Since there's been some talk of new year's goals, I thought I'd take a look back at the wardrobe goals I wrote a year ago -- I'd say I did all right!

  • Pants. I'd say I was quite successful in this category. I lucked out and found a perfect pair of casual olive green trousers, US-made, that have been workhorses all year long. I bought two pairs of secondhand jeans (both 501s). I added two pairs of wide leg crops, getting lots of wear out of both. I also discovered that Boden's Richmond pants fit me really well, no alterations need. I added two pairs of those as well (one black and ankle length, one full-length with a subtle print. I tried and rejected a LOT of not-quite-right bottoms, and sold quite a few pairs of old pants that were too large or too low-rise for my current preferences. I also retired three pairs of jeans, two of which became cut-offs, one of which has been relegated to painting.
  • Accessories. I was pretty restrained in my accessory shopping, but what I did add was quite successful: two neckerchiefs, a silk square scarf, a linen ombre scarf, two summer hats, a small black crossbody (with removable strap, so it can be a clutch too), and a handmade geometric necklace (have not posted a pic of this yet, but will when I talk about my "festive" capsule). The scarves were all low-cost additions. The bag was pricy, for me, but I plan to keep it for a very long time, and it sees use several times a week, so its cost-per-wear is already quite low.
  • Avoiding jersey. Okay, I did succumb to the temptation of Uniqlo graphic tees, and bought two last spring. I also bought two more Uniqlo Supima tanks, for layering, because they're absolutely the best cotton tank tops I've found. And I bought one Everlane tee, because rugby stripes. But that's it! No jersey skirts, no jersey dresses, no jersey jackets, etc. As long as I continue to be constrained in my t-shirt buying, and slowly replace t-shirts with cotton and linen shirts and blouses, I think I'm well on my way to success in building a more woven/structured wardrobe.
  • Shoes. A good chunk of my budget went to shoes this year. I added two pairs of polished-casual sandals, and two pairs of polished-casual shoes, and a great pair of lace-up boots. None of them are "dress" shoes, but they are in line with my needs for the type of events I attend. Just as important, they're all comfortable and suit my style.
In terms of sustainability/consumer ethics -- I didn't totally fail, but I'd like to buy less next year, and buy better. I think this is just an ongoing goal, where there's always room for improvement. I'd like to do more secondhand shopping, and less online buy/try/return.

These goals were SUPER helpful, and totally worth writing down. I have a much more functional pants wardrobe (spanning a range of temperatures and levels of dressiness) than I did a year ago. Same with shoes -- I have some options now that feel like "practical statements" rather than "practical afterthoughts" -- the difference when I get dressed is really noticeable (to me at least)! I doubt I'll buy much in way of accessories in 2018, because I made such a conscious effort this year -- it really paid off by adding a lot of variety to my summer wardrobe. Actually, I"m reaching a point where I don't *need* to buy much of anything. I'll have to mull a bit on what my goals are for next year, besides buying less than I did this year! (All told, I'm somewhere between 40-50 items for this year, which is not astronomical, but is much more than I'd like to be adding on a yearly basis. I think "maintenance mode" for me is more like half that -- 20 - 25 items per year.)

Anyone else make goals last year? Were they successful, useful, did they alter the way your shopping or dressing habits? Who's looking ahead to 2018?

(Rounded up as many Finds as I could for the items mentioned above. Still too lazy to make Custom Finds -- maybe I need to make that a goal!)

I’m curious: why is made in the USA one of your criteria? Supply chains and labor standards overseas can have poor transparency, but if a producer has better conditions than others, I’m happy to support it.

For dress shoes, have you considered oxfords with a bit of a heel?

I remember reading reading your goals last year but wasn’t able to add to the conversation as I hadn’t reached that point yet. Great job this year and thanks for updating. It reminds me of the importance of articulating goals if you want to achieve them.

I am moving to a place in my journey where this will be a valuable exercise. I always love your WIWs - you how how to make dressing for an active casual life look great!

P.S. did you keep the burgundy lace up boots? How was the fit? I almost order some but was concerned about wider foot issues. I hadn’t seen you wear them. I think we share wide forefoot narrow heel feet, although mine are size 6.5-7 so I cant fit men’s shoes.

