Winter MVPs

It's not truly the end of winter here, but I moved my big puffer to the downstairs closet yesterday and I'm starting to edit, retire items that no longer make me happy or fit, and purchase with an eye to spring/ summer. So I thought I'd do a round up. 

This winter, I tracked wears again for the first time since I can't remember.  (Note -- the entire collection does not show, below -- you have to follow the link to see it.) My not very efficient but fun method was to use the Finds and simply make a note each time I wore something. It doesn't calculate CPW, but that is not my purpose for tracking. I mainly just wanted to get a handle on my wear patterns and perhaps prompt myself to be a bit more creative in the closet. 

I started tracking December 1 and my numbers go up to today. So about 3.5 months. 

I won't bore you with the details, just the takeaways: 

MVP -- my new loafers. 61 wears I wore them as indoor shoes exclusively during the winter, and WOW, did that ever make me happy (as compared to wearing slippers or even my clogs, which are my other indoor shoes -- and which I also wore 23 times). 

Takeaway: A current, slip on indoor shoe is key to my work from home style, going forward. This is a really hard brief for me. Slip ons almost never stay on my feet. So it's going to mean careful and devoted shopping. What I know now is that it is worth it. Instead of feeling like I was schlumping around every day, I felt dressed. Brilliant! 

I also wore my clunky Blundstones 61 times. These are the boots I wear on my neighbourhood mixed trail and road and sidewalk tromps. I walk every day. I also wear them (in winter) on the bike. So they are gear, pretty much, but so, so important. (I have another collection of the gear worn this season.) For some reason, I kept these in the regular wardrobe collection. 

The new white Lagunas were a risk but I have worn them 27 times so far. I think they will pay off. 

My Aritzia long puffer got 47 wears. It's my daily go-for-a-walk coat, so that makes sense. Other coats got fewer wears but the lavender coat is coming into its own now, with a number of wears in the past week. Takeaway: A lightweight packable puffer is my friend. I would really love a midi-length one next year. 

I wore trousers (7 pair) a total of 54 days.  The most worn ones got ten wears or so, the least worn, a wear or two. I tended to wear the newer ones more often. 

I wore jeans (7 pair -- 2 of which are new last week, 2 of which I've just retired) a total of 63 times.  Wear patterns are similar for these -- I wore newer more often, by and large, than older. 

Takeaway: I will wear dressy trousers to work from home more or less as often as jeans, if I own suitable pairs. And I like to alternate. 

Knitwear and shirts got far fewer wears each -- I do like variety here and so that doesn't bother me. The most worn items were worn upwards of 10 times; the least worn, a time or two. But most of these are seasons old -- I have certainly garnered (or will amass) 30 wears over their history in my closet. 

That's my winter, in a novel! How about you? What were your MVPs this winter, and were there any surprises? Did you learn anything new about your style? Will you make any changes? 

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.


  • Roberta replied 1 year ago

    Your thoughtful post demonstrates that tracking wears is not always about money. Its about finding what gives you pleasure and confidence! Navy patent loafers are unusual and super chic.

    The only real surprise for me this winter was how much I wore my navy faux fur coat. I wore the heck out of that coat! My shoulder really troubled me this winter, and my wool coats all felt heavy and hard to put on. My fur was light, warm, and felt wonderfully fancy compared to my everyday puffer. I wore it for walks, to the theater, to the library. Definitely a MVP this year.

  • Cardiff girl replied 1 year ago

    Really interesting post.l find that tracking wears is a valuable process.l am afraid that my wears this year are really boring,most worn item,2 pairs of fleece lined trousers ,essential but gosh l can’t wait to wear something else if the weather would ever warm up!

  • Barbara Diane replied 1 year ago

    Our winter was atypical-colder and more rain than expected. I’ve hardly worn my light weight turtlenecks and long sleeve tops, all purchased at or since NAS. Also, I need some sweaters/toppers that aren’t black or navy to add some life to my wardrobe. I’m tired of the black or navy pants with corresponding sweater.
    Hoping to wear the turtlenecks and long sleeve tops once it warms up but before it gets hot.
    My lightweight puffer, black booties, dark pants and sweatshirt material patterned tops have gotten heavy use. Inside only is a very oversized cozy sweatshirt.

  • Irina replied 1 year ago

    I haven’t done any tracking wears myself and find it interesting how much info it can provide. Also interesting, the use of indoor shoes, I don’t wear one. Do you wear a same pair every day or you alternate it with other shoes?

    I think for me it was surprising how often I wore sweatpants and sneakers. This is my first ever winter to get into it. I expected to wear athletic clothes to a gym and a pool, on the daily walks but I wear it out, too. Mostly, out of necessity but the result is better than I anticipated. 

