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! 

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.


  • anne replied 3 years ago

    Suz, your posts are always lively and interesting. Thank you!
    Well done on the boot practicality! I agree that you have really kept to your style adjectives.

  • Christina F. replied 3 years ago

    Suz, are the la Canadienne Caily boots tall enough to wear with the red crops, or would that leave a gap? I have two pairs of those crops too (not the red, though!) and have been thinking about how to wear them in the winter. I wore the burgundy ones with combat boots recently.

  • texstyle replied 3 years ago

    Love the reds you've added this past year - so pretty on you!  I can understand the hesitation on the red pants - I have a hard time with brights on bottom myself. Not sure why. For myself I think it's the fear of standing out too much maybe.

    I am not as disciplined as others to add up all my expenditures (too much work to figure out all returns) but I have a feeling I spent about the same, but on fewer items YTD. This has been a year of adding more light colors to my wardrobe - white, off white, tan, gray etc.

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    Texstyle, adding lights is a great solution to hot weather woes. There is something so fresh about light neutrals and so sophisticated, especially with your colouring. 

    Christina, great idea. I think it does leave a little gap but not a huge one, and I have warm socks. I can also wear knee high boots but they do show the upper buckle a bit when I do it. Anyway...I'll give it a try with the Cailys and see...

    Thank you, Anne

  • Sveta replied 3 years ago

    Suz, I am in LOVE with your new red capsule - so brilliant! This is what I should have done in 2017 as I love red but it is seriously lacking in my closet <sigh>
    I so get your love for jackets (and they look great on you) because I love them too. However I have discovered this year that I tend to wear them less than before even to work. All i all I feel that I tend towards more casual and comfortable clothing this year...hmmm, need to ponder more.
    I see that both your dress and jacket are from Sandwich   - what is this and where did you get them. They both look like winners!
    Your 2 boot purchases are brilliant for our climate - well done! We have 4-6 months of cold and snow so great looking and winter worthy boots are essential (my hat is off to LisaP who does not need many winter boots in Winnipeg :-) )
    Maybe we need a photo session with the red crops? I would love to see them styled. I think they would look great with your greys and navy/ink and if you keep them the only red color in your outfit they should not be too overpowering.

  • lisa p replied 3 years ago

    Well, right away I'm wondering why you aren't wearing that gorgeous EF sweater with your red crops. ??  Look at the CM photo of your sweater and see how well the two colours pair.

    There, now that I've solved that issue - onto the rest :)  Red is made for you, and vice versa.  It's even better than your beloved blue, in my eyes.  And you are confirming that counting and being aware of what is coming in and going out is a worthwhile exercise.  I'm starting a little file for receipts and notes of what I got rid of and when/why.

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    Lisa, Sveta, thanks -- I will try that EF sweater with the red. Do you know what is holding me back? Not colour but proportion. My legs are proportionately short...crops shorten them further. The sweater, with its length, shortens them even more. But with the right footwear it could work. I'll do a photo session and give them a whirl. Thank you! 

    Also, Lisa, I just note down my purchases in a list on Notes on my computer. I don't have a spreadsheet and don't even add up the cost (except roughly, i.e. to know if I'm within my budget for a season, more or less). I might get a bit more picky about this next year. I can tell if something is an essential or a "frill' simply by looking at it -- dark denim, and navy blue tops of various kinds are obvious essentials for my closet, for example.

    Sveta, get out there and get you some red while it's there for the plucking! You can still grab some items on sale, I'll bet! I am curious to know more about the casual dressing...I wonder if it is related to your ballroom life? You get to dress up now for real on the regular. That might make it less appealing or necessary to be "dressy" at work. I wonder...


  • SarahD8 replied 3 years ago

    As usual, such an interesting post, Suz. It's great to see your consistent, deliberate follow-through. Fascinating that RED contributed to ticking a couple of different goals off your list this year!

    I appreciated you linking back to your previous post from last year. I learned a lot from reading through your process!

  • deb replied 3 years ago

    Suz, the red looks so good on you with your new hair color. And I love that dress on you.

  • Barbara Diane replied 3 years ago

    You do look stricking in red. And that's a fabulous red, black and gray capsule, And very helpful for me to see as it is in colors I really like that look good on me, But more sophisticated than my clothing items, so there is much I can learn from it.

