Here’s a detailed reflection on my style in 2017. I will be using this as a base as I refresh and evolve my wardrobe in 2018. 

Footwear Overhaul

I replaced half of my footwear collection in 2017. I now wear heels of up to one and a half inches almost exclusively. A one inch heel is the most comfortable, and that’s what I wear 90% of the time. I passed on all my heels that were higher than one and a half inches apart from one pair of two inch heeled booties that work well with flared jeans and trousers.

It was a costly exercise that took time. I was patient, and prioritized footwear purchases by allocating the lion’s share of my budget to them. I was extremely lucky to find fabulous footwear that make my feet happy and go the distance. Most of the new pairs became wardrobe workhorses, which was very satisfying. I now have an excellent base to work from for next year.

Casual Travel Capsules

Travelling to Europe to see my Dad every three to four months meant that I had to embellish my casual wardrobe and fill a few holes like a dressier rain coat with a hood. This made my need for the right comfortable footwear even more of a priority. I’m thrilled to have that sorted.

Here are some of the casual outfits I posted on the forum this year.

Tall Boots

I began wearing tall boots very regularly in the second half of the year. They felt extremely fresh after six years of bootie mania. I’m back to wearing weatherproof tall black riding boots over skinnies after getting a new pair at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my Casual Equestrian outfits that work well in wet and cold Seattle.

I put the cart before the horse a bit at the end of 2016 when I came home with a pair of tall, dressy and tailored ink blue boots that I bought in London. They were a brilliant find, but I didn’t have the Winter dresses to make them workhorses at the time. That changed this year, and I LOVE wearing my dressy tall boots with Autumn and Winter dresses.

Family of Furlas

I’m a Bag Lady, preferring bags over shoes. I swap out my bags frequently, and like them to match my outfit in a deliberate way. I fell in love with Furla bags on our last trip to Hong Kong, and have been hooked ever since. They are beautifully made quality items, gorgeously structured, dressy, very robust, and have gold hardware. They are crisp, simple, and versatile, looking as good incorporated into casual outfits. Over the years, I’ve been steadily adding to my collection and now have a fab Furla family. They are all workhorses.

New Specs & Pixie

Greg chose a new pair of chocolate brown specs with orange inners for me half way through the year. WOW. What a wildcard. It took me a while to get used to wearing dark frames after sporting bright green specs for four years. But after a week, I was smitten, and love them as much as the green. They were the catalyst for a few fun colour additions to my wardrobe.

I’ve been sporting a blonde pixie for eleven years and have no desire to grow it out or change the colour. I do however go through stages of growing out the fringe and cutting it back, and I style my pixie differently throughout the week.

Specs

Scarves, Pattern Mixing & Pom-Poms

‘Tis the season to be maximal, and a welcome way to change things up. I’m back to wearing scarves throughout the year, and like the visual effect. Scarves are essential in the Netherlands, and with my travel schedule, I needed to embellish my capsule across the seasons. Most of my scarves are patterned, which is one way to create a pattern-mixed look. I also fell for faux fur pom-poms, and wear them on my family of Furlas several days a week.

Trousers

It was a style goal to wear dressy trousers more frequently. I had a dodgy start to fulfilling the goal, but it came right by the second half of the year. I also wore casual trousers more frequently after finding some fun pairs in stores. I thoroughly enjoyed giving my blue jeans a bit of a break. I LOVED wearing all sorts of trousers with my new footwear assortment. I added seven new pairs of trousers to my wardrobe this year: four dressy and three casual. Four pairs became workhorses. The olive utility pants were quite the wild card, and my favourite casual Summer pants.

Dresses

It was a style goal to wear skirts and dresses more frequently year round, and I did just that. My tall dressy dark blue boots were a game changer for Autumn and Winter dresses.They made wearing frocks with pretty sheer hosiery in cold weather completely comfortable with coat and scarf. I also enjoyed wearing lighter weight dresses over cropped flares with loafers for Spring and Summer.

I complain profusely about the lack of flattering, sleeved dresses made of substantial fabric with sufficient hem length. But with patience, I eventually find them. I added five new dresses to my dress capsule, all of which can be worn with tall blue boots, gold party shoes and hosiery.

Gold & Pearls

I have completely committed to yellow gold and am trying not to purchase anything with silver hardware. I’m not into mixing metals, so it’s quite the challenge.