La Pedestrienne: I just love your profile pic~ So cute and unique. I've had the same trouble with pants~ It's so hard to find nice ones that fit~ I have found Talbots pants fit me really nicely and I love the fabric of them. They fit my body. I do not wear dresses anymore and hardly ever skirts except a couple maxi skirts in summer which I love with sandals. I think it's great to buy basics, then accessorize a lot, put some thought into it each day. As far as casual shoes, I've never cared for sneakers, but they are necessary when you have to walk anymore more than a block. My absolute favorite shoes are those slip on mules. I have 6 pairs that I bought this year, love love them! I have 3 pairs with fur lining, and a few other ones. They are comfy, go with everything, stylish, and you can dress them up or down. This shoe: (These are mens, but the womens are the same)
I have two pairs of black, a burgundy velvet, a leopard print pair and a silver pair. I also love comfy oxfords, and loafers yes yes!
For me this upcoming year: I really plan on downsizing, not buying anything new. Except: I would love to start a Pandora charm bracelet.

Violett -- my profile pic is from an avatar generator made by Boulet, a French cartoonist: It's very fun; I made one for DH too and he likes it we'll enough to use it at work.

Karen -- I did keep the burgundy boots! They fit true to size (I got my usual W's 9), and are loose enough in the toes that I can wear them all day. I've had very good luck with shoes from Mexico. Those boots, my Frye Veronica's, and my Nisolo oxfords are all made in Leon and the last is just right for me.

Fashiontern -- the list of shopping guidelines was, I think, copied and pasted from another blog. I'm with you that made-in-usa doesn't necessarily mean good labor practices or accountability, but there is SO little large-scale manufacturing left in the states that, in practice, US-made often ends up meaning made in a small studio by a dedicated artisan, or a small group of skilled craftsmen. I'm thinking on one hand of designers like Elizabeth Suzann who have (inter)national visibility, and on the other of local knitters/sewers/tanners/jewellers, etc, who sell at farmers markets, craft fairs, perhaps on Etsy. I try to check Etsy first for things like accessories, small household goods.all my husband's belts come from local couple who does leatherwork in their home at really reasonable rates. And, I mean, I'm pretty sad about Cone Mills closing down -- I recognize that the US will never go back to being a manufacturing economy, but the loss of heritage that goes along with that... It makes me sigh. And we aren't exactly pumping resources into preservation/museums at the moment. :/

I could care less where a clothing item I buy is made frankly, if I love it, I'll buy it. Matter of fact, I really like Italian shoes by far the best. And some Italian handbags are fabulous! Everything nowadays is made in China, even designer's collections probably.

I've been thinking about wardrobe goals for 2018, but mine are so simple that I'm not sure they really warrant their own thread. Here you've opened up the floor for us to chime in, so I'm taking the opportunity to make things "official." Thank you for that.

Quite simply, I plan to join Team SYC next year and focus on styling what I have!

I know that in practice, I'm likely to pick up a few special items here and there, but in theory I want to steer my resources toward being a better artist, not so much a better fashionista. So, buying (way) less, but not necessarily better, because I don't really need better...especially in an art studio or class. I do best with a fair amount of creative, fun variety, and I would say I pretty well have that by now. Angie has been right about the recent retail season being chock full of fab opportunities, but it's time for me to step out of the candy store and focus on the art of styling, which I've learned to enjoy more than in the past. I'm actually looking forward to it!

Suzanne: I totally hear you!

Got it. That’s coming at it from a different angle than I was thinking of. For me the concern is more human rights, no matter where the thing is produced. “Crafts” in the US probably are, but elsewhere it’s hard to tell. And I’m typing on an iphone, so clearly don’t put human rights as high in practice as I do in theory.

I made a token run at Etsy for the necklace for my sister, am a little irked with myself that I didn’t look into artists around here, because heaven knows we certainly have plenty. I think the tourists keep them in business. Buying from UnCommon Goods is as “artisanal” as I get, unfortunately.

Haha, Violettt! Welcome to the Team.

Hi LaP! I was impressed with your goals at the beginning of the year. You did an amazing job of achieving those goals. Your pant selection is really looking nice and you have a plan in place to slowly replace your jersey with wovens. Yay for you!!!

I do want to put in a plug for jersey knits. There times in the summer when I just want to wear a 100 percent cotton tee shirt. Especially in the high heat of the summer.

I did not write out my goals for 2017 like you did, but I see the merit in the type of exercise. I started a rough draft of my goals for 2018. Like you, I feel strongly about sustainability and ethics. I incorporated those feelings in my goals.

