Here are some thoughts to wrap up the year of style, fashion, retail, entertainment and beyond. These are subjective musings, so feel free to agree, disagree, and add to my list. It’s all in good fun.
Personal Highlight of the Year: We moved to a loft apartment by Seattle’s waterfront and LOVE our new neighbourhood and urban walking lifestyle. Our storage spaces in the loft are not ideal and we plan to remodel eventually, but I had fun organizing my wardrobe and making the puzzle pieces fit. My bags have pride of place, and my colourful wardrobe makes me smile.
Fashion Highlight: Birthday shopping with in-house fashion stylist and hubs, Greg. I’m treated like royalty, spoiled rotten, and I enjoy every second of quality time with my sweetie.
Sale of the Year: Nordstrom Anniversary sale. I always have a good sale, but this year was exceptional. I bought a few statement pieces and a fun wild card, all of which have become wardrobe workhorses.
Seattle’s Best Rainbow Hair: Sam’s blue locks.
Best YLF Flashback: Benetton in the ‘80s.
Best “Finally” Moments in the Fashion Industry:
- The availability of extended size assortments at many retailers.
- A more diverse set of models.
- Signs of a commitment to making more sustainable choices.
Favourite Red Carpet Outfit: Serena William’s floral citron gown complete with matching Nike hi-tops.
Most Overstocked Items at Retail: Skinnies, cropped pants, oversized tops, Athleisure, workout wear.
Most Stylish Quotes: Both are from Alison at Wardrobe Oxygen:
- “Your weight does not determine your worth”
- “Your size does not determine your strength”
Fashion and Style Buzzwords: Sustainability, Gender Fluidity, the ‘80s, the ‘90s, Diversity, and Conscious Consumption.
Best Instagram Hashtag: #makemysize
Most Improved Retailers: Banana Republic and Macy’s.
Banana Republic’s quality seems to be back on track, and I’m especially impressed with their online Japan Exclusive collection. My favourite new Summer slim wide cropped checked pants are from that assortment, and now I’m hooked.
Macy’s has cleaned up their act. Their site is working better, stores are more organized, customer service has improved, and there are more discounts. Most importantly, their ONLINE dress assortment is one of the best if you’re looking for no-nonsense, flattering, fun and affordable frocks across extended sizes and colours. Big shout-out to Ralph Lauren, DKNY and Calvin Klein dresses.
Best Customer Service: Zappos, Nordstrom, Everlane, Boden.
Fastest Shipping: Amazon
Best Fashion Show: The Colours of Africa Fashion Show at Vienna Fashion Week.
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 DYOT (Do Your Own Thing) and wearing fashion sneakers with everything.
Worst Trend: The ones that boss you around and don’t get your style or your body.
Wardrobe Items of the Year: Pants and Jeans. The assortment at retail this year was stellar.
Worst Universal Fit Challenges: Necklines that are too low, dress lengths that are too short, armholes that are too wide, and sleeves that are too narrow.
Favourite New Beauty Product: LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream.
Best Wardrobe Wild Card: My Apple watch. I gave this a lot of thought because wearing a casual sporty watch daily is not my cup of tea. After figuring out that I could customize a white face, and match the white strap with gold hardware with my pearls, I was in business. I LOVE my Apple watch because of what it can do. It’s perfectly in sync with my iPhone, which has a matching white silicone case. I’m more of a techie than I thought.
Best Early Morning Adventure: Greg, Sam and I got up just before 2 a.m. to watch the World Cup Rugby Final between England and South Africa live from Seattle. OF COURSE, we were cheering for South Africa who has won the World Cup twice before. We had an extremely festive and fun time WhatsApp’ing with our South African friends across the globe during the match, which ended in a glorious victory for South Africa. Full of adrenalin after the spectacular win, we couldn’t go back to sleep!
Worst Weather of the Year: Seattle Snowmageddon. Back in February, the city was hit with record snow storms that ground things to a halt. Seattle looked like an alpine ski resort for a month. It was treacherous because hilly Seattle isn’t geared up for this type of snow and ice. Snowmageddon had its fun moments, but I was relieved to see it all wash away with our usual Winter rain.
Most Dapper 87 Year old: My sweet and gentle Papa.
Colour of the Year: Bright red for the second year in a row.
Best Dutch Clothing Brands: Scotch & Soda because of their commitment to quality, unique looks, and the relaxed edge they bring to dressy clothing. G-Star because their men’s outerwear is hip, flattering, practical and beautifully made. Sylver because they had the best Winter polka dot scarves this year.
Footwear Brand of the Year: Ecco because their fashion sneakers finally fit my low-volume feet, and I bought five pairs. I wear them all the time, and with everything.
Biggest Style Surprise: Lengths are my thing, and I will absolutely split hairs about them. I adore the look of full-length flared bottoms that skim the surface of the ground because it’s forever flattering, luxurious, and gorgeous to my eye. But the sky must be falling because I’ve surprised myself by ALSO loving the new shorter full length with flats. It’s a lot more practical for my wet climate and urban walking lifestyle. It’s a fab look with flat booties and sneakers (my go-to footwear). It’s also playful, trendy, a little preppy, and above all — I’m having fun sporting the change.
Most Popular YLF Blog Posts:
- Feeling Empowered at 49
- Your Word and Colour for 2019
- My Tribute to Tuppy
- Team Black or Team Dark Blue
- The Reality of Aging
- Nordstrom, Remember Your Roots
Most Annoying Retail Styling Technique: Bare ankles for Fall and Winter fashion, obsessive tucking and semi-tucking of tops, and models with awfully messy hair.
Biggest Missed Opportunities at Retail: Tops that look fabulous UN-tucked with a bit of shape and personality. Tops with interesting sleeves that can be easily layered under toppers. Fabulous and good quality essentials made in all sizes. White tops that aren’t see-through. Machine washable casual dresses that are knee-covering, sleeved, fit well, and made of fab fabric.
Best Thoughts on Ethical Consumerism: An article in Vogue by Maya Singer.
Worst Quality Problems: Knitwear that pills, and garments made of shoddy fabric.
Accessory of the Year: Beanies. Everybody wears them in my neck of the woods, and so do I.
Favourite TV Show: Chernobyl.
Favourite Documentary: Oasis: Supersonic. Greg and I were absolutely captivated. So much so that we watched it once, and all over again twelve hours later. The music, storyline, characters, editing and spontaneous photography are sublime. You might want to watch it with closed captions because a strong Manchester accent can be tricky to understand.
Most Fun Movie of the Year: Alita: Battle Angel.
Best Dark Movie of the Year: Joker.
Best Movies for Style & Fashion: Downton Abbey, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Best TV Show About Positive Body Image: Shrill.
Favourite Ways to Accumulate Steps: Shopping, travelling, and going on long walks with Greg and Sam.
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, don’t compare and despair, and never stop having fun with fashion.
We at YLF wish you a happy, safe and peaceful New Year’s Eve.