Wow Suz! I go out of town for a few days and I miss so much! Well, I don't see dissonance between what you wear at home and the rest of your wardrobe unless you are feeling unhappy with it? (I didn't read everyone else's responses yet, I'm rushing around this morning). I suppose you could update your puffer and get one that is completely in line with your style. They have so many great options available that it's easy to be warm and practical at the same time. The same goes for your oversized cardigans, etc. However, you live in a cold, snowy, location. That doesn't change, so your wardrobe has to adapt.

Oh, I meant to say that from what I have seen, you do a lot of work from home, so having different capsules within your wardrobe that represent slightly different aspects of your style seems to make sense. To me this doesn't seem dissonant, it seems practical, and a way to be comfortable while working, etc.

Wow...I dipped in and out a bit during my day but there was a lot to catch up on there. This has been a fascinating thread Suz. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

So if I understand correctly the distillation of all that is that Suz will probably be seeking to add more drama to her outfits in the coming year:

  • by seeking out more interesting statement versions of her favourite types of clothing items
  • by seeking out new ways to 'reconstruct' those clothing items from different components.

Plus there was some discussion of experimenting with accessories and a slight mod to the 'do...

i've had a busy couple of days, so i haven't had time to read thru part 2 until this morning, and i'm going to have to go back and read more in detail. but i just wanted to say that i would think that many of us have a wardrobe that fits our style but doesn't fit our aspirational style. real life has a way of intruding. it always struck me that the best way to change this is to figure out how to get my aspirational life, (but i think that's an off topic post)

Suz, I'm reading this thread with interest. I can completely identify with your issue (if I am interpreting it correctly). It seems similar to my #1 issue which is: what can I put on that is a step up from my cute (Angie inspired) lounge capsule (American Eagle hoodie and sweatpants or flannels) that is comfortable and warm and practical for working at home or errands?

In this situation, I am not going to put on jewelry. I'll only where shoes if going out of the house. I don't like wearing scarves to add interest to the outfit--I have bunches of scarves but am tiring of them and they seem too fussy to wear at home. But, I run cold and need coverage (not necessarily a turtleneck but at least crew neck height). I don't want air hitting my ankles (so the cute look of boyfriends rolled up showing a bit of skin at the ankle is out! I'm also not likely going to put on a crisp blouse/button down.

So, what, what, what might add interest and maybe the word is complexity (?) to this comfy at home capsule? One thing that has helped me a bit is to try to achieve a bit of unmatchy or unexpected. For example, mixing patterns like wearing my plaid flannel shirts over striped tees. Another option is that I just purchased an Athleta solstice tee dress (with lots of draping) to wear with sweater tights and casual toppers. Another "go to" outfit for this situation is that I wear several of the Cudl Dud hoodies that Angie featured last winter that are heavenly against the skin (and majorly warm with jeans, ponte pants or even my black ponte skirt with various causual toppers (jean jacket, cardis or even Angie inspired blazer). I wish I had more tunic sweaters to wear over leggings because this look works for me as well.

So to summarize . . . unmatchy and unexpected might be a direction to explore and continuing to explore different silhouettes might be another (which I know that you have been doing). Easier said than done though, I know!

Good luck, I will stay tuned!

I've read your first two posts on this subject with much interest, Suz, because I think you have a wonderful sense of your style. I have read some but not all of the replies so may be repeating what others have said....someone mentioned that it makes all kinds of sense for you to invest in fab renditions of your essentials, such as your puffer coat. I thought immediately of the wonderful mixed media coat you bought for this season, and how much pleasure it gives you every time you wear it-- and us, every time you post it! That seems a perfect example of making the ordinary extraordinary.

A friend and I walk outdoors several times a week, so sturdy, waterproof, warm snowboots are a necessity for me. Until now, I just bought utilitarian boots which met the four criteria above. This year for the first time, I added the word "fun" to the list and bought silvery-grey boots which make I enjoy every time I put them on. I will keep this experience in mind as it comes time to replace other of my essentials.

Late to this thread. I'm not sure if I've read correctly that a large part of this is about dressing nicely when you're under several inches of snow for several months of the year.

If that's the case then I guess to some extent I feel your pain. Our climate is somewhat kinder but our weather is still horrible, so dressing for it is a reality for me too.

I think cold weather is something contemporary fashion does really badly, because solutions seem to have defaulted to derivations of performance wear and ski gear, and the mainstream got stuck somewhere with down jackets and snow boots. Nature's solutions to this are still the best, but it's very hard to buy a good thick wool coat these days and it's considered unethical to wear fur.

I've been embracing the frump and layering up. Fleeces and down vests under men's coats and thick tights or leggings under skirts. And I really don't think you can beat a fine cashmere or merino base layer topped with a classic thick, woolly jumper. The Scots and the Scandinavians still make the best ones.

Ok, admittedly I didn't get very far in reading the comments (those pesky students will be knocking at my door with their books again soon!) so just a few observations for now -

You want a signature style and a uniform? Huh? Suz, you are not boring and that sounds boring. You are someone that I've always seen as having fun with fashion.

I think real vs. aspirational fashion is very difficult to do this time of year. We HAVE to dress for the real deal because of our wildly cold and snowy climate.

Lunch is over and I'll be back later! (So would teaching the kiddos how to read by using the threads on YLF be wildly inappropriate?)

Hmm, this is a great thread!
Agree that at some point you both separate function from style, but get back to, your style includes a lot of function because of who you are and what you do with your time.

An interesting thread. I adore what is stereotypical American interpretation of French/Parisian style (basic colors, simple style, flat footwear, scarves, etc). But it's taken me forever to realize that some elements of this style do not work for my lifestyle (dress, skirts, who am I kidding I'm a jeans gal through and through). I realized what attracted me so much to the aspirational style, was the ease of dressing that is portrayed within the label of French style. And that I can translate into my real life style. Perhaps the same will work for you? Maybe an element of your aspirational style CAN fit into your real life style?