Reflecting on My Style in 2018

Here’s a detailed reflection on my style in 2018. I will be using this as a base as I refresh and evolve my wardrobe in 2019. 

New Specs and Hair

A year ago, I had a very short, straight blonde pixie. By the end of 2018, I’d grown out my fringe, embraced the natural waves, saturated the blonde, and added Modern Retro red specs and vintage white sunnies to my eyewear capsule. I’m enjoying the long fringe and wearing my ‘do both wavy and straight to change things up. I’m sticking with the ‘do until I’m bored and need another hair project. I LOVE my new specs and won’t need a refresh for 2019.

Hair & Specs


Lots of Dresses

2018 was my year for dresses. Dresses are feminine, classic, pretty, powerful, and unique amidst a sea of shorts, leggings and skinnies. I waited years for my type of dress silhouette to emerge at retail, and prioritized purchasing them while the trends were on my side. I bought several new dresses last year, and wore the heck out of the Summer styles. The two black and white stripe and polka dot polyester Topshop dresses have pilled and will be retired soon, but I enjoyed wearing them enormously. The Topshop floral mesh dress on the other hand has worn like iron, and was probably my most worn dress of the year.

I felt like a million bucks in the dressier dresses, which I styled with ballet flats, flat mules, sneakers and sandals for an everyday look. I’ve recently added the sweater dresses and look forward to wearing them frequently over the next four months. For 2019, I’m excited to wear my dresses again, and to add to the capsule because I LOVE dresses.


A Few Meaningful Skirts

Although I prefer dresses, I did add a couple of skirts to my wardrobe this year. One Summer and one Fall/Winter, which I’ve worn as much as my dresses. Not sure I want to add more skirts in 2019 since I prefer the simplicity of a dress, but you never know.

Extra Summer Items

I enjoy hot weather and Summer dressing best of all. I thoroughly enjoyed the long and hot Summer I had in 2018, between a two-week trip to coastal Italy, a hotter that normal Seattle Summer, and a second home in Salt Lake City. For the first time in seventeen years I did not have to hold back on Summer wardrobe purchases because I finally lived in the climate that warranted them. Looks like the same hot and long Summer will come true for 2019.

White Footwear

I wear a lot a white footwear because it bookends my platinum hair, adds a crisp touch to outfits, creates a nostalgic ‘80s vibe, matches my pearls, and works well with a colour-rich wardrobe. I’ve been wearing white shoes for as long as I can remember and embrace it as a signature look that I will continue to sport until I need a change. I wear white footwear throughout the year

I have many pairs of white and off-white shoes, so I can share the wear. I wear white booties, shooties, loafers, mules, sneakers, and even two pairs of narrow sandals that magically fit my feet. As an active urban walker, the sandals saved my feet in very hot Italy and in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately I ruined my mules in Positano walking up and down countless flights of stairs, so I’ll need to replace those in 2019.

I added these white shoes to my collection this year, and they are workhorses. I’ve duplicated some of the styles, and am open to expanding my white shoe capsule in 2019.

Statement Outerwear

I added some fun outerwear to my wardrobe in 2018. Three dressy pieces and one casual. A citron cocoon coat for Spring, a short cape for Fall, an animal print coat for Winter, and sporty navy puffer for whenever. All of the items are workhorses.

For 2019, I’m open to replacing my very old dressy red coat, getting a light pink coat, and maybe a turquoise coat if the colour becomes popular.

Textured Cape Coat
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Hengrave Coat
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Arundel Puffer Jacket
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Lots of Colour and Pattern

I wear a large assortment of colour ranging from blush pink, light blue, sour brights, and burgundy, through to a hint of neon and some olive. I’m equally committed to neutrals like dark blue, all shades of white, a bit of black, and earth tones. With a wardrobe rich in non-neutrals and neutrals, I can pander to my mood and create dark or light neutral outfits, pastel looks, brights from head to toe, or mix up the lot. I combine neutrals and non-neutrals in ways that are jarring to some, but soothing to me. I’ll wear three to four solid brights in an outfit, remix pastels with brights, wear three reds in one look, create high-contrast combinations or low-contrast tonal vibes, and throw in a pattern if it tickles my fancy.