  • LaPed replied 1 year ago

    This all makes perfect sense to me! Like you, I find there's a category of items (Blundstones, puffers) that do double duty as gear and casual wear, and that they are hands down my highest wear items. The fact that they effortlessly tie together gear items (hiking pants, joggers, merino hoodies) and casual items (jeans, trousers, knitwear) makes them all the more useful. 

  • ChristelJ replied 1 year ago

    It looks like you did extremely well especially in the shoe and boot category, as well as others. Footwear is so important for comfort and function, but you also have chosen great styles. Great realization about the work from home footwear making you feel dressed.

    I agree that a puffer can be absolutely essential but your lavender coat is magical and I'm thinking there is another type of MVP based solely on happiness level when worn, even if not worn as often. I get the feeling that coat might rank well on your happiness scale.

    My main MVP based on wear the last several months were dark rinse girlfriend jeans, mid-rise with the perfect amount of stretch and roominess, but still tidy and super versatile. Not exciting at all, just very dependable!

    My happiness MVP is my new long grey coat. I searched hard all year and returned other coats bought both online and in store before finally finding this one in November. I have been thrilled with how it makes me feel, although I have not been able to wear it in my warmer climate as much as I do when I travel. Even traveling, it's not easy to pack, and a puffer is more practical, but believe it or not, this simple grey coat makes me feel glamorous even on the most mundane errands. It fits, it layers, it's soft, it's the right grey to go with almost all my wardrobe. It's quiet, but has a certain presence, and even swooshes a little.  I learned that the long, frustrating search for "just right" can pay off big-time once in a while. I need to remember not to settle so often. Agreeing with you on the value of "devoted shopping"!

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Christie, that's a really important reminder. Years ago we talked about the "happiness quotient" of certain items and how that can make up for infrequency of wear, in some cases. That's definitely true of my has had long staying power in my closet and a very high happiness quotient, even though the total number of wears is not high. Anyway, I love your grey coat and can see why it would fulfill that function for you. A longer coat is always a glamorous, somehow. Feels special. And you are right about the lavender coat. It's especially great at this time of year. 

    Other high happiness quotient items from my closet, below. 

    LaPed, yes -- some items definitely do crossover and if you are active, that can be super important. 

    Irina, I mostly wore the loafers (with sockettes) but I also wore my clogs and when I was away for a week, I wore the provided slippers. I don't like slippers, though, for the most part. Not supportive enough and sometimes too hot, and I don't like how they look with my clothes. 

    That's very interesting about your turn to athletic type clothing. Sometimes it's really true that footwear rules! You needed shoes that went the distance for your injured and still healing foot -- so that dictated what looked good over all! 

    Barbara Diane -- a sweatshirt patterned top is a super useful item. I ended up returning one I liked from Boden earlier this year but I'm a bit sorry I did, to be honest. 

    Roberta, that coat looks fabulous! No wonder you wore it a lot! It's interesting how weather or body changes (as you and Irina and Barbara Diane and Cardiff Girl all gesture to) can create a workhorse out of something we'd expected to get lighter wear. 

    Cardiff Girl -- I hope it warms up soon by you! 

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    NICE and helpful analysis! 

    Suz, a warm welcome to Team Wears Dressy Trousers At Home (and walk doggies in the city in my case)! I captain that team and haven't looked back. Often more comfy than jeans ;) 

    Welcome to Team White Boots! They fit seamlessly into your style!

    Love that the navy NAS loafers were winners too. 

    Yes, the wears per top will be fewer because you have more variety, and wear more variety. More in rotation. Makes sense.

    Some of my WINTER MVP's:

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Angie, it looks like your MVPs were often complements of colour! I noticed a pattern of "twinsets your way" (for want of a better expression) in your outfits this year, i.e. you would wear a coat and sweater of the same vivid hue, or pants and coat, or bag and coat, with either another brilliant colour making up the rest of the outfit, or a neutral. Lots of colour blocking. Fewer patterns than your usual, maybe, but even more bright colour! 

    Also, white boots for the win! I definitely want some dressier or more refined white boots next year. These Lagunas have been great! 

  • Sal replied 1 year ago

    Interesting analysis and it looks like your new bigger ticket items have been successes!  Yay!  

    I think footwear upgrades make such a difference to personal style - and getting footwear wrong is expensive and annoying.

    My summer MVPs (9 or more wears) have been below.  Plus lots of gear of course.

    I have worn the new lilac dress 10 times and the palazzo pants 11 times, and the new denim shorts 14 times.  The dress was worn to a few functions but I am now wearing it to work and plan to try it with a blazer in the autumn.  The palazzo pants I am delighted have been worn so many times - they were a total wildcard piece I fell in love with....

