2024: Expand. Chartreuse.

I finally got a chance to sit down and finish my year review and planning process, which I owe in large part to Helena. I am so grateful for your book recommendation all those years ago, Helena! I've adapted the process and added a few elements — like the fashion review (thanks, Angie!) and the word and colour (thanks, Laura & Angie!). All in all, it takes me quite a while but is always worth it. 

This year, my word is expand -- with its connotations of growth, unfurling, opening, elaboration, and even relaxation. And my colour—surprise! — is chartreuse. 

Chartreuse is not a colour in my wheelhouse! It's pretty close to Angie's sour apple green. It's definitely not a colour I can wear in abundance near my face. In fact, it's probably one of my least flattering colours.

But I've been enjoying it lately, even craving it!

I have a few items that include bits of chartreuse in a pattern and I adore them. It works brilliantly with blues, lilacs/ lavenders, white, silver, and grey. And according to Adobe, "It was especially popular in the 1920s, since it was viewed as bold, vibrant, and rebellious." (Sounds like garçon to me!) And: "It represents life, growth, and vitality.”   Which seems to me to work with my word, "expand." 

Style Goals

What I won't be expanding is the size of my closet. :)  I counted and I have 145 items in my 4-season closet, including coats and footwear, but not including gear, PJ's, basics, bags, or stuff like gloves/ hats, jewellery.

I think I could stand to edit a bit more, but not a lot. Traditionally, I have felt happiest with a wardrobe between 120 and 150 items. Any more and I get overwhelmed and don't wear all my clothes. Whereas if I go a lot smaller than 120, I am missing out on key items I may seldom wear, but nevertheless need for some of my less frequent but still important occasions. 

I have done a major refresh this year, am very happy with my closet,  and have zero need of anything new over the next few months. So, for 2024, I will

1. Continue my substantial edit — re-evaluating every piece in turn. (I think there are still a few items I could stand to let go of.) 

2. Buy second-hand first, except undies and footwear. I will re-evaluate this goal in 6 months. 

3. Look for chartreuse in patterns and accessories. :)  And maybe even buy new, for that. 

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29 Comments

  • rachylou replied 5 months ago

    Oh that’s a very interesting colour to pick. My mind is busy now…

  • Jenni NZ replied 5 months ago

    That drink looks like absinthe! That appeared a lot in the 1920s if I remember correctly!

  • Olive Green replied 5 months ago

    What a zesty colour! A touch of acid finishes off many a good dish. 
    That seems like a small wardrobe for all the outfits you pull out of it, so it is being utilized. 
     I like an edit. It’s like the cat commercial. “My needs are very simple. Only the best.”  Everything I reach for fits. Can’t remember the last time that happened, maybe in my twenties…thank you, going off to count things. 

  • Brooklyn replied 5 months ago

    Ooh, how interesting. I love chartreuse! I like all the yellowish greens and greenish yellows. I’m currently a little obsessed with golden olive. I’m thinking of doing a post about it. I think chartreuse is an adjacent colour to golden olive. A more high chroma version of golden olive. Fun change for you!

  • aloha emily replied 5 months ago

    Yay chartreuse! I just bought some Vans in chartreuse and I love them! I also have chartreuse trousers and am looking for a chartreuse handbag. The color delights me- especially in high contrast combinations like with hot pink, orange, and of course white.

  • replied 5 months ago

    I was interested in chartreuse recently, likely cause of Angie's post :) Could definitely be fun for accessories at least. Looking forward to your versions!

    I'm with you on wardrobe size. I think a really minimal wardrobe works in a mild, stable climate, with a stable body, stable activities, and time at home to do laundry multiple times a week. None of which apply to me!

  • Star replied 5 months ago

    So interesting how some of our colours cross over and some definitely do not.   Chartreuse is a colour I cannot wear, not even in small doses or accessories.  Please share which book Helena recommended.  Your size of wardrobe and that you use all of it is inspirational.

  • Helena replied 5 months ago

    Love this Suz!! There is something so empowering about choosing a colour simply because you like it ... Without it having to be "your" colour ... It centres your own experience rather than the watchful eye of judging others and THAT is energy I can get behind (and frankly you could probably make it work just beautifully if you so choose!!)

    Your goals are excellent and reminding me to *try* second hand shopping this year.