I’m quite set in my ways when it comes to patterns and like the classics best: stripes, pinstripes, polka dots, plaids, some florals, and a smattering of animal print. I like to pattern mix too. For 2019, I want to continue wearing lots of colour across all wardrobe items, my neutrals, classic patterns, and mixing it up to create ample variety since I crave a change in colour more than a change in silhouette.

Colour and Pattern

Cashmere Scarf
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Muriel Sweater
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Cashmere Crew Sweater
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Geometric Jacquard Top
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Club Monaco
Weylyn Shirt
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Bella Cashmere Hoodie
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Trendy Jeans

I frequently wear solid blue and white jeans, and enjoy floral jeans too. I prefer dark blue washes to light, and my affection for white jeans is as strong as ever. Jeans are the trendier part of my style, which meant that they needed an update last year. At the moment, I like to wear simple white jeans silhouettes, but prefer blue jeans with bells and whistles. For 2019, the jeans will have to be pretty darn special and unique if I’m going to commit to a purchase, because I feel very sorted with jeans, and have ample variety. These were my favourite new jeans in 2018.


My love for fun casual and dressy pants runs as deep as my love for dresses. I passed on two pairs of red pants and an orange pair that I haven’t been able to replace, and I miss them. I did find a pair of flared toffee chinos that work extremely well on long flights, and feel fresh amidst the skinnies. I wear them with big white sneakers, a body-con top, and feel on-trend. I got a pair of luxe mustard-y chartreuse velvet pants that became instant workhorses after some alterations. I received a pair of fun floral pants as a gift which are festive to wear year round in Seattle. And last, you can’t see the sporty cream tuxedo stripe detailing on the black pants in the stock photo, but I also had them altered to create a perfect fit, and am enjoying the dressy look with casual kick.

For 2019, the first item on my shopping list is a pair of red pants. They don’t need to be tomato red, which will help with the search.

Pinstripe Suit

My holiday look for 2018 was a burgundy pinstripe pant suit that I mismatched with a burgundy pinstriped blouse, barely black knee-highs, and gold loafers. I finished off the look with cherry red clutch, watermelon specs, and chartreuse coat. I’ve worn the outfit to three holiday events, and LOVED it. One of my favourite holiday looks of all time. Warm, dressy, comfy, interesting, and will not date.

Flat Footwear

I gave up on heels three years ago and haven’t looked back. I wear flat footwear with heel heights of up to one inch 85% of the time. Sometimes I wear a 1.25 inch heel and very occasionally a 1.5 inch heel. My very dressy shoes have 1.5 inch heels. I passed on the boots with two inch heels that I kept to wear with flares because I never reach for them. I don’t miss wearing heels to elongate and elevate my outfits at all. I elongate and elevate outfits in other ways. And I’ve simply gotten used to my outfit proportions sans heels. Now more than ever, flat footwear is part of my signature style.

Family of Furlas

I LOVE handbags and am hopelessly devoted to every one of my wardrobe pets. I like to make a statement with them. 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 equally good incorporated into casual outfits. They are excellent bags to travel with too. Over the years, I’ve been steadily adding to my collection and now have a fab Furla family. Apart from the two large grey and oatmeal satchels, they are all workhorses.

For 2019, I need to replace my citron Furla, which is my most used bag of all time. Between sunscreen, insect repellent, and perspiration in a very hot and humid Italy last year, I’ve worn away the inside of the handles of the bag and it can’t be fixed.

Naked Nails

I don’t use fingernail or toenail polish. I bat for Team Naked Nails. I use a clear nail strengthener and that’s that. It will be just the same in 2019.

