2016 My Year in Style

I love this time of year for the opportunity it offers us to reflect and to consider where we want to go in the year ahead. Thanks to Angie and others who have started posting your thoughts about this. Your thoughts spur my thoughts and that is a gift. :) 

Here are some of my favourite outfits of 2016 and my reasons for picking them. I apologize in advance for the photo quality of some and also for the length. 

#1 is a spring outfit showcasing my new blue moto jacket, a long sought item that has become a workhorse. It's very soft and pliable, which makes it a good jacket for indoors and out. 

#2 Most of my photos date from after my hair transition. Switching to a silver pixie was the best and most important style decision of my year. As Angie often says, everything follows the hair. I like this outfit because I adore the feel of the dress against my skin (silk) and also the cut.

#3 As with #2, I love how the hair brought new life to an older item. I learned that black and white patterns are now my friend as long as the scale is right. 

#4  This outfit combines new with old (something I love) and showed me that with my natural hair colour I can do higher contrast than I used to find flattering. It was super comfortable in sticky heat. 

#5 I owe LisaP thanks for finding this fun top at the Bay. It was such a hit for me this summer. The over-layer was its own "3rd piece." 

#6  I adore CoH jeans and these are no exception. Silver has become a core neutral in my closet. Grey is very flattering, of course, but I find I need to combine it with white or ink, or else I feel "lowered" in it -- however kind it is to my skin tone. I need some contrast or brightness to feel like myself. Silver amps up the "bright" in grey. 

#7  How could I not feature the controversial denim culottes? They're actually a bit more like a wide leg flare than a culotte, I think. Anyway, I enjoy them. I have successfully worn them with tall boots in the cold as well. Score! 

#8 This may not be high fashion but it is so, so me, and pretty representative of my "at home" or casual travel style. Super comfy CoH jeans (cropped), super comfy Ecco sneakers (walked 10 miles in them that day), older LL Bean Mariner sweater, great bag. Love. 

#9 Hard to see, but I'm wearing a silk shirt (again, the feel against the skin!), burgundy Dres (fit is sublime!), great bag, great booties. Silver belt. Simple but a bit luxe. I had a Theory trench to top it. The day was rainy. 

#10 Aforementioned CoH white crops and Ecco sneakers and a denim shirt in dark blue -- much more flattering now than muddy chambray. 

#11 This was an Annie Lennox inspired outfit that I wore to a WritersFest event -- so much fun. With my grey hair, black has earned a new place in my closet. I still plan to keep it quite minimal, but I won't be shying away from it as much. 

#12 How could I neglect the famous gilet? Love this piece so much, although I have to confess it has not yet had many wearings. Our climate and my casual lifestyle are largely to blame. I'm not worried, since it will have long wardrobe longevity. Wore it with a fave pair of jeans and a silk shirt here. 

#13 This outfit showcases my love of new trends. Finally found a pair of wool culottes that work well. Also combined with older pieces and great new red booties. 

#14 Here's what I wore on Christmas Day -- glammed up denim, as per Angie's ensemble. With my grey hair I find I can wear a wider range of reds, from burgundy through to cranberry (my old favourite), true red and even bright tomato. This one is a bit on the blue side but close to true. 

 Overall...short grey hair adds a bit of drama/ boldness, which seems to call for greater drama/ boldness in kind — either via contrast, depth/ brightness of colour, or cut. So my favourite outfits usually showcased one or more of those elements.

I feel like I need a new style moniker but I haven’t had much luck developing one yet. “Urban prince” seems a bit tomboy for this leg of my style evolution. I considered “glam gamine” (Viva’s) but it seems off, too. I’m more 60s mod than 70s glam. I do love me a great flare jean and a midi skirt, but the old romance of the boho dance has never really been mine.

I'm still tweaking the hair a bit. I haven't quite found the exact style I want for it. A bit longer than its first iteration, and a bit shorter, maybe, than I've been wearing it of late. The most recent cut is close, but not quite right. Suggestions gladly taken. :) 

Thanks for reading and looking! I'd love to hear your thoughts. :) And I look forward to reading about others' style journeys. 

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.


  • cindysmith replied 7 years ago

    How chic! Love it all!