    Thank you for always being inspiring! Xx

  • RobinF replied 5 months ago

    I love the idea of chartreuse with your normal blues and grays, a little acidic pop. Expand is a great word too. 

  • Jules replied 5 months ago

    My all-time favourite colour to wear - signature really - and a great word!

    I also use Best Year Ever and find it very effective - still need to finish writing down some specifics, glad I'm not the only one who does it over the month of January :) Thank you Suz and Helena for recommending it!

  • Kyle replied 5 months ago

    Why not? This fresh color looks beautiful with your blues and silvers!

  • Laura replied 5 months ago

    I'm celebrating your word and color combo! There seem to be chartreuse accents in abundance for spring, so you may have hit upon a color that's very of the moment. Look forward to seeing how your wardrobe plans play out!

  • Zaeobi replied 5 months ago

    Slow and steady wins the race! I like that the word 'expand' can encompass lots of different subgoals - giving you space to both change but also relax.

    Chartreuse is a great colour, if I do say so myself ;) Though our version is probably more acidic than my 2023 goals version (which was more mossy). I think you'll also find though, once you start consciously looking for it, you'll likely find a lot of it! It makes a good accent piece, so incorporating it into a pattern is a good idea. For some reason I could see it in your outfits as an accessory, like a watch or shoes - just enough to add a little 'zest' to your looks without drowning everything in lime juice. Garçonne + Sportive (or technically Sportif in this instance, lol?)

  • Mary Beth (formerly LBD) replied 5 months ago

    What a great word, expand!  I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with chartreuse, because I sense it’s going to lend an additional shine to your hair and eyes.

  • Suz replied 5 months ago

    Thanks for chiming in, everyone! Laura, I'm glad to hear chartreuse and its near sibs may be accent colours in the spring collections -- maybe it will filter down. 

    Star, it's a colour I "can't" wear, either -- probably my worst if you put a lot of it near my face. Well, it's a contest between that and neon orange. But who says "can't." As Zaeobi suggests, there are ways to use it in bits, as bright accessories, or in patterns (just a touch, as with my tops), or maybe in bottoms -- we shall see! 

    Jules, fascinating that it's s signature colour for you, too! There are a number of you here -- Zaeobi, you, Brooklyn, Angie, Aloha Emily -- all maybe wearing slightly different versions (there are a range of tones) but all enjoying it. 

    Love what you said about a touch of acid, Olive Green. Maybe I'm feeling a need of that element of the colour as well as the growth and expansion. Sometimes, you can't have one without the other. :) 

    Star, the book that Helena shared is called Your Best Year Yet, by Jenny Ditzler. I think she must be some 80s MBA type with big hair -- that's how I imagine her. A lot of the text seems geared towards those seeking a certain kind of business success. BUT, having said that, if you read between the lines and really do her suggested exercises, it is super helpful. I have benefitted from this process over the last 7 or 8 years more than I can say. I break my life into roles (and break some of the roles down further, e.g. my professional role includes various components and as a writer, there is process and product and "career" -- so you get my point -- I have adapted it and added more intuitive style questions from other sources. It's a lot of work but worth it!  

  • ChristelJ replied 5 months ago

    What a great color to choose! Definitely full of vitality and energy. It works with your word because it will certainly expand the range and feel of your wardrobe. For what it's worth, my favorite bag of all time was chartreuse. It added a spark to nearly everything I wore. I think you will have loads of fun with it.

  • MsMary replied 5 months ago

    Sounds wonderful, Suz! And if you will indulge me, I will share that chartreuse, in addition to being a beautiful color, is a liqueur made by an order of cloistered monks in the French Alps. It is the featured ingredient in a cocktail called The Last Word, which was originated in 1915 but has had a resurgence in popularity recently, leading to a surge in demand for Chartreuse liqueur. Well. The monks don't care if demand is high -- they are not inclined to either increase production or raise prices. So consequently there is a shortage of Chartreuse liqueur. Here in So Cal it can't be had for love or money at most retail outlets.

    My husband and I are devotees of The Last Word so we looked all over town for Chartreuse and finally hit the mother lode -- a small liquor store about 20 miles from our house. I saw online that they had it in stock and called to ask them to save me a bottle while I drove to the store. "No need to save a bottle," they replied. "We have plenty." We got there and it turned out they had cases and cases in their back room, due to a computer error that led to them getting way more than they ordered. So now even bars and hotels all over the Los Angeles area are going to that little liquor store for their Chartreuse. We bought two bottles for ourselves and two bottles for our friends who are also Last Word afficionados and were most delighted!

