Gleener Review: ETA Update following Marilyn's report

Several people mentioned a gadget called the Gleener on Angie's recent knitwear post. Having tried and failed with a battery operated shaver (made nicks and holes) and brushes (smoothed but failed to de-pill) and pumice stones (wore holes in some stuff) I decided it was worth an attempt. 

Here's my review. 

The good: 

  • Inexpensive (under $20)
  • No batteries or electricity required. 
  • Comes with several heads for different types of garment. 
  • Easy to use.
  • And...most important...seems to work ...

(cough cough) at least sometimes

The bad:

  • Takes patience to use effectively. 
  • Doesn't really work on poor quality knits and that brings us right back to our basic problem -- we can't tell from the name or the reputation of the maker or even sometimes from the feel, what the quality is like. 

I tried it on four of my sweaters. I used the same medium attachment for all. 

First, on a new-this-year BR cardigan, supposedly merino, but more of a "shetland" type knit, to my mind. It has pilled under the arms and where my crossbody bag goes. It's hard to see the pills on the light grey. But the Gleener did take them off, with a bit of pressure. For the most part. ;) 

Second, an older J. Crew Collection cashmere tee. I think I got this in 2012 or 2013. It is quite high quality and does not pill a whole lot -- mostly just under the arms. I was able to remove a lot of the pills on this one quite easily and it looked better after Gleening.

Note -- this sweater has also become softer/ nicer to wear with washing -- a characteristic I note in higher quality cashmere but not necessarily in the cheaper stuff. That's one reason I've kept it so long. 

Third, my most frustrating sweater ever. You wouldn't have believed how lovely and soft and also interesting (because of the knit's texture) it looked at first. Gorgeous. But....it pilled in the first MINUTE of wearing and is basically nothing but pills. And why does this frustrate me so much? Because it happens to be a hugely useful item for me and I can't get rid of it! (Normally it is active/ loungewear for me now, but I wore it on my recent Spain trip, for instance, even though it is a mess, because it is just that versatile, lightweight, and warm.) Anyway. I don't think you can see much difference between the befores and afters here and Gleening, while it collected a lot of fuzz and pills, made no appreciable difference to the look of the thing. Not worth the effort and bother. 

Fourth, my older Pure Amici cardigan. It is well loved and much worn. It's very soft cashmere and has pilled a fair bit over the years. The Gleener worked quite well on this one, too. 

I'm not sure what to deduce from all of this. The J. Crew Collection and the Pure Amici were both higher priced items to begin with, and they do seem easier to maintain in decent shape. But is that always the case? Probably not. 

The first sweater is 80% wool/ 20% nylon. 

The second is 100% cashmere. 

The third is a wool/ cashmere blend. 

The fourth is 100% cashmere. 

Is the Gleener worth it? A resounding maybe. :)   I will keep it and use it...but I won't bother with it on the truly incorrigible knitwear fails. 

ETA: Tried a more robust attachment on my "problem" sweater and although you can't really see it here -- it helped a lot! Looks much better!!

With this update, I would say TRY it if you wear a lot of knits and want to keep them looking nice. It's not a perfect tool but if you experiment with the heads you might be happily surprised. 

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17 comments

Fashion Forward, 2020

Happy New Year, Fab Friends! It's time for a little planning for the fashion year ahead. 

The good news: I more or less achieved my main fashion goals for 2019.  I bought less, shopped intuitively, and updated my gear

(Takes a bow. Now it is time to actually USE the gear, but that is another story, for this year, ha!) 

I also shopped consignment/ thrift. But I wasn't as successful making purchases that way. In retrospect, it's no surprise -- of the items I purchased, 7 were wear-next-to-my-body knits and summer tops (not something I feel comfortable thrifting, by and large, although of course there are exceptions; and 7 were footwear (ditto). That adds up to nearly half the items I purchased. 