I adore classic white pearls. I wear a chunky pearl necklace several times a week, and my pearl wedding ring daily. I wear pearl necklaces together with a scarf and my specs without hesitation.

I also had a set of dainty pearl and gold bracelets custom-made to match my wedding ring and watch. The jeweller popped on a special Italian clasp that’s easy to fasten and unfasten with one hand. They fit perfectly and are lightweight so I can’t feel them on my wrist. Very practical and comfortable. I had two identical bracelets made so that I can wear one or two at a time. I am THRILLED with how they turned out. I love that they are classic, refined yet substantial, and work with every outfit. I wear them daily and often with a chunky pearl necklace. To my eye, matchy-matchy jewellery looks fresh, as does dainty jewellery for that matter.

Pearls

Crossbody Bags

I was the “anti-crossbody” gal, finding them awfully uncomfortable and cumbersome. But the small crossbody bag in a classic shape with a bit of glitz and lots of structure DOES work for me. If you asked me last year whether I would build an assortment of small crossbody bags for my style in 2017, I’d have said, “no way.” Now I have four small crossbody bags.

Three of my smaller Furla satchels can be converted into comfortable crossbody bags, which have been excellent for travel. Wearing crossbody bags is my wildest wild card. For the most part, they have pushed ahead of clutches.

Blazers

My love for the casual equestrian vibe made me crave Autumn and Winter blazers, especially since I’m weaning myself off leather jackets and do not wear cardigans. I added two Boden blazers to my wardrobe that fit like a dream and are beautifully made. One in velvet and one in wool. Both patterns and both workhorses.

Boden
Velvet Emilia Blazer
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Top Pick
19
Boden
Mirabelle Blazer
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33

Olive

Olive matches my green eyes, but I would often feel blah wearing it. The colour simply didn’t spark enough joy. So I would stick to having one olive wardrobe item in my wardrobe at a time. The Summer utility pants that I got for my birthday were the catalyst for change. I felt like adding a new neutral to my wardrobe, and since the dirty shade of green works well with my new brown specs — why not. White pearls, which I wear most days, brighten the colour against my face.

I’ve been building an olive capsule since June and here are my items. I like that the shades of olive are different. Some tonal, some mismatched, but all working together and solid. I also have olive represented across a range of wardrobe items, which makes the outfit creation process easier. I wear olive with dark blue, denim blue, black, cream, white, gold, chartreuse, citron, burgundy, pink, orange and tomato red. It’s surprisingly versatile.

Burgundy

The addition of burgundy was an accident at first. I fell in love with a pair of boots in my favourite shoe shop in Arnhem in the Netherlands back in August. In the bad light of the store, I thought they were dark brown, which would bookend my new dark brown specs. But as I walked into the natural light, I saw that the boots were a very rich Bordeaux. Well, they still bookended my specs, and I decided right then and there to add burgundy to my wardrobe.

I built a burgundy capsule across a range of wardrobe items to make creating outfits an easy task. That way I can select complements from the capsule — like belt-bag-scarf — to create a pulled together look. I’ve worn burgundy a lot this year, and find it just as versatile as olive. I like to wear it with dark blue, cream, white, orange, tomato red, shocking pink, gold, chartreuse and olive.

Naked Nails

I don’t use fingernail polish, but I used to regularly paint my toenails. Kyoto pearl was my favourite shade. This year I did not paint my toenails at all. I batted for Team Naked Nails and enjoyed it. I might bat for the same team again next year.

Limiting Black

I am very careful about the amount of black I wear and add to my wardrobe, simply because a wardrobe rich in black does not make me happy. For the most part, dark blue is my black. That said I have a very deliberate set of wardrobe items that I love to wear in black. Most of them are old, but a few are new.

A black turtleneck is a wardrobe essential for my style. A gauzy black polo shirt has a fun equestrian vibe. A black dress and dressier top are magical with a pile of white pearls. A pair of tall black riding boots with matching belt are classics. A black mixed media moto jacket is useful. Sailor pants, cropped flares and harem pants look dressiest in black, and I adore my avant-garde black pants suit that I bought in Tokyo.

It has been an excellent shopping season. I’m in a very happy place with my style and wardrobe despite a somewhat stressful year. Amidst the wild cards and bigger changes, I still love to wear sour brights, white jeans, and pretty outfits that amp up the polish. Onward to 2018.