The 24 Best Things I Bought in 2017

English Factory Dress, Levi's Jean Jacket, J.Crew Signet Bag in Carl Schurz Park // Pearl Girl

This is the last of my looking back on 2017 posts — with the exception of all the travel recaps that are still to come, starting with Belgium next week! I love reading about people’s favorite buys, partially because it’s interesting, and partially for ideas. I loved a lot of the things I bought this year (a great thing, as it means money well spent!) so I thought I’d chronicle my own. Since it is so many, I divided them into sections: Tech, fashion, life and beauty.

And tell me in the comments — what was your favorite thing you bought this year?

TECH

Bose QuietComfort Noise Canceling Headphones // Anyone who knows me knows how sensitive I am to sound. I had debated these for over a year, but the price tag had me wary. But when I had an unexpected influx of cash in the exact amount of these headphones this spring, I decided to take the plunge. If you don’t want to make a smaller splurge, the older model of the headphones is still available and likely works (almost) as well. I’d have to say this is likely my #1 purchase of 2017. Yes, there are very expensive but for how much I use them (literally everyday at work and on every flight, train or bus ride) they are so worth it.

Sony a6000 Camera // As you might have read in this post, I recently bought a new camera! And though it was an end of the year purchase, it still makes the cut. I took it out for a spin during the massive snowstorm on Thursday and I am obsessed. The image quality is so much better than my DSLR (which makes perfect sense, as it’s almost eight years old) and it comes in a much lighter package. I can’t wait to take this with me on trips and snap blog photos with it!

iPhone 8 Plus // I also upgraded my phone this year, to the iPhone 8 Plus. The larger size (I previously had a 6S) took a bit of time to get used to, but now I don’t think I could go back. The camera is also incredible, which is so nice for when I don’t want to bring my real one out with me. (I’ll also admit that I did not actually buy this myself — it was a gift from my lovely mom. Thanks mom!)

PopSocket // If you get an iPhone Plus, however, you desperately need a PopSocket. (Especially if you’re a woman.) The phone is a little on the large side, and this is a huge help in holding it. It pops out the back so you can just grip the back of your phone without holding onto both sides.

Barbour Beadnell, Wedgie Icon Fit High Waist Crop Jeans, J.Crew Gemma Flats // Pearl Girl

Wearing the Levi’s Wedgie Icon Jeans in this post.

FASHION

Longchamp Le Pilage Bag // Longchamp totes were very popular when I was in high school, so when I went on a class trip to France in tenth grade, I scooped one up since they were at a discount in their country of origin. I wore it to death in high school and early college, but haven’t used it quite as much since. But needing a bag big enough to lug everything around when I was in Europe this fall led me to throw it in my suitcase. Guys, what have I been doing? This is the best travel tote! You can fit a big camera, a sweater, all the essentials plus travel documents, but it’s lightweight AND has a zipper to protect from pickpockets! My old one was really on its last legs — the interior lining was completely coming off, and the corners were busted. So I picked up a new one (in navy) in France, where they’re significantly cheaper. I already have brought it with me on two more trips just in 2017!

Levi’s Wedgie Icon Jeans // These jeans make your butt look great and make you look so cool. I love the straight leg and raw hem and I promise, they’ll look good on anyone! Size up a size, Levi’s jeans run small!

Everlane Bridge Sandals // I’m usually a Jack Rogers loyalist when it comes to flat sandals, but I loved how these Everlane sandals looked like the Hermès Oran sandals without the massive price tag. They’re so elegant and go with any outfit, which I love. I really wore them to death over the summer, and plan to do the same next summer.

Nike AirMax Thea Sneakers // These are so comfortable for days walking around while traveling, or great for spin class or an afternoon at the gym. (I’ve heard that they’re not the most supportive for long runs though, so keep that in mind if you’re a runner!) Also the colors are so cute and make them much more chic than just a classic gym shoe. Also, they’re on sale at the link I shared.

Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag // I’ve already waxed poetic about this bag, which I nabbed on Mercari, a resale app, for a significant discount. It’s such a gorgeous color and a great size — fits a camera and all your essentials.

