Year in Review: Favorite Purchases of 2021

It was with some consumerist guilt that I sat down to reflect on my purchases this year–I felt I bought too much, even if I managed to return all of what didn’t fit or feel right; still, much remained. But I am grateful for the many conveniences and bouts of fun experimentation that they afforded me. And I am hopeful that (some of) these purchases will stand the test of time. Below are seven purchases that continue to spark joy.

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Wearing size S in this post

A|X Armani Exchange Zipper Jacket

This hefty sherpa jacket is one of the coziest and luxe-feeling teddy coats that I own (at a reasonable price to boot). I like the color, the stripe accents at the cuff and hem, and how substantial it is. I don’t even mind that a Tide pen has to live in its right pocket, because the light color seems to attract stains.

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Senreve Aria Belt Bag

So this is not my first Aria Belt Bag… I had ordered the bag in black back in 2018 and it was swiftly “borrowed” by my mom, never to be seen again. I then hemmed and hawed endlessly about what color to get next, ultimately deciding on the “sand,” which I also own in a different style (the Maestra) and find to be versatile. While I have some complaints (will dive into more detail in a review post), it is the right-size bag for the para-pandemic world, where I don’t haul around much, but still need somewhere to stash my backup mask, travel hand-sanitizer, disposable gloves, phone, and multiway zip card case.

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 Wearing size XS) in this post; also sold here

Club Monaco Kaytee Funnel Neck Fit & Flare Sweater Dress

While I don’t know what the “new normal” will look like, I do know this classic fit-and-flare sweater dress will be evergreen in my closet; it’s a whole outfit and makes me feel put-together without requiring any effort.

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Shown in Ash Pearl/White/Halo Ivory (on sale here)

adidas Ultraboost 21 Running Shoe

My current sneaker repertoire is monochrome… I have a pair in seemingly every shade of gray, black, and white, so these soft pink kicks are a much-needed departure from the expected. And the responsive cushion literally adds a bounce in my step.

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Lacoste TR90 Quartz Watch with Rubber Strap

This basic watch with a rubber strap (quality is what you might expected for a <$100 piece) became my go-to accessory for casual outfits over the spring/summer. It’s a little sporty, and has a versatile color palette (white base with gold accents) that seems to go with every outfit. I am currently eyeing the watch in a slightly larger size in green for next spring.

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I made myself return (so) many pretty tweed pieces this year, as they were either ill-fitting, or made redundant something similar that I already owned. Not this tweed skort, though. Doesn’t it look like a skortified birthday cake? This combination makes me so happy. I haven’t had a chance to photograph it yet, but it’s now on sale during the Zara winter sale, so you can pick up your own.

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See on me here

Free People Intimately FP Solid Rib Brami Crop Top

I lived in this Free People brami over the summer: it’s the perfect pairing partner for the high(er)-waisted bottoms that I favored this year, and also leaves room for simple necklaces when an outfit demands it. I can’t wait for warm weather to return so I can wear it again!

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A few more purchases that I liked quite a bit and want to highlight: Oroton Margot Mini Day Bag (reviewed here), Ann Taylor Belted Top In Houndstooth, Calvin Klein Pure Rib Leggings (so comfy, but on the thin side), and the various Amazon mockneck tunic sweaters that I bought this year (which has been a serious time-saver; when I can’t decide what to wear, I throw on said tunic sweater, some tights or leggings, and my favorite pair of boots. Voila! A totally presentable outfit).

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What were some of your favorite purchases this year?

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The end-of-year outfit round-up will be published tomorrow, and regular content will resume in the New Year.

Hi, I am Elle!

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