Slim cat, that is so great. But I think I copied you! I remember you posting graphic tee and skirt outfits. And I thought hmmmm…. I like.

Janet, I’m really attracted to the throw on and go idea of a dress, but I struggle to find the right one. Not long enough, too short in the waist, wrong fabric, too much pattern near my face. No sleeves when I want short sleeves for outdoor wear. Or puffy sleeves, which don’t suit me. I like that with a skirt I can choose my own fairly simple top (or pattern mix). Sleeves for outdoor. Sleeveless for indoor. And I’m less likely to get bored with a skirt than I am with a dress because of the mix and match potential. Plus I can wear a poly skirt and cotton top but I have less tolerance for a poly dress.

Lisa, the walking is because of my dog. She has a lot of energy. We do this thing in the evening where we let her decide where we go for a walk. Usually it takes at least 1.5 hours before she can be persuaded to turn for home. I’m worn out before she is

Bijou, it is nice to have complete freedom now to choose what I wear. It certainly makes things a lot simpler. I don’t have to be running 2 separate capsules in my wardrobe.

Sally, let’s do a post pandemic meet up! Hopefully in 2022!

Angie, yay for walking the dog “in style”. Someone at the dog park once came up to me and said “I didn’t get the memo about the dress code here”, ha ha. I bet you got the memo Thanks for everything you do here, your wisdom and your ongoing support.

Runcarla, I’m sad that dark floral is hard to find now. Some of my favourite items are getting worn out. I think it was you who gave me the idea to start looking at the menswear department for dark floral. I haven’t found any dark floral there yet but I did find some cotton jumpers.

Cat2, I don’t think I’ve met a pair of boots I did not like. I will keep an eye out for those 70s styles you mention.

I really enjoyed your post, Brooklyn! I envy how quickly you have been able to pivot to WFH from office life, too

Your wardrobe icon strategy resonated with me most - I love the idea of having signature, timeless, curated pieces to pull from - and being comfortable and confident in your style to do what you do, regardless of what is trending, or what others think.

I’ve enjoyed your latest turn—and your mom’s running commentary on it—almost as much as your black/white pattern mixes and your baroque era. Those are both themes I occasionally like to reference in my own outfits. Your pivot is interesting, because it sounds like a midway point between my observation of what my style is doing, on one hand, and pre-planning style moves before they start, on the other.

I love that your favorite outfit formula doesn't rely on jeans. Very inspiring post. You are so stylish and gorgeous that you look like a top blogger, right up there with Angie.

Brooklyn - you are always an inspiration. Your abilities to find perfect pieces and mix them with calculated effortless is astonishing. I love how your outfits are traditionally flattering but totally unique and original. Ladylike and covered but edgy and unpredictable. Ancient and modern. We won’t even go into your shopping skills and eye for flattering, unique, versatile, timeless and luxe. You always surprise me, yet the look is classic you. I can’t wait to see where 2022 takes you. GL on being your own boss - challenging, stressful and fulfilling. Favorite photos your mom visiting outfits!! And anything with Ms B!!
Much love and joy to you in the new year!!!

Gryffin, thank you so much. I love your description of my style. “Calculated effortless” is so apt. I put a lot of thought into my style, but I don’t want to look over styled. I contrive to look uncontrived!

CL, thank you! Being compared to Angie is a wonderful compliment. I do call myself “Aussie Angie” of course, but that’s on account of my (unofficial) role as personal shopper for southern hemisphere forum members

StagFash, I still consider baroque as part of my style themes. But it’s hard to translate that to casual day wear. It’s more of a glam, night time look. If this pandemic ever ends, I might get to explore that theme some more.

NM, thank you. I am interested in trends but not too worried about whether I am following them. I feel increasingly confident in doing my own thing.

Thank you again to everyone who chimed in for their positive comments. It’s a lovely Xmas gift!

All the best to everyone for the holiday season.

What a well thought out approach! I do see some similarities between us, such as flat footwear (I have one pair of block heels left just in case), a silhouette formula (mine is maxi rather than midi), low contrast colours (I still wear brights but not with light colours), natural fibres (cotton on top for me too, since linen wrinkles too much), an Etsy strategy (such convenient but unique items) & an on-foot lifestyle (no car here!)

The differences I admire though are your graphic t-shirts & the " Icon Strategy (TM)" I'm also guilty of overdressing for my lifestyle (especially since I like long skirts, which usually read as formalwear to most folk). The idea of introducing pattern & longevity is a good one - well planned! I'm finding bronze & copper in abundance at retail these days, so that may be a better replacement for your dark florals issue?

Good luck, & happy holidays

Such a beautiful post.

What are some of your fav brands for cotton sweaters?

Mary, thank you. This year I’ve had good luck with the men’s section of ASOS. I bought this turtleneck jumper in teal, burgundy and tan. Although it’s menswear, it works for me because I have a long torso and arms. As I’m in Australia, I also have some from Australian retailers. I have a couple from Ezibuy which are pretty good, but have a higher nylon content than I like. Cotton jumpers in the 90% + range are something I always have my eye out for now.