Stuart Weitzman Midlands // The big question about these boots is whether or not they’re worth their $800 price tag. And I have to admit, I wouldn’t pay that much for them. I got them on a crazy deal for $300 — still a lot for a pair of shoes. But for a pair of boots I’d been eyeing for literal years, I decided to go for it. While they’re gorgeous and I don’t regret the purchase, I would never buy them if they weren’t on sale. So keep your eye out for a sale — the exact pair I have is $300 off at the link above!

J.Crew Signet Crossbody Bag // This is such a great little crossbody. I have it in the pink with a navy tag, sadly no longer available. It’s affordable — if buy it on sale, which it almost always is, you can get it for less than $100, and holds just the right amount of stuff without being too bulky.

Tassel Earrings // Ironically, these were purchased from an Etsy shop based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where I just was a few weeks ago. But they’re insanely affordable and adorable. Plus, they’re really light so they don’t weigh down your earlobes the way beaded tassel earrings can.

Tailored Clothing in Hoi An, Vietnam // When I was in Vietnam, my family and I visited a tailor in Hoi An to have a few items made. It was honestly incredible. I got three gorgeous items custom made — a silk shirt, a midi skirt and a dress — for less than you’d pay for them at a normal store, where they aren’t literally sewn to fit your body. I know I’ll treasure these items forever and can’t wait to shoot them for the blog!

LIFE

S’well Bottle // I weirdly came into five (!!) of these this year as gifts or through events, and I’ve kept one for home and one for the office. I’m all about reusable water bottles (it’s literally the easiest thing you can do to help the environment) and it really does keep your cold liquids cold forever. I haven’t tried hot liquids in it, but I assume it works just as well.

New Rug // My old rug was sad, dirty and after an ill-fated trip the cleaners, falling apart. I was so happy to be rid of it and bring this one in instead, which is a bit more elegant and covers more of my floor.

Wire Shoe Rack // Very simple, but I got this for near my bedroom door and it’s a great place to stash the shoes I wear most often so they’re right in sight and I don’t have to go hunting for them in my closet.

Travel Pillow // I saw Bridget recommend this pillow on her Instagram several times, and as a fellow frequent traveler I figured why not try? This thing is AMAZING. It doubles as an eye mask and a travel pillow, plus it helps to block out noise on the plane around you. It’s a little bulky to put in a carry-on tote, but now I don’t think I could handle five hour plus flight without it.

Wearing the Sisley Lip Crayon in this post.

BEAUTY

Tiger Balm // This stuff is available at every 7/11 in Thailand for a dollar. And it is magic. There’s one that’s for cooling and one that’s for warming, and I’ve only used the former. I can’t even really describe the sensation it gives you, but it’s sort of a icy cool relief. It’s great to put on your temples for headaches or on bug bites. Though it’s not quite as ubiquitous here as it is in Southeast Asia, you can still buy it on Amazon.

First Aid Beauty Moisturizer // I love to layer this priming moisturizer on my skin in the morning, whether I’m wearing foundation that day or not. It also has a nice consistency and doesn’t leave your skin feeling sticky.

Sisley Lip Crayon // I know, I know. It’s a lot to pay for lipstick. But these are the best lipsticks ever! They sort of feel like a balm, but a bit more intense than that. They’re moisturizing and go on so smoothly. I have two, both of which I got at a discount, so I’d suggest keeping your eyes open for sales.

Benefit RollerLash Mascara // I’m usually not that loyal to different mascaras, as I find most of them work pretty well so why be picky? But this one is something different. It’s basically a better version of your natural lashes. No clumps, super lengthening, not all “bulky,” if that’s the right word to describe it. As someone with very blonde lashes, I especially love it. I pretty much always have to wear mascara to avoid looking like I’m deathly ill. With this, they look natural but still present, haha!

Chanel Bronzer Stick // As someone who is literally so, so pale, my biggest concern with bronzer is always that it’ll be too dark and make me ridiculous. I love this creamy bronzer stick because it’s not too dark and is easily blendable.

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  • Diana, I loved this post! It’s structured so well. I also came into so many SWELL bottles this year — including the one we got at C+C. I’ve been wanting to try the Rollerlash Mascara and I think you sold me on it.

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

    • thank you so much katie!! and seriously i feel like they became THE gift of 2017. i use the one we got at C+C all the time at home! you need to try this mascara, it’s perfect for a more natural look!