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. 


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! 

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.


  • rachylou replied 10 months ago

    You are very good in the not-hoarding department, Suz! It’s amazing for me to think back, about how your style has changed - and not changed. There are many expressions for one’s one aesthetic (!)

  • smittie replied 10 months ago

    Wow Suz. You did well. My favourite outfits are 12 (pink blazer and mustard shoes) and 14 (muted brown blazer with burgundy dry accents).

    I clearly love you in blazers! And anything with a playful touch works really well in you.
    You also wear the long cardigan look very well.

  • slim cat replied 10 months ago

    So many great outfits - love it all. The coat is winning as a showstopper piece ( since we are in winter season :) ). Really like #13 as a silver outfit that goes so well with your hair.

  • Sal replied 10 months ago

    Such a playful edge in your dressing that shines through. You look interesting and fun!!

    You wear dresses and pants really well and have a great handle on what I’d flattering without letting that dictate all the rules.

  • SarahD8 replied 10 months ago

    All this is fabulous. Really nicely done on following through with your intentions. Or not -- I think it's also great that you were able to just move on without angst when you realized the non-jeans work from home uniform wasn't necessary. I've definitely gotten a bee in my bonnet about something I thought I needed, took great pains to get it, and then realized I didn't.

    Also, very much agree that the nature of secondhand shopping is that sometimes you just don't find anything. Good on you for not succumbing to the temptation of the almost-right secondhand find.

    Love the outfits you have posted! I especially like you in those duster cardigans -- they have a certain drama that really suits you while remaining wearable for everyday.

  • Catnip replied 10 months ago

    Wow!  You have come a long way from when I first encountered you online some years ago.  You look stunning, and are an inspiration to us all!

  • deb replied 10 months ago

    You did a wonderful job. My favorites are #6 and #12.

  • Cardiff girl replied 10 months ago

    Well you are clearly do something right as you look amazing in all these photos.The other thing that shines through is how comfortable you are in your own skin and prehaps that is where fashion meets style.

  • Jenn replied 10 months ago

    You're always an inspiration, Suz. I look up to you as someone who's always on-point with your style and able to keep a consistent persona no matter the season.

    Buying twenty fewer items than last year is FABULOUS. I honestly think the most sustainable thing we can do is simply to consume LESS, and there are so many ways to accomplish that.  Cutting back on purchases, buying secondhand, and prioritizing sustainable manufacturing are all different routes to the same goal of using fewer resources than we would have otherwise.

    By the way, I also had to retire at least one item I just bought this year, and it was also because of wear. It makes me so mad, but there was no way I could have predicted it. This wasn't even something with thin, fragile fabric. So annoying.

  • karen13 replied 10 months ago

    I love theses yearend recaps, especially with photos! The process clearly yields results- you look utterly amazing and are doing it with thought and care. I was flipping Through your photos and wondering “wait where is the snow queen coat?”you saved my favorite for last.

  • Runcarla replied 10 months ago

    Though the moniker ‘urban prince’ served you well, I can see from looking at your photos that you are evolving into something new. There remains a gamine element, but now there is also a soft romance in your outfits. Beautiful! Thank you for being such an inspiration.

  • shevia replied 10 months ago

    I am just the worst person for numbers when it comes to wardrobe tallies. But I am pretty good about second hand shopping :) ! I think keeping new items out of the garbage stream is probably a decent goal. So shopping carefully for new basics and trying to buy second hand for experimental pieces seems like a very good policy. 
    And you look fab! I was especially taken by the last row, probably because I am a bit cold right now!

  • bonnie replied 10 months ago

    What a great year you have had. I love your colorful style and am inspired by the thought you put into your outfits. My favorites are 4, 9, 10, 11, and 13. You look really good in longer cardigans.

  • Staysfit replied 10 months ago

    Thanks as always for your clear and thoughtful post.  In the past year I have seen your confidence grow.  I appreciate the care you use to curate your wardrobe. It clearly pays off as you shine in everything you wear.  Have a wonderful 2020!

  • Laura replied 10 months ago

    What a successful year you had carrying out your goals! Did you find it challenging to buy less or did it come easily? Any tips?

  • RobinF replied 10 months ago

    Very successful year, as shows in your WIW's! I particularly love you in the summer dresses, which is odd because I don't really wear dresses myself. I also love #7, the plaid blazer with red top - really nice. And of course that fabulous coat in #16 - hard to beat that.

  • suntiger replied 10 months ago

    All your hard work has definitely paid off! You have variety in your style, but all seems authentically you and harmonious as a whole.

