Hard to believe we're approaching the end of the year! Lately, I've been taking a look at what I've added so far this year (link to Collections) and reflecting on purchase/wear habits and where I'd like to go with my style in the coming year. I am feeling pretty set for clothing and won't add too much more between now and 2024. I've added 20 items so far (6 via trades, 6 secondhand, and 8 purchased new) and will probably add just a few more pieces. I'm enjoying the pattern/colour/silhouette variety I've managed to add recently. I'm finding that trades are a great way to pass on low-use items and add things that are either higher-utility (gear!) or experimental in some way (bold colour, new brand, etc.). It's also a built-in one-in/one-out mechanism, although that's not something I'm strict about otherwise. Some other themes:

Ease of layering. For me, this translates to: volume on the bottom, tailored on the top. I love loose pants and full skirts that accommodate thermal baselayers. While I also love voluminous layers on top, I know from experience I won't reach for them much once it's cold enough to need a coat or parka. Fitted and tailored sweaters and tops are much more versatile than oversized. A few oversized or fluid fit outer layers for transitional weather are okay, but I have to be careful not to go overboard.

Focus on fall/winter/spring. This goes hand in hand with layering. I spent most of the summer wearing the same backpacking outfit on repeat (this probably won't change next summer), so my need for hot weather clothes is minimal, I love what I have, and it isn't wearing out! I really don't need any more shorts/tees/tanks/sundresses/sandals. And if I do add tees/tanks, it's better if they're merino because I will use them as year-round layers. My focus should be on transitional pieces and cold-weather pieces, as Sept - May is when most of my work/social life takes place and when I benefit most from having variety.

Bolder colours in small doses. I am still happiest in dark neutrals, but pops of colour are appealing right now, especially sour greens and orange-leaning reds. I love both of these colours paired with black for a sort of Hot Topic/mall punk 90s throwback vibe. I wore a lot of black/acid green combos in middle school! I don't feel the need to go all-in with these but I do like having a few pieces to throw on from time to time.

My final purchases for the year (apart from replacing my trail runners and possibly adding some new winter boots) will probably be shoes and a bag. I am not a big shoe/bag shopper and tend to wait until I see something I really love the look of, which doesn't happen all that often! Maguire's fall collection and the COS Swing Bag are really appealing to me right now and seem like they will incorporate seamlessly into my wardrobe. I'll be in Montreal over the weekend and plan to visit Maguire and do some shoe try-ons while I'm there.

I was briefly enamoured with the idea of adding a bright green shoe/bag complement (see below), but I think budget-wise that's more than I want to put into a colour that probably might not interest me as much in a couple of years. Plus, I'm not a big matchy-matchy person at heart even though the look appeals to me in theory. I like the simplicity of the COS bag in black, but for some reason bags in black never excite me, even though they should be practical for someone with a black-heavy wardrobe. The nylon version is tempting due to its packability -- a lightweight bag I can tuck inside a backpack or larger bag will always get a lot of use -- but it doesn't have quite the same vibe as the leather version (I think this shape benefits from the added structure of leather), and wouldn't really be moving the style needle, so to speak. Right now I'm leaning towards adding the chunky mary-janes in oxblood and the COS bag in dark brown. They're the sort of rich earthy tones that make my heart sing and seem to work effortlessly with anything I put on.

Would love to hear your thoughts! Anyone else gotten into trading/clothes swaps lately? After years of minimalism being the dominant design trend, it feels like we've finally settled into a more playful/eclectic/"anything goes" mood -- are others noticing and enjoying this shift?

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