Best of 2022: My 22 Favorite Purchases of the Year

by - January 05, 2023

I've got one last Best of 2022 post for you, and then I promise to leave 2022 where it belongs: the past. For the past few years, I've shared a roundup of what I believe to be the best purchases from the previous year. This year, I decided to have fun with the year and share 22 things I bought in 2022 that I think were my smartest purchases.

In a year that saw a ton of changes both in my personal and professional life, there were quite a few purchases from the earlier part of the year that did not hold up. The 22 items that made this list are the things that made a difference in my life, either by the amount of use it's gotten or by the amount of joy it brought me, or both. Probably not surprisingly, most of the items on the list are some form of clothing, but there are a few beauty and household items included, as well.

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Let's start with this yellow polka dot maxi dress. If I had to choose, this dress would be my number one clothing purchase of 2022. This was my go-to dress of the summer. I wore it a ton of ways, but this was by far my favorite. I just love the bright, cheerful pattern, and it's really incredibly comfortable. I actually own this same dress in another pattern, as well.

When I accepted a teaching position, I knew I would need to add some school-appropriate pants to my closet. The Old Navy OG Chino quickly became my go-to work pant. I own them in several colors and wear them all the time. They are durable and flattering, and I especially like the stretchy back waistband.

One of my favorite things that happened this year is the resurgence of bootcut jeans. Not that I've really ever stopped wearing them, but I love that non-skinny styles are back in style. These bootcut jeans from Old Navy have quickly become my favorite jeans. They're just a really good cut for my body and the length is just right.

This thin, cropped corduroy jacket was my go-to jacket for the fall. Because it's so thin, it wasn't too warm for our mild temperatures, and the sleeves were easily rolled for warmer days. Also, because it's cropped, it actually hit where I like my jackets to hit.


I love everything about this skirt, and I wore it so much during the summer. Sadly, it isn't available any longer, so I can't link to it.

This floral maxi dress is one of my most worn pieces of the year. I bought it in February and wore it all year long. This dress is pretty on its own but is also easily layered with other pieces.

I'll be the first to admit that these navy blue flats surprised me with their versatility. I wear them just as often as my black or tan flats. They're almost like a neutral.

These taupe platform sandals were such a good addition to my summer shoe rotation. I wore them almost non-stop. They were well worth the $12 I paid for them, and so far the velcro strap has help up okay. They probably won't make it past this summer, though. These are still available in a few sizes.

While we're on the subject, this white quilted chain strap purse was the only thing I carried for most of the year. You'll see it in quite a few of the photos used in this post. In fact, I used it so much, I practically wore it out. The clasp is all scratched up, the corners have general wear and tear, and the leather braided through the chain strap was coming loose. Considering I spent less than $20 on this purse, I'd say that's a win! This bag has long been sold out, but this one is pretty similar.

This hooded leather jacket was one of my bigger purchases of the year, but I do not regret it at all. Somehow, this is the only picture I have of me wearing it, which is strange considering how often I reached for it through the last part of the year. I got this through a Wantable box. It's made by the brand Coalition, but you can't buy directly from there. You can search for Coalition Girl Next Door Vegan Leather Hooded Jacket and find it in various boutiques.

Let's talk some more about shoes. These tan loafers have been the best thing ever for my work life. They are so squishy, not just in the footbed, but the entire inside of the shoe. They have a bit of gold metal on the bow feature, but it's not that noticeable I don't think. These are by far the most comfortable flats I own.

These white leather sneakers were my solution to wanting white sneakers but not wanting canvas ones. I love that these can be easily wiped off whenever they get dirty, and they are so dang versatile! I wore them a ton in the spring and summer.

These tall black boots were a later-in-the-year purchase, but that doesn't exclude them from this list. For nearly 10 years I wore the same pair of tall black boots. Then, last year, they finally became unwearable, and the hunt for a new pair was on! I stalked this pair of boots pretty much all year waiting for them to restock my size. I have never clicked "add to cart" so fast as I did these, and I have worn them a ton in the short amount of time I've had them. They are faux suede, have a slight platform sole, and are about 3.5 inches tall. Surprisingly, they have been comfortable for full days of teaching.

I bought four new swimsuits this year, and in a surprising move, this black floral one piece swimsuit was my favorite. It is so dang flattering, y'all. The cutout in the middle and the crisscrossed halter-style straps keep it interesting, and we all know how much I love floral print.

This was the best up-close picture I could find of these tassel earrings. I bought a pack of a nine of these earrings, and they are easily the best accessory I've bought myself. They are such a fun and easy way to add some personality to an outfit. Every time I wear a pair, I get compliments.

On to the non-clothing portion of my favorite purchases of 2022, starting with these plastic cereal containers. These have been an absolute game changer for me this year. I'm really the only person in my family that regularly eats cereal, so almost every time I buy a box it ends up going stale before I can eat all of it on my own. Not anymore! These things keep my cereal fresh forever. Plus, they're not an eyesore on my counter.

This is one of those things I've been wanting for a long time and just never actually bought it. I don't really know what made me finally commit, but I am so happy with this tiered tray. I've had it since early fall, and it's brought me so much joy filling it with fun seasonal décor to make my dining room table feel more festive.

This cat door was one of the most practical things we bought this year. We got it not long after we moved and installed it on the door between our laundry/mudroom and kitchen. The master bedroom is located off the mudroom and we wanted to be able to keep the door to the kitchen closed at night without limiting where the cat could travel. This has been the perfect solution, and it is so cute! The side you can't see is the cat's head.

This is one of those beauty tools that I think everyone who ever blows their hair straight needs to own. There are a ton of options out there. Mine was part of a FabFitFun box, although I did pay a little extra to guarantee I got this hair dryer brush. I truly don't know what I did without one of these in my life.

This spring, I decided to try the tik-tok-famous Il Makiage makeup, and it not only replaced but surpassed my old foundation. I can tell a difference in the quality of my skin since using it. I also use their concealer and eyeliner pen, and I have plans to try their self-tanner.

These last two things are teaching-related. The first is my Teacher Planner. I love the way this is set up. It's perfect for lesson planning, at least for me. Obviously mine is for 2022-23, so it's no longer available, but the planner is made by Paper Source.

The second is these plastic expandable file folders. These have helped tremendously with my daily organization. I have one for each day to keep my assignments in order and one to keep assignments that need to be graded separated by class. They've also made my trek to the copy machine so much more efficient since I'm no longer juggling a teetering stack of papers.

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