Style Study

My Most Worn Items of 2017

December 26, 2017

My friend Paige and I have been tossing around the idea of tracking our wardrobes next year to see how often we wear each item. For me, this is inspired in part by Livia Firth’s #30wears campaign, which encourages people to ask themselves if they would wear an item 30 times before they buy it. It’s a beautiful and thoughtful step in support of slow fashion.

This of course made me think back to what I’ve worn heavily over 2017. Off the top of my head it was easy for me to pull up favorites –  vintage Levi’s, clogs and Birkenstocks, but I was curious to dig through my archives and see what was repeated the most over the last 11.75 months. There were several clear favorites, some that surprised me and some that didn’t. As always, studying one’s own style is informative. I realized I define my personal style mostly via pants and jumpsuits, and that shirts are rarely the star of the show.

Below are my ‘most worn’ items of 2017. This compilation is unscientific, but is based on looking through every outfit I photographed for the blog and Instagram throughout 2017, as well as what I can recall from the pre-photograph-every-outfit days.


TOPS

| 1 | Everyday Top in Cotton Gauze, Miranda Bennett (very similar color). I bought this on a whim in the spring after getting swept up in the blush/rust color craze. I try not to make purchases on a moment’s notice because about 50% of the time they don’t pan out. But sometimes those, instinct-driven spontaneous purchases turn out to be something I love. This shirt was the latter. I wore it many times through the spring and summer. It’s a little breezy for winter, but it’s still hanging in my closet, just in case. Made in Austin, TX.

| 2 | British Tee, c/o Zappos. I ended up with this shirt through a collaboration with Zappos, and it has become a weekly-wear for me. White tops are often my go-to and this slim cut was a welcome addition to my closet amidst a sea of looser tops. It layers very well under jumpsuits or sweaters, and is even a great finishing piece with jeans. Made in the USA.

| 3 | Bad Leather Jacket, Veda x Reformation. YAY! I am very happy to report that this ended up as one of my most-worn ‘tops.’ When I first bought it, I spent some time questioning the cut and wondering if it was too ‘moto’ for my tastes. Eventually, the jacket started to break in and mold to my shape, and I grew to like it more. Now I think it’s perfect, and I am very glad I bought it, and didn’t immediately sell it when I was unsure. Sometimes a big purchase needs to marinate for a few months before you can really decide if you like it. Made in the USA.


SWEATERS

| 1 | The T Sweater (Heavyweight), c/o Jamie + the Jones. I got this sweater right before Christmas last year, and though it was highly anticipated, it has still managed to exceed my expectations. The fabric is handwoven in Chicago and has a beautiful variation in the texture. When I wear this sweater, I truly feel like I am wearing something timeless and artful. It transcends trends and is something I reach for often. It’s a good day when I am wearing my T Sweater. Made in the USA.

| 2 | Camel Crewneck in Cashere, Everlane. I got this sweater in fall 2016, and was a little unsure about the color and ‘plainness’ of it at first. Fast forward a year of heavy use, and those are the two things I love about it. I reach for this often because I love adding warm tones for an outfit, and the simpleness of the design makes it very easy to wear or layer with most things. Most recently, I’ve loved it tucked in to high-waisted pants. Made in Dongguan, China.

| 3 | Alpaca Cardigan, Zady. (sold out, similar option in cashmere) For me, this is an unsung closet hero. It doesn’t stand out in an outfit, but it makes the difference between being chilly and being very comfortable. It’s a big, soft, slouchy garment, so it layers well over most tops, and it’s still thin enough to slip under any jacket. Yarn spun in Peru, and sweater knit in the USA.


SHOES

| 1 + 5 | Birkenstocks, black + taupe. Birkenstocks have probably been my favorite shoes since I was thirteen (with a few off years now and then). Comfort is king for me and, in my opinion, nothing beats the original cork footbed of a pair of Birks. This is why they are some of my most worn shoes. They are easy, casual, and fully repairable. I love the way they look with dresses and jeans, and just about anything else. If it’s sandal weather, 80% of the time you can find me in Birks. Made in Germany.

| 2 | Chelsea Boots, Everlane. This is another understated hero in my closet. There is nothing particularly dynamic about these shoes. Perhaps that’s what makes them so great. They are highly functional, but don’t command the spotlight. I have worn them many, many times since getting them about this time last year. The leather is stiff, but they are wider than other Everlane shoes, and were comfortable from the get-go. These are the type of boots that get better looking the more you wear them. My only concern is that the sole doesn’t have as much traction as I’d like. Made in Italy.