  • Sara L. replied 7 years ago

    I love all your outfits!  I love how you are able to incorporate the new trends into your style yet still look uniquely "you".

  • JAileen replied 7 years ago

    You look wonderful with your new hairstyle and color. Just fab. As to your outfits, all are very nice, but my favs are 2, 3 and 6. You look like a movie star in 2.

  • RobinF replied 7 years ago

    These are all great looks. Number one, the silver hair is fabulous! Love it! My favorites of your outfits have to be the gilet and your Christmas look. 

  • deb replied 7 years ago

    Suz, you have such wonderful style! And the hair change had added a dramatic punch to your look and I love it.

  • harmonica replied 7 years ago

    Wow, Suz! You look adorable amazing! I love your style and your new hair is just beautiful. You've incorporated new trends in such a great way. Really hard to pick a favorite, but #1, 12, 13 and 14 stands out for me.

  • Bonnie replied 7 years ago

    You have such great style and all of your outfits look perfect. The standouts for me were #11 and #14.

  • Karie replied 7 years ago

    You look gorgeous in all of these! I love your silver 'do, and you have incorporated it into your style so well. It's soooo hard to pic a fav, but #7,8, 14 are standouts - casual and chic. #13 is next on my favs list, it's a gorgeous and stylish work outfit. You are truly a master of style!

  • lyn67 replied 7 years ago

    This is a brilliant post Suz, thank you for sharing your 2016 style analysis with us. All are very you and stylish nonetheless it is dressy or casual, but my fave of the year is the reds on reds in nr 14- truly fab shades on theirselves, but  wearing them all together makes for  a K2K!!!!!!:-) 

  • MsMaven replied 7 years ago

    My observations: You look younger, happier, and chicer. 

    Although my finally grown out hair isn't silver as I had hoped, the darker gray tone has definitely changed my feeling about colors along the same lines as yours. I like neutrals more now, but I have returned to my old favorite red, which I always felt didn't go with my unwilling blonde hair. 

    I love all your outfits, although I admit I only just barely like the culottes. Congratulations on a fabulous fashion evolution.

  • Meredith replied 7 years ago

    Always so inspiring to read about your process and see your photos!

  • Mirjana replied 7 years ago

    You look wonderful in all of these so difficult to get favorite, but I like the best #1, #2, #6, #11 and #13. Very stylish.

  • Style Fan replied 7 years ago

    Great review Suz.  It would be hard to pick a favourite.  One of the lessons I have learnt from YLF is that hair is an integral part of an outfit.  It has made a huge difference to my style.  I love your new hair and I can see how the silver pixie would open up a whole new style world.  Very exciting. 
    I do love the last outfit.  There is something about the richness of the cranberry and denim with your hair and skin that is gorgeous.

  • Greyscale replied 7 years ago

    These are all great, and I love the new hair. Outfit #13 is fantastic - I think it's my favorite. Those wide-leg trousers with the red boots are just perfect.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Thank you all for your kind words! I have appreciated your comments and thoughts. 

  • Sal replied 7 years ago

    In looking through these as a collection I do think your style has become more funky/edgy in 2016.  I like all these looks and struggle to pick a favourite (2 and 8 and 13 maybe...)

    You are a wonderful positive presence on the forum whom I hope one day to meet!!

  • replied 7 years ago

    Well Suz, as usual, there isn't a miss in the lot. I really like your Christmas Day outfit in particular.  You've added a lot of new pieces this past year and they are all really great - and you're fortunate enough to have a physique not apparently hammered by menopause (sorry if i'm being personal but we're the same age I think,  so...) which I know you work hard for too. Having a healthy , slim body goes a long, long way to making clothes look great :)  You are able to find pieces that suit you well and your collection of clothes has enough variety to keep things interesting.  Your adjustments to your wardrobe after your hair change are perfect too, and it's been interesting seeing the progression there. I'll tell you, I am still might tempted to let mine go colour-free too.  Colouring and deciding on a colour and all off the anxiety around it will not be missed .  Anyways - you're a standard bearer for looking very put-teether, that's for sure.

