In a year of soaring inflation, supply chain issues and interest rate hikes, more and more consumers are being careful with their purchases. In 2022, I took a different approach with how I chose to spend my money and focused on quality, sustainability and overall a “need” for the item itself and how it could fit into my every day life as a Toronto-based 30-something lawyer. Without further ado, here are my best purchases of 2022.
You can shop my best purchases of 2022 here:
Veja Campo Sneakers Review
A pair of white leather sneakers are a wardrobe staple, however, I never had a pair I was totally in love with. When both Krystin Lee and Westmount Fashionista recommended Veja Campo sneakers to me for work and play, I was sold.
Veja sneakers are sustainably made with leather certified by the leather working group which approves tanneries. I can see a huge difference in the grain and thickness of the leather on my Veja sneakers vs my old pair of Adidas Stan Smiths. I also like that the shoes are made in Brazil, and Veja adheres to a code of conduct that recognizes the ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms principles. You can read more about Veja’s rating on the Good on You website.
Yes, Veja sneakers cost $200 vs a pair you can find for $80-120. But I was impressed with the immediate comfort, decent insole support, high-quality materials and simple, versatile styling. They are always sold out for a reason, but I know they will work with a dress, a suit, or a pair of sweats. I expect these to continue to be one of my best purchases of 2022 in the fashion category, since they are so versatile.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
If there’s one product I got the most “cost per wear” in 2022, it would be my Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 – they connect to two devices via bluetooth, so I can wear them for Zoom calls and also take calls seamlessly from my phone! They provide excellent audio quality for listening to music, and if you have virtual hearings like me, I find that they are very comfortable to wear all day. They also have different levels of noise cancelling depending on your work environment or commute.
Again, the cost is steep, however I wear these for 2-8 hours daily, and they hold their charge all day! I am seriously impressed and would replace them in a heartbeat. Also, the white and rosegold colour is super cute!
Aritzia Superpuff Long Review
If you ever want to feel like you’re wearing a sleeping bag, get the Aritzia Superpuff Long coat. While it’s not objectively the most stylish coat, it is incredibly warm and light. I do love my Canada Goose Trillium parka for sub -10C days, however, the Superpuff feels a tad more stylish and office-appropriate. The black gloss gives me Moncler Vibes at a mall-friendly price of $350 CAD for down filling. I can see myself keeping this parka in rotation for a long time, and am considering getting a reflective short version for late night dog walks.
SkinCeuticals LHA Toner
I am a SkinCeuticals Vitamin C devotee, but recently introduced the SkinCeuticals LHA Toner which features a blend of glycolic acid and salicylic acid. My new dermatologist recommended this to me for my stubborn bacne (which occurs in the summer and whenever I work out) and it has made a world of difference. It’s about $50 a bottle, but one swipe once a week over the affected areas have been enough. The confidence it has given me to wear lower-cut shirts or backless dresses is invaluable. I have tried other glycolic acid toners and never got results so immediate!
Another life-changing beauty product (albeit purchased in late 2021) that I came to love in 2022 is the Dyson AirWrap styler. The learning curve and price is steep, however, I feel like I came into my own routine with the Air Wrap in 2022. This beauty product has truly transformed my hair’s health and appearance, by using less heat and ditching my beloved curling wand. With some silk scrunchies and creative buns, I can also extend the life of my Dyson AirWrap curls for days! This is easily one of the best purchases of 2022 in the beauty category and I can’t sing its praises enough! Next on my list is their hair dryer…
Custom Leather Couch
Furniture prices have gone up almost as much as lumber and mortgage rates! When we moved into our new home, we didn’t take the pink velvet couch with us, because we wanted something larger, and not a sectional. Leather seemed to make the most sense for us with a puppy, and I was tired of getting a new textile couch every 2-3 years… Leather couches nearly doubled in price from retailers like CB2 and WestElm due to new Canadian tariffs, so we went the custom route!
We had the opportunity to choose the style, foam density and leather type and colour. It was so fun going through swatches and finding an option that worked for us. We ended up picking an Anoline leather in a deep navy blue. It took about 12-15 weeks for the sofa to be made, but I love that it was made on demand and that our purchase didn’t contribute to typical retail stock. We are hoping to keep this sofa, with its classic shape, as a piece for the next 10-15 years.
