Like most of you, I found 2021 to be an incredibly difficult year, both physically and mentally. Still, I set goals last year, and want to report back, for the sake of my own accountability.

This year: I took a step back from social media, unsubscribed from retailer emails, and was able to add pieces that spoke to me, rather than those that sparked FOMO. I sense I went through a bit of a style shift as I re-discovered a love of preppy pieces like those enjoyed in years past - maybe born out of a desire for comfort or familiarity during a time that feels otherwise out-of-control.

I lightened my palette of predominately dark colors (and 72% green) by building up a camel/caramel/honey capsule. This works far better as a light neutral for me than ivory or white because it keeps the warmth of tone and lightens the look, without jarring contrast.

I gravitated toward texture. The majority of new additions were suede, nubby wools, ribbed, cabled, herringbone, tweed, quilted, velvet, corduroy, or linen. Texture fills my desire for visual interest while respecting my fear of patterns

I stress shopped. Life drama and a possible career shift coming soon, I shopped a lot. Like... a LOT a lot. About half of my additions were direct replacements of essentials. I overhauled my loungewear and sleepwear, giving myself permission to edit out all the tatty hubs-hand-me-downs, and gifted marketing tees and replace them with items I actually enjoy wearing. I panic-bought secondhand sweaters like early pandemic toilet paper...

My biggest mistake this year came from settling for acceptable substitutes - only to end up later buying the piece(s) I wanted in the first place. This shows as a lot of unnecessary (and mediocre) duplication (and spending). I am putting myself on a dry/no-buy for a while as I re-assess things and edit accordingly.

As for specific goals I set in January:

Sustainability/Shop small: More than half of my new additions were purchased secondhand. Some from thredup and some absolute treasures picked up at local estate sales (one upside of living in an area populated predominately by snowbirds who decided to migrate permanently this year).

Another 25% were from small shops or sustainable-to-me brands. I'd consider this a win, if I had not added SO many pieces.

Satisfactory: I have more mixability, thanks to the addition of caramel colors. Win.

Stop duplicating: uh... major, major fail.  Unless there is no such thing as too many turtlenecks...

Summer: I did build out a semi-cohesive summer capsule, but wouldn't call it a success. The three dresses I bought went unworn... I crave dresses and skirts for summer, but I don't like to wear them. I need to stop buying them... I got it in my head that I needed a handbag for summer - but I bought 4 of them. I discovered men's silk shirts work great as a topper/kimono substitute, but it means I have to suffer with hubs calling me `Magnum PI` when I wear them. Fortunately, I do my own facial waxing...

What's next:  I feel like I have continued to refine and learn from how I shop (and what I shop for) since the goals I set in 2020. I guess that is progress.

I did my annual basics refresh a month early, and I've got two secondhand coats still in transit, but I won't be ordering anything else for a while. Instead, I will focus on editing and refining, while I deep think my goals, word, color, etc. for 2022.

Thank you for reading!  I hope 2022 is gentler and kinder to us all.

Here are some most-worn MVP additions for the year: