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What Did I Buy In 2020?

Updated: Feb 7, 2021

It's a brand new year. A time to reflect on what the hell happened in the last 12 months. At the moment, I am reflecting on my personal monetary decisions.

Aside from purchasing necessities like food and oftentimes certain types of unnecessary food as well, I don't make many other purchases. I don't like to make a habit of accumulating stuff. In fact, it has been a while since I have treated myself to anything other than food. (I like to make exceptions for food, because I think dining experiences are a big part of life.) This year I paid off my student loans, which feels great, because when I graduated the principal amount felt insurmountable. But like anything else in life, you make a plan, stick to it, and before you know it, it is not so insurmountable anymore.

It has been a while since I allowed myself to think about what are some things that I want that, even if they are not absolute necessities like running water and electricity, will add value to my life, and I will appreciate using them, at least for the foreseeable time. Surprisingly, most of the items I decided on happened to be exercise apparel. Since this shelter-in-place /social distancing/ mask life started, I felt I needed a deliberate way to incorporate physical activity into my life. I honestly do not exercise very often. Most of my physical activity came from walking, but since spending time at home is on the agenda and will continue to be the plan for as long as we know it, I needed a replacement for walking outside.

I started looking for a treadmill, but most of the ones on the market cost more than I was willing to spend. I was looking for something that was foldable, and could fit under my standing desk, so that I could leisurely walk on it while working from home. I took a chance on the GoPlus Folding Treadmill and so far it's been pretty good. It is a simple walking pad, and goes up to a max speed of 6mph, which is a pretty good jogging speed. The max walking speed is 4mph. Any faster than that, you need to raise the handrail. It gets the job done, and that's all I wanted out of a piece of at-home exercise equipment..

To actually run on a treadmill, I decided I needed a new pair of running shoes, specifically a pair of sneakers that I would only use at home, and never wear outside, so as not to mix up my indoor and outdoor shoes, and not get outside dirt on the walking pad and all over my humble home.

I specifically wanted a comfortable pair that was all black, including a black sole for low maintenance cleaning. Well I actually ended up being so happy with how comfortable these sneakers are, they would probably serve me better as outside sneakers.

I've never owned a lot of workout clothes, but I figured if I'm going to commit to using this expensive piece of equipment on a regular basis, I should acquire enough clothes to sweat through for the better half of a week. I ended up with 4 new pairs of leggings, pictured below. I started with a pair of camo leggings with side pockets, which are so necessary. You'll probably notice I quite like camo.

Years ago, I acquired a Marika skort from a Hautelook sale and I still enjoy wearing it today. I found out about a Marika 3 for $39 leggings promotion, so I decided to make an order. Even better, they offer free shipping. Even better than that, they're running the same promotion now, Marika leggings 3 for $39.

These are all quite comfortable, and have a good inseam length for a shortie like me (I am 5'3"). If length is an issue, I find that with workout leggings, I usually can't go wrong with capri length. They all wash quite well too. My favorites are obviously the ones with the pockets, which make life easier.


90 Degree By Reflex Camo Leggings (similar, other 90º)

Marika Tie Dye Pocket Leggings (similar)

Marika Marble Leggings (similar)

I also acquired a couple of new sports bras. I tend to go for lightly lined bras, because otherwise I get nippy without a little coverage. I just wanted a matching camo bra, and this double-strapped one, also from Marika (I guess I like this brand), is quite good. Also, the one from Calvin Klein is quite nice and definitely has more support than their unlined sports bras. However, since the straps are so thin, be prepared to have an especially sweaty back since there is no fabric to wick away moisture.

Marika Camo Sport Bra (similar)

In the midst of my camo appreciation, I picked up these camo ankle jeans. They are actually a replacement for my years old Zara camo jeans, which I have washed so many times that the camo print has disappeared.

This pair from a brand called Democracy, features a stylish trouser pocket style with side zip detail. I was actually disappointed to find that the zipper detail is purely for decoration, and does not expand the pocket at all. I still think that tiny pockets for women's pants is another form of gender inequality in the form of terrible apparel manufacturing decisions. Anyways, there is also a thick band that hugs your midsection and doesn't dig into your stomach quite so much when you sit down. Another plus is the back pockets that are positioned high enough to create a lifted look.

Lastly, I made a surprising splurge this year. I even surprised myself. I thought I was done with handbags, but the lure of Chanel was too great, and I was weak. I have been eyeing a Chanel wallet on chain for years, but I do not think a purchase decision should depend on how long you have wanted something. Many people think they should go ahead and pull the trigger on a purchase because they have wanted something for so long. Instead a purchase decision should hinder on why you want something, whether the reasons have changed, and how much value the item will add to your life.

For me, I enjoy using smaller bags, because I have been used to carrying the essentials - keys, wallet, phone - for a long time, even before the pandemic. It is specifically this reason that led me to sell my Chanel GST, which hasn't gotten much use in a long time. Before I knew it, I was using the funds from the sale towards a new bag.

Now the classic WOC just wasn't what I wanted, so I kept searching the secondhand market for the following criteria:

- a closure that is not a snap closure (I do not like having to line up the snap button for it to close)

- black leather with gold hardware, or dark blue leather with silver hardware

- preferably caviar or goatskin leather, something durable

I reached out to an SA, told her what I was looking for, and she messaged me some pictures about what they have. I ended up deciding on this seasonal WOC, which I have been using quite often. Once I decided to go through with it, I made an appointment and off I went to the boutique, where they have limited appointments and require you use their hand sanitizer upon entry. The only downside is the strap is rather long, so I think I will purchase some chain shortening clasps soon.

I had not purchased a handbag in about seven years. It felt nice to splurge on myself again.

Is this the last handbag I'll ever buy? Do I have my eye on another bag? Um, who knows?

That is everything I purchased for myself in 2020, believe it or not.. I do frequently take inventory of everything I have, make a concerted effort to minimize excess, and when acquiring new items, I aim to make deliberate intentional purchases. This is significantly more than I've purchased or spent on myself in years. I definitely do not intend to amp up the shopping or splurge with more frequency, but it was a nice reminder that every now and then, it feels good to treat myself and put myself first.

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