Sony a7C Full Frame Mirrorless Camera Review
Prior to the pandemic, I used my Canon 6D full frame camera and Sigma 35mm lens for all of my blog photos. While the quality was stunning, the performance of my body was lacking when it came to sharpness and autofocus capabilities.
I wanted to upgrade my Canon M6 mirrorless system with a full frame configuration, and chose the Sony A7C because it is still compact to fit in a purse, has the most third-party lens options, and AI technology for autofocus – including eye AF for animals. My only complaint so far is that the menu system in a bit confusing and the phone app to connect for remote shutter doesn’t work as seamlessly as the Canon Camera Connect app. I hope that one day the menu system will be updated on the a7c or the app will get a serious upgrade!
While this was certainly a huge investment, I opted to invest in camera technology over another handbag or piece of furniture. It made sense to me to invest in a hobby I truly love, and will hopefully last me as my main kit for the next 4-6 years! If you’re looking for a compact, high-performance full-frame camera, I can’t recommend the Sony Alpha a7C as one of my best purchases of 2022 in the content creation category!
Achielle Louise Bicycle
Ever since I spent six months in the Netherlands, I fell in love with cycling. However, with dangerous traffic and uncomfortable bicycles, the experience is difficult to replicate. I also spent the past 5-ish years living in Yonge & Eglinton, an area in Toronto notorious for endless construction and road hazards. Since moving downtown and actually having dedicated bike lanes, I knew that getting a bike was a priority. I had previously had a step-through style bike from a big box store, but this time, I wanted to do it right. I scoured Facebook Marketplace for months and finally found a gently used Achielle Louise bike for sale. It was a tad over my original budget, but I appreciated that it was made of steel tubes and high-grade finishes, all made in Belgium! Many bikes out there lack the quality, but this bike is incredibly sturdy and rides like a dream.
I have been loving biking around the City’s waterfront, going to concerts at Budweiser stage by bike and nights out to the Ossington strip. It’s also made me be pro-cyclist. A downtown Toronto without cars in the summertime would be an absolute dream. If you’re contemplating getting a bicycle, do it, and I cannot recommend my chic Belgian bicycle enough.
Designer Handbags & Luxury Consignment
After years of buying contemporary bags on a whim, this year, I invested in two designer handbags that couldn’t be more opposite of each other! The first bag I purchased this year is a limited edition Louis Vuitton Alma BB in Damier Azur. It was love at first sight, since I’ve been wanting an Alma BB bag as well as a Damier Azur piece to round out my collection for summer. I pre-ordered this bag, and to be honest, I was scared to wear it at first. Once I started wearing it in the summer, it became a go-to bag to go out that looks like a micro bag for evening occassions, but easily fits my sunglasses, a water bottle, and all the essentials! You can check out more on my review in my YouTube video below:
The second bag I bought, ironically within a week of ordering the LV Alma BB, was a vintage Bottega Veneta I found at my favourite furniture consignment store. It was only $600 and was in immaculate condition. My partner actually saw it first and encouraged it, which is always a good sign! It’s become an excellent workbag where I can stash my headphones, notebooks and even lunch away. I love that it doesn’t scream designer, and is crafted from the most sumptuous, soft leather. Buying preloved designer has been a huge shift for both my partner and I, because the cost is comparable with mall brands, but you get quality, timeless pieces that also don’t contribute to consumer demand and fashion waste!
Shopping on Poshmark and my consignment store favourites is now my “first choice” for things I need in my wardrobe beyond basics, and I’ve enjoyed curating a more thoughtful wardrobe. I recently purchased a barely used Burberry trenchcoat for $300 and I cannot wait to wear it this spring! Purchasing preloved is a practice I want to continue in the new year, and share as a creator and stylist – these vintage finds were easily the best value and some of my best purchases of 2022.
Best Purchases of 2022: Travel
With 2022 came eased travel restrictions and the opportunity to finally use our passports again. I made a couple international trips this year, including a 4-day trip to the Dominican Republic (adding another country to my list!) and spent a week and a half in Spain travelling all over. Both were whirlwind trips and perhaps a day or two too short, but I was so happy to have the opportunity to discover new places and indulge in food and drinks.
I’ve prioritized travel for 2023, and think that dipping my toe back into international travel last year has pushed me to explore even more! I don’t think anyone will regret traveling and it’s definitely one of the best purchases of 2022.