What a treat, Suz, to read your musings on your personal style. I'm nodding along with others who can see distinctiveness already. I'm not altogether sure about dynamic... I think, as Gaylene pointed out, that it's already coming through with your personality, but maybe you are after 'your' kind of edge...'your' dynamic essence. Perhaps it is linked to bringing out your artistic side a bit more, hmmm...perhaps, not edge in the 'tough booties, black leather' sense, but more in the unusual juxtaposition sense?

I'll keep popping back to this to read all the different points of view. Great thread.

Doh! I can't believe that I didn't say how awesome you look in every single one of the photos! There...done now

Oh, thank you all so much for the lovely compliments. I really appreciate them. I happen to be having one of "those" days...you know the ones where you look in the mirror and think, "Where did THAT wrinkle come from????" Oh, and I also got a rejection today in the mail. Bleah.

You are a smart bunch. You have already put your fingers on the key issues here. Tomorrow I will add to this (don't want to overload you all on one day), but in the meantime, you're absolutely right to question the whole "dynamic" thing, I suspect...I need to think that one through a wee bit.

I think my biggest problem is one that Angie mentioned in a different post: Quite simply, it is difficult to reconcile my aspirational style with my actual lifestyle.

And, being a practical girl at heart, I mostly revert to lifestyle needs. You wouldn't necessarily know that from these outfits. By far the majority of them were "going out in the world" outfits, with a few being dress-up outfits.

Like Angie, my favourites are the ones that include a great structured jacket.

But...um...I don't wear my jackets at home. Or my fun and fab footwear, either.

And, what does it say that the largest portion of my favourite looks were not work-at-home looks -- when I work at home????


Sounds like you're making good progress with your style journey, Suz.
I completely understand the aspirational versus lifestyle part but I'm not certain it needs to be reconciled. I'm in the same boat and it's like I have an at home persona and an out and about persona....and that's ok. At home is more comfortable and practical. When I'm going out I step it up with jackets and more polished outfits. Enjoy the times when you DO get to dress in the way you aspire to. The rest of the time just be comfortable in your own skin....you probably look better than you think even if you're super casual.

This is fun!

I was actually thinking something very similar to what Angie said, i.e.: "You sound VERY focused in this thread. I think you’re after a little "fine tuning pizazz” in order to feel even more killer fabulous than you already look. When you look at the outfits you posted - they are all killer perfect - so its a FEELING inside of you that is searching for change if you’re not entirely happy. It’s not a visual thing for the person looking at your style."

I love your style, Suz, and feel that you have achieved all of your 2014 style goals. To my eye, you have a very cohesive style that allows for a good amount of variety (in silhouettes, and room to experiment with new trends and colours). You know which colours suit you, which materials you like to wear, and you have a real knack for putting together simple and strong, visually interesting outfits.

I too would like to hear more about your new style descriptor "dynamic". And I was also just about to ask you if the feeling of not being quite "there" yet, comes more from being a bit more limited in your outfit options while working from home (I 100% get that).

P.S. I'm very sorry to hear about the rejection letter.

I have been wrestling with the work at home thing, too. I may need to post my own thread, so as not to hijack yours. You are more advanced in your style journey than I am, so I hope to learn from your thread as well.

What fun this will be! I haven't read the other responses yet, so someone else may have mentioned...I see more Strong-Feminine influence than I do Androgenous. I don't mean mean frilly in any way, but strong, confident, yet distinctly feminine. Maybe it's just my bias, but I really love this look on you.

Can't wait to see what part 2 holds. Off to read the comments.

OK, just a thought. Maybe it's time to think about a comparable, at-home versions of your favorites. Maybe a structured third piece that could sub in for the jacket like a sleeveless top in an interesting color or texture? Or an interesting shoe that you can wear indoors and is easy to slip off when you want to curl up on the couch? Or a non-slouchy, architectural sweater in an interesting shape?

I know that this winter my favorite at-home outfits have come from being forced to combine items that formerly would have hung in different sections of my closet. I no longer think of dressy casual--to me, anything that isn't in my tiny dressy capsule is fair game for everyday wear.

ETA: And about that rejection--their loss. Sometimes people are just too blind to recognize a good thing when it drops into their laps...

Ah, thanks, Gaylene and Inge, for the kind words on the rejection. It's actually a grant rejection, and those are always kind of a crap shoot -- you send a whole lot out and hope at least one will stick. And you know that most won't. And days when you're feeling strong, you thumb your nose. But days when you are not...bump. But I'm back in the saddle again...

Gaylene, I think that part of the reason I enjoyed my summer wardrobe more than usual this past year was that I had a couple of fluid yet structured tops. Plus I wear more button downs in summer. Also tube skirts -- while stretchy knit -- do feel a bit structured. As do my knee length slim shorts. So your suggestion bears thinking about. Although sleeveless tops at this time of year are not happening. It is -14 and snowing at the moment...

Your style seems so well honed to me, Suz. These outfits are all fantastic! And of course they are your favorites, so one way to evolve your style from here is to bring what you love about these outfits into even more of what you wear. And winnow out the things that made the other outfits less than favorites.

As to dynamic, I do see your style as dynamic. I think of dynamic as conveying a sense of energy--dynamism is energy, to me, in other words. And I see energy--youthfulness, freshness, brightness, vitality could be synonyms--in your use of color and pattern. Your stripes are bold. In the outfits where your patterns are more diffuse, the colors are usually not all muted (as they might be in an outfit of mine, for example), and the outfits without pattern still have texture and shine to give them the sense of verve. So "dynamic" I think you've definitely got.

Glad you are back in the saddle, big hugs,

These are all fab looks Suz & I'm glad you stopped to appreciate all the hard work you've done.

Just a couple of questions Which two or three of these outfits did you FEEL best in & which two or three do you like most when you look at the photos? Are they the same outfits? If not what is making the difference?

It does sound like your stay at home outfits need some tweaking to make them more "you". I had a similar problem with my summer wardrobe - I just didn't like it in the way I like booties & jackets. With help from YLF I've now found a way to still feel like me in the heat. I'm sure you'll find your at home style

Wow! What a fab collection of outfits. I haven't read through all of the posts but I certainly will later. I see your descriptors in all of your outfits. Dynamic, for sure! Modern and polished as well. You have killer style!

Hi Suz,
I'm mostly at home and want my clothes to be comfy when I'm curled up on the couch with the laptop. Yoga pants and a sweater get boring after a while, so I've been thinking about shapes, textures, colour and proportion. Firecracker introduced me to http://www.oska.de/ and I love the idea of shaking things up by changing the shapes of my basic look of pants and top. Oska has some interesting silhouettes. I want to try loose pants and a fluid sweater look this coming winter and explore a more Japanese aesthetic to add interest to what my current mix of basic, classic and preppyish clothes. I've moved away from looking at outfit bloggers (and mainstream and department stores) for inspiration because I haven't found many with originality, so I'm looking mostly at European designers and translating looks I love for me. I'm hoping that these explorations will morph into an interesting and individual look that works for me.
When I look at your outfits I see a vibrant and stylish woman with a great deal of spirit. I think your style is modern and crisp and I have only good thoughts about it, but I know that it's never static so evolution is a positive and vital move. Good luck!
Oh, and in terms of numbers, 87 (plus summer things) seems very reasonable to me.

And, what does it say that the largest portion of my favourite looks were not work-at-home looks -- when I work at home????

This really struck a chord with me, because I have/had almost the opposite thing going on. The outfits I pick as my favourite are often my casual ones, yet I dress for work 4-5 times a week, and at home tend to live in Lulu's and hoodies. So the casual outfits are worn maybe 1-2 times per week.

Trying to figure out what it is that I like, and how to pull it across into my work wardrobe isn't easy. For me I have realized comfort is part of it, but that's in how it feels, not how it looks. And it's both elements I need to figure out. Working on it! Good luck to us both in this one.

What an educational post! Thanks for sharing with us.