My main goal was to buy fewer items. I have bought 17 ( hey, 17 in 2017! I'd better make that all these next 3 weeks!) when the previous several years I had bought over 30 each year. I figured the most sustainable thing I could do was to buy less and to wear what I own. I'm reasonably proud of my success. I'll have to think about next year. Only by continuing this pattern can I bring the overall numbers down. And by culling, of course, never easy for me.

HI Jenni -- You have a point. The most sustainable thing I really could do is buy less. I can't say I bought less in 2017. I would rather not count .....

Going to revise my draft 2018 goals.

Thank you for bumping this La Ped. I am also not a fan of skinny jeans. I find them impossible to fit and if they do I look like an ice cream cone. Straight legs and wide legged jeans (and pants) work so much better for me.
I did a long post on my wardrobe purchases for September 2016 to August 2017 which vanished just before I posted it. I have not had the motivation to redo it. However, the short version is that I stayed in budget, was happy with all my purchases and fine-tuned my style more.
I realize more and more that when I buy something well made that may be on the spendy side I wear it more and I enjoy it more. I buy less but I enjoy my clothes more. Examples would be Jesse Kamm pants, Sarah Pacini Sweater, Burberry Trench Coat and Vintage Coach Bag.
I am going to redo my post and work on my 2018 goals.

I’m with you guys on buying less. I have realized recently that online shopping has become a thing I do when I’m frustrated with my life. I should be directing that energy elsewhere, to doing the things that would help us make our move. I’ve decided though, that the shopping itself isn’t a thing to worry about, as long as I have a good system to return things to stores. The point is to use fewer resources. Even if i “borrow” the clothes for a while, they do go on to be sold, new, to another person.

I feel the same way about culling; removing used things from my closet does nothing to slow down use of resources to make new clothes. There is already a glut of used clothes; mine aren’t needed anywhere.

LaPed. Your style is very cohesive and has a strong graphic and gamine quality to it (which lines up with your body type and facial features). So many of your choices are awesome! I love the sailor pants.

Hopefully you’re now over skinny pants and don’t feel like you have to try and make them work.

I am the opposite about skinny jeans: I still love them for winter with boots that are tight at the ankle. Leg lengthening!

I think I bought around 35 things this year, including 10 gear items.

I tried out the avatar creator and here are a couple of attempts. I’m going to let my kids play around with it too!

Of course I made a pretty one and a less-pretty one, haha!

This post has 2 photos. Photos uploaded by this member are only visible to other logged in members.

If you aren't a member, but would like to participate, please consider signing up. It only takes a minute and we'd love to have you.

These posts are so inspiring to me as a new member! Seeing that people not only make wardrobe goals but stay on track and meet them gives me hope that I might be able to do the same. I have to think a bit more about my 2018 goals but I really appreciate this discussion. Thanks for starting it, and bumping it, La Ped.

Ambergreen, Violett, and others -- Yes -- coming up with a strategy for buying less is definitely on my horizon. I hope to be able to join the SYC club in the near future. I’ve had two years or pretty significant buying -- ~35 items in 2016, ~45 in 2017. My wardrobe has increased from under 100 items to about 120 items (it’s well-distributed between seasons -- roughly 30 warm-weather only, 30 cold-weather only, and 60 year-round pieces). But, the upshot is, I can go 7-10 days without needing to do my laundry, which is GREAT. Now it’s a matter of maintenance.

Fashiontern, your reasoning behind trying to avoid culling is solid. I’ve always felt like keeping a wardrobe artificially small by cycling through lots of new stuff is a very privileged approach (there’s that word! ) and for myself I feel much, much better if I can keep things right until they’re ready to become rags. Luckily I can get away with a good dose of RATE.

It doesn’t always work out, though -- I’ve passed on several pairs of practically-new jeans that just didn’t fit me anymore. I dropped 5 or 6 inches of waist circumference after my son was born, so I’ve been through every pant size between 8 and 0. And during that same time I had an epiphany about pants rises and realized that I need at least a 9” front rise for pants to be comfortable and flattering. So I said goodbye to a lot of low-rise jeans, which had hardly been worn, of course, because they weren’t comfortable. Those pants I sold or consigned. I wanted to recoup losses, and I was simultaneously selling/consigning a fair amount of outgrown baby clothes and gear, so adding a few more pairs of pants to that project wasn’t an ordeal.

