to return my sis her Baobao tote - they're so light and practical, and sleek yet visually punchy. I was captivated by the colour and print of this one when I saw it, but held off until I had one of those "Fuck it, it's on sale, I feel sorry for myself, and I can afford this" moments.
This year, it was all about summery/hot weather staples that suit my relaxed work needs, and surprising splashes of colour (coral and clay pinks seemed to be a thing).
I was also very drawn to new bottoms, because I've gone up a size and I don't see any signs of coming back down, despite regular exercise and my pretty moderate diet.
Sales continue to be my weakness. Five of the seven items I'm a bit iffy about are things I liked but passed on, until I found them during sales. This is good for my wallet, but my wardrobe is fuller than I would like, and I end up neglecting stuff and feeling wasteful.
I'm not sure if I'll make a list for new year, but I am a setting a fresh (and reduced) budget for shopping as I'm putting away money for other things.
And I have a list of things I don't want more of:
And I have a list of things I don't want more of:
- Bags (of any size and type)
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Formal/dressy anything
P.S: Thanks to everyone who shared such kind words over my mum's passing over the last few weeks. 2018 has been a strange year and one I've not entirely come to terms with, and I guess I'm not ready to reflect on anything beyond the clothes I've bought.
How was your 2018?