    The jumpsuit, linen blouse and footwear is all older (2019 or earlier) but still popular.

    Less worn this summer were my sundresses due to a late cool spring and a wet summer.  

    On Sunday I will be putting away my high summer pieces (basically sundresses and a couple of pieces I don't think I will wear again this year) and reviewing winter storage.  I won't be wearing my sweater dress or tall boots for another month or two but I want to try things on and check in on any holes.

  • replied 1 year ago

    None of my things have had nearly that many wears yet this year! You've got workhorses!

    My big surprise so far was my sandal booties. They're my only transitional shoes (aside from sneakers which I don't wear other than exercise). I would have called them low PUPY value, like a few weeks a year in April and November has the right temperature (50s).

    Well, it was a mild winter and they got worn 11 times already. Not as much as normal boots/booties, but way more than expected for what's normally deep winter.
    I'll do a bit "what I learned" post near the end of the month!

  • Bijou replied 1 year ago

    I live in my summer dresses, these were my most worn and with sandals, a statement belt and bag.

  • Runcarla replied 1 year ago

    Today someone told me this is the last week of winter!  The snow storm we were supposed to get tomorrow has been revised to rain (lots of it) and temps above zero afterwards.  Woohoo!  (I think!?)

    MVP’s for winter ‘22/‘23 would be: Pants - Levis 721 skinny jeans, with the highest number of wears, but retired in February.  This left a gaping hole in my casual wear for out-of-doors, my pants are mostly cropped, and not suitable for 2hr+ winter walks.  I promoted the Levi 724 straights, while shopping for full length jeans in a looser, but not wide   cut.  I did pick up a pair of white jeans this month (5 wears already) but they are not a replacement - however an essential to my style.  This month (March) I have worn 7/9 of my pants, with the Lulu joggers capturing the most wears after the Levis, and the green pleather pants garnering the most wears of my dressier bottoms.

    MVP for Tops - 2 flannel button downs, a striped cotton sweater, and a cream cotton sweater got 20+ wears each, and a thrifted LRL cotton cable knit sweater 14 wears, though it is more of a layering piece.  

    MVP Shoes - red fleece lined boots for out of doors, lilac Converse for indoor shoes.  Black dressy high shaft boot is new this year, but has been worn at least twice a week since I got them.  I even wore them for an 8 hour day (on my feet for 5) though I wouldn’t want to push it beyond.  Their addition facilitated the wearing of cropped pants in colder weather.  

    *two pair of NoBull sneakers are rotated equally as part of my gym kit, but get pressed into service as needed for day to day - so lots of wear.*

    MVP coats - no contest, burgundy puffer coldest days and casual events.  The grey coat for everything else.

    What surprised me: how much I liked the ‘long over short’ silouhette made possible by the higher shaft booties, and midi coat.  Cropped pants outfits (including denim) all looked good to my eye.

    *I also had an epiphany about what I need in winter for the frequent urban rambles I share with DH.  Although we sometimes go through wilderness areas, we end up going through town, and stop at a coffee shop.  ‘Gear’ isn’t what I want to be wearing.   Long pants, layers, and outerwear that function like gear, but elevated, IYKWIM.

  • Jaime replied 1 year ago

    I enjoyed reading through your post and comments as I sipped my morning coffee. I went right from huh, I dunno what I wore to Oh right, now I remember. My new to me MVP were a pair of brown Massimo Dutti pointed toe ankle boots that I thrifted for $15 in nearly new condition (no sign of outdoor wear). They turned out to be super walkable and a great alternative to my black boots. My revived MVP is a pair of very old boyfriend jeans in a dark wash that I wear with a big cuff. My year after year MVP is a Yohji Yamamoto grey wool coat. And that is as far as my coffee has gone so far!

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Jaime, sometimes footwear in a new to us (or less typical for us) colour is a.real game changer. At least that was my discovery this year! Who knew white boots would be so wearable? Sounds like the brown were similar for you. 

    Carla, what you say about your needs for your rambles resonates with me...I have a similar needs when I go downtown (usually by bike, in that case). It has to be as functional as gear but fit for town. 

    I love you in the long over cropped silhouette! You look fantastic in it.  It's a favourite of mine as well -- been wearing it for about 5 years with long cardigans, though I haven't had a midi coat. (I think I've rectified that at long last....yay! I'm kind of tired of my long cardis but definitely not tired of midi coats or my gilet.)  

    Bijou, summer dresses are fantastic for your climate. One and done! So much cooler than almost anything else. 

