As my last post for 2018, here are some thoughts to wrap up the year of style, fashion, retail and beyond. These are very subjective musings, so feel free to agree, disagree, and add to my list. It’s all in good fun and there are no right or wrong answers. Or course, there’s an emphasis on the positive, because that’s how we roll on YLF. 

Highlights of the Year: My favourite moments are with my favourite person – husband Greg. Our trip to Positano on the Amalfi Coast was as perfect as can be, including some very special moments with old friends from South Africa. As was Greg’s whirlwind visit to the Netherlands earlier this month when he flew in from Seattle to surprise me and my Dad. WOW. I thought I was dreaming!

We attended a Simple Minds soundcheck before their Seattle concert so we spoke to the band and shook Jim Kerr’s hand! I’ll keep these magical moments close to my heart forever.


Cones in Ravello

Simple Minds

Most Adventurous Decision: Seven months ago we committed to a loft in Salt Lake City because Greg works there some of the time. This has been a game changer for us, and our best decision of the year. Greg, Sam and I regularly commute between Seattle and Salt Lake City so that we can spend quality time together. We’re thoroughly enjoying living in two very different cities, and we’ve met some wonderful new friends.


Fashion Highlight: First, the street style of Summer dresses on our trip to the Amalfi Coast. It was diverse, on-trend, colourful, and I savoured every moment. Buying a wardrobe pet and wallet in Italy for my birthday with Greg was extra special.


Best Super Hero: Spider Sam

Spider Sam

Spider Sam

Best YLF Flashback: I stumbled across a post that Alison Gary from Wardrobe Oxygen wrote about YLF in 2013. It was perfect timing. I was feeling a little low, and bam, her post found me. Thank you Alison for your grace, eloquence, candour, energy, humour, fabulous style, beautiful smile, authenticity, and positive attitude. You inspire me and our readership, and enrich the style world in countless ways.

Most Meaningful Fashion & Style Moments:

  • The availability of extended size assortments across a slew of retailers. FINALLY!
  • The use of a more diverse set of models across the fashion and beauty industry.
  • The sea of black gowns at the Golden Globe Awards ceremony to signal solidarity with the #metoo movement.
  • The unstoppable grace, energy, intellect and wisdom that Michelle Obama brings to the world, both as a style icon and as a human being.

Most Disappointing Fashion Moments: There’s a thread about this on the forum and it is well worth a read. The intolerant attitudes of top designers at leading fashion houses is disappointing, and is making me rethink my support for luxury brands.

Fashion & Style Buzzwords: Diversity, Acceptance, Extended Sizes, Gender Fluidity, Sustainability and Capsules.

Favourite New Accessories: Modern Retro watermelon specs, vintage white pearlized sunnies, and two birthday Furlas.



Biggest Client Surprise: When my little 19-year-old nephew asked me for a style makeover. So we went shopping in Arnhem in the Netherlands for the day, and had a ball. It was fun to see and hear Seb’s perspectives on fashion and style, and it cracked me up how exhausted he was after our day of shopping. Seb agreed that shopping is hard work!


Best Clothing Brand: Boden because of their commitment to quality at a reasonable price, their diverse assortment of colours, and their extended size curves.

Best Dutch Clothing Brands: Expresso, because their coordinated capsules are relatable, practical and wearable. Scotch & Soda because of their commitment to quality, unique looks, and the relaxed edge they add to dressy clothing. G-Star because their men’s outerwear is hip, flattering, practical and beautifully made.

Best Footwear Brand: Naturalizer, because of their commitment to extreme comfort, good quality and fashionable silhouettes at relatively reasonable prices. And because they frequently provide footwear across narrow, regular and wide widths. If it weren’t for Naturalizer’s narrow widths, I would not have sandals.

Best Sleepwear Brands: Boden’s flannel PJs and Natori’s pyjama sets, because they’re flattering, very comfortable, and launder well.

Most Impressive Retailer: Nordstrom, because they want their brands to embrace the size spectrum. This year, Nordstrom displayed a diverse set of mannequins in one in-store department. They stocked sizes US0 to US22 of a clothing item on one sales rack, thereby integrating regular and plus sizes. A first for retail and WELL DONE. We want more of this type of retailing and marketing.

Favourite New-To-My-Wardrobe Clothing Brand: Items from the Scotch & Soda store in the Netherlands where the assortment is more diverse than in the US, and I can have fun shopping in Arnhem when I visit my Dad.

Best Purchases: I couldn’t choose because I LOVE THEM ALL!

Biggest Style Surprise: I like tucking and semi-tucking into high-rise jeans and pants, and feel oddly out of sorts wearing and tucking into mid-rise jeans.

Best Trends: The ones that make you feel happy and fabulous, and that you’ll continue wearing after they’ve had their fashion moment. For me that’s midis, white boots, structured outfits, designs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, block heels, flats, straighter legs, and dark denim.

Worst Trends: The ones that boss you around and don’t get your style.

Most Saturated Items at Retail: Skinnies, cropped pants, oversized fits, and tops with exuberant sleeves.

Most Annoying Retail Styling Technique: The plethora of bare ankles for Fall and Winter fashion. Hello! Retailers sell boots, socks, hosiery and full-length bottoms, so why don’t they style cold-weather fashion with these items. The obsession with bare-ankled models is a mystery.

Biggest Missed Opportunities at Retail: Longer length dresses with long sleeves made of substantial fabrics that we can wear in Winter.

Worst Fit Problems: Dresses that are too short, widths that are too tight on the calf, sleeves that are too tight, and overly wide necklines.

Worst Quality Problem: Knitwear that pills.

Favourite Workout for Mind, Body & Spirit: A heated vinyasa yoga class led by a competent yogi.

Most Celebrated Body Parts of the Year: Ankles in cropped pants, heads in super cute hats, wrists with arm bling, and waistlines with tucking and semi-tucking.

Accessory of the Year: Scarves.

Best Online Shipping Service: Zappos. Fast, easy, efficient, pleasant and accurate.

Best Customer Service: Nordstrom, because they will replace a lost or stolen package without fuss.

Most Popular YLF Blog Posts:

My Favourite Blog Post: Celebrating Diversity in Style. My toes are tickled that it was popular with our readership too.

Colour of the Year: Red, in all its hues.

Wardrobe Item of the Year: Spring & Summer dresses because it’s been the best warm-weather dress season that I can remember.

Most Dapper 86 Year Old: My sweet Papa.


Best TV Show I saw in 2018: NARCOS

Most Enjoyable Comedy Series I Saw in 2018: Parks and Recreation.

Best Online Community: YLF!

Best Movie of the Year: BlacKkKlansman.

Most Fun Movie of the Year: Bohemian Rhapsody.

Favourite Ways to Accumulate Steps: Shopping, and going on long walks with Greg and Sam.


Favourite New American Artist: Jimmi Toro.

Favourite Food Artist: Tom Brown and his miniature kitchen. This video will blow your mind.

Best Chef: Jamie Oliver.

Biggest Bang for Your Fashion Buck: Wearing the heck out of your wardrobe and feeling fabulous in it.

Favourite Style Tips: Be patient with your style, listen to how you feel in an outfit, and never stop having fun with fashion.

We at YLF wish you a happy, safe and peaceful New Year’s Eve.