I didn't manage to buy much from local designers until the very end of the year when I took advantage of a Boxing Day sale plus a gift card to buy some Comrags items that have yet to arrive. These, I know from experience, will be very long wearing in my closet. The earrings are designed and made by an Indigenous artist whom I'm delighted to support. See Finds 1, 2, 3. The gored skirt and keyhole top (or 2 piece dress) are blue on blue. Available up to XL, about a 16 in US sizes. 

As per my 2019 goal, I definitely wore outfits that were: Modern, Classic, Vivid, Practical, and Playful. I added a bit more playful this year with bright sneakers, plaid boots, a yellow bag, my fuchsia jacket.

Personal FASHION Highlight of the Year (and of the DECADE): Shopping with Angie at the Nordstrom’s flagship. I got some terrific workhorse items but more than that, I had so much fun! It was wonderful to meet other forum members (hi, Annagybe!) and clients (however briefly) and I felt thoroughly spoiled and taken care of.



For 2020: 

I’d like to continue wearing outfits that are Modern, Classic, Vivid, and Practical. But I'd like to move from "playful" to individual or signature and "arty." 

I'd also like to keep my purchases as low as this year's or reduce them — while still leaving myself with plenty of room for play/ experimentation/ freshening up. Focusing on capsules most in need of improvement might be one way to do that, so my first sub-goal will be to identify any capsule in special need of updating. Last year I was well aware that my gear was very old and needed an upgrade; this year, I suspect my occasion wear will need a refresh. 

In view of the environmental impacts of fast fashion (and my own desire for individuality and "arty" outfits) in 2020, I am planning to thrift/ consign as a first resort for certain types of item -- jackets, some coats, skirts, some dresses (esp. occasion wear), and bags. I do believe the future of fashion is circular and I want to reduce my consumption.

Having said that, if I can't find what I need at consignment, or can't stomach wearing used (this holds true -- for me -- for underwear, socks, gear, summer tops, and knits worn next to body as well as most though not all footwear and denim) I won't let that stop me from purchasing at regular retail if the item is a genuine need, but I'll keep in mind the 30 wears guideline before I buy. Fortunately, these "base layer" basics and essentials almost always get far, far more wear in my closet than the arbitrary 30. 

Meanwhile, I will also have 2 capsules to create (perhaps from scratch). 

First will be a small gardening capsule. I'm moving again in the late spring or summer and my new home has a big garden! I am on a steep learning curve with this one and may need to reach out for help. My previous gardens have been in an entirely different climate, and a lot smaller. My time and energy, and frankly, interest are quite limited, but I’ll do my best to be a good steward of the land and try to preserve and protect the native plants here. I am thinking for clothing, those gear trekking pants/ shorts plus tees, hoodies (for cooler temps) and a hat might work in my temperate climate. These won’t count toward my fashion purchases because there won’t be crossover except with gear. I am very open to suggestions from gardeners. 

Second will be bike-ready clothing. One of the downsides of my new location is that it is more suburban than I'd like, so for commuting I'll be getting an e-bike. For adventures, my gear will be fine (with a few additions) but for city driving I might need a few pointers from bike-riding friends! 

Something that concerns me — returns. One reason I was able to keep my purchases lower this past year was that I did return most everything that didn’t feel perfect. But if it only ends up in landfill, who is that helping? This is so disturbing to me. Because I have the luxury of returning in-store, I think I can be fairly confident that didn’t happen with most items I took back. But I would like to shop even more in person…so returns are less frequent. This may be a challenge since I am moving to a smaller city, but I will do my level best. 

Thanks for reading this long post and wishing you all the best in fashion and in everything else for 2020! 

36 comments

2019 Style Review: Numbers and Reflections

It's getting to be that time, right? :) 

Here's the Suz review for 2019. 

Purchases 34.

This includes coats, footwear, bags, dressy items, and even scarves. 

It does not include gear, PJs and purely functional items like gloves and hats for outdoors. (Although there is one "outdoor" scarf in my Purchases collection because it is so pretty I might try to wear it inside  if not too hot.) 