  • Jaime replied 7 years ago

    Suz your hair is truly your crowning (heh, heh) style achievement of the year. I actually like it very short, but maybe it is my inner dramatist. I cannot pick a favorite because your inner self knowledge has met your fabulous outer appearance. These are ultimate Suz!

  • carter replied 7 years ago

    Awesome! I love them all, but 2, 3, 11 and 14 really stand out for me. You are really rocking red and black with the new hair. It's amazing how much of a difference the hair color has made for you. Gone are the days of lilac, taupe and pale blue?

  • Bijou replied 7 years ago

    Suz, you look beautiful in every photo - the change with your hair has been the standout for 2016. Personally I love your sequinned culottes - they are glamorous and fun and look amazing on you. I hope that you wow us as much in 2017 with your enviable style. I always look forward to your posts.

  • Brooklyn replied 7 years ago

    You look gorgeous in all your outfits Suz. My faves are 2, 3 and 6. I am sympatico with JAileen. I always admire how radiant you look in your outfits. I think that this is partly a reflection of your personality and positive attitude - it really shines through in everything you write here, so no surprise that it shows on your face too. But I also think you are pretty clever at choosing colours and styles that suit you too. You always look fab. I look forward to seeing (and hearing) more in 2017. Happy new year!

  • Summer replied 7 years ago

    All fabulous outfits, Suz. 
    Your silver pixie transformation was such a brave move, but what an inspired decision it proved to be: stunning.

  • Andrea H replied 7 years ago

    I heart a lot of these but I'm a little disappointed you didn't feature your J Crew red plaid shirt.  I loved that on you so much!

  • Janet replied 7 years ago

    What a great style year for you, Suz! I love your hair and applaud your willingness to follow your style path -- it's fun to see how much you have come into your own over the last few years. The confidence beams out in your pictures! You look fab indeed.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    I LOVE YOUR SHORT GREY HAIR SOOOO MUCH, I CAN'T STAND IT. You were meant to have grey hair, Suz! It looks sooooo hip and trendy on you. It's a very strong FASHION statement - not just a feminist statement in my book. And works flawlessly with your complexion. You found your avant-garde this year. The hair. 

    (I like the longer grey fringe, FWIW. You can even go longer). 

    You have never looked better. More radiant and more beautiful than ever. KILLER. The silver grey hair brings out the sparkle in your blue eyes, and the colours that you wear. It has also opened the door to new colours. FUN! 

    Keep on having fun with trends - they make you happy. (Ahem.....CULOTTES.....*smiling*). 

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    Style Moniker: Relaxed Radiance. 

  • LaPed replied 7 years ago

    Such a great recap. I *love* Angie's suggested moniker for you. I'm amazed at how well you take trendy items and make them your own. 

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Thank you all so much. Angie, you're right that the hair is both a fashion and a feminist statement. I think this is similar for Shevia, no? (Shevia, what do you think?)  Maybe that's why we feel so comfortable with it, because it is consistent with two important elements of our personalities -- our aesthetic sensibilities and our political beliefs. There is no disjunct so we feel more coherent. Something like that. It helps that we both were able to find or create cuts that feel more edgy or high fashion. The right cut for the person is key. 

    Summer, it's funny, but by the time I went ahead and cut it, it did not feel like a brave move -- I was ready. I was used to short hair, had seen my brother with the grey (he looked good, and we look a lot alike!), and I had just got tired of colouring, and felt the blonde was not doing favours to my complexion any more, no matter how we tweaked it. So -- snip snip! 

    I will definitely keep having fun with trends, Angie. By now I have learned that updating my denim each year, and embracing at least one new trend per season is super important to me. Keeps things fresh and interesting. I do find that the trends are on the whole easier to incorporate into my "going out" clothes as opposed to my at -home uniforms. I guess that makes sense. 

    Janet, thank you! Coming from you, that is high praise -- I so admire your style. 

    Andrea, thank you! I think the shirt you mean is actually LLBean (of all places!) since I don't have a J. Crew plaid. (Angie has one, though, that tempts me....).  

    Brooklyn, that is very sweet of you to say. You know, in real life, I actually have a tendency towards depression and I am not sure my family would say I'm so positive! But I do try, and YLF is a positive place, a place to find and create positivity, for me. 

