2012 style Revelations, plus a prediction and a resolution

I'd like to add my own revelations and resolutions to the growing list.

2012 was my first full calendar year on the forum; I joined in May 2011 so I'd already had one summer/ fall season, but I date my full participation really from the autumn of 2011.

I started that season with a fairly empty closet, apart from some consignment clothes and others donated by friends. I've made quite a lot of purchases in 2012. Some of them, in retrospect, were great purchases . And some were sort of dumb. But it's all part of the learning process, and mostly I've been able to wear the clothes I bought with pleasure.

Allthough at times it seemed as if my style was going nowhere, as a new year begins, I think I"m much closer now to a true personal style -- one that feels like an expression of who I am and that fits with my actual needs.

Some key revelations:

I've come to believe that while it's nice to buy quality pieces, not every article of clothing needs to last for years. It is okay to retire items after a couple of seasons or even after one season if I've worn the heck out of it in the first season's go-round. I've also come to realize that I'm that kind of dresser. I pick favourites and wear them repeatedly in a season and really enjoy that; but by next year I will be onto something new.

I discovered taupe as one of my neutrals, along with navy, ink blue, and denim. It plays well with my blues and greys and also gets along with the black that I can't quite eradicate from my wardrobe.

I figured out my signature colours -- fuchsia, peacock blue, cranberry red, orchid.

I embraced the slouch. While I still wear two pairs of legging jeans (mostly tucked into boots and/or with oversize sweaters) on the whole I'm preferring my slouchier jeans and trousers.

I found myself more and more attracted to modern and fairly minimal items and outfits. Although I still rely on scarves to add some pattern and neck warmth in winter, I'm even looking for ways to reduce my use of that accessory -- which means looking for more pattern, texture, and shine in my footwear, belts, and bags, and also looking for individual clothing items that pack a punch. They may be essentials, but they also need to make a statement.

I fully embraced booties.

I paid much more conscious attention to what I ACTUALLY wear and feel comfortable wearing in my day-to-day life, and also began to subdivide my activity capsules in way that helps me make sense of my continuing discovery of wardrobe holes. Heck, until very recently, I could never even identify wardrobe holes as such!

Going forward, a prediction and a resolution:

Prediction: I'll go even further along the menswear influenced direction. It's a look I really like, and one that works pretty well on my small busted, long-necked, fairly straight figure. It's consistent with my love of jackets and jeans. And it can always be feminized a bit with fuchsia. :-)

Resolution: I am shopping in advance for the fall/winter season, hopefully with an actual NAS trip. This is the first year I feel I might be able to predict my wants and needs with any accuracy. So I'm saving my pennies for that, starting now.

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This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

34 Comments

  • teri replied 6 years ago

    wow... lots of cute outfits here. I especially love the shorts outfit in #10.... so cute

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    *applause*

    EXCELLENT analysis. Very succinct, sans paralysis, and happy!

  • replied 6 years ago

    Pics 12-16 = AMAZING!!! Although you look lovely in all your pics, those are my faves.

  • deb replied 6 years ago

    I am enjoying reading everyones' analysis after being on YLF for a year. I look forward to reviewing my own changes come the end of 2013. Thank you for sharing.

  • Susie replied 6 years ago

    I love your style, Suz. I think you've got great insight into the direction you want it to go.
    My favorite looks are 12-16.

  • Kristin SF replied 6 years ago

    #4 is simply gorgeous.

    #12, 13, 14, 15 and 19 are my faves. Probably #12 and 13 are my absolute favorites. Casual chic.

    Did you find the practice of posting WIWs to be helpful as you developed your personal style? Would the act of taking pics alone suffice, or do you think it's necessary to actually post them to the forum?

    Thanks!

  • catherine replied 6 years ago

    You look outstanding in every single outfit. Also, scarves look really nice on you. And...your haircut and specs are perfect. I could say more, but since I'm an introvert, I'll call it quits.

  • Thistle replied 6 years ago

    Love your style, and I appreicate how you summarized your current journey.

    I look forward to seeing more!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Catherine, welcome! And thank you for the oompliments on the hair and specs. They are YLF influenced!

    Kristin - good question. I think for me, posting the photos was helpful. I have recently been taking some photos without posting them, and that is helpful in a different way -- I get to see what I am ACTUALLY wearing (and compare that to my closet) and notice the frequently repeated items vs. the ones that just don't see so much wear.

    But if you post photos you get the forum's (and Angie's) input, and gentle nudges or suggestions. And for me that has been extremely helpful. MORE than helpful, actually. When forum members can see your developing style, they'll help out with info about items that might interest you, or sales. Some forum members even remember specific wardrobe items and will suggest combinations. That only happens if you post a lot.

    Also, knowing that I might post to the forum encourages me to make special effort, I think. I also find the keep-return threads very helpful; there, you are more likely to get critical responses (which is also really useful.)