2 items are missing because they wore out and I had to retire them within their season. Thank you very much Zara. OTOH, I did get a great deal of wear from them even in that one season, so it wasn't a total waste. I just hate to think of the landfill. 

I made 35 retirements.   

I may be missing one or two items here that I've been waffling about and are in holding but will actually be going out the door soon. In any case, the numbers are more or less equal, which is pretty typical for me. 

Analysis

Of the purchases, one was on consignment. Everything else was purchased on substantial sale, either at NAS, the Rack, or a storewide sale.

10 items (or about 1/3) were replacements/ upgrades for things I was retiring due to wear and/or datedness, often direct replacements. (E.g. silver bootie for silver bootie, higher waist jeans for lower waist jeans.)

I’d class at least 10 of the items as essentials to my style. The rest are statements or completers.

This was the year of fun AND practical footwear for me. Almost all my new footwear makes a big statement. I love it that way and love how footwear can work to update a look. I bought 2 statement booties, 1 statement boot, and 2 statement sneakers! 

My goals for 2019 were:

1. Spend time reflecting on how I can reconcile my “trendy” style persona with my ethical aspirations. Shopping for statement items (and even some essentials) via consignment is one way; patronizing local and/or ethically conscious designers for essentials is another. But what about wardrobe churn? I plan to set aside a weekend just to research, and another weekend to reflect on it and make some plans.

I did this reflection. I resolved to purchase less and try to buy more on consignment. I did well on the first sub-goal— I made 20 fewer purchases last year than the previous year — almost cut my purchasing in half! But I didn't do so well on the second goal. I shopped consignment but only found one item I wanted. That is the nature of it. 

Retired items were either well and truly worn out, or they went to good homes, some to my step-daughter, who values them. 

"In the meantime, I will continue my more-or-less intuitive style of shopping — editing out what’s worn or doesn’t fit or doesn’t please me and adding as I see fit, just observing my patterns without judgement."

Success! And the result was really positive — I think just setting the intention to purchase more mindfully seemed to help.

2. Continue to wear outfits that are: Modern, Classic, Vivid, Practical, and Playful.

I think I achieved that.

3. "Revisit the idea of a work-from-home “uniform” that does not include jeans."

Did not really do this. It didn’t seem necessary in the end.

4. "Revamp/upgrade my gear."

Did that last January and am very happy I did. 

A few favourite outfits from the year. I didn't take a lot of photos, so it is what it is! 

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26 comments

Style Moniker: For Column

On another thread of mine, Column wrote: 

"Question: If you were to describe a style moniker based on just the sleeveless version of this outfit (no layering) in isolation, what would it be? To Carla`s request for updating YLF profiles: I really don`t know how to describe my style. In images, this one is it! I tend toward Duchess Kate in color, fit, and the best quality that I can afford (not hers, of course), but even she is sometimes too staid for my taste (crew necklines, long sleeves, skinny jeans). I like Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn, and some Bacall—but I can`t wear the latter as well as Carla. And I like to add liberal doses of color and currency to all of these." 

First, thanks for the compliments, Column. 

I put the outfit below for reference. 

Honestly, I don't have a special name for it...I'd say it's Modern Classic. Or maybe "Trendy Modern Classic." Which is sort of a double oxymoron, maybe, but sort of not? 

It's classic, in that it's a simple blue outfit, nothing fancy -- sleeveless top, jeans, booties. 

It's modern in that the classic elements are in modern cuts/ styles -- the peplum top, the cropped jean, the sock bootie. 

It's a bit trendy in that the jeans are the newer wide legs and high waisted. 

My overall goal is to create outfits that are: 

Modern, Classic, Vivid, Practical, and Playful.

My moniker used to be "urban prince" and the name still fits to a degree...but sometimes I veer more feminine than that. Really I think I have a modern classic gamine style, if that makes sense. Purely classic is too staid for me; I need a bit of drama or everything falls flat. Drama usually comes through cut, colour, pattern, or especially, irregular outfit juxtaposition. 