    Bijou, Style Fan, Greyscale, Lyn, Cynthia, Robin, Deb, Harmonica, Sara, Meredith, Mirjana, Karie (my frequent partner in cross border shopping, heheh) and Bonnie -- thank you so much! 

    Carter, thank you, and well...I wouldn't say blue or lilac or taupe are gone, but definitely I'm looking at brighter colours more often. And chambray blue (or any muddy colour) is pretty much gone. I actually bought a lilac coat and it looks amazing, so it so much depends on the tone....

    Lisa, thank you so much for your thoughts. Colour is such a personal decision, and honestly, it is tough to know whether to make the transition and when...I do think you will know when you are really ready. I suspect for me it had something to do with my mum being gone, but also a lot to do with the proportion of grey. My hairdresser was wrong -- she kept saying I wasn't entirely grey...but hey, just look! Anyway...that might have happened rather fast, when I think back, because watching how my brother went, it basically happened for him within a year, and maybe it was the same for me. 

    Right back at you, Sally!! 

    Ms Maven -- chuckling aloud about the culottes! :)

    JAileen, that was so sweet to say. And thank you everyone I have not thanked personally. 

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Oooh. Relaxed Radiance. Thank you, Angie! Hmmm. I am going to think about that one...how would it/ will it play out? Some shine...some casual, yes, I can't help it in my lifestyle...

    But Radiance is not a persona, right? I think I want a persona. More on that in another post with goals for 2017. :) 

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    ETA, I just noticed the stranger beaming at me at the J. Crew try-on of the lilac coat. LOL!! :) She looks like a Jenna Lyons copycat!! And just look at her smile. So much fun. No wonder I bought the coat! 

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    Relaxed Radiance IS the style persona, Suz. It's what you make it. I coined up "Urban Pretty" as my own style moniker or style persona, and my five style adjectives are:

    Modern, Crisp, Soft, Retro and Dressy. 

    (They USED to be: Modern, Crisp, Simple, Bold and Dressy when I was an Urban Prince).  

    Keep your denim and footwear trendy and you are good to go. 

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Thank you, Angie. I will mull on it and figure out what the adjectives would be. 

  • kkards replied 7 years ago

    what a fabulous year you've had....if I was picking favorites (and i am), they'd be #3 (that dress fits like a glove both figuratively and literally), #6 those jeans and the sweater and shoes that mirror each other, and #12 that giblet, so fab, and it elongates you.

    not good at style personas etc....but for what its worth, here's what I see, tailored ease. even at your most casual, tailored is the 1st word that comes to my mind. 

  • Traci replied 7 years ago

    Stunning, as always, Suz.  I may just have to take your Christmas outfit picture with me the next time I go for a haircut.  It's perfect there in my book.  I don't know how you do it, but you keep getting better.  Every year I think how you've nailed it and then you step it up again the next year.

    What about Clean Gamine?  I definitely see the gamine piece in there, but there is something else, more polished, that I can't quite find the right qualifier for.  Crisp Gamine?  Gamine Shine?  Whatever the word for it is, I LOVE it!

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Maybe Silver Sprite?  

  • Ginkgo replied 7 years ago

    Very educational post, Suz.  My favorite outfit is #6, with the gorgeous shimmery silver sweater from Club Monaco -- it just resonates with your hair and coloring, perhaps you are Silver Sprite!  Am also crazy over your red outfits (I usually don't care for red) and, oh, those red boots should take care of any long winter doldrums.

    I am inspired by your example to define my wardrobe colors so that they enhance my appearance, beyond the fact that I just "like" them. 

  • Emily K replied 7 years ago

    Suz, add me to the list of fans of your hair cut/color.  It was a small change, but so BIG, difference.  And I noticed my favorite  French Sailor shirt among your finds--it is the workhorse of my daily uniform.  

  • chouette22 replied 7 years ago

    What a beautiful woman you are! I love all of your outfits and am a huge fan of your hair. Talk about somebody getting it right!

  • kerry replied 7 years ago

    Gorgeous outfits, all! Agreeing with everyone that your move to silver was genius.