Androgynous femininity? Maybe we should be talking about yin and yang. I've been going through Imogen Lamport's posts on this at insideoutstyleblog.com. For some reason I find this a fascinating topic. You are doing great--you may be wearing a "boyish" outfit--jeans, shirt and blazer--yet you always look very feminine to me.

I love the word focused right now. You do look focused--your outfits all work together without a belt or a thread out of place, but I also see a lot of variety. You clearly know how you want to look--and you achieve it thus far.

I'm looking forward to part 2 as well.

Now I'm going to go back to your photos and really focus to try and figure out why I like each outfit so much.

Oh, that's a big deal - your work-at-home wardobe. I just finished up my project, so now I'm at home too and thinking about the subject. I don't feel like doing my Saturday clothes all week; I want to dress for my purpose. But I don't want to be officey, because this is my chance to be much weirder at work than that (lol!).

Heh and golly olly. I don't know who I am when I work from home anymore. Haven't done it in so long.

If we can bear part 2? Are you kidding? you left as with a cliffhanger - can't wait!
That said I will try to make something of your slight dissatisfaction with your current style, which, as everyone agrees, is pretty darn fabulous. Distinctive and dynamic - do you mean the bit of flair and originality that make great style Suz style? Because, as mentioned above, you clearly have created Suz style that distinctly does not include certain wardrobe items that shall not be named :-). Do you want to be more idiosyncratic? Incorporate more unique pieces? Have a few signatures? Up the playfulness to wittiness (I have no clue what that would mean)? More, more, more musings please. And do tell us which are your favorite outfits. Mine are: and 22. (I may have missed some, it's early.)

eta Nothing is more random and persnickety than grant applications, but you know that! good luck with the next one!

Bwaaaaaaa, the Voldeskirt.....

It's really late, and I'm hoping to be coherent ---

I so get the disconnect between aspirational style and real life. Are you in a transition in your life in general, Suz? I find dressing in the midst of personal transitions is far harder --- style personas are hard to nail down when one's life is a moving target! I'm feeling this myself.

Are you sure you feel you have "too much" in your closet? It seems like you require variety -- particularly at the end of winter. Also, you've had great luck with capsules as focusing tools -- are you using a capsule now?

Suz, I read this post first thing this morning and have pondered it today. I am excited for you I was going to ask the same questions as Angie. The thing with the words Dynamic and Distinctive is that they are subject to interpretation and I need to understand your interpretation to comment on them. I agree that probably what you are experiencing is that moment of readiness to take the next step in further defining and , for want of a better work, perfecting your style.

You know that sentence you wrote about the fact that you had shown photos of more outfits that you wore out even though you work from home, very much struck a chord with me. I think I socialise less than you and have less reasons to go out. I feel like it hampers style growth and it makes me a little sad...I have to keep putting such thoughts to the back of my mind whilst choosing clothes for 'my lifestyle' and I suspect you feel the same. Oh the joys of working from home... We need a solution!

Suz, you've got an amazing sense of style and your focused collection of looks is so cohesive, and I think it is very distinctive. Very modern, clean and bold but with soft romantic touches too. What a treat to see your outfits all together! Your writing is so compelling too.

You mentioned wanting to add dynamic and distinctive and that your favorite outfits are for going out, not home. Which outfit is your very favorite and what elements make it your favorite? When I was just starting out and trying to analyze my style that was the best suggestion. I picked the one that's in my avatar and that's how I ended up with the style moniker Demure Bombshell. (Actually I probably should change my avatar, since my style feels like it's gone in a little darker and edgier direction lately). Maybe you can use those elements to guide your choices for your style evolution.

I also had the same issue with concentrating so much on work outfits, that I didn't feel like my MOTG style was as honed. This year I've worked more on my casual style lately and I agree it is a whole different ballgame, but there is a way to make your MOTG/WAH style cohesive with your overall style personality, it just takes some creativity. I'm all about the transitioning pieces from work to MOTG and I think you would be great at casualizing your favorite pieces too.