Of the names you mention -- Audrey and Jackie O (to some extent) might be considered gamine (though Kibbe called Jackie O a dramatic classic.) Kate would be classic or dramatic classic. Bacall would be dramatic, probably...

Drama is necessary to Dramatics (duh), to Dramatic Classics, and to Gamines, but expressed in slightly different ways. I know I'll never feel fully myself without a dose of drama -- a long earring adds some of that in a very simple outfit. So does the shawl and the coat and even, to an extent, the column of dark colour. 

33 comments

Gear update and review: MPG (mostly)

One of my goals for 2019 was to update my gear which was a mishmash of stuff, mostly bought at Winner's, and mostly bought years ago. Gear tends to wear like iron but even so, I had some items that had lost their shape/ elasticity, and a few Old Navy leggings that I was forever having to fuss with or they'd fall down—not a fun experience in the gym. 

Lisa P has mentioned MPG to us a number of times and they were having a big sale so I thought I'd try some items out. The sale prices were Old Navy but the quality for many of these items is near LuLu Lemon, although of course I can't predict how well they will wear yet. For Canadian fabbers, especially, they might be a good gear option. 

I also got the purple funnel neck from Old Navy -- it's soft and lighter weight than the MPG one, so they will complement each other. I now have a little "purple/mauve" workout capsule, and a navy one, with just a few black and grey pieces to mix with either -- which is nice because I like purple and lilac but don't really have any in my regular wardrobe. So it feels a bit "special." 

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21 comments

The workhorse you weren't expecting...

We've talked endlessly the wardrobe workhorse. In theory, these should be easy to spot, but sometimes an item surprises us. Who doesn't love a Wild Card Workhorse? It's the fun thing that moves our style forward in an unexpected direction. Like a scarf in a new colour or something in a new silhouette. 

Then there's the supposed wardrobe essential that we put a lot of time and thought into purchasing, in the firm conviction that it's going to be a foundational piece for us. It may even be a HEWI. Flash forward, and for all our planning and forethought, we end up hardly wearing the thing. (Tall heeled boots, I'm looking at you.) 

Apart from the Snow Queen consignment coat and a couple of gear items, I've made 4 purchases since arriving in Vancouver. All were spontaneous and unpremeditated.

Yes, I needed a belt, but I wasn't considering a western style belt. True, I wanted a new bag, but in fact I wanted a structured blue or red bag, not a pale grey knapsack.

Meanwhile, I had no intention of buying black waterproof booties! I have tall waterproof black boots (2 pair, one flat and one heeled), a mid-height waterproof black boot -- and no great love of black footwear! I thought I could do very well without a pair of black booties, thank you very much. 

As for the jeans, yes, I'd been considering the purchase of a pair of black jeans for about a year. But had a flash sale not coincided with a gift card burning a hole in my wallet, I never would have tried these particular ones. 

Well, guess what? The western belt that I didn't think I wanted because I didn't care for the western trend is a workhorse. The pale grey unstructured bag that is nothing like the bag I thought I wanted has not been off my shoulder since I bought it -- it works with everything and has turned out to be extremely practical for my needs and easy to use.

The waterproof black booties are fantastic for all day wear and have been my footwear of choice since I bought them. The black jeans are super comfortable and I've worn them twice a week. 

I'm coming to think that it's the intuitively driven purchase that marks a workhorse more than anything for me. The item seems to call you somehow. 

I saw the bag and the booties and examined them in store...did not buy but kept thinking...two days later was back in the store to purchase. 

Have you had experiences like that? Maybe this is Angie's "organized emotional shopping"? 

60 comments

Challenge Closet edit (Pre-move, Long)

Because of my move at the end of August, I jumped on this challenge ahead of time. I wasn't going to report on this but in the comments I saw that many others are also moving and editing in preparation for that, so I'm putting down my own experience for possible reference. Please don't feel you need to read this long post if it's not your thing! ;) 

Unsolicited advice: If you're preparing to edit for a move, your first questions should concern space (for storage), climate, and lifestyle. Will you have less or more space to store your things? Is it the same climate or a new one? Is your lifestyle about to change significantly, e.g. retirement, new job, new baby?  It's difficult to do, but try to think in terms of future needs vs. what you've been wearing now -- at least if any of these factors are going to differ.

