Closet 101 Style

Are We Sheep? Followup – Regrets and Mainstays

Sale PSA: A double faced wool wrap from Rag & Bone, now 40% off, a cashmere short sleeve t-shirt from J.Crew, now $54 with code HOPTOIT, a pretty slit maxi dress from Tularosa, now under $100, suede strappy sandals for summer from Joie, now $130, and wraparound lace sandals with just a slight wedge from Steve Madden, now under $50. 

Thank you for your comments (always) and especially on last week’s post, Are We Sheep? I really enjoyed the discussion and loved the perspectives and views. I re-read the comments at least a few times, and have to say that they made me consider a few aspects about my own wardrobe, and spending.

As a spinoff on that topic, I thought I’d share a few of my own closet items which I picked up because they were popular and I loved how they looked on other people, and how they’ve worked out for me over the years. Let’s start with the regrets, shall we?

Hermes 90cm silk scarves: I picked up quite a few silk scarves earlier in my Hermes phase, just because I loved how they look on other people, the heritage, the gorgeous designs. It’s the classic Hermes item after all, right? Don’t we all want look like Grace Kelly (or my current favorite scarfie, Janet Yellen)? If I just pick up the right one, I’ll be transformed into a French giantess like the one above and tower over all my less chic companions. If you ever read any of the Hermes silk threads on The Purse Forum, it’s super easy to get sucked into all the new releases, colorways, etc, and the modeling photos always look so good. The problem is, I just don’t feel that comfortable in these! And I never feel that they look as flattering on me as other people. I’ve generally regretted most of my 90cm silk purchases, but the good thing is they take up little space and I keep hoping one day it’ll just “click”. Until then, I’m not buying anymore. I wish I hadn’t purchased so many.

Do we think Posh still has these shoes?

Louboutin platform shoes: I don’t think these shoes are really “out” but I just don’t wear heels enough, and when I do these feel a little dated. I think with the right outfit they’d be great, but I just don’t think I have the rest of the necessary components to make them work (the “night party” section of my wardrobe is severely lacking in general). Whenever I put them on I just can’t get the image of these plus an Herve Leger dress out of my head. The Very Prive peep toe style seems especially dated to me – just Google it and you’ll see a ton of old celebrity photos. When I bought these, it was the most I had ever spent on a shoe and I thought it was worth it because they’d be “forever”. I guess not! At least I got a ton of wedding wear out of them.

Hermes “Constance” belt (the one with the big H): I only have one of these, and I bought it in 2006. I thought I was so cool back then, but for quite a few years now it’s sat somewhere in my closet (I’m not even sure where it is, exactly). I feel too self conscious with the big “H” on my waist (this same rule, however, does not apply to the Constance bag, which I still want).

Total waste of money, wish I had spent some more and bought an Evelyne or wallet instead.

Now onto the mainstays..the items that I love, have enjoyed for many years, and have never regretted:

Van Cleef Alhambra: I’ve been adding pieces steadily for seven years, so it’s an addiction.  I just love the design and they hit the right mark between luxury and everyday wearable. I’ve gotten tired of other jewelry pieces, but never these. Plus there’s so many options – rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets…whatever you like. I don’t care if everyone has them! Which is the best feeling.

Chanel flats: So easy to wear and I’ve never regretted a pair (except for when I bought too small). Plus there are so many color and material variations, I usually never end up matching with anyone “exactly”.

Hermes Evelyne bags: In some areas these are so common but I love mine, it gets used to death. If I got rid of it tomorrow I’d still think I got my money’s worth from “cost per wear”.

YSL Tribute shoes: These are the reverse of the Louboutin platforms, in that I’m sure many people think they are “out,” but I just keep wearing and loving them. They are just too comfortable to quit. No matter what I try, I’m basically hobbling by the end of the night in any other heels.

 

What are some “popular” luxury items you’ve purchased that you still enjoy? How about some that you’ve since given up?

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Alisa Gabriel
    April 17, 2017 at 8:26 am

    I don’t wear all my Hermès scarves either (or all the time) but I have to say, when I do wear one I usually get compliments and it does make me feel more polished. They’re more of a European than an American “thing” though –
    we tend to be much sportier – but I encourage you to try some of the more inventive ways they show on the H website rather than going super-traditional to see if that changes your mind. You may also like them more when you’re a bit older (very chic on the 40+).

