Style reflections 2020 oops 2021

Well, friends, I’m due for a style renewal, and I hope I can get some suggestions from you wise people. But more on that in a looking forward post.

As for looking back — it seems I didn’t even set a goal last year! No wonder I feel the need of some focus on my closet. I was just too depleted and uncertain of what the future might hold to set goals.

My purchases mainly fell into the essentials replacement category. I did buy a few statement items, however, and those were my “happy” pieces.  I bought 30 items (apart from socks.) (Purchases in Finds). I retired about the same number. 

My MVPs from this bunch were the patterned linen shirt from M&S, the taffeta skirt, the hibiscus sneakers and sandals, the V-neck leopard print merino bought on super sale, and the pewter RM backpack, which unfortunately is already looking awfully worn out. Sigh. 

My fails were the pink Gap shirt (seriously, when will I learn that however flattering a pale or mid-pink is, I'll only wear it in a pattern and much prefer a vivid fuchsia?). The cream wrap top from Gap. Too "dirty" for my colouring. The balloon jeans, which look great and are lovely and Mr. Suz loves, but they just didn't cut it for me (and did cut into my waist when I sat...). And the BR jeans, which turned out to be such a pain in length and I don't like the whiskering. That was desperation buying. Never mind. Onwards!! 

My happy fashion season was the autumn when I was teaching outside the home and on campus three days a week. Out came the jackets, the wool trousers, the silk blouses, and varied footwear options. I also got to wear my new taffeta skirt a bunch, and that was fun

Other than that, this was a “treading water” kind of fashion year for me — wearing things that had gone unworn in a while due to the pandemic and not really thinking about my style much at all. 

Time to switch that up!  I think I'm due for a major edit and a style re-think. Onwards! 

Happy holidays to all and stay safe out there! 

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.


  • Brooklyn replied 3 weeks ago

    Sounds like 2021 was a transitional year for a lot of people. It still feels too early to know what’s going to happen with employment and outings to make firm (style) plans around them.

    I think your standout purchase for the year was the taffeta skirt. A real wildcard. And I’m glad it paid off. What I like about it is that is it such an emphatic rejection of loungewear (not that loungewear is bad, but I think plenty of us are sick of wearing it after 2020). Maybe you need a bit more of that in 2022. I’m thinking a metallic jacket :)

    Happy holidays to you. I always appreciate your generous contributions to this forum.

  • Deb replied 3 weeks ago


  • rachylou replied 3 weeks ago

    My only ‘goal’ was weeding my closet. On the one hand, I did relinquish some socks. On the other, my Goodwill shut down, so a few socks was about all. Nothing really happened this past year…

  • Bijou replied 3 weeks ago

    Suz, you have been very busy in 2021 and you always look fabulous. However, I can understand that without adding in wildcards, which are hard to track down when online shopping, things can feel monotonous. A style refresh for 2022 sounds exciting!

    The plaid skirt is a great piece and authentic and edgy on you. I also love military style jackets and coats on you and envy the fact that you have the perfect climate to wear fabulous winter coats.

    When I think of the items that I love most on you, they tend to have clean lines but with some interesting detail, just a small riff on a classic in a modern way.

  • Janet replied 3 weeks ago

    Suz, I think you need to edit your post title! :-D I’m not prepared to repeat 2020 and 2021 again.

    What a year! I think most of us did have a year of transition of some sort, and a lot of unsure feelings. You looked fabulous in all your posts, so I think you did better than your post would seem to indicate, but I sure understand the mistakes — I have a few myself, and I’m thinking of biting the bullet and trying to sell/consign/donate some of my mistakes sooner rather than later, to get them out of sight so I don’t continue to feel foolish and guilty for money wasted when I see them.

    “Our” skirt is amazing on you. I think I will enjoy mine more when I lose a bit of weight — I’m back up to the upper end of my range and I’m not happy about it. Depression eating, I’m afraid. But I love seeing it on you and am looking forward to having occasions again to wear mine!

    And hey, backpack twin — would you like to buy a new one from me? I nabbed one on a good sale from the Rack…and then got my Bao Bao which has become my real replacement for my beat-up RM. If you’d like it let me know!

  • kkards replied 3 weeks ago

    2020 faded into 2021 which appears to be sliding into 2022 with so much uncertainty that treading water fashion wise seems a natural. But I can see where after 2+ years need to stretch and try new things would be tempting.  Looking forward to seeing where you decide to go on this leg of your style journey 

  • Zaeobi replied 3 weeks ago

    Ah I completely understand what you mean by a lack of focus, because it turns out I didn't set a 2021 goal either - oops!