  • In my case, I was going to have more storage space in the new house -- but difficulty transporting everything, since mine may be a temporary relocation and we had to take most everything in suitcases on a plane vs in a moving van/ trunks. 
  • I moved to a more temperate, moderate, but much more rainy climate. 
  • My lifestyle is going to be very similar. Work from home, teaching, presentations, a lot of walking. 

I left some items back in a "holding zone" at my old home -- my big parkas (these can be retrieved if necessary), some heavy winter boots, certain sweaters. I'm not counting those as edited out -- but they're not part of the active wardrobe, either. 

Here's a list of what I got rid of and why. I also put in brackets the approximate years/ seasons I've had and worn each item. (Finds for some below)

Worn out: 

  • Cobalt shopper   (handbag)     (5)
  • Silver gladiators.                       (3)
  • Munro cranberry suede booties .  (5)
  • Colourblock black/ navy peacoat (sob!!)   (6)
  • Sweatshirt dress (sob!! -- loved this but kitty made a run in it!)  (1)
  • Zara silk/cotton grey batwing sweater . (6)
  • Red/ white BR poly top sleeveless .       (2)
  • Theory cable crew wool sweater, from consignment . (6)
  • Loft black knit peplum top  (6)


Poor fit:

  • Black moto skinnies (gained a bit of weight)  (6)
  • Silver Ecco summer sneakers (not enough support) . (5)
  • black Halogen pencil skirt  (weight gain). (6)
  • Leopard print jeans   (waist just never felt right even at a good size) (1)

Still in good shape & fits but retired due to style shifts:

  • TR Cameron BF jeans  (low rise) .  (5)
  • Black skinnies (low rise) . (5)
  • Halogen kick crops black  (2) 
  • Halogen kick crops red .    (1)
  • Cognac saddle bag (don't like gold hardware)   (3)
  • Blue camo BF shorts (low rise) . (4)
  • Silk abstract pattern top  (3)

Items that just didn't work after putting them through their paces, e.g. they were experiments that in the end didn't feel like "me," they fit okay but never felt right, didn't work in my outfits, etc. 

  • Floral kimono (not me) .   (2)
  • Navy/ white gingham button front J. Crew (fabrication too soft) . (2)
  • Everlane navy silk SS.   (2)
  • Everlane blue shell.     (2)
  • Everlane red shell .   (2)
  • Navy merino t-neck, BR .  (1)
  • Lilac merino t-neck     (1)
  • Grey merino t-neck     (1)

Note: I do large seasonal edits in September and April, and this is my big September edit. But I tend to edit frequently, like Angie, and between that and in my September 2017 and Spring 2018 edits I had already culled about 60 pieces (for the same range of reasons.) 

Overall, I average about 40-60 "retired" items per year. Which is around 1/3 of the wardrobe. 

I guess you can look at this two ways. It's a lot of wardrobe churn...or not. Because most items I retire have 3-5 years of wear at minimum, which means that unless they're special occasion pieces they typically meet that arbitrary 30 wear threshold.

As you can see, I do make mistakes. Interestingly, my mistakes tend to be for "essentials" vs. statement items. Yes, I buy the odd statement that does not work out -- but more often I buy essentials (like turtlenecks) in the expectation I'll get a ton of wear from them, but for some reason they fail to work out as I had imagined or hoped, either due to quality, fit, or something else. 

I have never regretted letting go of something. Oh -- wait -- I had a vintage pair of high waisted raw silk gaucho pants that I wish I could have kept -- but they were worn out anyway. So...

ETA: After examining for wear and fit, my main question is: does this item make me happy? Does it help me make good outfits or do I always feel "off" in it. If I tend to feel "off" in something, I'm pretty ruthless, however much it cost me. It's a sunk cost anyway, just sitting in the closet. Out, out, out with it, I say!! 