Gold and Pearls

I am completely committed to yellow gold and I’m trying not to purchase anything with silver hardware. I’m not into mixing metals, so it’s quite the challenge. I do jewellery in a very minimal but meaningful way. I wear my pearl wedding ring, gold watch and pearl bracelets every day, and one of two chunky white pearl necklaces almost every day. That’s it! The pearl pieces are real and have been custom-made. I don’t wear earrings.

2018 was an excellent shopping season, especially for dresses. I’m in a very happy place with my style and wardrobe, and grateful that my wardrobe is functional, manageable, varied, colour-rich, and makes me feel fabulous.

White Statement Boots

A new outfit from Veronica Popoiacu of Bittersweet Colours, whom we introduced to YLF in August 2013.

Veronica’s love affair with dresses continues unabated. Here she’s sporting a romantic vintage dress with a turquoise, white and black floral print that accentuates her slim waist. The pussycat-bow neckline emphasizes the retro vibe of the dress, while the elegant, just-below-the-knee length looks marvelous with the tall boots. Veronica’s amazing statement stacked boots add lots of crisp pizzazz to the look, and echo the white in the floral pattern. The dressy midi coat in a darker shade of turquoise is a great length to wear with on-trend midi dresses. And leave it to Veronica to find a colour-blocked satchel that perfectly matches the colours of her outfit!

Veronica Popoiacu - 1

Veronica Popoiacu - 2

Your Word and Colour for 2019

My lovely friend Laura, an author and biographer, has been a loyal Fabber for twelve years. Her positive outlook on life, pleasant and polite demeanour, courage to try new things, great attitude, generous spirit, and charm, are just a few of the things that make her fabulous. We share a love for dresses, anything ‘80s, short hair, and yellow. 

Some time ago Laura started doing something at the beginning of the year that’s become a meaningful tradition. She takes some time to review and celebrate the outgoing year, and sets priorities for the new year. Following that, she picks a word that reminds her of how she wants to feel for the year. For 2019, Laura picked the word “sassy” because she wants to be forward, audacious, bold, fresh, assertive, and a little bit saucy! After picking a word, Laura picks a colour. Her colour for 2019 is orange, because it’s the colour of creative energy. Since Laura will be undertaking a cool new creative side hustle soon, sassy and orange are dead right.

I’m inspired by Laura’s tradition and have joined her “word & colour party”. It’s all in good fun. I fancy the simplicity of one word to keep top of mind for the year, and I believe in the power and symbolism of colour. My word and colour for 2019 came to me quickly.


My word for 2019 is “relaxed”. I need to be less tense, uptight and anxious about certain aspects of my life. I am often the cause of my own stress, which is something that I control and can therefore change. I want to stop worrying about things that are not important, because they take up precious time and energy that I could be investing elsewhere. 

I am extremely relaxed about fashion, my own style, and my work with clients. Those areas of my life cause me no stress and give me lots of pleasure. I relax into every style analysis, closet edit, closet review, purchase, sale, hunt, shop, outfit creation session, and don’t let any of it boss me around. I want to extend that relaxed feeling across other aspects of my life so that I can focus on new challenges and experiences because life is too short!


My colour for 2019 is red. Not only because of my affection for the colour, but because it symbolizes passion, intensity, good luck, courage, power, and excitement. It also has a classic touch. I want to be relaxed, but I also want to maintain my high levels of energy, energize those around me, show unconditional affection to my favourite people, be creative, go on exciting adventures, continue wearing my heart on my sleeve, and make a positive difference. 

From a fashion and style perspective, I’m going to go beyond tomato red and continue adding all sorts of reds to my wardrobe, and wear them from head to toe. Red is a classic colour, and reflects that I enjoy the classics as much as I love trends. Red has always been one of my favourite colours. Our signature looks do not date, because they create a personal stamp that gives us power and makes us happy.

Red is not a relaxed colour, and I love the harmonious tension this creates between my word and colour for 2019.

