Overall I feel I did a pretty good job in 2016. Some rambly, not particularly well-organized thoughts:

  • I’m happy with the building blocks I added, particularly my recent winter acquisitions (a long blue down puffer, a pair of blue insulated hiking boots, a long-awaited pair of Blundstones). I added very little summer clothing since I spent most of the past 3 years in a desert climate where probably ¾ of my wardrobe was summer wear. I had to replace a few gear items (yoga tights, hiking pants, and river shorts) and I’m happy with the new upgraded versions.
  • I was much stricter with myself about colors and patterns this year, honing in on what I know I’ll actually wear vs what looks fun in a shop window or photo montage. To that end, I added a lot of charcoal, burgundy, red, grey, and navy. I added a couple pairs of black footwear, which are highly functional for my color palette and lower maintenance than lighter colors. I didn’t add as many black clothes as I have in other years, partly because I have plenty and partly because I wage an ongoing battle with pet hair. Charcoal grey is a practical fur-hiding alternative, and I’m enjoying the slightly “cozier” vibe it gives off as well. In 2017 I hope to add a few more “bright” accessories and shiny things since I’m working with a mostly dark-neutral base -- probably thrift store silk scarves and shoes in silver and/or pewter.
  • I added a couple pairs of jeans I really love, but also had to throw a couple pairs out, and turned several others into cut-offs, so I’m still not really ahead of the curve pants-wise. I also didn’t have much luck adding non-denim pants this year. I’d like to build a small capsule of smart-casual non-denim pants that spans all seasons: wool for cold weather, cotton and linen for warm weather. I also discovered how easily bored I am if I wear one pants silhouette all the time: this year it was pretty much all slim-straight in the spring; then I re-introduced boyfriends and bootcuts in the fall and was much happier having some variety. To that end, I caved and bought a couple pairs of slightly jogger-ish pants, a trend I wasn’t initially excited about, but the pairs I added fit so well I couldn’t pass them up. I also tried some wide legs (full-length and crops) but haven’t found the right ones yet -- that’s on my list for 2017.
  • I was careful not to add too much cotton jersey this year and plan to continue that resolution into 2017. I did buy a couple Supima-cotton basics from Uniqlo, mostly as a cheap way to experiment with silhouettes I haven’t worn in a long while (turtleneck, henley, etc.). Most of my t-shirts have been demoted to loungewear or chore clothes. Instead of replacing them, I’m adding woven cotton and linen tops for warm weather, and lightweight wool knits for cold weather. This approach is more climate-appropriate, keeping me warmer in winter and cooler in summer, but it does mean I’m moving towards a more distinct wardrobe switch-out between seasons, something I’ve not really done before (except with gear). This isn’t a problem -- I’m living in a much larger house than I’m used to (1300 square feet!) and have the storage space if I need it.

YLF has definitely made me more strategic in my habits. The biggest changes: I keep a running list of Needs and Wants, only buy online if I can return for free or locally, and I started spreadsheeting my new wardrobe additions in September. I've also upped my consignment game, bringing things in while they're still reasonably current instead of sitting on them for years. I still shop the thrift store and the sale section first, but if I can't find exactly what I want there, I'll pass and start looking at full-price. I feel more focused when I shop, and "PPP" has become a mantra.