    Interesting how going back to campus has inspired you to break out the silk blouses - I'm also back 2 days a week now, but have instead gone in the opposite direction! Apart from keeping a few just in case of interviews etc, I'm considering redonating mine because they feel 'too fussy' after 2 years of online teaching. You're probably a lot less lazy about ironing than me, though :P

    I also feel you on the colour scheme issue - I like yellow, but somehow cooler toned yellows end up following me home :P I've actually drawn up a colour palette on my phone, so that I don't stray from it when the shopping bug bites. Maybe that strategy could help you too? I think we all know what we 'should' be doing, but are sometimes swayed in the 'heat' of the moment.

    As for a style refresh, sounds fun! Will be interesting to see what you come up with next - that taffeta skirt is lovely on you :)

  • slim cat replied 3 weeks ago

    Lots of beautiful pieces and great outfits through the 2021! Hope to see more fun outfits and very curious where new direction/style re-think will take you. Love your taffeta skirt and all metallic accents.

  • CarolS replied 3 weeks ago

    I think the 'slip' in the title is actually perfectly reflective of how this past couple of years have felt like one giant, amorphous blob of time.... 

  • Suz replied 3 weeks ago

    Well, happy Christmas to those who celebrate, and I'm laughing so hard at my mistake with the date. It just goes to show you, right? I guess it's what they call a Freudian slip -- I'd just as soon 2021 never happened. But 2020 was worse, so I definitely don't want to go back there...

    Thanks for the wise comments, commiseration, and insights. 

    And Janet, thanks for the backpack offer! That's so sweet of you. I will think about it. I'm a little disenchanted that the finish wore off the back/ bottom so quickly, though, to be honest, and think I might be better off with a second matte nylon or leather one. Of a different style of bag (!!!) as part of my style reset. 

    I'm also of the same mind as you re the purchasing failures. I'm letting go of them instead of hanging on and agonizing over them. I did my best, not everything worked. <Shrug>  There are LOTS of people in this city in need of clothing and if I donate it, someone else will be very happy. 

  • Runcarla replied 3 weeks ago

    If I remember correctly, late 2020 and early 2021 you were bulking up your gear capsule, and when warm weather hit - doing a bit of gardening.  Although nice kit can make you feel sleek whilst exercising, it can quickly become ordinary when it becomes the all day/everyday default outfit.  Garden wear isn’t exactly a style, and honestly, even master gardeners in their purpose built clothing are nothing like cottage core ‘grammars!  Exercise and garden work can be restorative, but aren’t really opportunities for sartorial self expression!

    I’m wondering if a riff on early ‘60’s mod - like what Dior did for their S/S ‘22 show might be something that appeals? Uber clean lines with sleek details?  Not so much for the next 4 months in the PNW, but with a view to warm weather?

    Watch the show!

  • lisa p replied 3 weeks ago

    I’ll be interested to see where you go style-wise in 2021 . Using the success of the Kate H skirt as a launching pad could be really fun . I’m feeling the need for a change too- in a big way - but haven’t thought too far ahead yet .

  • Irina replied 3 weeks ago

    Interesting read, thanks, Suz. I think we now have more time to think where are going with our style. And it’s a good thing. 

    To me, your outfits always look polished and interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing what would you like to change.

  • CocoLion replied 3 weeks ago

    I love the way the silver backpack and silver sneakers work together.  I would think they make any outfit shine!  A cranberry bag+footwear complement would be super too.

  • Sal replied 3 weeks ago

    Haha re the title…, in many ways 2021 has been an okay or even good year for me but roll on 22 (2016-2017 were my hardest).

    You always look stylish and put together- but why not change it up a bit. I think every few years most of us do - it’s a mix of trends, lifestyle, age, and how we want our style to reflect our inner self. Sometimes it’s one new addition that sparks the change, or a hairstyle, or a tv show, or even a forum or blog post.

    Like you my 21 was focussed on gear - and that was the right choice as it’s been so useful. Your white coat, the plaid skirt, and your silver/ grey pieces stand out as cool edgy items that a really suit you.

    Thanks for being so fab!

  • Helena replied 3 weeks ago

    Well Suz I can't wait to see where you go but honestly, you always look amazing and current and fab! I think 2020 and 2021 are enough reason for anyone to feel like a refresh!!