If it’s your cup of tea, feel free to join Laura and me in choosing a word and colour for the year. Don’t overthink it too much, because your first and freshest thoughts on the subject are usually the best. Share them in the comments section or on the forum. I’m looking forward to hearing them.

Tibi Full Skirt


Dresses and Boots

A few sleeved dresses with length, and some comfy fun boots.

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Picks from the Half-Yearly Sale

Some sale items that caught my eye.

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Assorted Items

Top picks for the week cover boots, toppers, skirts and jeans.

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Assorted Items

A top picks list for cosy toppers, bottoms and footwear.

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Striped Items

Striped items are generally a crowd-pleaser and these ones are quite unique.

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Early Fall Items

An explosion of colour is what we can expect from Boden throughout the year. Here are some recent top picks.

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Fashion News Roundup: January 2019

Pantone’s colour for 2019, a UN charter for sustainable fashion, a TV show based on British Vogue in the ’90s, and other style news that caught our eye last month.

Fun Fashion Fact

Most people use the terms button-down shirt and button-up shirt interchangeably, but did you know there’s one detail that sets them apart. The Huffington Post explains it like this:

“Button-down shirts, like button-up shirts, have buttons running straight down the center of the front of the shirt. But button-downs have an extra set of small buttons right below the collar, and corresponding button holes on the collar tips, to fasten the collar down to the shirt”

According to Business Insider, button-downs were originally made for polo players so they could fasten their collars to their shirts during matches to keep collars from flapping up around their faces while they were playing.

Outfit Formula: White Jeans in Winter

Wearing white jeans in Winter looks fresh and gives your blue jeans a break. It might not work in your snowy, slushy, rural and wet climate, or be your cup of tea. But as a white jeans advocate, I’m hopeful you’ll give it a go anyway. Maybe you’ll wear the look on a bright, dry and sunny Winter’s day. Or when you’re being chauffeured and don’t need to traipse through the snow. Failing that, freeze the idea till things thaw out in Spring.

For those who like to wear white jeans in Winter like I do, here are four ways to combine them with a neutral support act. You can swap out the black for navy or olive if that’s more to your taste.

1. Classic Fabness

Create a column of white with jeans and an off-white or tan pullover. Tuck or semi-tuck into the high rise and add a belt to bookend the black jeans, and possibly your dark hair. The horizontal line of the high-contrast belt is offset by the column of colour and high rise of the jeans that elongates the silhouette. Top things off with a high-contrast neutral coat. I love this even though I don’t wear black booties. I’d substitute the black for cognac booties and belt, and wear an olive parka, or navy coat.

Mango Faux-fur Quilted Parka

2. Earthy Flares

Create a column of Winter white with white jeans and a cream pullover. The white flares are lovely but desperately need DRY weather. I like the oversized fit of the pullover that’s offset by the sleeker thigh fit of the flares. The unstructured toffee topper adds visual interest. The heels create a longer leg line which can prevent that “dumpy” feeling when you wear wide unstructured layers. But by all means create a more structured silhouette and wear tapered jeans. White boots are fab, but toffee or metallic work as well.

Mango Wool Coat

3. Cosy and Wrapped

Combine white skinnies with a turtleneck or layering pullover of your choice. Bring on the drama with a patterned or solid wrap or poncho. Wear it unstructured or belted at the waist. Add neutral boots that work with the palette of the outfit. Here, tan boots would have worked as well as black.

Violeta Check Poncho

4. Structured Equestrian Lite

This one is for extremely mild Winter weather. Heck, I’d wear the combination in Summer. Combine white skinnies with a black tee and plaid equestrian blazer. Add black boots, mules, shooties, loafers or booties. For a proper Winter, I’d tuck white skinnies into tall black riding boots, and layer a black turtleneck under the patterned blazer. I’d throw an anorak, military coat or cocoon coat over the lot.

J Brand 620 Mid-Rise Coated Skinny Jeans