    Thank you for coming to my TED Talk! ;)

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 5 months ago

    This post is so brilliant, Suz. I love your word and your color, and it's so illuminating to read your thoughts about them. They sound like perfect choices, as if they were there, just waiting patiently for you to discover them. I think chartreuse is a beautiful accent for silver-toned hair and the cool colors you wear.

    p.s. Oh my gosh, Mary, I wonder if that store's error in ordering may have
    almost single-handedly wiped out the monks' output for last year!

  • Ket replied 5 months ago

    Welcome to the chartreuse family! :D I adore chartreuse!

    I'm excited to see where this leads for you. I especially loved reading your historical insights about how it was viewed and used in the 1920s. That is one of my favorite decades, especially for small touches and overall vibe/inspiration. 

    XO from chartreuse lovin' me ;) 

  • Suz replied 5 months ago

    Mary, that is an amazing story! And I want to try that cocktail! I need to see if I can get my hands on a bottle! I had read about the shortage but didn't know it was so severe. 

    Sharan, Ket, Christel -- thanks! Good point, Christel, about the expanded range. Assuming I can find some! But if I can't, I'll just fly down to LA to drown my sorrows in The Last Word with Ms. Mary!! 

  • Cardiff girl replied 5 months ago

    I think that chartreuse can really add zing to an outfit and goes,in my opinion ,particularly well with grey,navy,white and burgundy most of which you have in your wardrobe already.l agree that it’s not the most face friendly colour but am looking forward to seeing how it works for you.

  • LaPed replied 5 months ago

    Ooh, this is so interesting! I re-joined Team Chartreuse last year, with the skirt/waistcoast set below. It's a colour I loved as a teen and yes, I agree with you that it still carries some of that 20's vibe -- if not rebellious, than at least insouciant. 

    In the past, I mostly wore it with blacks and dark greys (my favorite in the early 00s was a pair of acid green tights plus a tweedy charcoal-grey sweater dress). My set has the black built in, but I'm finding navy, white, and tomato red (like the model photo!) are all good additions. Navy/white plus a pop of sour green is one of my all-time favorite summer palettes. Can't wait to see where this new shade takes you!

  • Sal replied 5 months ago

    Love the choice of expand - great word and concept when people around are often narrowing their perspective.

    Chartreuse - I don’t know that I have ever drunk it. Love your tale Mary - that’s a great one!! I want to try it now.

    In terms of a colour I agree it’s a really good mixing colour to add some spice into a look- I don’t know if I have any at all. Look forward to seeing it evolve.

  • Jaime replied 5 months ago

    Interesting choice and thought process. I do admire anything associated with the 1920s, and certainly something named after an alcohol with a good backstory (thanks Mary!) but, like you, this is an awful color on me! Do I have a print that contains it? Most likely yes. I will look with new eyes. Your goals sound excellent btw!

  • Angie replied 5 months ago

    Love your word and colour, Suz! (Thanks for the shout outs).

    Chartreuse is like a really bright olive to my eye, and I much enjoy it. Nodding along with Brooklyn's descriptions. Not quite citron or lime green, but related. Sounding aptly GARCON, and a fun change! Welcome to Team Sour Green :) 

    HIGH FIVE. My wardrobe needs little intervention this year, which you can read about in a blog post tomorrow. We enjoy a similar size wardrobe too! We have the same goal, and onward to enjoying the heck out of our fab-for-us stuff! 

  • MsMary replied 5 months ago

    Ooh, Angie! Excited for tomorrow's blog post!

    And of course you are all invited to my house for cocktails! ;)

  • Bonnie replied 5 months ago

    Love the idea of pops of chartreuse for you. It's a fantastic color. 

  • Jules replied 5 months ago

    Omg I guess I got the wrong book - Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt - too funny! But it also works! I do find their example scenarios slant a bit corporate for me, now I’m wondering if I also need Best Year Yet, but mostly just amused There’s a lot of overlap in the self-help world!

  • Jules replied 5 months ago

    I need to try The Last Word too! This thread is too fun :)

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