The best things I bought in 2023

In starting to plan the year ahead, I decided to take one look back at 2023 and realized there was a new idea there—I've never done a recap of my favorite things that I actually bought. I'm not including anything I received for free; these are things I spent my own hard-earned dollars on, and more importantly, these are things that I wear all the time, use all the time, or simply bring me joy. Here are my best buys of 2023. 


I'm making this easy and wearing six of my favorite buys of 2023 all in one outfit, and if that doesn't speak to how good all of these pieces are, then I don't know what does. Seriously though, I wear these things constantly. Here's what I love about them all.

Max Mara Estuaria coat

You first saw this in my holiday gift guide, then in my 2023 recap, but here it is again in all of its open glory. This coat looks and feels like a super-luxurious bathrobe, and the fact that I got it in oatmeal really emphasizes that aspect. It is unlined, which makes it not ideal for super-cold winter weather, but pretty much perfect for San Francisco, where it rarely drops below 40 degrees (to be fair, I wore it in Chicago when it was 27 and snowing, and I was fine, if a bit wet). This coat was a splurge, however I got an amazing Black Friday deal on it, and even then, I probably still would have paid full price for it. She's a beauty. 

Anine Bing Lili tee

This is a ridiculous amount to pay for a T-shirt, however I wear my Anine Bing Tiger tee at least once a week (it has faded to a perfectly broken-in state) so I figured I'd invest in another one. I generally am not a fan of faux-vintage things nor blatant designer logos (more on that later) and honestly, I don't know what makes these tees so special, other than they just seem to go with everything, they're cut incredibly well, and they're very soft. 

Celine Triomphe belt

Like I said, I'm generally not a fan of designer logos...unless they're very subtle. I was not at first into what Hedi Slimane was doing at Celine (I am Team Philo all the way) however I do like that he brought back Celine's classic C logo and, honestly, I think my ego likes anything with a C on it. (See also: Chanel and Chloé.) This belt makes anything I'm wearing look that much more polished, and I really do think the logo is pretty subtle. 

Madewell Harlow pants

I tried several pairs of wide-leg trousers before I found these (in Hawaii of all places), and dear lord do I love the Harlow. They are so comfortable, they (almost) feel like pajama pants, and the weight makes them perfect year-round. As a bonus, they're machine washable. Getting the right fit can be tricky (I went down a size), but once you do, they're totally worth it. Highly recommend these, even if you are a skinny-pant devotee. 

Chanel Wallet on a Chain

So, as I have quietly mentioned here a few times, I co-wrote a book last year, which is coming out in May. I decided to reward myself with a Chanel bag, which, again, has a big logo on it, but it's a C so that's obviously an exception. I initially wanted a Classic Flap, but once I tried opening it and closing it a few times, I found the double-inner flap situation to be kind of annoying. Also, Classic Flaps are $$$. So I settled on a WOC, which is comically small (it holds my phone, lipstick, reading glasses, and keys, with my credit cards and cash in the pockets) but it's my first Chanel bag and I love it. 

AllSaints Shana sneakers

While a bunch of other bloggers and influencers continue to complain about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I still cover it because I personally love shopping it (and based on my metrics, so do you). Case in point: I scored these silver sneakers, which I call my fancy sneakers because they're all sleek and shiny. They make me feel like less of a scumbag, even though, I know, everyone wears sneakers everywhere nowadays (myself included). As a bonus, they are surprisingly comfy. 


This is a fairly tricky category, because I still get sent a lot of free product, especially when it comes to hair and skincare (and I have a good friend who's still at Sephora and keeps giving me swag). But one thing I've always splurged on is fragrance, and as long as I'm gainfully employed,  I will continue to do so. And now that my stash of Sephora gratis is finally running out, I have a feeling I'll be buying a lot more of my own makeup in 2024. But here's what I bought (and loved) in 2023. 

Santa Maria Novella Rosa Gardenia body cream

A key part of my signature scent is my beloved Santa Maria Novella Latte Pour Il Corpo lotion, and I nearly had a breakdown when I found out it was being discontinued. Thankfully, the sales associate told me that this lotion has nearly the same fragrance, and I can confirm that it does, however I find the formula to be not quite as moisturizing. Still, I can live with it. 

