oh, oh, more from me - but now I will wait to add in as I read above:

1. I have a couple of ear cuffs now too - wow, how radical! only wear them when going out
2. you know I have a work-at-home job too ...now the difference being that I can choose to head out and visit stores and call on accounts anytime I like , so I can decide in the morning that I'm getting totally dressed up , and then I see where the day takes me. Oddly, when I am already fully dressed and made up and ready to roll early in the morning, I'm more likely to find reasons to get out and do things: even if it's heading to Starbucks to get a coffee, or do some quick grocery shopping, or drop in on a new account/ store I haven't visited before. And then..... I end up staying dressed, even when I return to my office, and find I feel a ton more professional that way , even if no-one can see me. I know your role doesn't require getting out and seeing people, but though I'd share what I found works for me. Today in fact, I put together an outfit based on some YLF ideas (ink blue and black, leather bomber, semi tucked top, slouchy track pants ) and ended up feeling so good I stayed out calling on customers all day and finding things to accomplish on my personal errand list while I was at it.

However, it's entirely possible I've missed the whole point of this post

You have most certainly not missed the point, Lisa. Ear cuffs, it is!

In all seriousness, I do get dressed every day (except sick days). But I don't wear my jackets, shoes, etc. in the house, mostly for reasons of comfort and some to protect them. (If I'm doing stuff in the kitchen I don't really want to be wearing my leather jacket). And since jackets, bags, and footwear, and coats tend to be my statement items, the outfits without them end up feeling dull to me -- but only in winter! In other words, after some years of flailing with my summer style, I finally found out how to build in enough statement items for me within the context of a simple uniform of tops & bottoms (since in summer I can't really rely on toppers, though I do have sandals to play with). I just haven't achieved it with the winter wear yet.

And I'm in the process of trying to figure out why. I have a couple of ideas about it.

I get it, and agree. I'm not clomping around the house in my shoes and boots either, nor do I wear the jacket or topper piece. But anyways, that's not the point. Yes, the fact is, our winters are long, we are housebound a lot, and outfits are more difficult to make look fab without a bunch of pieces that are ridiculous when worn inside our home offices. The cycle of life:) I await your casual statement essay with eagerness!

I really need to stop reading from the bottom up. Luxury uniform! Yes!! This is me - totally. Why are two words so difficult to put together meaningfully sometimes? Ok - I'm headed to bed and promise to stop with my nonsense. But this is what I aspire to: a luxury uniform, be it casual , or professional. One of my favourite bloggers: Preston Davis from Keep it Chic addressed this daily.

Maybe it's time to accelerate the winter uniform? After all, isn't that what you did to increase your happiness with your summer blahs a few years back? If color blocking, shape, and texture eliminated your blahs with your summer uniform, why not try it with your winter uniform?

Lisa's suggestions for accelerators are a good jumping off point:
Comfortable but well-designed accessories
More adventurous color mixing
More embellishment to shape
More visually layered fabrics
A tad more texture and spark to those flats

Another thought. It struck me that, as I was drastically downsizing my wardrobe these last few months, I was also being forced out of my uniform comfort zone when I had to make choices as to what would stay and what would go. If I limited myself to six winter bottoms, did I want three of them to be jeans? Or could a pair of wool trackpants sub for those boyfriend jeans? And how about a pair of leather-trimmed ponte pants for my skinnies? It wasn't until I started culling that I realized my jeans and sweater uniform was partially the result of my essentially just buying the same items over and over, instead of branching out. A pair of patterned jeans and a textured sweater, although new and much loved, was still essentially the same uniform as what was already in my closet.

Calling the items in a uniform "essentials" can muddy the waters if you are feeling bored with the uniform itself, especially if your "statements" are just different colors or embellished versions of the same thing. A few months ago, I'd have laughed at the notion that my tailored grey wool trackpants could be an "essential", but they work in that role every bit as well as my boyfriend jeans ever did. Call them what you will, those sweatpants have single handily re-energized my winter at-home wardrobe.

This thread keeps getting more interesting. I look forward to your follow up Suz!

Suz, I think you are probably honing in on what might work for you, by making the comparison to summer wear. With summer wear is it that the base layers include some statements? The top and shorts or whatever?

With the frugal/practical question, does it help if you recognize that certain statement pieces can also be workhorses, and just as comfortable and affordable as their essential counterparts?

Lisap - I'm like you in that I find new ways to take on the world with confidence and extend my venture out when I'm dressed in a way that makes me happy. Like Laura mentioned, this unfortunately can lead to me avoiding my primary work, which is necessarily based at home and needs clothes that will get dirty within ten minutes.

cross-posted with Gaylene, I'm nodding my head at her insights.

A fascinating and insightful discussion! I thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts.

