As is the norm this time of year, I’m feeling especially exhausted by the relentless sales, emails, texts (!! what is with the sale texts now?!) etc. that are bombarding me hourly as we approach the biggest shopping weekend of the year. At the same time, however, I’m halfway through another book about sustainable shopping and it’s SO drastic (it feels like they are promoting a totally unrealistic way of living) and it’s made me think a lot about my efforts to live a realistic minimalist lifestyle. I enjoy shopping (too much) and know that in order to continue decreasing my consumption, I need a balanced approach. Knowing that most people will do some kind of shopping this weekend, I thought I would share the items that I’ve invested in that are worth buying even if they aren’t on sale.
These are classic items that I wear year-round and will replace when they wear out. I wrote this post before linking anything so I didn’t know if these items were on sale this weekend or not. One of my key philosophies is to not buy anything on sale that I wouldn’t buy full price. Most of these things aren’t cheap but the saying “you get what you pay for” is sadly more true than ever these days. I’m by no means perfect at this but I get better over time and try to promote responsible consumption when I can. My list is kind of all over the map so thanks in advance for following along!
LLBean Signature Fisherman Sweater: Worn above. Mine is at least 5 years old and just gets better with time. Size up, it runs short and small. (20% off with code THANKS20 until Tuesday)
Frank & Eileen Button Downs: These are worth the money. Pay attention to the fabric (I prefer crisp poplin or a thick Moleskin - I do not like floppy button-downs) but the fit is absolutely perfect. I tend to wear the “Eileen” - if in between sizes, size down. The one linked has a spread collar, i.e. good for popping ;) and is $50 off with code THANKFUL
Dudley Stephens Cobble Hill Fleece: probably the most versatile item in my wardrobe. I have a long torso and this is nice and long (the Park Slope is great if your torso is shorter!) and covers my bum with leggings. The silhouette is just so good - the neck stands up, the fabric isn’t bulky… I just love this fleece! The business is also 100% women-owned, and the fleeces are made of recycled bottles.
Ralph Lauren Ricky Bag: The most underrated luxury bag of all time. It’s structured, it’s neutral, it fits a laptop… I bought mine used but when it (if) it ever wears out I’ll buy one new to replace it. I can’t recommend it enough.
Yearly Co: The story of my bracelet stack is in my blog post below, but really any of Ann’s pieces are instant staples. At this point in my life I get overwhelmed by the extra-large statement earrings that used to be my “signature” jewelry and I’ve sold most of them on Pinterest. I feel most myself with a simple pair of studs and delicate gold bracelets/necklaces and I’ve both come to terms with that and become a good customer of Yearly Co. in the meantime!
LEGO Classic: There are many reasons that I love my job with the LEGO Group but their commitment to sustainability is amazing. Many people don’t know that we’re already making several elements from sustainable sugar cane, and we have a corporate ambition to make the majority of products and packaging from sustainable or recycled materials by 2030. LEGO bricks are also inherently sustainable - your brother’s old bricks from 1982 will work with any set produced today, or 25 years from now, the versatility is limitless. LEGO play is also screen-free, open-ended, creative, and interactive. It’s the one gift I will always feel good about giving and I can’t wait to give Nell her first set when she’s old enough.
Little Nomad Mat: I’ve shared rave reviews of this before but we’ve had it for a few months now and can confirm these beautiful play mats are a great buy. The mat is actually beautiful in our family room and I LOVE that Little Nomad is a local, woman-owned small business!
Patagonia Snap-T Fleece Hoodie: One thing I didn’t realize before dressing my own baby was how ANNOYING outerwear would be if it had no stretch. It’s semi-unavoidable in New England where down jackets are a necessity in the winter but this fleece has been an absolute lifesaver! So stretchy, easy to put on, warm, and feels like it will fit her forever. Patagonia rarely goes on sale but I don’t mind paying full price. They promote sustainability, repair any item for life, and put their money where their mouth is by supporting many environmental organizations.
Serena + Lily Crib Sheets: We had a few different brands but only use these now. They fit nice and tight, are super crisp and well made and wash incredibly well. We will buy her toddler bedding here when we get there! (20% off with code: GATHER)
For the Home
Brahms Mount Cotton Throw: Our friend’s family has these throws on every couch in their home in Kennebunkport and we finally caved and bought two last year. They are the absolute best. They are heirloom quality, cotton throws made on antique looms right in Maine. They also make a really special gift for new homeowner, wedding, etc. Worth every penny.
Sur La Tab Water Glasses: The only glassware that’s lasted in our household. These are an amazing heavy weight, wash well in the dishwasher, and are the perfect size! They are also a beautiful shape, I love how they fit in-hand, and they look great on the table. I think they are extremely well priced for the quality.
Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker: I did a very, very extensive poll a year ago when we were looking for a new coffee maker and this one came out as the winner. We had a few gift cards and got it on sale so it wasn’t as pricey, but I’d spend full price to buy it again in a heartbeat. The coffee is the absolute perfect temperature, it stays hot, and it tastes amazing. (20% off and free shipping with code: THANKS)
H&M Washed Linen Duvet: I just got this a week ago per Stephanie Trotta’s recommendation but it’s BEAUTIFUL and I can’t believe the price. It looks so expensive! It also has snaps vs. buttons and fit our comforter really well. Down comforter tip: always look for at the dimensions and buy either a) the largest one you can and/or b) one the closets in size to your duvet or vice versa. Many people don’t realize that there is a huge range for bedding - not all King, Queen, etc. are the same dimensions, which is why duvet covers can fit so poorly!
Serena + Lily Sheets: Just as good as the crib sheets. I haven’t pulled the trigger on a king-size set yet but we have these on our old queen that’s now in the guest room. They are thick, crisp, and not slippery (very specific criteria ha). 20% off with code: GATHER
Serena + Lily South Seas Side Cart: I’ve used this as a bar cart, an end table, a side table… it’s sturdy rattan and literally looks good wherever you put it. We’ve had ours for 4 years and we’ve moved it to three different residences and it still looks brand new.
IKEA Ritva Curtains: These are the BEST buy. We have them in Nell’s nursery and plan to use them in our living room remodel as well. They work with curtain rings + hooks and have a beautiful, custom-looking pleat. People are shocked when I tell them they are IKEA! Unfortunately you do have to hem them if you have traditional height ceilings as the shortest the come is 98-118” but it is worth it!
C actually wrote a great post of all of his best gift suggestions for guys, I will post that ASAP as well so you can take advantage of any sales. All items are classics that he’s had for years.
Do you have any well-loved pieces that are tried and true? I’m always looking for good, well-made brands and would love to hear in the comments!