    My main regrets are 1) some cheap clothes I never feel fabulous in, so the “savings” really weren’t worth it and 2) heels that were never comfortable for more than 20 minutes 🙂

  • Reply
    K
    April 17, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Talking about the 90cm… I just took one of mine out yesterday to try to be more “Easter” because that particular one has all the Easter color I needed just for yesterday! It is pretty sad to see those 90cm sitting in the drawer and luckily I don’t own that many. I wore it with the scarf ring yesterday and hub immediately goes, dressing yourself like a girl scout today!!! Urgh…. NO… but… ah… forget it.. just let me be and let me feel right while I am in church! OK?! LOL….I haven’t worn my Tribute for the last two season but I do love them… very walkable and pretty.. just haven’t had the chance to reach for them.. I still want a pair of light color tho!

  • Reply
    Susie Tunes
    April 17, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Hi Katherine,

    This article and comments prove that we aren’t all sheep after all – we each have our favourites.
    I love wearing Hermès 90cm scarves under coats for a little pop of colour in my otherwise neutral wardrobe.
    I never liked the Louboutin platform ‘hooves’ or anything from Hermès that features a big H, including the Evelyne I’m afraid. I wish they would produce the Vespa again instead.
    Double CCs also put me off unless they’re on Chanel flats so I’m a little inconsistent.
    An ultra long Alhambra knecklace is on the wish list…

    Xx

    • Reply
      h
      April 17, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      I love the vespa! Such an underrated bag but so cute and practical. I’ve never seen someone else wearing one either.

  • Reply
    riquita
    April 17, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I have one Hermes 90 cm scarf that I love, but I feel lost in the scarf tying area and still need a lot of practice. I am not sure if I still have to learn more about what works for me in the scarf area, but this could be a very pricey habit that I could reserve for something else. But the Samourais for this season are so pretty!
    I bought myself an H 24mm belt, and I am self-conscious when I wear it because of the H, so I try to be subtle with all the other things I wear it with.
    I also have Chanel flats and the H Evelyne. I love these pieces. I hope to slowly grow my VCA collection, but I don’t think I’ll have anything close to what you have.
    Through the years, I think I have finally figured out that I am a classics girl. I love fashion, but I am one of those people who love more timeless things and style. I have regretted too many items that I bought because it was trendy, it was on sale, or I wanted to be able to say that I owned X many things. Oh, the things I would say to my younger self. Now, I just save up my money for the things I really want, mostly classic items. I love your blog, and I am really enjoying this topic.

  • Reply
    Jane
    April 17, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you for another post on this topic! I am always hesitant to wear things that are obviously from a certain designer. But I’ve always liked the story or origins behind some popular designs, like the Louis Vuitton speedy. Some pieces are popular for good reason because they are a great design. For example I resisted the Hermes Evelyne for years while collecting other styles. Now, I use my evelynes almost every day because they are perfect for my mom life. I just try to buy what I like based on the quality and design even if I see the same thing on others.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    April 17, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    I’m not sure if these count as popular, but some of my regrets: clic h bracelet (loved it for a while, but kept seeing it on youtube ha, so I don’t wear mine anymore), behapi bracelet (it’s too loose on me and I’m just not into leather jewelry), D&G belt (not a popular item, but yea, the D&G buckle is way too in your face etc.), Ferragamo headband (loved it for a while, but feel like headbands looks too childish on me now), rockstud peeptoe heels from a few years back. Thanks for this interesting relatable post!

  • Reply
    melmel
    April 18, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Definitely the LV Neverfull. I don’t care if everyone has them, it is really a functional bag. Much better than the other designer totes out there.

  • Reply
    Angie
    April 18, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Do you have a photo of all your Evelynes together? I have one, but trying to think if it’s practical to pick up a second on my next trip to Paris. What do you think? How many is too many? I know it depends how often it gets used. I use mine often enough. I love mine. I’m just afraid it’ll wear out and I should alternate it with another Hmmmm.

    • Reply
      Katherine
      April 18, 2017 at 8:15 am

      No! I have a rouge and a black, so technically two, but the red went to my mother a long time ago. So I think I am going to pick up another as well. I use mine too often, just like you 🙂

    • Reply
      Jane
      April 18, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      If you use them, I think it’s worth it 🙂

  • Reply
    sherry @ save. spend. splurge.
    April 18, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    I regret ALL short scarves. I only like blanket, huge ones. I also regret mid-rise jeans. I only like high-rise… it stays on my body..

    For designer stuff, I have loved the Burberry trenches and flat designer boots (Hermès makes a killer wrap style) and I tend to stay away from platform/wedge anything or anything with logos (e.g. your “H” belt for instance)…

    • Reply
      Katherine
      April 19, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      Interesting about the short scarves! I like longer ones too.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    April 18, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Popular luxury items that I still enjoy immensely:
    Van Cleef & Arpels – I love every piece that I own and wear at least something VCA everyday which would be the Sweet diamond earrings that I don’t take off. I usually add on a pendant when heading out.

    Cartier Love bracelets – I wear my trio daily and only take them off when travelling as I hate going through extra hassle at airport security.