So one thought I had for you regarding silhouette (which I also need big changes day-to-day to keep from feeling bored), since you have to wear skinnies+tall boots for so long: get skinnies in varying fabrications. Denim, wool, ponte, coated, boucle, leather, tweed, corduroy... Even if the silhouette has to stay constant, at least with varying textures you have a very different feel from outfit to outfit. And of course, make the most of any opportunity to wear other tapered pants with booties! I basically force myself to wear my floor-sweeping hems any day that it's dry enough, because who knows when the next opportunity will come again!

And then this is a little mini ramble that I thought might be useful. One thing that made a big difference to me regarding shoes, was realizing that I am not a statement shoe person. Which was a tricky thing to discover! I love shoes, and am no shoe minimalist (I have a lot of shoes), so early early on when I was trying to sort through my style preferences pre-YLF I had determined that being a "shoe person" was one of the few things I could say about myself with certainty. I bought several "fun" shoes, things in colors and in prints. And then found I rarely reached for them, and didn't really enjoy wearing them as the statement in simpler (or even more complex) outfits. It took me a good long while to realize and accept this though; how can I possibly be a shoe person and not like statement shoes?? So I got rid of nearly all of my statement type shoes and worked on figuring out what interesting but rather basic footwear I liked. Really cleared things up for me! I do still have a few pairs of more statementy shoes (e.g. cheetah wedge booties), but they are a definite minority in my shoe wardrobe.

Now, the reason I bring this up is that you commented that you get a lot of statement from your shoes, which is missing from at-home wear. You also commented that you were very happy with your summer outfits (in relation to silhouette change). But I recall that your wedged sandals got worn a LOT more than other footwear this year, right? Not a particularly statement shoe, but still an interesting one. And it left you more open to get the creative variety from the clothing items. Of course I'm not saying that you're like me with the shoe thing, but just something I wanted to point out.

Good gracious, the YLF wisdom is powerful! My head is just POPPING from all these fantastic suggestions!!

Gaylene, you were the guru who helped me toward a better summer style, so you had better believe I am now taking notes!

"Calling the items in a uniform "essentials" can muddy the waters if you are feeling bored with the uniform itself, especially if your "statements" are just different colors or embellished versions of the same thing."

Wow. Those are words of wisdom right there. And maybe Aida has hit on something powerful also. Maybe the "essential" is not the "jean" but the slim or skinny pant (that can be tucked into jeans). But it needs to appear in different fabrications. Along with the looser pant (BF jean OR wool sweatpant) that can be worn on days when booties are possible. And so on. Very smart thinking, ladies!!

Rabbit, you're partly right -- I had some base layers that were statements in summer -- sarong shorts, or a graphic tee, or a boldly striped skirt. But also, I have more variety of silhouette. That variety isn't fully achievable in deep winter for me due to climate. But I can still have some variety. I already try to do as Aida suggests and wear my floor sweeping pants on days that are dry. Those can be few and far between alas!

"With the frugal/practical question, does it help if you recognize that certain statement pieces can also be workhorses, and just as comfortable and affordable as their essential counterparts?"

Absolutely. It does help. And this year for the first time I am keeping track of wears. I've only been tracking for a little over a month, but what I'm noticing is a strong penchant for statement bottoms along with "regular" or "essential" tops and toppers. That is partly because the balance of my tops and toppers are not so much a statement, maybe. Not sure yet.

Aida, you may have a point about footwear, too. Although most of my shoes are more "regular" than statement, truth be told. I'd call the gladiators an essential in that they were my flat(ish) comfortable sandal -- I can walk a lot in them. But they were also more interesting because of the metallic finish. I think that would probably be my ideal type of shoe -- easily worn and mixed but still with some interest, as you say. Hmmm. Definitely food for thought!

Thank you all for this! I'll start my new thread soon.

Suz, anytime you start that new thread will not be too soon for me! This thread has identified a big wardrobe weakness for me. The question of what I wear to look stylish/cute (!) when I am just a step up from my lounging PJ's. I actually utilized Angie's wisdom on that capsule last winter and upgraded in that area. But, I, too, work from home a lot of the time and need to change out of the PJ pants/hoodie formula and into *something* but I just can't seem to find the balance between stylish and warmth/comfort. I run cold and I just won't compromise on extreme comfort most of these times.

And, I so agree with you that I don't feel this way as much during summer time. I am looking for wisdom from all!

I feel you on the challenges of working at home. Even with a solid wardrobe with a few statement jackets and blouses, I find myself wearing the same jeans and top day in, day out. A lot of that has to due with working at home, and not dressing within anyone in mind (DH lives across the country). Yes, I could (and should?) dress up for myself, but it's not the same, and I can't ignore the feeling that I'm "wasting" resources (the garment itself, the need to launder, etc.), since these garments aren't easily replaceable. If you need change and something to break the monotony, consider stepping out of your comfort zone with make-up, hair or jewelry. Bold lipstick really changes an outfit for me, even though I rarely wear lipstick. One comment above resonated with me, which is that if you get dressed up beyond the minimum, you're more likely to seek opportunities to leave the house. Great advice.