Happy post Christmas and soon to be happy new year – and I say “happy” cautiously because who the hell knows what 2022 has in store for us all… Life musings aside (which may or may not formulate into a different post), what I can say is that, despite 2021 being a very, very mixed bag, at least fashion didn’t disappoint me! Some “serious” purchases were made that I’m hoping I will keep for a long, long time. Indeed, 2021 was the year of a lot of things – and, for my wardrobe, it was mostly about investments and failsafe pieces. This is what some of my hard-earned money was spent on…
1. Lady Cacahuete boots styled with Calzedonia tights
In December 2020, my friend sent me a picture of these boots by a Spanish brand called Lady Cacahuete (peanut, in case you’re wondering), knowing that I would fall in love with them. After weeks of ogling at them I caved in – I preordered them in January and received them in February – the month I got back to London after having been in my hometown in Spain for two months. Sadly, these babies didn’t get much use at the start of the year… and no, not because of their Beetlejuice heels and glitter storm motif. I barely left the house until April – and by April, I usually refuse to wear boots. But come autumn, they’ve truly come into their own. From getting compliments from strangers in the supermarket to instantly making any outfit all the more interesting, these boots have blended seamlessly into my life & style.
2. Zara dress styled Topshop bag and H&M necklace
It’s no secret that when it comes to dresses (particularly summer dresses), I have an obsession – or a problem. I could do a separate post about my top summer dresses of 2021 (like the ones I did here, here, here and here) – in fact, they could have their own blog. But out of this year’s dress saga I’m picking this Zara dress – it’s slinky, sexy and cute. Most importantly, it reminds me of the few happy moments I had this summer. It’s worn terribly (as many Zara pieces do), and I don’t know how it’ll be looking come Spring/Summer 2022 – but it’s really one of those pieces that will forever hold emotional value. No ragrets.
3. Sisters of The Tribe dress styled with Mango sandals
Second dress shoutout has to go to this Sisters of The Tribe dress for being the bomb and, for some reason, making me feel like Brigitte Bardot in her heyday whenever I wear it. I won’t bang on about it as I wrote a love letter about it a few months ago, but this brand just doesn’t let me down – one of its dresses made it onto my best fashion purchases from 2020, after all. I adored wearing it this summer, and like my yellow dress, it became a key part of some good memories of what was a very difficult summer.
4. Missguided jumper styled with H&M skirt, Topshop bag, Mango earrings and Jones Bootmaker shoes
I’ve been very much enjoying to the Khaite look for less over the past year and have bought a few sweetheart neckline jumpers emulating this style – but this one from Missguided is by far my absolute favourite. I don’t know what it is about this jumper, but every time I put it on I feel like a million dollars. It’s sexy enough for a date, elegant enough for work if styled appropriately. What’s not to love?
5. Zara jumper styled with Warehouse trousers, Stradivarius beret, Vans shoes and Kurt Geiger bag
I rolled my eyes when emerald green – or Bottega green for the masses – kept popping up everywhere (“OK guys, we get it, you’re obsessed with all things Bottega”). But I’m all for bright colours, so I decided to give it a go in the most mature of ways – by buying it in the form of a classic piece that I know will work for me. Now, I can honestly say this roll-neck jumper has revolutionised my Autumn/Winter ’21 wardrobe. It made me discover, and fall in love with, a colour combo I’d avoided (for the most part – check out this cute little throwback) and felt extremely cautious about – emerald green and cobalt blue. But as well as being a match made in heaven for cobalt blue, it’s simply a ridiculously versatile colour. Bottega green (or Aer Lingus green as my mum calls it) can happily stay in my wardrobe.
6. Monica Vinader earrings styled with Zara dress and bag, ASOS scrunchie and Missoma necklace
See that little splash of gold on my ears? My hair tends to hide my earrings, but that doesn’t stop me from always wearing a pair. I’d been wanting to invest in a pair of good-quality gold hoop earrings for a while, so when I saw these Monica Vinader beauties, I “invested”. It hurt my soul and bank account, but I wear them constantly and will hopefully have them for a lifetime.
7. Loewe bag styled with ASOS dress and shoes, Missoma necklace and H&M earrings – more pics here
Maybe a part of me is just trying to feel better about this ridiculous purchase, but honestly, again no ragrets. Basket bags have very much become a part of my summer style identity, and I’d been daydreaming about Loewe’s basket bags for a couple of years. When it came out in white, I was besotted – so earlier this year I took the plunge and splurged. Is it worth it? Well, to me it is – I know I won’t be able to wear it that much in the UK, but when I do, boy will I feel good.
8. Polène bag styled with New Look coat and Accessorize ring
I’ll admit it’s a little early to include this Polène bag considering I bought it on the 15th of December – but I wore it the next day after receiving it and the day after (and again since), so I don’t think it’s a case of alleviating my conscience yet again. Like my Loewe bag, I’d had my eye on this bag for years – and it was nice to be able to finally treat myself.
The Co-ord Set
9. Primark top and shorts styled with Stradivarius jumper, Primark beret, Warehouse jacket, Lulu Guiness bag and Lady Cacahuete boots
So technically I’m cheating here as these are two separate pieces – but come on, you can’t really have one without the other and they make one heck of an outfit when worn together. Anyway, you know it means something (for better or for worse) when you’re asking your friend what she thinks you should wear to this or that and she straight away says “the black and white co-ord”. This has been my friend’s answer more than once (yes, I’ve asked her what to wear more than once lately) – and hopefully it’s not because she doesn’t like my other clothes. The truth is, I do adore this humble, Emily In Paris inspired combo from Primark. I loved the shorts more initially, but the top is pretty cute too – and I love how together they’ll trick you into thinking it’s a playsuit. I didn’t buy them that long ago, but in the short time that I’ve had them, I’ve worn them a lot.
The Jumper Dress
10. Zara dress styled with Gipsy tights, ASOS scrunchie and earrings, Hobbs shoes and Polène bag
One jumper dress made it onto my 2020 best list, and 2021 is no different: my love for jumper dresses is still going strong. This pink number by Zara is a winner – so easy, so cute, so cosy. I’ll admit that it was toss up between this one and my red one seen here – but I think that, for now, I’ve worn this one a little bit more.
I had to think hard about what to include in this roundup. Not because I barely shopped – there wasn’t any lacking there, sadly – although I definitely have tried hard not to go too crazy and only buy things I would get lots of use out of. I just really had to think about which items have, after some time, proven to elevate my wardrobe and made my day-to-day style all the better.
Cost per wear is vital of course – but I also need to feel like this piece is going to change my life. Yes, life-changing – let the drama queen in me have a moment to shine. I want an item to make me feel great – or even better, incredible – when I wear it. I want it to help me make memories – good, bad, bring them on – and for it to be that item I can always rely on if I don’t know what to wear or may be facing a hard day. I think all of the pieces listed here can do that – and wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a wardrobe having just those kinds of pieces? That is the goal one day.
Pictures taken throughout 2021.