I'm glad that things are improving for you. It sounds like you've been through a difficult time.

When I'm feeling unfocused about my style, I create a mood board by googling "street style" and maybe a season and place ("winter street style new york city," etc.) to get lots of photos to inspire me. I then go about creating the mood board by looking at several categories: single color; single item; color combinations; item combinations; complete outfit; textures/materials; silhouettes; patterns; overall mood; and accessories. I make a folder for each of these categories in my computer's photo program and pull in screen shots of what interests me. Afterward, I go through the screen shots and look for patterns in what I have selected (e.g., maybe I have lots of pics that have leather, or a lot of earth tones, etc.). This helps me discern my main interests. I then use that as a shopping guide.

I took the above exercise from what used to be the Into Mind blog. Here is the link if you want more info: https://anuschkarees.com/blog/.....boards-2-0. I personally find it very helpful for getting focused and staying on track.

Wow: I had forgotten how wise and warm you all are. Thank you so much for taking the time to chime in. I can't respond to every single one of you but please know I read and absorbed all the comments. A few specific responses:

Vix, thank you so much for your detailed and helpful note. Thinking about this effort as building a semi-capsule really seems to break it into a manageable chunk for me, and I like the idea of concentrating on color + fit + personal style + trendiness .... and also really thinking about how things work together. It's funny, these ideas at the same time seem so obvious and so groundbreaking. I really appreciate the help.

Robin, I may post some of the "failures" for feedback. There is a blouse in particular that I can't figure out.

Sal, I hope things have recovered in your home after last year's shocker. And as for looking at forum members whose style I admire, you know I will be looking at yours. We overlap in our love of the 70s, and I am always struck by the beauty of your outfits.

Juniper Green: I will definitely look for and read your post!

Angie: Thank you for all of your kind words and your encouragement (as always). And yes to yoga! I've been trying to do more lately, and it really does help in so many ways.

Brooklyn: "Softly, softly." I love this and will try to make this my mantra (although it goes against every muscle in my body, which always wants to act).

UmmLila: Your outfits area always such an inspiration to me. I'm happy to be back so I can see more of you.

Unfrumped: You've outlined some really good ideas for being critical and going beyond fit, which will be helpful to me. "What is this doing for me?" is going to be a really helpful question. A girl needs to have her standards!!!

Brooklyn and Gigi: I'm intrigued by the mood board idea. Thanks, Gigi, for the link.

Lisap: YES TO EVERYTHING. And especially this: "Don't buy weird styles that you've never worn before." (One would think you know me.) I am trying in February not to buy anything at all on sale - and the only thing I have purchased so far is that Topshop skirt (which may or may not work). Buying something because it is a good deal is a trap I fall into easily. I'm going to add your other rules to my list of Dos and Don'ts.

Viva, maybe aim to include beautiful colors? Beautiful color combinations? If you're not enjoying emphasizing certain areas of your figure, why not just not for a while? You can contribute some beautiful color visuals for now while you get your health and fitness in order.

Isabel, I hear you! I respond very strongly to color, although to be honest I have been lost in a sea of grey this winter. (I think I bought 3 MORE grey sweaters -- so this item and in fact this color are now on my no-fly list indefinitely.) Interestingly, focusing on color may help me to avoid knee-jerk purchasing (another grey sweater would be just SO easy). If I add the color test to my current full-price-only test, it could really help me focus on what I truly love.

I've been thinking about this exact color after seeing this dress in a local boutique. Not my style at all, and thankfully on sale so I wasn't tempted to even try it on, but the color! I am keeping my eye out for more juicy raspberry - which could add real life to my sea of navy and grey.

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Hah, just logged back in to give my 2 cents. big relief you are on the way out of the lows. Don't be too hard on yourself, and what if you plan your new outfits based on those 3 or 4 things you've had and worn forever, with a twist. (a new colorway, a new print or accessorizing with new shoes, bag or jewelry?) Those are FFBO schemes for a good reason so why not breathing in them new life somehow? Then slowly will come all the other ideas, too.

Viva is there a particular style that you are drawn to? I love how Brooklyn’s Byzantine Jewel inspiration has given her style a cohesive refresh. It may be a fun project to consider before launching into buying new things.

It is wonderful to hear that your health and business are doing well. As for families, yikes no one can push my buttons better than my family, I love them but they drive me nuts.

My love for the colors in that dress is well documented. Blue and grey will pair very nicely. Best wishes to you.

So glad to see you are back and things are looking up!

As someone who struggles with fit All. The. Time,, can I suggest you look at a few pieces that you know will fit now, and will make you Happy? Start from those things you have and wear often, and the add a color complement, or a fabulous pair of shoes, or scarf... I find if I can point to at least 1 item of my outfit that makes me happy, I can overlook the pants that aren’t the size I’d like to be.