Buly Savon Superfin Mexican Tuberose 

As I will tell anyone who will listen, I thought the shopping in Tokyo was better than Paris, one of the many reasons being that I've never seen so many Buly stores in my life (and as with everywhere in Japan, the sales associates are almost disarmingly friendly and accommodating, which is certainly not the case in Paris). One of the things I bought there was this soap—excuse me—this "savon superfin," which is a fancy way of saying $30 bar soap. But it smells divine, and frivolous spending doesn't count when you're on vacation. 

Makeup by Mario SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Enhancer

So even by the name alone, you're probably going, "What?" True, I cannot tell you what this product actually is. It's not a foundation, nor a highlighter, nor a bronzer, but kind of a light, creamy mixture of the three. I apply it with a brush to my temples, the bridge of my nose, and my cheekbones, and somehow it just makes my skin look...enhanced. So there you go. 

Penetrex Joint & Muscle Therapy

In case you thought I was getting too high and mighty with my $30 bar soap, I'm bringing it back down to earth with this completely unsexy yet incredibly effective cream. I constantly have tight muscles and knotty fascia due to my autoimmune disorder, and this stuff has been a godsend in helping reduce my inflammation. Massage it on your legs and feet after a long day (or night) of standing and thank me later. 

N Nayasa wig 

I bought this for a Halloween party (I was "pink") and let me tell you, I was feeling myself. To the point that I thought, why am I only discovering the joy of wigs now? I feel like I've been missing out. Seriously, this wig is not the highest quality (the hair is synthetic), but in terms of fun, it's a 10/10. 


Last year, I completely redecorated my living room, kind of by accident. The TL;DR from that post is that I treated myself to a new rug for my birthday last year (this is apparently what you do when you're in your 40s) and ended up replacing most of the furniture in my living room because it no longer matched. It all worked out, though; to be honest, I love everything about my living room, so it's hard to pick my favorite pieces, but I narrowed it down to five. 

Wayfair Kian sofa

I am generally not a Wayfair person, and I never would have thought to look there for a sofa, but when this popped up on Facebook Marketplace, it was like light breaking through the clouds. I am embarrassed at how impulsively I bought this—I made Sean promise that he liked it and that I wasn't making a mistake—but it is so ridiculously comfy, I look forward to the point in my day where I get to sit on it for several hours.  

Peri Home tassel curtains

These curtains make me happy every time I see them, and they get a ton of compliments. The tassels go a long way in adding personality, and I'm just relieved that they won't get bleached by the sun. They're pretty opaque considering how thick the fabric is, but they do cut the glare when drawn. I'm just so pleased with how light they've made my (already bright) living room. 

CB2 Amber chairs

I had originally wanted a pair of vintage Danish sheepskin-covered chairs, which were waaaay outside of my budget, but I'm so glad that we ended up with these instead, because they're perfect (and, to be honest, I think sheepskin would be way too hot in the sun). They're comfy while still having the look we wanted, and because they were floor samples, we got them for a song.

Schumacher Zebra pillows and Brunschwig et Fils Les Touches pillows

I've been obsessed with both of these fabrics for ages, so when given the chance to splurge on new throw pillows, of course I went for it. (And splurges these were—I spent more on pillow covers than on the couch itself.) I think they add a good amount of texture without feeling too crazy or overwhelming—keeping a similar palette is key. And as with everything in life, it's the little things that bring you the most joy. 


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Laura B said...

I can see why these are your favorite items. They are all classic, versatile pieces and clearly well made! I need to try Penetrex Joint & Muscle Therapy. It sounds fabulous and might be nice after a hard workout! said...

The whole outfit is so stylish, I love your coat and the silver sneakers. I've always wanted to try a pink wig! Your living room is beautiful, so light and calm. Thanks for linking up!

Emma xxx

Gail Is This Mutton? said...

What a great idea for a post. The quality shines through in your favourite garment buys. I love the coat and Anine Bing Lili tee. You've also reminded me that I have a lilac wig, never worn! Thanks for linking.

hamza said...

your blog is very nice.