Zaeobi, the TM is still pending on the icon strategy I see similarities between us too, on colours and on our obsession with natural fibres for warm weather. I think our climates are similar. I love bronze and copper, especially metallic versions. I have a monki metallic top in copper, a few years old now, that I would describe as an icon even though it came before “the strategy”. I would love a copper skirt. Or wide leg pants. I will keep an eye out

brooklyn, I am coming late to this but wanted to be sure to say -- WOW. This is SUCH a great post, so well thought out and articulated. Inspiring. I have similar lifestyle needs (work from home, casual milieu, but desire for dressiness/drama/style creativity) and it is really great to hear in detail how you've threaded that needle.

"authentic, flattering, joyful and easy" -- YES. I especially love the word "easy" here. So easy to overlook or think it's incompatible with those other qualities -- but so essential.

"I am at peace with this preference, and have stopped worrying about whether others might find my style “one note” because of it. This has been very liberating." Yes and YES again. I am really going to strive to follow your lead here.

And, I LOVE your "wardrobe icon" strategy. That has a lot of resonance for me and you've really set out the terms and conditions so well. I'm going to steal this shamelessly!

Thanks SarahD8. I am really pleased this helped your thinking. The “easy” was deliberate. One of the things I find hard about the boyfriend jeans is figuring out which tops go with them. I know I will sort it out eventually and when I do dressing in them will be much more fun and easy. Easy is good! And feel free to steal the icon strategy and make any personal adaptations that you like

Brooklyn, the slim puffer under a coat works for Carla (who lives in a colder climate than I do -- at least, theoretically. I say theoretically because the PNW is in the midst of an unprecedented cold snap.) If it works for her, it could potentially work for me. And metallic knitwear is a great idea. Related to that, I had a sequinned sweatshirt some. years ago that was one of my favourite items. It wore out quite quickly, alas, and I've been on a hunt for a replacement ever since. That's an interesting idea about denim trousers. Or the other option is jeans in non-denim fabrics, I guess.

Suz, I have black velvet jeans that are more like slim pants. I wear them at home in winter. They feel comfortable and luxe. Plus cords are an option too. And think about whether your at home footwear needs an update. I think it’s easy to tire of that when you wear it all the time. I updated my summer at home footwear this year and it’s given me a lift.

Ooh that metallic copper top is lovely - is the lurex itchy though? Here's hoping you find your 'copper bottoms' fix this year

Thanks Zaeobi! The top is not itchy but definitely not as smooth and comfortable as silk! Luckily it’s a winter item for me (advantages of a mild climate), so I can wear a fitted t shirt underneath it

Ah, fair enough - that makes sense. I remember I used to love dressing for winter, because layers made it easy to add interest.

Milk that mild climate! I'm slowly learning HK winters are *supposed* to be mild too - the first year I arrived, it was so unusually cold that I was woefully underprepared (everyone told me HK winters aren't as cold as the UK, but what they failed to mention is that central heating doesn't exist here... ). So I then *over*compensated by bringing *all* of my UK wardrobe, lol... psychologically adjusting to climate change takes time!

I have been wanting to sit down and comment since I first read this, over a week ago, but was busy with family and the holidays.

Oh my goodness, Brooklyn, there is so much here to inspire and excite! You have a talent for breaking down aspects of wardrobe planning that seem so complicated to me, and make it all so reasonable and simple! And always interesting! I love your Wardrobe Icon Strategy.

This: "It’s taken a while, but I think I’m finally getting a good balance between casual/practical and dressy/polished in my style that is pleasing and feels authentic to me".

I want so much to get to this place. I'm still figuring that out. I've got 'dressy' and 'polished' down, but am lacking on the casual/practical. LOL.

I think I need to go through everybody's posts, take my favorite quotes, and make a "best of the best" note for myself on my phone, for when I shop or piece together outfits.

Thanks Mary Beth. As far as casual/practical goes, it might help to think about what you would find comfortable wearing for an everyday task (I use dog walking as mine) and then think how you could elevate it to make it a little dressier or more interesting or exciting for you, without sacrificing comfort. One of the key decisions for me was to wear skirts more for everyday wear instead of jeans and shorts. In my neighbourhood, very few people wear a skirt to walk their dog. But as long as I’m wearing flat shoes and a casual top, I’m perfectly comfortable wearing a skirt. I feel like I’ve elevated my casual look to compensate for the loss of my more dressy office look.

I love and wear skirts a lot- they feel authentic on me, too-- and I also find them just a bit notch up dressier than a jeans outfit if done so fearless for casual as you describe it in your favorite outfit formula here. All your examples are great inspiration for how to do a more feminine casual-and I also love moody florals, blurry or marbled prints-esp. for their power of slimming (having more of that dark background and less of an disturbing print:-)). Great ideea inventing the wardrobe icon strategy....will have to think about! Thank you for sharing.

Interesting! That gives me a tiny light bulb also. Skirts are not my thing. But nor are jeans. So my equivalent of your skirts is a more dressy pant. I wear those whether going to work or not, so in fact my work wear and my weekend wear are not that different except for the middle of summer when non-work wear is shorts. Think I was realising this but your ideas help clarify.