  • shaz replied 7 years ago

    Stunning outfits on you, each and everyone of them

  • Ornella replied 7 years ago

    So consistent and beautiful. Each outfit is interesting without ever taking attention from you. 6 and 10 are my favourites, which should not surprise I guess... strong and simple... but each one makes me take notes.  

  • rachylou replied 7 years ago

    Your look has really evolved dramatically...while still being your 'same' look. I have always loved your posts, Suz, because you document so exquisitely. You show where the leverage was applied and the impact.

    I like Relaxed Radiance btw, but have no idea what we're talking about, lol. I bring too much sci-fi to the table for Silver Sprite... you have to either be meaner to be a sprite or more light in your loafers, hehe ;)

  • Jaime replied 7 years ago

    Silver sprite makes me think of the Jetsons. Not bad at all but not sure it captures everything I admire about your style. Bold, assured, yet warm? Your look is one a stranger might admire, but not aloof and unapproachable. An the accessible icon? 

    Ok I will move on. Thank you for the shout out regarding our hair and Yes! I agree - both fashion and feminist, style and political. Style is political. Take back our bodies and why shouldn't we look good (to ourselves at least) while doing it. Why shouldn't we wear our age proudly? Shock a few sensibilities?

    Perhaps I am up a bit too early :) . Happy New Year!

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    You would look stylish wearing a paper bag and those red booties! Your style has evolved so much this past year. You look so happy and glamorous. Thank you for sharing it all with us.

  • Ledonna N. replied 7 years ago

    Oh Suz you are truly an amazing and stylish woman. As always i live reading your post. My favorite would have to be 11 but ylf in everything.

  • Laura 90 replied 7 years ago

    You've great look! I really like #2 #6 #12 #14, but my favourite is number 12!
    Have a good year : )

  • replied 7 years ago

    I was just going to comment on the Jenna Lyon's girl in the background. I thought she was part of your shopping party because she's smiling so genuinely! Haha!

    I think you've made some really great purchases this year. I love your enthusiasm for trends and willingness to try things that are a little bold or outside your comfort zone. It keeps things fun and light.

    I'm glad your hobo bag worked out so well for you. I like all your outfits and can't really pick a favourite.

  • Lisa replied 7 years ago

    This is a fun post.  One thing I noticed was the drama, either from textures, or colors, or the shape of the garment itself.  You have really hit a style groove.  And that outfit with the red booties?  Wow!  My favorite of the hard to pick bunch.  I knew you can rock a blue well, but red is just as delightful on you!

  • Beth Ann replied 7 years ago

    I'm trying to catch up on the end-of-year forum Fabness, and this post was a great way to see your evolving style and get some ideas for my own.  I love the way your hair has moved you forward and opened up new colors and combinations. 

  • Eliza replied 7 years ago

    Wow. This was another great year for your style, Suz. Love the hair- a beautiful starting point for all those fab looks. And #11 just stopped me in my tracks. Sequined culottes? Suz? And you own them, well, like a rock star.

    It is inspiring to see how one can have a core fashion sensibility and weave new trends and the occasional whim into the mix. Your joy in this leg of your style journey is palpable and contagious. Thanks for sharing.

  • AM replied 7 years ago

    Nice thinking. And this really said it all for me: 
    Overall...short grey hair adds a bit of drama/ boldness, which seems to call for greater drama/ boldness in kind.
    And silver chic comes to mind...

  • Meghan R replied 7 years ago

    These are all gorgeous! Your hair is fantastic, and I love how you play with different styles of pants.

  • Thirkellgirl replied 7 years ago

    Well you know you have inspired me to cut my hair. I love #6 the most. You just look incredibly stylish to me. Silver Sprite indeed!

  • AviaMariah replied 7 years ago

    While you look fab in each picture the two that jumped out at me as RADIANT were #6 and #14.  You glow in the silver and burgundy.

  • tulle replied 7 years ago

    Fantastic!  I don't know when I've seen a hairstyle change make a more dramatic difference.  You've seemed--lifted, somehow.  Radiant, defnitely. And I'm with Gingko:  #6 is my fav, too--a silvery knockout.

You need to be logged in to comment