Worst Purchases of 2014 and “On the Fence” Items

Now it’s time for the bad news in regards to my 2014 shopping, my worst purchases of the year.  I wish I could say that only a few items fall into this category, but that’s not the case. Although my shopping track record has definitely improved over previous years, I clearly still have a lot to learn.  Since learning and growth are really the purposes of this blog – and all of our journeys – I feel there is merit to analyzing both the good and the bad (and we all know that I love some good analysis!).

year 2014 in review

Have you taken the time to review your 2014 purchases?

In today’s post, I share the bad purchases I made this year, as well as those items that remain in uncertain territory.   As with my best purchases post, I include lots of photos and aim to find common ground among the pieces that just weren’t good buys.  As for those unsure items, I will make educated guesses as to whether or not they will become wardrobe workhorses in the future.   It’s kind of a “mixed bag,” but I’ll do my best to predict which pieces will have staying power and which ones will likely be headed out the door in short order.

This post is a long one (perhaps I should have made this a three part series), but it’s the end of the year, so why not sit down with a nice cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa (or even a stiff drink) and think about your own purchases as I recount mine.  There is value in looking at what we bought and how our purchases have either served us well or fallen flat.   If you do this type of analysis (which I recommend), try not to beat yourself up too much for your shortcomings.  I will try to keep this review lighthearted as well, as I cannot go back and change the past.  We can only look forward and it’s useful to do so with the lessons from the past firmly in our minds.

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Best Purchases of 2014

The year is drawing to a close and for many of us, it’s a time of reflection.   As I did last year, I will publish a series of 2014 wrap-up posts, most of which will actually go live in early January.   I’m going to start my retrospective on a high note, with my best purchases of the past year.

Good purchases

What were your best purchases of the year?

In today’s post, I’ll share a brief overview of my 2014 purchases, followed by a look at what I see as my best buys in various wardrobe categories.   I’ll close out with a list of my top ten closet acquisitions of the year.   Later this week, I’ll delve into the darker side of things – my worst 2014 purchases, as well as those items for which the proverbial jury is still out.   Since over two-thirds of my purchases were made in the second half of the year and many were for the late to arrive cooler weather, I’m not yet able to appropriately classify everything as either “good” or “bad.”

2014 Purchase Overview

But that’s a subject for my next post – on to today’s topic!   Let’s start with an overview…  I have added 55 items to my closet this year.  Several gifts are included within this number.   Items that were returned for refunds don’t count, but things that were passed on for donation or consignment do.

Because I still made a fair number of returns this year, I’ve had trouble keeping track of my item number.   In fact, as I tried to round up all of the stats for this post, my head started to spin.  So let’s just say that I exceeded my initial item limit of 38 (set forth in this post) by quite a bit and either met or came close to my revised item limit of 53 (written about here).   I had too many exclusions and caveats anyway, so I definitely understand why some of you got confused by the whole thing.  Even I am confused, so let’s just look at the items and not get into semantics of limits for the sake of this discussion.

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December 2014 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

Is it just me or has December sped by more quickly than any other month this year?  Yes, we still have another week left in the month, but it will be filled with lots of holiday festivities for many of us.   A lot of my fellow bloggers are taking some time off this week and next, but I decided to still do a few posts.   Instead of sharing my useful links at the very end of the month as per usual, I opted to go live with this post today.  That way, if some of you want to take a bit of downtime later in the week or over the weekend, you’ll have some interesting things to read.

Christmas Tree

Today’s post includes links to articles I think you’ll enjoy related to shopping and shopping psychology, wardrobe management, personal style, and a few posts from the “Recovering Shopaholic” archives (you can view all previous articles HERE).  As a special addition this month, I also offer a few holiday-themed links.

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Sharing Your Thoughts – Reader Survey Results

I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to all those who completed the reader survey I sent out last month.  I received 458 responses in total, which definitely exceeded my expectations!   Since I know that only a small fraction of readers comment on posts or send email, the survey was the best way for me to understand what you like about “Recovering Shopaholic” and what you’d like to see in the future.

Reader feedback

Of course, I will never be able to fully please everyone, but receiving input from a large number of readers will help me in shaping the future of the blog.   In today’s post, I will share a summary of the survey responses, complete with some fun charts that were easily generated by the survey program.

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Outfit Restyling – Advice from Bridgette Raes

This is the final installment (I think, anyway) of my Bridgette Raes series.  It’s hard to believe that I only had two virtual sessions with Bridgette given how much wonderful advice I received from her.   We really packed a lot of information into a short amount of time!

In the last two posts of this series (see here and here), I outlined some of the suggestions that Bridgette made for improving my skirt ensembles and enhancing some of my favorite outfits.   I’ve recently had a chance to play in my closet and implement some of Bridgette’s advice.  In today’s post, I share before and after photos that show how I changed some of my looks through incorporating the words of wisdom I received from the fabulous Ms. Raes.

Good Better Best - Outfit Re-styling

A Few Caveats

I wasn’t able to translate all of Bridgette’s advice literally, as I was limited by the contents of my closet.   I didn’t own some of the items that Bridgette recommended wearing, but I did my best to use what I have to improve upon my outfits.   While I don’t love all of the new looks, I feel that many of them represent a vast improvement over the original ensembles.  Some of the differences are quite minor, such as switching out the shoes, while others are more dramatic.   All in all, I enjoyed experimenting and trying new things.  

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November 2014 Accountability Update

December is well underway, so it’s high time for me to share my November accountability update. For those who are new to “Recovering Shopaholic,” these monthly reports are where I share what came into and left my closet during the previous month, what I wore, and how I did with my shopping budget and rules.  It’s my way of keeping myself honest and on track with my goals.

Shopping Accountability Updates

What Left My Wardrobe and Why

I always start these reports with what left my closet during the previous month.  In November, I focused on purging some unused and unloved jewelry pieces from my collection.   Although I’ve already met my jewelry pare-down goal for the year (goal #10 here), the new jewelry tracking system I started this fall has really helped me continue to downsize.

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Useful Links on Accessorizing: Necklaces, Belts, and Scarves

I was planning to post my November Accountability Update today (see previous updates here), but unfortunately a power failure and a horrible migraine got in the way.  So I’ll have to put that post off until next week.

But I didn’t want to leave you with nothing, so here are some useful links on the topic of accessorizing.  This edition covers necklaces, belts, and scarves.  In a future post, I’ll share some links on additional accessorizing topics.

How to Wear Necklaces Continue reading