| 3 | Mariella Mules, c/o Nisolo. If it’s not clear yet that I love slip on shoes, be assured that I do. I love that I can dash out in a moment’s notice in my Mariella Mules, which lend a little more polish than Birks or clogs when I need it. The tan color is a favorite of mine. Nude shoes improve almost every outfit they come in to contact with. This year, I wore these shoes many times during spring and fall. (Here and here are two of my favorite looks!) Made in Peru.

| 4 | Suzie Closed-Toe Clogs in Sienna, c/o Bryr. I got these in Fall 2016 for a cold-weather road test for Bryr. I wore them multiple times per week for the month of November. I really enjoyed the challenge and, of course, I love the clogs. They have come to be the ‘dressy’ clogs in my closet. They are polished and pretty, and I frequently reach for them when I want to feel more pulled together. Made in San Francisco.

| 6 | Heidi Woven Clog in Bourbon, No.6. These are the other half of the clog equation for me. These are my dash out, run around on the playground, type clogs. The heeled base is wider than my Bryr’s, and the rubber sole is thicker, so they feel extra stable for when I am on mom-duty. I LOVE these shoes. It took me a bit to get the size right. I ended up going up a whole Euro size! I expect these to be my most worn shoes in 2018. I find the contoured wood footbeds of clogs to be incredibly comfortable. They are supportive to my foot and I have plenty of wiggle room for my toes. Makes for happy feet! Made in the USA.


BOTTOMS/JUMPSUITS

| 1 | Levi’s Vintage (similar 1 & 2). You guys have seen these many times over on the blog, and if I had to wear only one pair of jeans for the rest of my life, it would be these. They make everything look good. I bought them at a local boutique and had them hemmed with the original hems, a detail that really brought them to life. I love these jeans! Vintage, made in the USA.

| 2 + 3 | Wide Pant, Lauren Winter. These were a style-defining purchase in fall of ’16. It took me a lot of courage to wear them at first, but now, they are a flagship for my personal style: unique, modern and comfortable. I often get compliments when I wear them. It took me a bit to figure out how to style them, but once I learned my proportions, I found I can wear these for a large part of the year. I fell in love with these pants on a whim, much like the Miranda Bennett top, though after trying them on, I waited another week or more to purchase them. I am happy to say following my instincts really paid off with these. Made in Portland, OR.

| 4 | Clyde Work Pant (similar in cotton canvas), Elizabeth Suzann. I wanted these pants for almost two years before I finally took the plunge. I love the sturdiness, and how unique they are among the other pants in my closet. Sometimes they accentuate parts of my body that I’d rather not, but I roll with it, and most of the time it’s confidence building. Made in Nashville, TN. 

| 5 + 6 | Lou Jumpsuit, in Linen + Black Denim. Another style-definer for me. I bought my first one in spring ’16, and loved it so much I added the heavier-weight denim version this fall. I feel incredibly at-home when I wear these pieces, and I love that I can wear one of the versions no matter what the weather is like. (A few weeks ago I wore wool tights under the denim one with great results!) Made in Portland, OR.


DRESSES/SKIRTS

| 1 | Basic Shift Dress, Hackwith Design House. This dress is pretty spectacular – I’ve rocked it in January and in the heat of summer. I’ve dressed it up for events as well as donning it for everyday. Also, it’s reversible and I think the dress looks great both forward and backward facing! The crazy part is, this dress is only $95. My cost per wear will likely be pennies one day. Made in Minnesota.

| 2 | Chambray Shift Dress (similar), old Everlane. An easy summer staple for me, that I sometimes wear in colder months. Looks great with a turtleneck or collared shirt layered underneath. It’s an unexpected hero that I’ve worn very regularly the past year. I think I have a thing for a-line dresses. Made in Hangzhou, China.

| 3 | Striped Shirt Dress (similar), Everlane. Another dress that works very well in both warm and cool months. It’s fun to pair over pants as seen above, but it’s also great as a summer shift. Made in Shenzhen, China.

| 4 | A-line Skirt (similar), Steven Alan. I scored big when I found this at my local Crossroads almost two years ago. It’s been a staple in my closet ever since, though I mostly wear it during warmer months. It has the most beautiful, high-quality construction and it makes nearly anything I pair with it look good. I’ve learned that A-line proportions work well for my frame, a reason I reach for this time and time again. Made in the USA.