I agree with the others, the silver asymmetric sweater is a real standout and I think the asymmetry and angles are something to explore further. I have an Eileen Fisher poncho that Angie recommended that is so soft and cozy, I wear it for MOTG all the time but it also has that impact and the angles. And another Vince Camuto sweater that has stripes and angles. (Angie was so smart, she knew just the two pieces I needed to move my MOTG style along!) Maybe you could look for something along those lines? Also, I have this Bobeau navy fleece cardigan that is so snuggly. One of my favorite MOTG outfits is that plus a striped T and white jeans and boots. I could totally see you wearing that outfit! They have all different colors--it's a great 3rd piece to finish off casual outfits. I just bought another one in storm grey.

As for the "distinctive" element, I think you should look for some statement pieces if that's what your after. I'm guessing that if you chop off your head in the pics, you want people to still be able to say, "That's Suz!" I actually think you're there already, but maybe you want to look for some casual items that have that extra bit of flair you are looking for. I think the "dynamic" would follow from that, because I take that to be a code for you wanting to change things up a bit and push your style boundaries. I don't think you need to change a thing in terms of you already having a modern, clean, distinct style that is quite enviable (I really admire your style and would happily wear any of your outfits), but I think we always want to have that fresh element to keep us excited and on our fashion toes! Just when we think we've gotten to where we need to be, there's always something new around the corner to keep us evolving!

ETA: Forgot to add my faves--they're all awesome but particularly 10, 11, 16, 22, 25!

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Hmm...this was very interesting to read Suz and I have to say that before I read anyone else's comments my gut reactions to the collection of pictures that I didn't see expressed in your list was 'playful'.

The adjective in your list that I struggled to see was 'androgynous'. But maybe that is just me?

'Distinctive' is definitely there for the rest of us to see.

'Dynamic' - is harder to identify - I'm not sure what you are looking for. Are you looking for a sense of movement in your outfits - something that moves the observer or draws the eye? I think you do achieve this with the asymmetric touches.

Also with respect to your musings on 'work at home' outfits being the least satisfying are you seeking a less casual work at home look? Or more variety in that look? What is it about the 'heading out' outfits that speaks to your heart? Why do you exclude that from your 'work at home' looks?

Suz - your outfits are all great and what fun to look at them! The only other thing I have to add is the suggestion that Angie made awhile back about putting a streak of pink in your hair? I didn't ever see any conclusion to your ponderings about that - maybe I missed it and you decided against it - but if you're still considering it I think it would definitely bring a dynamic and distinctive element to your style!

These are all so fab, but that may miss the point.
I have a lot of trouble separating what I like best from what you may want to achieve. I like the more grown-lady looks a little more than the pixie-tomboy but that's because I think you look so awesome-powerful in those, yet still highly approachable. So I like the sporty-dressy more than the Huck Finn And slightly arty--there is an artistic look in some of your pieces and outfits, probably adding the modern touch and sophistocation. But you do the tomboy thing so well, and that can really work for WAH. So it may get back to trying to identify that element that transcends home vs. special occasion.

Practical is a relative term -- so it's hard to see practicality. Some people think a heel is a practical shoe -- others think more in terms of mobility and ruggedness when they think practical.

Otherwise I see the remainder of your list in your outfits. All of your outfits are consistent with your style. I think you may be concerned with your wardrobe becoming too large. With more pieces comes experimentation and possibly repetition of cut, style, and pattern.

Perhaps because your taste is evolving from season to season you're looking at the evidence of those changes thinking it's inconsistent with your core style -- it might be but I think that's where the inherent dynamism of personal style lives. As long as you love the inconsistent pieces and their color and cut work with the more consistent pieces I see no reason to change. However there might be things that you used to love that you've evolved past, because nothing on the newer end of your wardrobe works with them. That was a bit rambling but I hope it makes sense.

I'm not sure why modern and polished are not in your style descriptors yet. Your outfits look that way to me! It looks like you have really honed your style so far and you are using all of your clothes, so your wardrobe size sounds like it's on point too. You've done a great job!