    Thanks for the lovely compliments, all!

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    #s 8,11,12 & 16 just blow me away (love all the others too).
    What a great analysis Suz - you even sound more confident & relaxed in your posts, you certainly look it too.
    I can't wait to see where your style goes in 2013:)

  • krishnidoux replied 6 years ago

    So interesting! This analysis is frank and honest, and inspiring to me.
    I so much love you in outfit 4! Wow! (all of them are lovely).
    How did you figure out your signature colours?

  • texstyle replied 6 years ago

    I also esp. love 12, 13, 14 for casual looks on you and 1, 3 and 4 for dressier ones. I noticed you have a pretty good selection of shoes (something I really need to work on more myself). And you mentioned quality accessories and belts which is something I've been trying to focus some attention on - I bought two full priced belts (each about $70) recently and LOVE them both so much. Before YLF I wouldn't have put much focus (or much $$) on a belt and now it's like I suddenly can't imagine not wearing a really good looking belt with my slouchy jeans and semi-tucked tops. Finding belts I love is also a fun activity and I've realized that when I wear a nice belt, good shoes and a nice bag I'm not as concerned about wearing other accessories so I can focus on fit and style in a better way (for me at least).

    Edit: You are one of my inspirations here on YLF by the way. Thank you for sharing so many insights!

  • Deborah replied 6 years ago

    Suz it has been quite a privilege to travel with you on your style journey and I am looking forward to what 2013 brings for you. Your Prediction and Resolution carries such positivity and joy that this year can ONLY be a fabulously stylish one for you.

  • Sheila replied 6 years ago

    My eye (and brain) were drawn to #8 and #12. You have learned so much this past year.
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

  • Isis replied 6 years ago

    What a fun and insightful post, Suz! I'm loving #16 which looks right up your alley of future goals! Can't wait to see what comes next for you!

  • jenanded replied 6 years ago

    Hi Suz - so wonderful to hear your reflections. Yes I love 10 - 16 and 18. The outfits are cute but YOU look really sleek and relaxed in them - and they sound like they are resonating with the personal style you are talking of. I love reading your posts and comments too!

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 6 years ago

    I love all you looks and couldn't pick any favorites. Loved reading your insightful post!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for the lovely, kind words, everybody! It is really interesting that different looks appeal to different people here! I'm not sure why, but I feel like that's really good news. It shows, I guess, that I can feel like myself while appealing to various audiences. (These outfits were worn with very different purposes and audiences in mind, yet every one hit the happiness factor of 11 out of 10.)

    Caro, if my style develops well, it will be in no small part due to your inspiration. Your outfits and your Pinterest pins are a constant source of education to me.

    Krish, my signature colours are nothing other than the ones that suit me best and make me feel great! Also, they play well with both my main neutrals (navy or ink blue and taupe) as well as with black. Though looking at the actual outfits I have posted, you can see more black than anything else, still! I had to laugh at that. Mind you, some of what appears black in the photo is actually dark blue. (#1 is an ink blue sweater under the black coat, #15 is the same ink blue, and #1 is a navy skirt while #10 is a navy striped sweater. )

    Texstyle, thank you SO much!! I am honoured to think I'm an inspiration for you. And you are so right about the accessories. I bought two new belts recently and they are much nicer than my older belts. I shuddered at the prices (both were around $50) but they are SO worth it -- and when you consider cost per wear and length of time you will own them, they truly are a good investment. Belts are likely to last longer than footwear and they pack a real outfit punch, especially for those of us who live casual lives!

    Deborah, you are right - I am feeling much more positive and happy about my current wardrobe and what lies ahead!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    Whoo hoo - you GO GIRL!!!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed every step along your style journey Suz and have seen you really blossom this year. Your thoughtful analysis (without the paralysis) of each item has truly assisted you in reaching these revelations and will help to propel you forward.

    I find it interesting that you commented on an item not needing to last for years when I had commented that for me, quality was now paramount. It's funny but I don't equate "quality" with "life span". To me quality means that while I'm wearing it, whether it be short term or long term, it be well made, good fabrication, not lose it's shape, that sort of thing but it doesn't necessarily mean I want to wear it 2 winters from now - does that make any sense?

    I would like to adopt your way of thinking though in terms of buying an item and wearing the heck out of it until I'm sick of it and ready to move on - I still fall into the trap at times of "saving" an item for certain uses and that's just a waste of my hard earned cash IMO.

    See...once again your thread has prompted me to do some thinking!

  • Carole replied 6 years ago

    I so admire your ability (and others here on the forum) to analyze and communicate your style revelations and goals. Normally I'm very analytical, but for some reason get stuck when it comes to defining my style and making style goals for my me and my wardrobe. Your generous and informative explanations inspire me and I hope to one day be as "put together" inside and out like you. Thanks for sharing.

