The pieces I wore most that are helping me decide what to buy & what to skip in 2022
These are my 10 best buys and most used items in my closet for 2021. I was going through my camera roll deleting pics and these were the clothes, shoes, bags that were on repeat the most. If you’re wondering “should I buy it?” having a look through your photos from the year or closet and figuring out the pieces you wore and didn’t helps you decide what to buy next and not to make the same mistakes again. My most worn pieces and best purchases, even the more expensive ones ended up having the lowest CPW (cost per wear). Even more than some of the sale pieces I thought I’d wear at the time as I wore them so much versus being one and done.
While I don’t expect to keep everything I purchase from past seasons more than 1 season, there definitely are some items that didn’t get as much use as I’d hoped while others I continually re-wear and are my best buys. Especially versatile, neutral color pieces I can keep finding new ways to style. My husband just reminded me that when I went to buy a pink Chanel bag and steered me back to black.
Among my favorite best buys that got the most use are classic bags, luxury accessories, and black leather joggers that are easy to dress up or down and comfy enough to travel in. As much as I love shopping for pieces that are trending now, I still like finding the kind of items that I love know will last or at least get lots of wear as they’re as practical as they are stylish.
What to buy next? My 10 items that got the most use this year
Now that 2021’s coming to an end, I thought it was the perfect time to share the 10 items that got the most wear this year. To be fair, they’ll probably get a ton more wear until I wear them out. Knowing what you used is so helpful at deciding what to buy, when to spend and when to save going forward.
Some of the things I used the most actually surprised me and others like my black Prada tote bag were no surprise as that’s been on repeat since I got it 8 years ago. Making it one of the best investments as it has the lowest cost per wear of pretty much anything in my closet.
Other things I bought on sale and have buyers remorse as it only got used once like a ribbed bodycon dress I thought would be good for throwing on to go to the store but never got worn.
1. Jimmy Choo sunglasses
Living in Vegas, I wear sunglasses pretty much everyday. I have about 5 go to pairs but these are my best buys that I’ve used the most since I got them in 2019. I thought it was a lot to pay for sunglasses when I bought them 2 years ago but now they’re one of my best purchases. They’re now on sale for about 1/3 of what I paid for them so get them while you can.
The Aviator shape is such a classic style but the subtly sparkly rims make these more unique.
2. Classic top handle bag | My Prada black saffiano tote
If you want a bag that will wear well, go for caviar of calf leather not lamb as that’s so delicate. I love trendy styles but tend to go with more affordable brands for that and then go for classic styles in designer brands. The Prada gets more use than any of my other bags as it’s big enough for the day but still small enough to go grab drinks with the girls. I’ve had it for 8 years so it’s definitely got a low CPW at this point and will be on repeat until I wear it out.
This is such a classic sophisticated style that won’t date. It’s big enough for day to day and goes with everything. It’s one of Prada’s best sellers. It doesn’t have to be Prada but a top handle, structured black bag is a classic shape bag to have to take you to season after season.
3. White woven slides
I thought I’d get these just to slip on and run errands or for vacation but these have had so much wear. They’re also way more comfortable than I thought they’d be as they were so affordable. It’s probably the best buy I made this year for under $20 or at least on something in my closet.
The woven and braided trend is going stronger than ever. These slides are such great value and the round toe won’t date as quickly as square toes.
4. White Versace bag
This is another bag that I’ve had for years and has had so much use it’s going cream. I think this Summer might have been it’s last though (too much self tanner), we’ll see what the bag repair place can do. I’m not mad, it’s definitely had more than it’s CPW over the last few years. It’s definitely a style I’ll be replacing. It doesn’t have to be designer, but a small white and gold chain shoulder strap bag is a versatile bag you can wear with all of your Summer outfits from day to night.
Another classic bag from my wardrobe that continues to be on repeat. This Versace bag is sold out but I’ve found a few similar styles. A white bag’s perfect for topping off Spring/Summer looks, especially ones with a removable shoulder strap.
5. Chanel scarf
I wasn’t sure whether this was a stupid price to pay for a scarf but knew I’d get good CPW from it. I’m always cold and it’s dressy enough to wear as a wrap with a cocktail dress and I also use it as a blanket on planes. I have too many air stewardess friends to know better than to use theirs for the most part.
It doesn’t have to be designer but when buying a new scarf consider the color you’ll wear the most if you’re looking for good CPW. It’s one of the most used items in my closet for all seasons.
A black and white or neutral colored scarf will get more wear than a colorful one however pretty they are as they go with more. Bringing the CPW down.