But I very rarely have stuff that goes the Goodwill route. Most of what I stop wearing is too worn out for thrift stores to take, so I’d rather re-purpose it than waste a thrift store employee’s time sorting it and throwing it in the trash for me. I like Angie’s method, of bringing anything in good condition to Dress for Success, but I don’t have anything like that local to me, and most of my clothes aren’t formal enough for DFS anyway. So I always come back the old adage “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

Smittie, those are super cute! First one has a bit of an adventure-heroine vibe to me. Second is how I probably come off if I skip my coffee in the morning. Yes -- graphic/gamine is my starting point. Clean lines, a contrasting element. It’s nice having a base of essentials that reflect that. And yes, I’ve put my skinnies struggle to rest once and for all.

Style Fan, those Finds are enviable! I love your shopping approach: luxe, neutral, and true to yourself. Someday I hope to try the Kamm Pants, but I’m pretty happy with my “knock-off” Everlane pants.

La P, you may have had 2 big shopping years but you still are nowhere near my totals of 187 items of clothing and shoes. These are what I track: I don't track sleepwear or underwear or jewellery. I know some people on YLF have way larger wardrobes than me, also. I don't count my holding and sentimental zones either which have a few totally beloved items from my 20s which are now 30 years ago. Your 20s are not long ago and I love seeing your perspective!
I'm certainly aware of the culling issue Fashiontern mentions. Being a small rather than large country does mean I think that we do have a thriving charity sector in my area that I think can resell good stuff. I look in those shops occasionally and my good cast-offs definitely fit with the sort of thing they sell. And the "clothing bin" system also takes worn out stuff to sell for rags as well as not-quite-so-good stuff to sell in their second-hand shops called "Save Mart". I have shopped there too for costumes and feel the system works OK. I could be deluding myself...
I'm certainly trying, this year, to choose carefully enough that I will plan to wear each new thing 30 times at least. I hope that over time that will reduce my environmental impact somewhat.

Thanks for sharing! Well done on tour progress. I love your style and posts for several reasons- I like that you have a totally different shape and colouring and climate to me - I want to be gamine but I am not!! And you write well and provide thought provoking posts. So thank you!!

"I want to add more color and pattern, but very carefully. Peach and aqua are appealing to me as are greens, but I’m not sure what shade of green.
My biggest goal is to use this year to adjust my wardrobe to a new climate and area. Part of this will be adjusting my life to add more places and events for my dressy side." That is what I wrote in January 2017. I feel that I have mostly achieved these goals. With adding color, it is not the color I'd thought, but olive green and burgundy. Other than black jeans, I think I was pretty successful to sticking to lighter neutrals.
I feel as if I have more of a handle on my new climate and area. It is casual , but not throw-away casual. So I find that I need to spend more on unusual pieces that are still casual. I have added more places to dress up by joining some organizations where women notice what you are wearing. Most come from their jobs and are not in casual attire. If pants are worn, they are not jeans or casual pants, but dressy trousers. But many wear dresses or skirts. Some even wear hats. There are dressy teas as fund raisers.
For 2018 I don't,now yet what my goals will be. I like your emphasis on sustainability/consumer ethics and want to keep a list handy of the places to shop listed in Inge's latest blog post.

Yay! I'm glad to hear that you did pretty well on your goals. More ethical buying is challenging, and even if you have room for improvement, it's great that you're making the effort. All your pants and other finds look great. And I'm like you regarding dress shoes--bring on the oxfords! I want them in several colors, eventually.

My main goals are not letting myself buy any more sweaters, jackets, and other cold weather only things (I have far too much for someone who lives in the southern US), and building up my spring/summer stuff in preparation for a month long trip to Spain. And hopefully getting a nice pair of leather, locally made shoes while I'm abroad. Probably some other less pressing goals, but I'll make my own post sometime soon.

Jenni -- I love the age diversity on YLF!

Sal -- Hah, I think every short dark Gamine has wished she was a tall blonde Natural at some point!

Joy -- It's *such* a good year for olive and burgundy (both staples in my wardrobe since forever). Lighter neutrals make perfect sense for your colouring.

Kaelyn -- I figured I should dig up my goals from this year and see how I did before starting any new ones. And Spain -- jealous! One of my favourite places to travel.

I'm probably going to post something pretty soon here about planning for buying for the trip, so if you have any insights since you've traveled there before, I'd love to hear your thoughts. No pressure, of course!

Thanks La P

Here is my attempt at an avatar and an old avatar I generated through a Mad Men Avatar generator....

Like your ones too Smittie. The first is closer.

This post has 2 photos. Photos uploaded by this member are only visible to other logged in members.

If you aren't a member, but would like to participate, please consider signing up. It only takes a minute and we'd love to have you.