One thing I love doing periodically is auditing my closet. I do this by inventorying my closet, sharing my best and worst purchases every year, and analyzing past purchases from multiple years, which includes counting up the items I still own vs. what I’ve since gotten rid of and sharing the items I’m still wearing almost a decade after they were purchased. I also catalog my closet and track what I wear every day with the Stylebook app.
As a scientist, I’m a huge nerd when it comes to data…but only certain kinds of data LOL. I hate stats in general but I LOVE looking at sartorial stats! I highly encourage you to analyze your clothes to get a better sense of the current state of your closet and what you actually wear.
In my early blogging years, I often purchased new clothes on impulse. I was a grad student and had somewhat of a decent salary (at the time), so I spent most of my disposable income on clothes. I discovered ModCloth, and their Style Gallery introduced me to blogs, which is how I started my own! And I placed a hell of a lot of orders at ModCloth.
Even though I still spend around the same amount on clothes every year, I purchase fewer items that are generally at a higher price point, and I think about most (but not all) of my purchases ahead of time before pulling the trigger. That said, a few of my impulse purchases turned out to be well worth it, and now I’d consider them wardrobe workhorses!
Below, I highlighted six impulse purchases that became wardrobe workhorses. I looked at my Stylebook stats (worn history and cost per wear) to get a sense of what items I’m actually wearing the most, and I also looked through my past “best purchases” blog posts (linked below) to see what I loved wearing the most at the end of every year. (I wrote almost three years ago about putting this post together and am finally doing it!)
6 Impulse Purchases that Became Wardrobe Workhorses
Two Days Off Kaftan Dress (purchased 2021)
I bought this dress at the beginning of September 2021 when Two Days Off was having a rare sale over Labor Day weekend. Even on sale, the price point was near $100 (WELL worth it), but this dress quickly rose to the top and became my favorite dress ever (haha—so far!). I wear it the most out of all of my dresses because it works so well for any occasion, even though I’ve gained a few pandemic pounds; it’s also the perfect travel dress as the wrinkles fall out! (The owner of Two Days Off just had her first baby and is reworking some things with the brand, so unfortunately my dress and other garments she made are unavailable.)
Outfits featuring the Two Days Off Jordan Dress in Jersey:
Aliya Wanek Sweatshirts (purchased 2020 and 2022)
I purchased two Aliya Wanek Ami cropped sweatshirts in 2020 and loved them so much that I purchase the Tig oversized sweatshirt when it went on sale in early 2022! Aliya Wanek is a small, Black-owned business that quickly gained popularity because of her beautiful and versatile cotton and hemp sweatshirts. Everything she produces is made and dyed right here in the US. I own the Ami sweatshirts in dusty pink and olive, and my Tig is in a gorgeous rusty orange-red color called sumac. I wear them constantly to lounge around the house but they are nice enough to wear out, too!
Outfits featuring Aliya Wanek sweatshirts:
Abercrombie & Fitch Packable Down Puffer (purchased 2017)
I believe I purchased this coat in store (?!) when it was on sale over Black Friday in fall 2017. I wanted a packable puffer to bring on my first trip to Mexico in December; it’s always cold enough in Boise to need a coat, but I didn’t want to bring something heavy that I’d have to carry around in Mexico. This coat worked perfectly, and I’ve worn it countless times since then. I actually don’t know where the bag that it packs into ended up ha. It’s basically become my go-to coat if it’s not absolutely freezing outside! I tripped on a boardwalk in Yellowstone a couple of years ago and face planted, and a nail cut a hole through my coat, so now there’s a cute bandage somewhat covering the hole lol.
Outfits featuring the Abercromie & Fitch packable puffer coat:
Marc Fisher Patent Chelsea Boots (purchased 2017)
Pretty much all of my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchases every year are impulse buys, and my Marc Fisher patent chelsea boots were the best of my NAS impulse buys! I had ordered two similar styles and liked these the best (the more expensive boot, of course). Turns out they were a fantastic purchase—I still wear them constantly since buying them in summer 2017! I lovingly refer to them as my “boss boots” and I almost always get comments when I wear them at work. I’m going to wear these until they fall apart and then I might take them to a cobbler for repair because I cannot imagine life without them.
Outfits featuring the Marc Fisher patent chelsea boots:
Clare Vivier for & Other Stories Leather Bucket Bag (purchased 2015)
I remember when the Clare Vivier for & Other Stories collection launched in spring 2015 and I practically flew out of bed to order this bag. At the time, it was one of the most expensive bags I had ever purchased. I’ve worn it so many times on the blog that I didn’t link to the very oldest outfits; the list could have gone on forever! I was most drawn to the classic bucket bag shape of this bag. The off-white color is versatile, and I also loved the perforations. It did get a little stained from wearing it with blue denim but you can’t tell from the front.
Outfits featuring the Clare Vivier for & Other Stories leather bucket bag:
Vince Camuto Perforated Loafers (purchased 2014)
My black Vince Camuto perforated loafers are one of the oldest items remaining in my closet; I purchased them in spring 2014. I’m honestly shocked at how good they still look after all these years! I’ve also traveled with them quite a bit, and they somehow survived an absolute deluge in Vienna. I walked through giant rain puddles that covered my feet and soaked all the way through the loafers and somehow they dried just fine and didn’t get ruined! I love them and still wear them regularly.
Outfits featuring the Vince Camuto perforated loafers: