What’s The Best Thing You’ve Ever Purchased?

by Leandra Medine
October 29, 2013
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shopping

You never forget your first and it always remains the best. But it’s important to note that best does not assume most outlandish or decadent. I’ll continue to remember the first designer dress I ever bought, and I’ll probably never forget those Prada sandals either, but sometimes, (I’d argue very often) the first-rate spoils of your closet appear in the form of what once were the least exciting purchases: the ones that elicit a “Phew, I found you,” at, for lack of a better word, best.

So, to make that clear, in order for the garment to be rendered “best,” you should still be using it today. It does not have to have cost any specific dollar amount and if it doesn’t feature a print or some sort of indicator that it could have previously belonged to royalty that is perfectly fine if not preferred.

I remember mine like it was yesterday. I’d just returned from my semester abroad and as a result, was ready to put the changes I’d deliberately culled overseas into action on American soil. I’d obviously become an international woman of mystery that could take down the last Austin Powers any day of the week and therefore wanted the advisers of my exterior to project just that. Where I’d previously been a self-proclaimed pundit of the mini skirt and tights — a girl, in other words — for the first time in forever, I wanted trousers. Yes, trousers. Those would communicate my development from kid to mature adult famously.

On a Thursday afternoon, on my way home from (an unpaid) internship, I stopped at the Zara on 42nd street, trousers on my mind. And when I came upon the black-wash, low-rise, slightly slouchy jeans featuring ankle zippers at the slim bottom of the cropped pants, an Edith Piaf song — interrupted by Patti Smith’s “Because the Night” started playing in my heart.

Trousers? What trousers?

These jeans had insouciant stitching on the knees thus creating the illusion of a Balmain-style motorcycle pant and this was back in 2009, people. What’s more? They fit like a not-latex-nor-North-Face-glove which, of course, made them perfect.

I took the pants to the register and waited on that familiar, large intestine-sized line until I finally made it to the cashier where I learned they were half off. That made them $25, which made me happier than an otter chomping on white fish. I took the pants home, put them on, and four years later, we’re still together — and happily, at that.

So, that’s my long version of a Best-Item-Ever story, which makes it your turn: WHAT THE FUCK IS THE BEST THING YOU HAVE EVER PURCHASED? Photos encouraged.

-Leandra Medine

Image via Interview, March 2011.

REPLIES
  • Luarnaiz

    Definitely my leather jacket. I was in Zara with my mom and I saw the perfect leather jacket. It was love. But it was very expensive for my almost non existent salary. So I made a deal with my mom, sho bought it and I payed her for it for 6 months striaght.

    We are still together.

  • http://alcessa.wordpress.com/ alcessa

    In … 2001, I had a summer job in a factory, I assembled small car parts for 7,5 hours a day, chatted with other students and got home by 3 pm. I was young and I needed the money for my studies. It was a well-paid job, too, so no damage done.

    Anyway, after having got paid I found myself in a shoe store, quite surprisingly. I really needed the money for serious things, but I enjoyed the feeling I could buy a pair of shoes, if I wanted to, cause I had some money and so-

    “Hey! It’s us!” They were talking to me. They were.

    “We are you! We are SO you, you know?”

    One look at them and I realized: those shoes really were so me. So I sacrificed 50 DM (we didn’t have € back then, but that would be 25 €, officially) and bought them.

    8 years later, we were still very much together. My friends who wouldn’t themselves go near such shoes told me they were exactly the right ones for me. So yes, ours was a happy triumvirate.

    Till they couldn’t take it anymore and their soles broke apart.

    Now there’s a hole in my life I cannot fill, left by my most beloved shoes

    • Leandra Medine

      Those are *basically* Prada!

      • http://alcessa.wordpress.com/ alcessa

        Yeah :-) So you see, this is how it goes …

  • http://www.EatStylePlay.com/ Eat.Style.Play

    My best purchase was something I wanted really badly but it seemed like part of the “blogger” essentials. At some point I didn’t want it anymore for that same reason but I said #YOLO! I walked into Nordstroms and after shutting myself off from any sort of shopping emails/mail/whatever for about a month or two I forgot that it was the Semi Anni Sale. I walked over to the watches because I was in there for tights for a job interview. They were on sale the Rose Gold one. I swore I would take care of it and only wear it for special occassions. Pshhh…two years later that thing is wore and crazy looking but worth the investment. I wear it almost everyday, and get compliments on it all the time from men and women. love it.

    Even though you said “thing”…I have two. When i went to Rome I had one of those moments where I was so caught up in being in Rome and walking through that area where all of the stores are that I didn’t care. I went in Prada because I was obsessed with those colorblocked wedges they had. I walked in and asked to try on a pair that came in colors that most blogs hadn’t drooled over. They fit perfectly. I was so caught up int he moment that I forgot to convert the Euros to Dollars…I got back to my apartment there and didn’t care…and then I realized I got the taxes back! Anyway, love those shoes to death. They make me SUPER tall (already 5’8) but I love them and I’d never sell or give them away.

  • http://jessjoycej.wordpress.com/ Jessica Joyce

    Your book. (Do I get points?)

    Well, I will say that I still wear this Marc Jacobs shirt that’s just toooooo comfortable to take off.

  • Randi Killian

    It was at least four years ago, I walked into Wasteland on Melrose in LA and there it was, a red William Rast leather jacket on the mannequin. It was in mint condition and just under a hundred bucks. It was MINE. It is still one my go to jackets and possibly my greatest purchase ever.

  • Gigi

    Well, mine has to be an 80s Givenchy dress at my local thrift store, I paid about 3 dollars for it, it’s amazing and I love it to death!

  • http://www.futurelint.blogspot.com/ FutureLint

    A vintage Vietnam War era Army shirt which had been customized by someone loooong ago (most likely for protests). It’s been washed about 1,000,000 times which makes it ridiculously soft and I love that it has so much history behind it!
    http://futurelint.blogspot.com/2013/05/vietnam-war-army-jacket.html

  • Well…

    Hmm. Best thing I’ve ever purchased may have to be my Tom Binns bracelet. Every time I wear it, I feel like a million dollars. It’s sparkly and over-the-top and definitely not an everyday item, but I would easily wear it as such.

    I wore it yesterday and I swear I smiled everytime I caught a glimmer of it in the corner of my eye.

  • http://www.downtownhautefashion.blogspot.com/ Leslie

    The best thing I ever purchased was a Jetsons Tumbler at a yard sale. It’s pretty awesome.

    :)

  • Amelia Diamond

    A pair of gray Miu Miu platform heels that I bought insanely on sale and nearly died when my dad took them without my knowledge and replaced their sole with essentially the same bottom of a Timbaland boot because he was afraid the Miu Mius had no traction. I thought he ruined them but realized he had instead created the most durable pair of “going out shoes” ever.

    Then I lost them and my heart broke.

    • Leandra Medine

      I was there! It was hilarious!

      • Albequerque

        When she found out her shoes had been Timbalan-ed, or when she lost them and her heart broke?

    • Shannon Ashley Kennard

      My heart breaks for you…

    • luxe1968

      I once watched, like a slow motion accident, as my most treasured vintage ruby crystal necklace, bizarrely came undone as I was leaning over to flush the toilet, in a club restroom stall. It seriously dropped into the bowl as the flush was simultaneously sucking it down. There was no reaching in and saving it (I would have) – it was gone in an instant:-( At least you probably lost your Miu Miu’s in a more dignified manner, if that is any consolation.

  • Shannon Ashley Kennard

    This would have to be my DKNY watch that I bought at my undergrad campus (UNT) for $25 at a sample sale hosted by Fossil! It’s gold with a mother-of-pearl face and little gold flowers etched on the glass.
    Fast forward 3 years. We’ve been glued at the wrist ever since..

  • http://www.stylefile.in/ Dayle Pereira

    It was a hot pink Nike sweatshirt. I know, not fashionable and chic sounding, but I will never forget spotting the bright pop of colour from across the store and hugging it so tight when I finally got it. And about 5 years down and I still pull it out on those chilly days :)

  • G. G.

    My pre-worn Gap jeans with haphazard embroidery embelishments. I thought maybe I was getting too old for holey jeans, but I bought them anyway. I get compliments when I wear them; build outfits around them; feel sexy wearing them; love them so!

  • Amanda Gervais

    A pair of Lindsay Plate Frye boots! A bit of a splurge at close to $500, but I got them 25% off on shopbop and even after paying the shipping and duty to Canada – they were worth every penny! Have never loved an inanimate object so much. In. My. Life.

  • Kat

    A green Gucci purse. I was shopping at DSW recently with my mom and I saw it on the rack and went to pick it off to jokingly ask her to buy it for me as “It was only $1000!” But when I grabbed it I realized it was actually $199.95 with an extra 30% off. That brought it down to an unheard of $139. It turns out it was a return and it’s still $700+ on their website. I obviously bought it. I hadn’t been on the hunt for a Gucci bag since college but when I saw this one, I just had to have it. See below.

  • Lefukaka

    DO NOT GET ME STARTED!!! I was in bumble-fk upstate ny with my ex in-laws when I spotted this baby and my heart skipped a beat. I may or may not have had a heart attack at the perfectly cropped, hand beaded, wear over anything masterpiece. It has no label and my incredible ex father-in-law was able to finagle it down to $15. Needless to say, it lasted longer than the marriage and it is my ALL time instant go to piece.

  • c

    Isabel Marant BALTIMORE sneakers, the one nobody has even heard of.

  • Charlotte Fassler

    A Dress I bought from H&M 8 years ago is still one of my best purchases. I saw it on a girl at school who I didn’t know, found out where she got it and scored the last one in the only LA store at the time. Always and forever a favorite for me

  • Leah Marsh

    I have a stolen vintage Harley-Davidson tshirt and hoodie from an ex-boyfriend (thank you Mr. Radin) that I definitely considered “more me than him” and I would die if I lost either one because they’re so perfect and comfy.. Or the first pair of Jimmy Choos that I bought because they screamed DISCO. Not as comfy, but absolutely perfect for a night out!

  • http://eileentheooer.blogspot.com/ Eileen

    I honestly haven’t met THE ONE yet. But I have one that comes close. Recall that one holiday season when I was an A&F “model” and I had to wear their stuff on the job. I’ve worn this pair of rinse super skinnies so often that it has faded more than 10 shades (now it’s an awkward shade of dark blue but it’s hard to let go). It has the best fit out of all the jeans I own.

  • http://FrenchCalifornian.blogspot.com/ Hannah Wilson

    “I’d obviously become an international woman of mystery.”

    Hahaha! Exactly how every girl feels after studying abroad!

  • Katie

    I have found THE ONE but it happens to be a pair of furkenstocks from Phoebe Philo’s spring 2013 collection. I bought them from a personal shopper and had them shipped from Paris. They are completely worth it! I do not wear them often so I do not wear them out and I baby them (no wearing them in the rain!) They look great with jeans and leather leggings and I LOVE THEM! When they sold out worldwide I knew I had struck gold!

    I also spotted a pair of Bruno Frisoni 2009 wedges in a magazine years ago and I tracked them down on eBay- success! Now he is designing just for Roger Vivier- but I got hooked on his designs 2 years ago when I went to Paris and bought my first pair of expensive shoes.

    I’m surprised my Isabel Marant Beckett’s didn’t make the list… but I have lots of pairs and I feel like they are much more casual.

  • Katie

    PS I wear this Dries Van Noten top almost every day off I have from work because it layers so well and is preppy- I love it so much I am worried I am going to wear it out! :(

  • luxe1968

    James Coviello gorgeous vintage inspired crochet/knitwear Spring 2006. Still in love:-)

  • kforkarli

    Every stripey shirt ever and black, suede, round toed wedges. I teach and they are appropriate with pretty much everything. I have gone through about 4 pairs.

  • Celeste Yeung

    Ha ha, when I read the title of this post I instantly thought “more like best thing I’ve NEVER purchased.” Sigh.

  • Cmazz

    A classic, fingertip leather coat. I hit a small jackpot in Las Vegas, but waited until I got home to Chicago buy the coat. 20+ years we are still together. I just wore it to an event and still people compliment it, and want to know where I got it.

  • Brie

    i looked for black moto boots for, like, eighteen years. no, about three months in reality b/c everything i saw was just off somehow, but i finally found some at TJ Maxx. i had never felt so alive and full of joy! they were plain black with no bells and whistles except a short line of spikes around the front of my ankle area. perfect for anything in my closet, perfect for any time of day/night, they were just perfect. we’re still quite in the middle of our love affair but if they ever decide to “retire” i have a cobbler on hand ready and willing to bring them back from the brink.

  • veblenhigh23

    my favorite item from my wardrobe has got to be a Phillip Plein, Minnie Mouse, swarovsky encrusted leather jacket I bought in St. Tropez in 2009….EVERYTIME I wear it I am stopped by street walkers with a compliment…I even once had it stolen from me at a nightclub on Delancy….luckily i recovered it before threatening to sue the establishment…they managed to find it in a garbage can of all places….I’ve learned my lesson, VUCK COATCHECK!!

  • Natalia

    I got these One Teaspoon leather pants about a year ago, I’d just been to the beach and my shopping guard was down, so I didn’t really think about not getting them. They’re probably the least flattering pair of pants I own, partly because they were the last size left thus slightly too big and partly because they are just awkward but tbh I don’t give a shit, the leather is so soft and they have a tassel and zip so I feel like Mick Jagger when I wear them.

  • Rosie

    Oh this is easy, I found a brand new Anthropolgy jacket at a consinement shop about a year ago. When I saw it I was breathless, the original price tag on it was still there reading…lets just say over $100 bucks. The consinment tag? $20. Unbelivable. I bought it instantly. It has brass/gold buttons and a beautiful dark charcol sued. Words cannot describe it.

  • CSarduy

    I have a tendency to become obsessed with certain items of clothing and will imagine myself wearing them for days or even a week or two before I buy them (especially when I was working in retail and was broke = absolute torture). I have to say I am with clothes like I am with many things though, and once I get it and wear it once, I’m looking for the next HIGH. I’m also a big fan of getting designer/good quality things at a bargain so that is yet another level of my addiction. But I have to say that the first pair of pointed toe, low heel, tan shoes I bought is still the very best thing ever. Being that I was addicted to sky high heels until then (I’m 5’1” and live in Miami, things that are not acceptable are acceptable here) this idea that I could actually feel feminine in a pair of shoes that in no way made me walk like a hooker, was a revelation. Also the first cream colored anything (wool coat) I bought, the first navy blue and white striped loose long sleeved shirt, and first dark blue skinny pants that zipped on the side and a black dress that is so classic and amazing is hurts that I got for $5 and wear to every job interview. Add to this the discovery of liquid liner from Chanel, and you have my transition into “adulthood”. Wow this became long winded and emotional quite quickly….

  • Leslie Hitchcock

    It was 2005 and I wandered into a boutique in Chapel Hill, NC which used to have the most exquisite collection of shoes (now it bums me out). Since it was January, post-holiday sales abounded. My eyes caught a pair of Pucci flats, so amazing I bought them even though they a half size too large. They were also 50% off making them more affordable to my less-affluent self. Eight years later, they are still in heavy rotation and still get compliments. As well they should.

  • Elsa

    I have 2 – the first being my first pair of Prada shoes, circa 1999 to wear with a frock to the Donna Karan show. I had absolutely zero business throwing my credit card down, as I still lived with my parents and what’s that concept of steady employment? Nevermind that crazy nonsense. Those shoes took my BCBG jersey to another level, and I still adore them, even as they rest in a lovely retired-but-refuse-to-part-with box.

    The second is a slightly Grecian inspired dress from H&M. I rocked it to no less than 4 weddings in the fall of ’11, and it truly is desk to drinks. I love that damn dress with boots/tights/cardi or slutted up with self tanner/stilettos/push-up bra. Best of all, it was no more than 25$ and it is machine washable, and sans wrinkles.

  • N

    Frye Dorado riding boots. Best purchase ever five years ago, and were it not for a small tear in the leather I would still be with my original pair. Just replaced, and they will continue to be the best pair of anything I’ve ever bought.

  • Ali

    Four years ago my dad found me a pair of in-season platform Repetto ankle booties 60% off on Martha’s Vineyard (?!) They are still my go-tos- especially when I have thrown everything else in my closet on the floor in attempt to get dressed. Four New England winters later…and I’ve never had to get them resoled.

    Then there are the Jimmy Choo leather, wood, and snakeskin platform CFMPs that I found at a Saks xmas sale in Naples, FL three years ago. The saleswoman had been my waitress at a restaurant the night before and she snuck me an extra 20% off. I got them for under $200!