Friday, January 12, 2018

A review of my 2017 clothing purchases

Left: my jeans | Right: a crazy Monstera deliciosa trying its best to survive in the hospital

As always, to keep myself accountable. I don't like doing too many clothing or consumption related posts in a row, but my updates in general have been pretty sparse.

Call it what you will, I'm trying to have a more intentional and critical approach to my wardrobe. Shopping as an activity to do out and about is loathsome to me, but that doesn't capture how much time I burn thinking about clothes, researching them, looking at them on the internet, or even going into a store and trying things on without buying anything. With that in mind, I'm listing my purchases and acquisitions in chronological order, +/- $5.

January to March
  1. Uniqlo men's selvedge denim jeans - $50 - my winter jeans. I will write a long post about just these jeans sometime soon
  2. Uniqlo dress - $20 - a really good purchase. I love this dress and wear it as often as I can. It looks professional and suits my body shape
April to June
  1. School group tank tops (2) - $28 - unfortunately, I didn't have a choice in buying these or not. One was to wear to Boston Pride, the other was because I was a hiking group leader for the first year orientation hike. I bought the first one by choice, second one because I felt like I had to. I need to be more vigilant, but these serve me fine at the gym
  2. Uniqlo linen sleeveless shirt - $20 - so important in the muggy humidity of an East Coast summer
  3. Uniqlo mock turtleneck shirt - $5.90 - my replacement for the Red Polo of my youth. I like the cut of this shirt a lot, but noticed that the color has faded. Additionally, I find that Uniqlo tops are sometimes just too short for me
  4. Scrubs (3 pairs) - free - a very, very kind chief resident in orthopedic surgery gave me three pairs of scrubs (exchanged for new from the hospital scrub machine) when I told her my scrubs were from Goodwill, and that students don't get scrub cards. She was such a darling, and absolutely radiated warmth and authority both. She taught me a lot and I am so grateful to have found a female role model, if only for the summer.
July to September
  1. Mizuno running shoes - $60 - my old pair had a hole, which I discovered after my sock got soaked with blood in the OR
  2. Maggy London black silk dress - secondhand - $45 - 100% an impulse purchase off of Poshmark. It's a gorgeous dress that I would wear to any evening occasion, though it's a bit too big. My first foray into the online secondhand market
October to December
  1. Volunteering event t-shirt - free - I didn't have a choice here
  2. L.L. Bean flannel - $30 - not as stoked about the black Stewart colorway, and I also think this one fits boxier than the same flannel I got last year. This was purchased on steep discount
  3. Old Navy pixie pants - $18 - for my growing professional wardrobe. Bought on Black Friday
  4. Old Navy underwear (4) - $20 - also bought on Black Friday. Not a huge fan of them, and I wouldn't have bought them had I known my mother would force me to get red underwear for my zodiac year (my other Chinese-American friends warned me, I didn't listen)
  5. Uniqlo heat tech thermal - free - Uniqlo had a code for a free thermal and I absolutely got it on impulse because it is so fucking cold in Boston - at the time of writing, it is 10*F
  6. Calvin Klein underwear (5) - free - a 23rd birthday gift from my mother, per Chinese tradition. It's the year of the Dog next year so naturally I must have plenty of red underwear to ward off bad luck

Total amount spent on clothing in 2017 - $296.90
Total number of items purchased in 2017 - 27

Excluding the scrubs and underwear, that number comes to 12 items purchased in 2017, which I am quite happy with. I'm still in the process of building a professional wardrobe in time for third year rotations, and I'm still in the process of building a casual wardrobe fit for a young woman. Where I see a "lack" is definitely in the professional clothes category, to which I hope to add at least two more blouses and another pair of trousers, as well as a pair of black ankle boots that I still haven't bought.

Overall, I don't know if I'm any closer to developing a coherent personal style or not. Lots of Uniqlo here, but I think I've realized I'm not so suited to Uniqlo anymore.


  1. Don't they say your own zodiac year tends to be more difficult on you as a whole? Good luck LL. Also, 12 items for sub $300 is a really good record. The Heattech shirt should be pretty durable; I'm on my fourth year on mine and all are holding up beautifully.

    1. Yeah, I'm in for a year of bad luck.

      Thanks for stopping by! I'm pretty happy with the amount of stuff/money I spent this year. I just wish I didn't "have to" buy those darn tank tops. That Uniqlo heattech was awesome! I wore it (and only it) under my parka and spent a whole day out during the cold snap (<20F) and it was pretty cozy.

  2. I commend your awareness and intentionality of your purchases! On the other hand there's me who bought an almost-$300 bomber jacket from Free People, which I try to wear as often as I can to make the most bang for my buck, though I've been wearing heavier coats for the last few months... I love it though!! // Free Uniqlo heat tech thermal?? !!!!! !!!!! Lately I've been layering almost all my outfits with my Uniqlo fleece. So soft and warm <3 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

    1. Thanks for that! If you love the bomber, then wear the hell out of it.

      Somehow, one of my friends got wind that Uniqlo was giving away free thermals for a day. It really helped with that one blizzard we had in January.

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