  • nemosmom replied 10 months ago

    You are such an inspiration, Suz! The time you spent reflecting and then planning seems to have really paid off and your intuitive approach to shopping is obviously well-honed, given your stunning results. YLF!
    Thank you for writing a year-end wrap-up; I find these kinds of posts so helpful!

  • JAileen replied 10 months ago

    I really love the red print dress.  I went through the photos a couple times and that one really stood out to me.  I also love the outfit in the picture with Angie.  That is a great picture, BTW.  The prints seem kind of playful to me.  

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    Thank you all for your kind comments. I lay my success entirely on Angie's and the forum's shoulders! You've all been a tremendous help and inspiration to me. And for those who are new here, it has taken time. 

    Robin, those summer dresses were from The Rack and I really debated about buying them, but in the end went ahead because I'd had to retire my Boden dresses from the previous year. They were very reasonably priced on sale and proved excellent purchases. 

    Laura, thank you. It seemed to happen pretty naturally for me this year. I certainly didn't feel deprived. But I think my main tips to reduce purchasing would be:

    Shop seasonally and shop in bursts. (I tend to keep my eye on Angie's recommendations in case they align with a known need, but otherwise I don't shop, either online or in person, except for consignment, apart from a couple of months per year. Between times, I wear the heck out of my clothes and get fashion pleasure in other ways. If something comes up (i.e. a genuine need for a replacement) then, of course, I break my own guideline. 

    Return return return. I bought a lot that I did not keep because it wasn't 100%. However, I'm growing concerned with that cycle due to something I read about many returns going straight to landfill, so I'm reconsidering my approach for next year. 

    Focus on other pursuits in between shopping seasons. I just didn't have time last year to worry too much about clothes! 

    Other people might count or track -- for me that seemed counter-productive. I have a rebellious streak and telling myself I can't do something often leads me to do more of it. :) 

  • torontogirl replied 10 months ago

    Suz, this is so awesome ... Your outfits are really great and each one encapsulates you style words so well. You are a master of cohesive variety, if that makes sense ... And I really love the bolder (?) lippie you have on in many of these - a great pop of colour! Looking forward to following you through 2020!

  • Jenni NZ replied 10 months ago

    Just re-read this Suz, and was again impressed by your being able to reduce the purchasing so much.
    I DO enjoy the tracking and counting, it seems to help me to buy less when I am busy trying to wear the items I already have. I read your link for Inge about the landfill and was also distressed by it, as I had been about articles here in NZ with amounts of clothing to landfill. It’s hard too because if you wear the stuff out, like sandals, then it probably has to go to landfill anyway. I think if I have honestly worn sandals out I will probably decide to send them to landfill myself directly.
    Your outfits are great and your style does not appear to have suffered at all by buying less!
    I need to do my own post, but I have also bought less. I would like to buy even less next year as I am getting upset by the waste and exploitation in the industry.

  • RobinF replied 10 months ago

    "Other people might count or track -- for me that seemed counter-productive. I have a rebellious streak and telling myself I can't do something often leads me to do more of it" -  I'm with you, I tend to have the same reaction! Also when it comes to dieting, but that's a different subject :)

  • Christina F. replied 10 months ago

    Robin and Suz - I counted what went in and out this year and while it helped me with decreasing the overall size of my wardrobe (a goal for this year), it did NOT help me to shopp less. That's a goal for me next year so I have to figure out how to tamp that down without pinging the rebellious streak.

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    So, I should probably clarify -- I do keep track in a list of what I'm buying, and also what I'm retiring, and as you see, I kept visual collections in Finds. (Links in my original post). So it's not that I don't keep track. It's just that I didn't tell myself: You may buy 15 items and only 15 items (or 30, or 50). I didn't put an arbitrary limit on it ahead of time. Because I wasn't really sure what was reasonable.

    I want to reach my goals without feeling as if I am depriving myself of fun, since fashion is so much fun for me. So I have to find ways to balance my concern for the environment and what is going on in the industry with my desire for fun and pleasure. Obviously, the environment is way more important than my "fun" -- but at the same time, my fun has a place, too. 

  • Angie replied 10 months ago

    Suz, you drink from the fountain of youth, and look more gorgeous with each passing year! Your KILLER style evolves to a new level of sharp fabness, yet stays very YOU. You put in the work, and reap the reward. Disciplined and analytical, yet intuitive and emotional. INSPIRATIONAL. 

    I'm loving the extra maximal drama, colour and playfulness that appears in your style this year - plus the soft luxe touches, and mega vibrancy. 

    In short -  can I clone you?

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