6. Black faux leather joggers
Another bargain buy that’s always on repeat and one of my best purchases. They’re super comfy so I’ve managed to wear them for all of our long drives and flights. They also wash really nicely and don’t need ironing or dry cleaning. Which means I end up wearing them more as they don’t involve a trip to the dry cleaner.
Plus you can dress them up with a pair of heels or down with sneakers and they have big pockets. If you haven’t owned a pair before and need some styling inspiration, here’s some of the many ways I style my leather joggers. Size up for a more oversized look or take your regular size for a relaxed fit that’s not too baggy on the butt.
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Faux leather joggers & my faux leather Spanx leggings got so much wear this year as they’re comfy, warm & versatile. They’re an everyday basic that’s more stylish and looks more luxe than material leggings or joggers.
7. Chanel belt (before that Gucci belt)
Belts are another one of those items most of us wear so often. Before I got my leather Chanel belt, it was my black Gucci belt that was always on repeat so I knew I’d wear it. For a dressier look, another belt I’ve got a lot of wear out of is my gold Chanel belt. But it’s not as practical as a simple black leather belt as it’s not something you’d wear with jeans or for a more casual look. So if you’re looking for a belt that you’ll get more use out of leathers a good bet.
8. White leather Veja sneakers
These took a little breaking in but are my most used shoes for work when I’m traveling. I like material sneakers for the gym but leather for a dressier look for work. Leather sneakers are also easier to wipe down and clean on the go and do better in the rain. Leather tends to last longer than material so they get better CPW especially if it’s a classic style you can use for more than a year.
The 1st pair of Veja sneakers I got looked the same except they had Veja printed in gold on the heel. I had to return them as the tongue was cut too high and dug into my ankles. The ones I have now are perfect and are the ones I’ve linked below.
9. Black Christian Louboutin heels
I’ve had these heels for years but they always seem to end up back on my feet. I find a lot of Louboutin’s uncomfortable (the So Kate doesn’t work for me at all) but these are comfy as far as stilettos go. They’re pretty much my go to with jeans and a blazer, workwear or with my black joggers so their CPW is so low now. I’ve just ordered a pair of the Sarah Flint black suede pumps as I know how much they’ll get worn and suede has a more luxe look than patent.
A 100mm heels my favorite as I’m petite but a lot of my girlfriends prefer a 85mm for comfort. I’m used to pointe shoes (ex-ballerina) so these are a breeze.
Classic pumps are one of those shoes most of us always have on repeat. Black and nude are the 2 pairs that get the most wear for me but I’m definitely after a pair of white and pink ones. These are 100mm but they also come in 85mm.
10. Sarah Flint nude pumps
I’m 5’2″ so I live in heels when I’m out. Sarah Flint was a brand I only tried this year as I fell in love with a white pair of pumps Margot Robbie was wearing and they turned out to be Sarah Flints Perfect Pump.
I love my nude suede pumps but suede isn’t always the most practical so these leather ones have definitely had more wear and good cost per wear. Especially for days when I’m walking or on my feet more as they have a really padded sole and arch support.
Nude leather pumps add a feminine touch to any outfit. They’re a heel that goes with everything from work outfits to dresses. I wear these a lot as they’re so comfortable compared to other pumps I’ve owned.
Use code SARAHFLINT-BAEVE for $50 off your 1st pair.
CPW means cost per wear. It’s a great way of figuring out what to buy and if you should get something or not. I use it a lot on the blog to let you know if I got a lot of wear out of it or if it sat in my closet all year. It’s a good way of thinking out how you’ll use it and how often and figuring out whether clothing, a bag or designer shoes you have your eye on are worth investing in. As you can break down the cost per wear.
For example a pair of designer shoes might be $900 but if you wear them 100x of the course of a few years that makes them only $9 per wear. Versus a pair you might spend $100 on and wear once or twice and be fed up of and they’ve cost you $50-100 per wear.
I’m all for getting the most CPW as possible out of investment pieces as clutter and waste drives me crazy.
“cost per wear” is a methodology of breaking down the initial upfront cost of a garment by how many times you’re actually going to wear it.Gentleman’s Gazette
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What were your best buys in 2021? Share your best purchases with me on Instagram & tag me in your pics so I can see.
Eve Dawes is a Blogger, Podcaster, Mrs. England World 2020, a WBFF Pro Diva, SAG-AFTRA actress, NASM certified Personal Trainer, Founder of Dawes Custom Cosmetics and GlamourandGains.com. Eve's also the host of BFF (beauty, fitness & fashion) segment on Spill The Tea Live! The show for British Expats. Eve has over 15 years experience in the fashion world, is an avid traveller and cruelty-free beauty advocate.