  • Sveta replied 3 years ago

    Yeah, EF sweater sweater may be too long to have good proportions with crops (but you never know until you try, sometimes things work when theoretically they should not). Shorter tops are more slam dunk here. Do you still have this JCrew sweatshirt? It should work well with red crops, both color and proportions.
    What about DVF sweater from NAS?

    You should have some other sweaters in shades of grey and dark blue and maybe burgundy? What about DVF sweater from NAS? If they are shorter or can be semi-tucked they may work. Get yourself into that closet and start playing! :-)
    You maybe right on he casualness. I still like the dressier looks but I crave more comfort these days. Footwear is also a problem - I had to purge all but 1 pair of boots this year due to arthritis in my left big toe. I can only wear shoes which do not taper at the toe at all (even a little tapering is bad for me). Remember those Born combat boots I bought at NAS when we were there together? Remember how I was  hesitating because the toe was too round and I did not like it much? Well, they are the only boots I can wear now and they definitely very distressed looking now...
    Anyway with these shoe limitations it is very hard to dress and feel fab so I guess I am slowly going into a rut :-(

  • lisa p replied 3 years ago

    Yes, you'll need a heel, for sure.....

  • Sveta replied 3 years ago

    BTW, this red jacket from BR: how thick is the fabric? Would it be to warm to wear indoors? I really like it...

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    Sveta, that is such a shame about your poor toes! I hope it hasn't stopped the dancing!!

    The red jacket is totally worth a try. Lisa also has it! It is a fairly thick but somehow flexible ponte knit. I am wearing it as an indoor jacket but it will also work well on spring or fall days that are quite warm. To give you an idea...I wore it a few weeks ago with a flannel shirt and cami underneath it to an indoor party and I kept it on the entire time; I didn't feel too hot or at all restricted. The hosts do keep their home on the cooler rather than warmer side. 

    And yes, I still have the sweatshirt...will try with that and a bunch of other things. I may not want short tops because I will want to disguise my expanding tummy... (sigh). 

    I'll do a photo session. 

    Sarah, I'm glad the link helped! I always find it useful to trace the history. As Angie always says, this is a marathon. For reference, I came to YLF about 7 years ago without a stitch to my name beyond yoga pants. I had just lost 35 pounds. (I've gained about 8 or 10 of those pounds back in the last 2 years, but don't plan to gain any more of them back, ha!) Anyway...I had no clothes and a very small budget for my first couple of years on the forum. Changed my working situation and was able to start building a wardrobe in earnest. But it has still taken about 5 years of buying, editing, and culling to get to the point where I really feel like I know what I'm doing! (Most of the time.) 

    Deb, thank you!

    Barbara Diane, thank you! It can be tough to find items that combine a happy colour with a sophisticated or interesting cut or details. Angie's the pro at this, of course. 

  • MsMary replied 3 years ago

    Suz, you are crushing it!

    And I am always in awe of these analytical posts because I just cannot bring myself to do it. LOL

  • rachylou replied 3 years ago

    Great stuff. I want a band jacket. And dang if I don’t love that red sweater (just got one a bit like it) and the patterned dress.

    Peanut gallery comment: I feel your style has moved this year into a more artistic, academic place. Like you have let your sophistication out more...

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    Thank you, Rachylou...that's nice to say. I do feel more confident and I also find that silver hair simplifies my life somehow. (Not least the cost of colouring it, lol.) 

    Ms. Mary -- from you, a great compliment. :)

  • Jenni NZ replied 3 years ago

    Thank you for this post. I really liked your other post about "Accept yourself" as well. I have just read back over your old links to your end of 2016/start of 2017 as well, which was interesting for me since I joined YLF in January and may not have seen those before. Turning over about one third of your wardrobe does feel a lot to me. But then I am aware of one day this year when I suddenly hated ALL my clothes. It was when I was looking back at my old photo albums and realised how long I'd been wearing some clothes. I think when I look down my lists 2013 doesn't feel that long ago. But when I looked at the albums, it did. A lot has happened to me since then- I got a new second job, resigned a third job as a Chair, we finished subdividing our property and are now building our new home on the back section... but I'm still wearing many of the same clothes. Of course I have also been trying to wear them all 30 times. I hope I'm not unwittingly punishing myself!
    I have also gained a bit more weight round the mid-section which I had hoped had stopped. I will have to do some culling anyway. And I'm trying not to spend as much on clothes as we are buying a whole house worth of stuff! My bed gets covered with house brochures rather than fashion magazines at present. Ho hum.