    Suntiger, amazing you could wear those sandal booties! I see that style is having a revival. I might get a pair myself. I really enjoyed wearing them a few years ago. They'd be even better in my current climate. 

    Sal, I'm so glad you are getting lots of wear from those palazzo pants. They were the perfect wild card for you. (And think how well they would go with gold boots...) 

  • Jessikams replied 1 year ago

    How do you style your trousers for at-home wear? Does it require thought, or do you choose pairs that function “like denim” in terms of outfit making?

  • Sisi replied 1 year ago

    Thank you for posting this Suz - it is a very interesting analysis, it was a pleasure to read and I always love posts that talk about numbers and tracking!
    I started tracking wears years ago thanks to YLF and got hooked. Tracking wears turned out to be a very helpful tool. It helped me realize which were my typical shopping mistakes, what did not work and what worked for my lifestyle and gave me some precious lightbulbs or  "takeaways" as you say (thank you for teaching me a new word :) ). 
    My Winter  MVPs (from December 1 to February 28) have been a pair of  dark wash jeans, two puffers (one raspberry, one navy), my burgundy booties, a lightweight sweater (Winter has not been cold)  and, unexpectedly, my new black loafers. After buying them I was in doubt, they look very classic, I wanted something more "edgy" . Yet I found out that I wear them a lot.
    Takeaway: a pair of simple classic loafers with a rubber sole is the right footwear for not-too-cold Winter days. I predict I will wear them a lot also in Spring.

  • RobinF replied 1 year ago

    Great food for thought here. I don't track wears but I can see how it could be helpful. I love the idea of gear that isn't really gear. I don't wear much gear, it doesn't feel like me, but sometimes it is necessary. Now I will keep my eyes open for hybrid gear. 

    I can really see why your new shoes have become workhorses. And the Aritzia puffer (have considered that for myself).

  • Dee replied 1 year ago

    Happy to hear that your navy loafers turned into a real workhorse for you, I suspected as much as they seem to suit your gamine style so well. Your winter wardrobe seems to be serving you really well.
    I’ve never really tracked wears, its an interesting experiment but I’m not that disciplined to do it.

    This winter, I added some looser/wider jeans (Grey Levis 90’s dad jeans, ON light wash loose jeans and Uniqlo dark wash baggy jeans)  to my wardrobe and they all became MVPs for me.

    However, this meant that some of my long standing more fitted 3rd piece toppers that I normally wear in winter just didn’t suit this new silhouette. So they never got much wear this year, which was a bit of a  surprise as they had always been my true winter workhorses for many years in the past.

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    Suz, dead right and astutely analyzed! "Twinsets-My-Way" and "complements of the same colour" - usually in brights, creams, or navy - have become signature to my style. A column or tonal column too. Lots of blocking. Far less pattern, and brighter on the bottom - because I finally have the capsule pants! I have the coats, scarves and bags to match too - which is handy :) 

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Angie, yes! And it totally works on you! I really like it. It gives me ideas, too. I very much enjoyed colour blocking one summer a few years back when it was enjoying a moment. But in winter I have mainly neutral or patterned items. I might need to experiment with solid brights next fall/ winter for my own style. 

    Jessikams, thanks. I find the trousers simple to style! They do more or less substitute for jeans as bottoms -- I go by silhouette more than anything, I guess. And my wardrobe is colour cohesive. So it's mostly mix and match. The sweaters that work with blue denim work with blue or grey pants (for the most part) and as for the red plaid pants -- well, they work with blue and grey tops! 

    Robin, gear that isn't gear is stealth gear -- the best kind! :) 

    Sisi, thanks. It sounds like your loafers served a similar purpose (except outside) to mine this winter. Sometimes a classic does the job best! 

  • Helena replied 1 year ago

    Love this thoughtful analysis Suz ... you really know your style, what works for your life AND what brings you joy, and you've integrated them seamlessly. Bravo!!

    For me, I've been snapping a quick selfie to keep track of what I wear (nothing worth sharing, just as a visual record) ... what stands out is how much of an item and outfit repeater I am ... less is definitely more for me, not by design but by personality. I've been focusing on updating essentials and that is definitely the right strategy for me.

    My MVPs I'd say are:

    - new Blondo boots - worn every day since purchase
    - Artizia puffer - the non-black neutral was a good way to go
    - black Aerie leggings - I live in these things in winter
    - Kotn turtleneck - this gets worn multiple times a week; it's the perfect mix of cozy and breathable - perfect for a perimenopausal woman who runs cold but gets hot flashes lol

    I suspect my new Frank & Oak jeans will be spring MVPs as I trade in my leggings when boot season ends ... 

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