I had a few runners up from purchases I made this fall, but I didn’t feel like I’d owned them long enough to truly be able to count them as ‘most worn.’ Looking forward to 2018, I hope all of these are highly-worn again. I’m currently creating a wardrobe inventory on my computer, and I’m going to do my best to track which items I wear this next year, (even though it seems like a daunting task!). My goal for the new year is to add less to my wardrobe and make sure I truly get the most out of what is in my closet.

I’d love to hear about your most-worn items for 2017, are there any clear favorites? Do you have wardrobe goals going into the new year?
This is my last post for 2017, but I’ll be checking on comments over the next few days and I’ll be back on my regular posting schedule in 2018!

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21 Comments

  • Reply Tania December 26, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Love this! It is a very helpful list as I do look at some of the same items. My unscientific most worn would be my linen jumpsuit from Only Child (black), Eileen Fisher leggings (black), Atelier Delphine Haori Kimono jacket (black), Piko tunics (striped various), Dansko Thea Wedge clogs (black & nude), oversized fit one sized dresses from Japan (various unknown brands, purchased from shops that seniors like to shop – I’m usually the youngest), Rag & Bono black moto leather boot, Naot Pixie Wedge sandals (black), Mother Looker jeans and Miranda Bennett Everyday Dress (black gauze).

    I think I’ll start a spreadsheet this year (we’ll see how long I can keep that up).

    • Reply Andrea December 30, 2017 at 9:00 am

      You have such a great selection!! I hope you get lots of wear out of them in 2018!

  • Reply Lindsey December 26, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    I’m so entrenched in fall/winter right now I can’t remember when I wore anything other than layers and close toed shoes! I’ve been wearing my cognac Ten Points Chelsea boots probably 5 out of 7 days a week – they provide contrast, look sharp, and are actually comfortable. I wear my Taylor Stitch grey Frieda cardigan a lot, too – its cut is slim and flattering and works for skinnies and wide legs alike.

    • Reply Andrea December 30, 2017 at 9:00 am

      Finding a cardigan that works with wide and skinnies is gold. Your Chelsea boots sound super cute, and also very Portland 👌🏼

  • Reply Anne M December 27, 2017 at 8:03 am

    A major wardrobe goal for 2018 is to try new styling with the pieces I already have. For example, I have a slightly-cropped short-sleeved top that I never wore all that much, because I thought it would be better 2 inches longer or so. On a whim, I tried it under a long-sleeved button front shirt with curved shirt-tail hem, worn open. It was great, because it didn’t show on the sides (which my longer tops do).
    My most worn piece of clothing is probably my black slip-on shoes, with a pebbly finish, that I wear for just about everything except really dressy or really rugged/cold weather. I tend to wear heather grey knit tops and blue jeans a lot, but have several items in each category and could not really tell you which one got worn the most.

    • Reply Andrea December 30, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Sounds like you have a decent uniform going on Anne.

  • Reply R December 28, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Hey Andrea, you should consider downloading the StyleBook app. It takes more time to add your clothes in (I did it gradually as I wore things), but then you log what you wear daily and it keeps stats of how many items you have, most/least worn, best/worst cost per wear, average cost, most/least worn colors. I’ve used it for over a year and the results have been fascinating. It really changed my relationship w my wardrobe & my palette. It’s way better than a spreadsheet and they just updated. Best $4 you’ll spend IMO. Thanks for all the great content, love your blog.

    • Reply mustard on a plane December 29, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      I agree! I’ve been using Stylebook for over a year, and it’s incredibly useful. I find it soothing to enter in my outfits everyday, and I am constantly checking the cost-per-wear and wear history information. (Apparently, that seemingly expensive Rick Owens shirt? Most worn and best cost per wear in 2017. Who would have guessed?) I love the new pie charts and other new features, too.

      Whenever I consider buying something new, I’ve started making possible outfits. If I buy this, do I have shoes that work? (This has been very helpful for cocktail dresses and the like: I have two pairs of shoes I wear for evening events, and I have now stopped buying things that don’t work with those shoes.) Will it work with a couple of things I already own?

