2015 :: My Favorite Things

Forget raindrops on roses, my favorite things this year all came via UPS (I love you, btw). Since we're winding the year down, I wanted to take a look at some of my favorite purchases from the past year and give my recommendations on a few things you might want to add to your Christmas list.

1. Zara Black Flats

I'm not sure how many appearances these flats have made on the blog this year, but they've appeared on my feet 2-3 times a week since they arrived. After missing out on the Zara strappy flats from last year, I was thrilled to see these pop up this year. After spending all year stalking the Aquazurra lace-up flats, I think I may love these even more; particularly the price ($50!).

If you want to add the best flats I own to your closet, they're still for sale. I'm considering back up. If you'd prefer something less strappy, Joie has a lovely line of simple ankle strap flats.

2. Stuart Weitzman 5050 Boots

I've loved these boots for years, and lived in a knock-off version from ShoeDazzle for the past few years. I made the upgrade this year thanks to my partnership with Shopbop and could not be more thrilled! They're a splurge for sure, but these boots have been around for 22 years now, which makes them unlikely to go out of style any time soon. PurseBlog gave them 5/5 stars, and I agree. The leather is insanely soft, and they make an excellent travel boot thanks to their soft, roll-able nature. If you can, buy them. Trust me. Here's a pretty good similar as well.

3. J.Crew Factory City Coat

While there's only one appearance on the blog so far, This coat has been such a delight - and a real testament to the powers of alteration. When I ordered this coat (back when it was still hot), there weren't petite sizes available so I took it to have the sleeves altered. While I was there, they also decided to pin up the back to tailor it a bit more and I am SO pleased with how it came out. I'm donating all of my coats that don't fit this well to Coats for Kids, because they're going to get left behind. Factory is selling this in petite sizes now, but I never would have gotten it tailored without going in for the sleeves, so it was a happy accident.

4. Spanx Leggings

I bought these leggings at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale this year, and omg. They've actually taken the place of every other pair of leggings I own because they fit well, make you feel slim without being overly compressing, and sit nicely on my waist. The "leather look" edge that they provide is just an added bonus. I will be buying more Spanx leggings in the future for SURE. They are perfect, and BARELY beat out last year's favorite leggings, Yummie by Heather Thompson, which I still highly recommend.

5. Karen Walker Harvest Sunglasses

Thanks to Ditto's Endless Eyewear program, I got to test the Karen Walker Harvest sunglasses before I committed. I wasn't sure the shape or style would work for me, but lo and behold, I knew I was going to buy them the second I put them on. I don't buy new sunglasses terribly often, but Karen Walker eyewear is just SO GOOD. I also swear by my KW Super Dupers, which my friends have decided are the sunglasses equivalent of The Traveling Pants: They look good on everyone (even dudes somehow). They made my favorite things list because they were an unexpected favorite.

6. Bags. All of them.

I didn't used to be a bag girl. I swear. But once you buy one designer bag, it becomes some sort of weird addiction. I couldn't pick just one from this year because they've all been OMGMYFAVORITEEVER, so I'm giving a nod to these two as a tie. I'm actually surprised at how much I love my Louis Vuitton Favorite MM bag. We went to LV in Vegas to look at one of the travel bags for BB and the charming Catalina talked me into this little crossbody. I've never been a big fan of the monogram bags, but the Damier Ebène is subtle and classic. I have to admit I love the history of Louis Vuitton's brand, so owning a piece feels like a piece of fashion history. I also can't hate on the coated canvas, because this bag has become my go-to on rainy days since it's basically indestructible.

The Balenciaga City has been on my wishlist for a few years and always seemed like it was out of reach, but thanks to Poshmark and a good amount of stalking, I finally snagged one. I love how crazy light it is, and it's great for adding a bit of edge to otherwise boring outfits. I'd also like to give a shoutout to Poshmark's Concierge Service, who authenticated this bag so I didn't have to worry. I'd ordered one a few weeks before that didn't pass the test!

So those are just a few of my favorite purchases this year. My style has shifted a lot in just a year, so I've tried to really focus on buying things that could live through a lot of years of ever-changing style. What are some of your favorite buys of 2015?

AJ Wears :: Suede Over-the-Knee Boots

We've come to the point where normal boots look too short to me now. It shouldn't be that way for a short girl, but I love boots that go over the knee SO much that my normal knee-high boots have been tucked to the back of my closet (or given to my sister). After stalking these for two months on Asos, one pair finally popped back into stock. The model in the photo had a full gap all the way around her thighs when she had the boots on, but whatever. I still love them.

I'd also like to make a note about this skirt, since it came from Forever 21. I've been increasingly surprised by their quality as of late. This skirt was available in waist sizes, not just the standard S-M-L and is a thicker material than things I've gotten there in the past. While this particular skirt doesn't seem to be available online anymore, items in store seem to go out later than they're available online and you can probably still find it in store. The items that tend to be higher quality are from the F21 Contemporary label. I'm seeing them shift to more of an H&M selling style now, with slightly higher-quality items sold for a little more mixed in with the uber cheap $3 t-shirts.

Boots, Asos (exact, out of stock // similar from Asos).
Skirt, Forever 21 (similar from Forever 21).
Blouse, Asos (exact).
Sweater, J.Crew Factory (exact - I bought mine in petite).
Earrings, BaubleBar.

Need more OTK boot ideas? Here ya go:

AJ Wears :: A Bunch of Black

I just can't with the 90's (temps, not the era. all hail overalls!) any more, so when I got dressed this morning I just NEEDED SOMETHING. So I added a vest. I wouldn't normally wear a long vest with some culottes, but I've gone crazy. Something in my head has snapped, and now I just wear whatever pops into my head because FASHION. I'm even wearing Spanx so it all hangs properly, because I'm an ADULT. FALL. UGGS. BUZZWORDS.

An adult who uses A LOT OF CAPS LOCK OKAY??? I'm actually not sure I brought a full brain back from Vegas, but I did bring some nice presents for myself from Neiman Marcus. Now enjoy this extremely odd outfit that I actually really enjoyed wearing today, even if it kind of looks like a muumuu. I'm just embracing the 90 year old inside of me.

Vest, Forever 21 (similar from XXI).
Top, Forever 21 (exact! get it!!).
Culottes, Asos (similar and amazing from Asos).
Flats, Zara (exact).