    Hermes Birkins – I don’t use them much, maybe a handful of times per year but I won’t give them up!

    Celine Trios – they were super popular at one point in time and I didn’t cave until long after the craze died down but it is my most loved hands free bag!

    Regrets ….
    Any Chanel bag – Reissue, Jumbo Flap etc., I have since re-homed them but I have one more in my wardrobe that I am thinking of letting go as well.

    Any Chanel jelly/rubber camellia sandals, hurts to walk and zero foot support

    Dior Fusion sneakers, hurts my feet

    Hermes Evelynes – I can’t seem to make them work for me as cross body bags, I find it too heavy when worn cross shoulder and it hurts my back. They work better for me as shoulder handbags with a shorter strap but I don’t really use shoulder bags anymore. Maybe it is just a phase.

    Hermes Picotins – I don’t know why I get them, I don’t do handheld bags very well. I know that Birkins fall into the same category but the few that I have, I treasure them too much to let go.

    Goyard St Louis tote – it just wasn’t a good travel bag for me – when I loaded it up, the straps cut into my shoulder ….

    • Reply
      Katherine
      April 19, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Love this, thank you for taking the time to write up all of these items! That’s interesting about the Chanel bags – I still love them, especially the Reissues.

  • Reply
    Ava
    April 18, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Dear Kat,
    What fun posts! 🙂

    Like you, I have quite a few H scarves which, frankly, have not seen the light of day for…years. That’s ok, bc I plan to wear them again in the future, it’s just not part of my wardrobe now (though I do wear scarves daily) but just been sticking to larger, longer, more easy-to-care-for-scarves (literally throw in the wash and dryer) in solid black.

    I don’t wear much of any of my H jewelry (enamels, Rivale, silver, etc.) save my beloved silver CDC every now and then nor any of my C ballet flats, nor anything too logo-y – though I am certain I will, again, in the future, but right now my wardrobe is pretty anonymous-looking 🙂 and quite boring. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sheep-able items I have (that I don’t wear as often) and will enjoy wearing them again in the future, this I know for a fact.

    I do wear a bit of Chanel jewelry and it usually goes completely unnoticed – mainly bc I tend to stick to the teeniest logos (as they tend to logo-ify everything) save the occasional pin here and there.

    Jewelry I wear on my hands regularly go largely unnoticed, though I am sure they are totally sheep-ish, lol – love ring, etoile band, and eternity band.

    Of my regrets, I would have to say it would be my Loro Piana Bellevue. I initially got it bc it was so under the radar which I got such a thrill out of and it seemed like it would be a workhorse. Unfortunately, not mine. It sags and can’t hold the fundamentals without sagging in odd places which just annoy me. I wish I had purchased something a little more sturdy but alas, it’s still very pretty while it sits unused. I am thinking of bringing it to my shoe repair place to see if they can insert some kind of cardboard or something to make it stronger…but am debating if I want them cutting into her. Eek!

    Hope you’re feeling good and enjoying eating for two! 🙂

    x
    Ava

  • Reply
    Susan
    April 19, 2017 at 12:52 am

    Love:
    Chanel caviar jumbo flaps – the perfect size handbag for me for every occasion and dress style except for evening wear (and sometimes even then!). I have in various colour/hardwear combos and frankly could live without any other style of bag
    LV Stephen Sprouse leopard scarf – this seemed a ridiculous amount of money for a scarf, especially when people complain about the fabric pulling, but I wear mine constantly and love it
    Gucci Marmont shoes – thought they were a gimmick but elicit compliments overtime I wear and super comfortable
    Big disappointment:
    Prada bags and shoes – saffiano leather wears terribly and the shoes cripple me.

  • Reply
    AKY
    April 19, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Like you I still love each pair of my tributes and really all of my YSL shoes and wear them often. They fit so well and I always feel good in them. I regret all but one pair of Loubs that I have. They are the worst shoes and hurt. I wish I never got them.
    I also had some LK Bennett shoes from the Kate Middleton phase and they are pretty uncomfortable. I got rid off most of them, but I wish I never got them.

  • Reply
    Linda
    April 19, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    I really love your thoughtful posts!
    I had an LV Metis bag which the lock constantly popped off, had it repaired and finally just sold it, but what a waste of money that was.
    I have a few Hermes scarves I use regularly and love and a few I never do but don’t have the heart to resell.
    I had a pair of Rockstud pumps that were pretty uncomfortable, also gone.
    I’m grateful to the luxury consigners out there because it does make “mistakes” easier to bear!
    I love my YSL Tributes, too– very comfortable for that kind of shoe.
    And my Gucci loafers, so comfortable.
    It’s funny how different we all are– my Goyard is the biggest work horse and I’m glad I got it personalized. It makes me smile every time as well as being super functional for me.
    My husband got me a Links gold bracelet and I constantly wear that as it’s simple and comfortable.
    As far as being a sheep– y’all are making me want VCA!