  • Carole replied 6 years ago

    ps. I almost forgot to comment on your lovely outfits from the past year! You cover all the bases from casual, dressy casual and dressy to perfection and inspire me to no end! It's hard to pick favorites but I love your new found taupe companion and see why that color has become a fast favorite. You are one smart and stylish cookie!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Oh, thank you, Carole!!

    And Shannon -- I should ALSO have added that my other revelation concerns quality. I really, really, REALLY prefer my higher quality items. As you say, that doesn't always mean "most expensive" though it often does.

    And it is possible I won't tire of those items as quickly; it's a bit hard to say since I haven't really owned very many in the past.

    So I am also aiming at buying high quality (whatever the price point) and wearing the heck out of it, whether that be for one season or twelve!

    I'm going to hope that each item still thrills me to bits next year, but I'm also going to happily pass along those that are worn, or just not interesting to me anymore because I've used them so often the previous season.

  • Day Vies replied 6 years ago

    I think you've definitely developed your style and it is very flattering on you. The most important thing is to learn by doing and experimenting. I am just excited to be able to witness your style mature. #'s 11 and 16 are my faves!

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    Suz it was a joy to read your analysis, and a treat to look at your pictures. I am very excited that you will be going in a menswear direction, and I expect to get lots of inspiration from your upcoming posts. You have a wonderful way of documenting your thoughts, and implementing your insights, and I want to thank you for sharing all of it with us. I also hope to go shopping with you somewhere someday!

  • Sveta replied 6 years ago

    Suz, you know that I LOVE your Resolution, right? Because it means you will come to NAS with me this year!:-)
    You are exactly 1 year behind me on YLF membership - I started in May 2010 - but I could swear that you were here forever. Honestly, this forum would not be the same without you - being it your wonderful WIW, kind and thoughtful comments or brilliantly written posts...
    It was also interesting to read your style revelations: I think we a lot in common in our style preferences, don't you think? :-)
    I also like the idea of signature colors, have to work on mine I guess.
    I am with Shannon on quality point. I find that I don't enjoy wearing clothes or shoes which are way down on a quality scale. Maybe it is a sign of an advancing age- I don't know:-) - but I have almost sensual pleasure when touching and feeling a well made thing - and not only fashion related.
    It is an interesting observation about your embracing menswear style because your body is well suited for it. It got me thinking...I also like this trend and wear it a lot but my body is very far from being shaped for it...on the other hand my height and wide shoulders may play a part in this...interesting!
    It is also interesting that my most favorite outfits from the ones you posted are the most boyish (11-14) and the most feminine (1,3, 4)...I guess I have to live on the edge!:-)

  • cheryl replied 6 years ago

    This was such an enjoyable read and I loved your pics. So stylish!

  • Tina.b replied 6 years ago

    Suz, such an insightful analysis! You've honed in on your personal style so beautifully. I definitely relate to your style and am always inspired by your thoughts and your WIWs.

  • replied 6 years ago

    Fun read, drooling over #13.

  • carolbee replied 6 years ago

    Suz, thanks for sharing your photos and analysis. Very useful to newbies like me. All your outfits look fab but I love, love, love #12.

  • goldenpig replied 6 years ago

    Wow, what insightful analysis and spectacular photos! I am in awe. I love all of your outfits--my faves are 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 17 but I think the best one is 17--so playful and you look so vibrant and fresh in fuchsia. Your signature colors are spot on! You are so inspiring and helpful and I really appreciate your thoughts not only on your own style but you are always so helpful in posting on everyone else's threads as well! I so look forward to watching your ongoing style journey in 2013!

  • Kirti replied 6 years ago

    I love your style analysis! Menswear looks are amazing on you and I'm glad you want to try more looks in that direction. :-)

  • replied 6 years ago

    What a fabulous year in photos! I am amazed at how good your wardrobe looks for the variety of tasks it is called on to perform. Your writer's retreats alone provide such a sartorial challenge! You look incredible and it has been such fun following your style journey this past year.

    I loved reading your analysis and as usual, it sparked thoughts about my own progress, so thank you for that. I think you are spot on, and even closer to saying (completely) to the world what you want to about who you are. How's that for nonverbal communication? :) Thank you so much for putting yourself out there for us to see. You have enriched this community in so many ways.

  • Kat replied 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for your pics and your analysis, both of which I always find incredibly helpful. Your ability to articulate the whys and hows of your thought process and execution is extremely valuable to me and your kind and thoughtful responses to others add to the overall experience of YLF for me. You are helping me learn and grow and this post was terrific as usual. Thanks and kudos in equal measure!

  • Beth Ann replied 6 years ago

    Sounds like you've mapped out an excellent plan! I've learned so much from you this year, Suz. Even though our body types are very different, I've particularly appreciated your willingness to talk through what you consider your "misses." And your actual outfits are clear evidence of your growth!

    Happy New Year!

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