  • replied 3 years ago

    Maybe the crops are more of a summertime thing?
    I am proud that you are getting a few sensible footwear purchases under your belt. They’re tough to buy, but snow boots are even tougher!
    As far as purging numbers, that is the price you pay for experimentation, yes, And I think your numbers are n par with mine.
    I think if you were to spend a year not experimenting at all, you’d have low “fail” numbers.

  • Jenn replied 3 years ago

    Suz, do you still have many work-at-home days? I tried on those Halogen crops and sent them back because they were too similar to the ones I bought for my WAH uniform, but they're perfect for that. Pair with some fun socks and a cozy sweater, and there you go. They should be okay tucked into boots when you venture out, too. I think the fabric might be too thick for true summer wear.

    I honestly don't think turning over 30% of your wardrobe is terrible. I figure on things lasting about 3 years on average. I know we try to make choices that have a bit more longevity, but it seems there are always going to be some mistakes to balance out those real winners.

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    Sweet, Suz. You had a rough year, and I can't even get my head around how beautifully pulled together and KILLER stylish you looked no matter what. I am in awe, and my hat off to you. You are a role model. WELL DONE. You've put time and thought into your wardrobe - and reaped the reward. That's a fact, and a rewarding one. How very, very satisfying. 

    GO TEAM RED. Your best colour. 

    Go Team Moving Away From Jeans Slowly - I'm with you. 

    Go Team Jackets, and good job putting your Winter money into workhorse boots. YES, I am proud of you. 

    No need to defend your purchases in my book. It's not in your nature to go overboard - and you haven't. You simply refreshed and needed what you got in more ways than one. And you like a moderately sized wardrobe - me too. Onward. 

    Start a separate thread on the red cropped flares, and we'll help you....

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    Thank you, Angie -- I learned it all from you and the forum and am everlastingly grateful. Ms. Mary used to say that during tough times there is an extra sweet feeling in being able to rely on your closet and I certainly felt that this year! I didn't always look great (not with weepy eyes!) and there were lots of days when I just threw on any old jeans and any old sweater, but at least they were all comfortable, in good condition, and fit. 

    I'll definitely start a new thread. Jenn, you're right -- they're perfect work at home wear and best for fall/ winter due to the weight. Maybe they'll perk me up in the depths of the cold. And thank you for your thoughts re numbers. I am always in awe of your careful purchasing. It might be that I am getting closer to the time when I can reduce the churn a bit more since I have more bases covered. 

    Smittie, when I think it through, most of the experiments this year were successes! I just got rid of a few things that I was tired of or didn't work any more and replaced with new items that will also work for a few seasons. I only had one flat out fail (and one possible fail -- the red crops.) The other fail was a knife-pleat skirt that I couldn't style in.a way that made me happy so I gave to my stepdaughter. 

    Jenni, that is a lot of changes in a few years!! You have been busy! And it's natural to need new clothes for a new lifestyle. I think we tend to turn over more of our wardrobes, proportionately, per year, the smaller our wardrobes are. Simply because things wear out faster! I don't have a small wardrobe, but a moderate sized one -- and I have four distinct seasons that require different clothes. I don't know if that increases or decreases turnover but it probably has some effect....

  • anne replied 3 years ago

    Oh, I meant to talk to you about that pleated skirt Suz when you posted it earlier on the best/ worst thread. I have been so attracted to pleated skirts, yet whenever I've tried one on they haven't felt right. Too long for a start - I know just below knee length is better for me than the mid-calf most of them are. I also found they didn't flow nicely over my hip/ thigh area (so different from your issue with them)

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    Alas, that skirt!! I so wanted it to work. It probably did work better than I feared, but the style combined with fabrication (too light and then too heavy for our temps) made it wrong. Oh well. Step daughter loved it. :) 

  • shevia replied 3 years ago

    Suz your style has never been better. Red is your new color, it is positively stunning on you. The silver ring and silver jewelry are your signatures and your hair is vibrant and glowing like the rest of you. You have stood strong and let's hope 2018 will be an easier year for everyone. 

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