  • Jaime replied 3 weeks ago

    Oh major edit! Gleeful smile from me. Suz your wardrobe is just getting better and better along with your hair, but if there is one emblematic piece that should be the flag on your style ship I submit it is the tulle plaid skirt. Perfect for your lifestyle, which includes regular public facing events (pandemic aside), interesting, flattering and current without being trendy or of a particular time and by a Canadian designer. Dare I say chef's kiss? No, I wouldn't as it has grown hackneyed lately but I hope you get the idea :) .

  • gryffin replied 3 weeks ago

    Suz - I can relate to your feelings about the pandemic. After all why by anything is we can’t be sure of tomorrow. I think that summed up 2020. You always are so polished and have a gift for finding items which have that little something special. I’m so glad you are enjoying your dressy pieces again. One of the only pleasures, has been wearing the good stuff. Because, hey, uncertainty makes you aware that right now is special. We need to live each moment, with relish and joy. So break out the silk, tulle, lace, and rock it for all its worth!!

  • Minaminu replied 3 weeks ago

    Suz, I like you embraced different styles and jazzed up your wardrobe with the 

    taffeta skirt, balloon jeans and the other pieces. True, some of them might not have been as successful as you hoped but  well done for adding some variety and different pieces! I think there is an important lesson in that :). 

  • suntiger replied 3 weeks ago

    I'm glad the skirt has been such a workhorse for you! It's perfect for you!
    And ha re 2021 and 2020- easy mistake :) Looking forward to your style renewal!

  • Joy replied 3 weeks ago

    What Brooklyn said.  In the past years you have continued to look wonderful and appropriate under difficult circumstances.  

  • Mary Beth (formerly LBD) replied 3 weeks ago

    Suz, it's funny, but I hadn't really thought about "treading water", but it really resonates.   I think Brooklyn summed it up perfectly, and I agree about a metallic jacket.

    It's a shame that the balloon jeans didn't work, but sometimes, you just don't know something isn't going to succeed until you've tried working with it a few times.   Chalk it up to wisdom and knowledge gained!  As you say... "Onwards!"

    I was hoping you'd have good luck with Rebecca Minkoff.  In the past, I have not.    In 2015, I had a leather RM bag, and a leather bracelet, and the finish rubbed off the hardware almost immediately.   The strap started cracking underneath, where it was in contact with my shoulder.  For a couple of years after, I'd see RM bags at Nordstrom Rack, already with signs of peeling at the handles and straps, or the finish rubbing off on hardware.   I haven't paid attention since, but I assumed they would have fixed their quality issues by now.    I'm sorry that your bag hasn't held up as well as you'd hoped.

  • nemosmom replied 3 weeks ago

    You were someone I’ve looked to for style inspo when I felt incredibly directionless WFH in a new area. I am so excited to see what this refresh will entail! Are there more lifestyle changes expected? Or do you just feel the need to shake it up, sartorially?

    Nodding along with the feeling of treading water this year. Guess it’s better than drowning... :D

  • Suz replied 3 weeks ago

    Thanks, all. Nemosmom, I almost spit out my coffee. Better than drowning, indeed! Sweet of you to say that I offered inspo in your early days here.

    It's hard to say if there will be lifestyle changes. There were changes at the start of the pandemic when I moved to a suburb (from a city) and my walks ( a regular part of life) took place on mainly different terrain. Also, like most people, I stopped going out then, LOL. 

    What happens next depends a lot on restrictions or the lack of them. I will still need functional clothing for my walks. But I might or might not be out of the home more than in the last two years. 

    It's more a mood thing. I just need to weed out the chaff and ensure the wheat is healthy! 

    Mary Beth -- thank you. My leather RM bags have held up really well, in fact. This one is nylon with a metallic finish and the finish is wearing away. 

  • Angie replied 2 weeks ago

    Suz, I think you had a fab stylish year with more hero items and KILLER looks than you give yourself credit for! WELL DONE. Definitely swimming at a comfortable and strong continue the metaphor....although I FULLY get how you felt like you were treading water instead of moving. Sodding pandemic....

    The blue tartan skirt was a catalyst and game changer that found you....instead of you finding it (like my BOSS suit)! Those are the most fun and exciting wardrobe pieces when they work out sooooo perfectly. More of that in 2022! Sometimes you just have to wait for items to FIND YOU, and let the changes evolve organically.

    Enjoy the imminent change, wherever that takes you! (I'm growing my hair, which will be a big change and I'm excited!).

You need to be logged in to comment