Here are pics of my new closet. We have a massive amount of storage space here but it is oddly laid out. No drawers, so I bought some baskets/ boxes and am making do. I find in my new climate I still put a few things away seasonally (the last photo here -- I've boxed very lightweight items and put them in the guest room). But much more of my clothing is potentially usable across seasons. 

1-2. Shirts/ blouses.

3. Shoes/ booties/ sandals (I have some boots and my coats in the hall closet downstairs). 

4. Skirts and trousers.

5. Jackets (and in-use bags -- new item there!)

6. Dresses & long toppers (in another part of closet where Mr. Suz keeps his stuff, but it's the only full length area and I need room for midis. 

7. Undies and socks in baskets. 

8. Scarves, gym stuff, etc. 

9. Sweaters, jeans, etc. 

Phew! That's a long recap. If anyone has questions, let me know!

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39 comments

Wet coast style observations

Hi, all. I've been in my new Vancouver residence for 9 days now and so far, so good! We had gorgeous weather the first week but the rains have now arrived in earnest. Luckily, I've lived here before so am up for that particular fashion challenge. 

So far, my wardrobe has not been much on my mind because I'm dealing with house set up. But yesterday I was downtown and made some mental notes about Vancouver style. 

  • Sneakers reign supreme on all ages. Fashion sneakers or regular. The occasional Blundstone or hiking boot offers a hint of variety. 
  • Athleisure retains its hold here. Also, lots of gear and technical fabrics. 
  • Black, black and white, and denim are the dominant colours. 
  • Lots of Kate Spade and MK bags on the younger women. 
  • Those who don't follow this pattern truly stand out. Yesterday a man dressed entirely in pale blush pink walked past in the rain. Pink Converse, pale pink jeans, pink shirt, pink jacket, pink umbrella. Definitely captured the attention! 
Bonus pics: John Fluevog's witty response to the NY Times. And, my cat has adopted an Elizabethan ruff to prevent him from catching the plentiful birds in our garden. 

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38 comments

2018 Style Goals (Also in blog)

I know Angie wanted comments in the blog but it's also good tp place these here for easier reference and review. Just keeping myself accountable. 

My computer's broken right now so I can't post photos. I'm going to come back to this when I get my machine back and add a few photos of favourite outfits. I'm sad that my photo-taking capacities have been so limited of late and that does affect my perception of past outfits (i.e. makes it harder to judge) but I hope I can remember well enough how I felt in them to do an evaluation. 

Meanwhile...2018 Goals

1. To do a thorough closet review and edit, capsule by capsule. What’s working, what’s not? Why not? (I already do this season by season, but I think I need a slightly more stringent version this year, letting go of some items that I like but just don’t reach for any more and asking myself tough questions about why.) Review essentials and ensure all are in good repair and all bases are covered. Navy/ ink, white (in summer), grey.

2. To wear outfits that are:

Modern
Crisp
Retro
Vivid
Practical

Angie  observed that "retro" is a new descriptor for me. I'm still not sure it's right, even though I do enjoy (have always enjoyed) a retro element in my style. I'm not yet sure it is the best word for what I am after here. I like to hearken to 60s mod and some 70s influences and also the occasional vintage inspired piece. But maybe more to inject a bit of "playfulness" which is the word that I had in this place last year. So...still debating. 


3. To look for statement or luxury items (e.g. jewellery or bags or jackets) from local designers, special vintage shops, etc. I know my taste and needs really well now; if I see an amazing vintage or newly designed jacket or dress, I can be pretty darned sure it will work for me long term and have longevity. Most of my clothes come from the big chain stores. I feel I can inject more individuality into my style without going all “docent lady” by following this path.

4. Continue to increase representation of red in the closet!

5. Continue my search for key HEWIs — a white sandal, for example. A bright sandal. 

23 comments

2017 Style Review

I just loved Angie's summary of her 2017 style today and all the others that have been popping up on the forum. My turn! 