  • Reply
    Nina
    April 20, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Ohhhhh I absolutely love Hermes 90 scarves (and even more their shawls). I think their scarves elevate any outfit and the designs are like artwork. I collected so many over the years…got rid of most and just are starting my collection over. I guess I don’t consider them trendy at all. I did however get rid of 100% of all my fun H “jewelry” including CDCs. Also got rid of all of my Valentino rock studs and YSL shoes…mainly because I am now gravitating toward flats. But, still treasure VCA and Hermes bags…no matter how popular they are!

    • Reply
      Katherine
      April 23, 2017 at 11:45 pm

      I’d love to hear about any H scarves you kept! Interesting that you went back to them later 🙂

      • Reply
        Anonymous
        April 28, 2017 at 7:26 pm

        Hi Katherine! Btw i have been a huge fangirl of this blog for a long time and follow your travel posts religiously as coincidentally we travel to the same cities!! I am also on tpf… Hmmm about hermes scarves…i had over the years amassed a scary number of 90 silks…most were difficult to incorporate into my wardrobe (they seemed so pretty in the boutique??) …i was also raising small children and now they are a much more manageable age…13 and 6. I find myself dressing in fun clothes again i.e., Alaia, Balmain, Rick Owens,,,,and funny enough I fell in love with the 90s again just this year. I had kept Etriers in blue and white cw as this was easiest to thrown on with white tshirts and jeans but this season added Tyger Tyger, Brides de Fleuries and Samourais in The 90 and a few csgms. And I am wearing them daily!! The recent collection of csgm and 90s have been amazing…Dallet, Panthera Pardus, Tyger Tyger…hmmm maybe I just have a thing for cats???? Anyway…dont be surprised if you find yourself drawn to these classic accesories again after your kids are a little bigger?? I had also sold off all of my Bs And Ks and just started to build up my collection Again but thats a whole other story!!

        • Reply
          Nina
          April 28, 2017 at 7:28 pm

          Sorry dont know why my reply to you showed up as anonymous…

          • Katherine
            April 29, 2017 at 10:39 am

            Hi Nina, thanks so much for sharing your experience!! I feel better about keeping some of my scarves around. Also isn’t that funny about the Bs – I sold off mine and recently just added one back, even though I know I won’t be able to use it for a few years. Would love to hear about your B and K journey!

          • Nina
            April 29, 2017 at 11:10 am

            I bought the first b offered to me which was a b40!! (This was about 10 years ago) and a kelly soon followed which was a 35 …I loved my b and k so much that I sold off most of my other bags (Chanels, LVs, YSLs)…and stubbornly tried to use my large b/k even after my son was born…the last straw was when I was trying to maneuver a stroller, my b40 and a very hot cup of coffee…it spilled all over me and I shipped off both the b and k to therealreal. I lost thousands of $$$ and was so upset. But somehow convinced myself a b35 was the answer…and about 3 b35s later, i realized that it was still too big and heavy for me with little sad calvi, phone and lipatick whooshing around the bottom of my bag! I got rid of all the bs. And stayed away from H and spent most of my $$$ on VCA when a few years later a new store director at my H lured me back. I have since built up my bs and ks again with b30s and k28s…i am SO happy….they are much easier to use and probanly heps a lot that I no longer need a stroller and my youngest is in school full day so I can be out and about unburdened!
            Which B did you add back??!!!!! I am waiting for a b25…yes i am a sheep!! Baaah baahhh!!

  • Reply
    Amy
    April 23, 2017 at 6:21 am

    As much as I want to buy fun fashion items from stealth designers, nothing seems to retain value except the usual brands — H, C, VCA — so then I run the risk of being stuck with items I’m tired of but can’t get rid of. This is at odds with my desire to have a really well-edited closet, in which I don’t own anything more than strictly necessary — ideally one item in each “category” (e.g., black evening clutch, minimalist cuff…) so that each item is treasured and worn often — so I wind up back at the usual brands.

    • Reply
      Katherine
      April 23, 2017 at 11:48 pm

      This is such a good point – thank you for sharing, you expressed something I’ve struggled with myself!

  • Reply
    Pret a Porter P
    April 23, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Chanel jacket. I didn’t have the “Chanel” life to match. Such a huge waste. I’ve made my expensive mistakes, but they weren’t very “sheep-y”, I simply not that rich!

    • Reply
      Katherine
      April 23, 2017 at 11:47 pm

      I understand this! Chanel jackets can be hard to incorporate, I’ve learned my lessons in this area as well.

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