      Also, for those of us with discombobulated lives, it helps track missing objects. I can look back and see exactly the day I wore the missing earrings and try to remember from there where I might have put them. (Or, most frequently, my work ID or watch for a job I go to irregularly. ) They are always in the pocket of the coat or sweater I wore there last.

      • Reply Andrea December 30, 2017 at 9:06 am

        Interesting!! Fringe benefits I wouldn’t have expected!!

        I do the same thing when considering something new. I like to see if I can plan at least 3 outfits with it before I take the plunge and buy it..

    • Reply Andrea December 30, 2017 at 9:03 am

      I’ll have to look into that. Right now I’m liking the Cladwell app because it suggests outfits. I’m not sure if I have the stamina to enter my wardrobe into two apps!

  • Reply Ally Hird January 2, 2018 at 3:21 am

    Love this post! I do track my wears – I have a much larger wardrobe than you – I partly blame it on needing 2 wardrobes, one for work and one for casual (but actually I am really just a bit of a butterfly who likes variety). I am working towards #30 wears (am at an average of 20 at the moment, so some work to do).
    Interestingly, my most worn items of 2017 were mainly casual (i.e. jeans) which I think says more about what I default to on the weekend rather than anything else.
    Navy leather trainers
    J Crew boyfriend jeans
    Navy and grey wool coatigan
    Navy blue slim leg smart trousers
    Indigo skinny jeans
    Black skinny jeans
    Topshop grey cocoon coat (this goes with everything, so not surprising)
    Grey oversized cardigan

  • Reply Jen January 2, 2018 at 8:00 am

    My hero dress of the spring / summer was a several-years-old organic cotton chambray shift dress from Eileen Fisher. I took it on a 16-day trip to Europe (when it was 90+ degrees in London and Amsterdam!) and it was fantastic. I also bought dark blue and rust versions of the Black Crane pleated cocoon dresses and they got me through the hot Colorado summer. Sometimes when I’ve bought multiple versions of the same item one gets neglected, but these both got a ton of wear.

    Last winter I wore a striped Amour Vert A-line knit dress constantly, but this year feeling a little tired of it. ;-) Still trying to figure out the winter wardrobe thing since I moved to Colorado from Northern California a year ago!

  • Reply Lo January 2, 2018 at 10:23 am

    I LOVE the idea of tallying wears, so I might do the same this year!

  • Reply Courtney January 3, 2018 at 9:00 am

    I’ve been eyeing the T Sweater for weeks and might be ready to take the plunge! Do you mind sharing the size you purchased? I think we’re similar sizes and I’d love mine to fit the way yours does. Also, I came across your blog this fall and have been LOVING it (and I’m not a fashion blog reader at all :-))

    • Reply Andrea January 3, 2018 at 10:26 am

      Hi Courtney, yay! I’m so glad to have you! :) Happy you like it here. My T Sweater is a Medium!

      • Reply Courtney January 3, 2018 at 6:02 pm

        Thanks, Andrea! I was born in Portland, so it must be the Oregon connection. :-) I just ordered my T sweater. It’s my first Jamie + The Jones purchase and I can hardly wait for it to arrive!

  • Reply Shelbi January 6, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Wow, that’s very ambitious of you gals to track your clothing. I’ll be interested to see the end results!

  • Reply Green Ladybug January 7, 2018 at 7:10 am

    Happy New Year Andrea! Do you happen to remember the colour/fabric of your Lauren Winter pants? Are they the Blue Denim or Navy Tercel? Thanks so much!

    • Reply Andrea January 8, 2018 at 5:35 pm

      Hello! Mine are in blue denim, but I bought them from the FW ’16 line. I bet you could shoot them an email asking to see what their blue denim looks like if you can’t find it!

      • Reply Green Ladybug January 9, 2018 at 1:48 pm

        Thanks for letting me know! :)

  • Reply Luize January 13, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Hi, Andrea!

    I’ve been tracking my wears (first in an Excel sheet, than in a Google Drive spreadsheet) for 2 years and I couldn’t live without it – nothing beats real data! I actually just switched from creating (and tracking) capsules to just tracking the wears, it feels like just the right amount of control. Here is a post I share my latest spreadsheet: http://unarmarioverde.es/new-capsule-spreadsheet/

    Best, Luize

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