Looking back on my reflections for 2016, I see I set myself a few goals. Did I meet them? Well...yes...and no. :) 

What I did well

1.  In shopping and creating outfits, I kept my style adjectives in mind

  • Modern
  • Precise
  • Playful
  • Bright
  • Bold

These adjectives still feel aspirational and useful. 

2.  I added fire engine/ true red items to my closet. It was a good year for doing so, since red was trending. I am now developing quite a healthy "red" capsule across several seasons. (Not pictured: a cranberry red wool coat and a few other items in cranberry and burgundy tones that can work in a tonal capsule with true red.)

Admission: I still have not removed the tags from those red Halogen crops. Hmmm. I wonder if those are a shamefully late return in the making, or if I should put them on, already? They were not a big expense but somehow feel harder to wear than I expected! How can I style these babies? 

3. I added a bit of drama via colour (ummm, red, anyone?) and also cut and pattern. Drama scaled to my small size, that is. :) I bought a statement ring which I wear almost daily. I purchased an asymmetrical sweater and a pair of leopard cords, both of which inject a bit of oomph.  With my newly grey hair, silver is my metal. Daily I wear a chunky silver watch, a modern silver bracelet, silver earrings, a silver ring, and either a silver belt buckle or a necklace. 

4. I wore the heck out of dresses and skirts (and crops) in warm weather

5. I aimed for balance between practicality and the dressiness level I prefer. How? Well....

a). In terms of footwear purchases...I stepped away from the pretty but useless booties this fall and put my money into two expensive but practical and attractive boots. (Aren't you proud of me?) I also added a second pair of fashion sneakers in the spring, in silver, which turned out to be versatile and useful.  

b). I added a HEWI -- a casual, sleeved, winter dress. Yes, it's casual, but it's still a dress, and a dress I can wear without feeling overly "precious" even if I am working from home. (Plus, DH loves it -- I think it looks better on me in person than in the pics. It has a very subtle pattern like stars in a night sky...)

c). I added several slim to skinny trousers that I can wear instead of jeans. They're equally comfortable -- yet they instantly increase the dressiness level of outfits. 

d). I increased my jacket capsule. This year I bought two military style jackets (navy and red), one tartan blazer, and one tweed jacket. While I enjoy and wear my 3 longer cardigans, at heart I will always be a jacket girl. There's nothing that makes me feel more like myself than a great- fitting blazer. The jackets I added are easy for me to wear to school, travelling, etc. They are non restrictive and non-wrinkling. 

What didn't work as well


My goal to purchase less was a massive fail. It turns out that I both bought and retired/ donated/ wore out roughly same number of items as last year: 50. (Not the same items, thankfully!!) This represents a turnover of about 1/3 of my wardrobe. It seems like a lot of churn. But is it? I honestly don't know. 

About 20 of these items were replacements for worn-out essentials. 
That's useful information for me. I'm talking truly worn-out, too -- the kind of worn out that can't be mended, cobbled, etc. What that tells me is that I've named my essentials accurately, and they get a lot of wear! 

A few more were for HEWIs that became instant workhorse items. 


What about the other half? Well...is it reasonable to add 25 items per year to evolve one's style? (Assuming the budget to do so, of course).

There are no easy answers.

What I will say in my defence is that I donated/ gifted ethically and the clothes I passed along will get a new and happy life. Most of my retired but still wearable items go to my impecunious step-daughter, who greatly appreciates them. The only ones that don't go to her are the wool/ silk/ leather items (she is a vegan). Last night I gave a leather jacket that I no longer wear due to gold hardware to my hairdresser. :)


Did I shop more ethically? Well, it's debatable. I did buy a few carefully chosen items from local designers and artisans (such as my Icelandic ring and a fab summer dress from Comrags.) But -- as usual --most of my purchases came from Nordstrom, Banana, J. Crew., Club Monaco. Uncharacteristically, I didn't pick up a thing at Zara. 

That's my roundup for the year. Looking forward to formulating some goals for 2018 after a thorough review of the closet! 

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