I had some prominent wardrobe holes in 2019. I needed fashion sneakers, layering knits for under jackets, cold-weather bottoms that aren’t jeans, beanies, and red wardrobe items. I successfully filled them all, and it had a bigger positive impact on my style than I had expected. 

I’m blessed and grateful to be in a very happy place with my style and wardrobe. Still, I don’t plan on banning shopping in 2020. I derive great pleasure from finding and wearing new wardrobe items that seamlessly remix with the old and evolve my style. The process and results are relaxing and therapeutic, and a fun part of my life. As a fashion stylist, I can probably justify a little more shopping than most, but I’m not a shopaholic and I don’t let fashion and style boss me around. I purchase thoughtfully, within my means, and make few shopping mistakes these days. I am extremely disciplined about keeping my wardrobe a certain size, so that the storage spaces are neat, manageable, visible, and completely under control. I edit regularly, and do not purchase more than what I can comfortably store. I love wearing the heck out of my stuff, keeping items for years, and have no interest in renting my wardrobe. Adding much more to what I have now will not work and would be wasteful.

My strategy for 2020 will be to buy fewer items, but each item has to be extra fabulous and a little fearless in some way. I’m looking for a busload of luxe, loads of refinement, beautiful quality, mega pretty, and sassy chic as I celebrate a milestone birthday year. This is going to make me even fussier with what earns a place in my wardrobe. I’ll also be replenishing wardrobe basics and embellishing my beach & pool capsule.

As far as I can, I want to make sustainable choices. I’m very aware of retail brands that identify as sustainable because it’s part of my job. Unfortunately, I have yet to find items from these sustainable labels that are winners for my style and body type, and it’s not through lack of trying. I’m in thrift and consignment stores weekly and for the life of me can’t find items that I love in my size and colour. I won’t purchase sustainably for the sake of it when the item isn’t right. If I settle, the items will languish in my closet unworn which is even more wasteful. My hope is that the brands that work well for my body type and sartorial preferences become more sustainable over time. Or that sustainable retailers make items that are more to my taste.

I do work hard to manage my wardrobe sustainably. I pass on most items to Dress for Success Seattle where they are used to dress clients, or are auctioned off at their bi-annual Closet Treasury Sales. Some items go to people I know who wear a similar size to me. That’s why I like to pass on items in great condition so that they have a great second life.

I’m looking forward to what 2020 shopping holds for me because of the added challenge of purchasing fewer and very specific items, and being very discerning about quality. The uncertainty of what I end up with is thrilling and exciting.