This is my third annual style review and goal setting post. I am including both my review and goals in the the same post, making it particularly long.
In 2017, I set up a plan called "Mindfulness and Moderation” which helped me cut my wardrobe budget by 80%. In 2018 I used “meaningful” as my intention word and kept my focus on the importance of relationships, experiences, connections, and endeavored to tackle highest priority tasks first. I declared that clothing left unused and hanging in a closet was “meaningless” and impractical. I attempted to track wears using a calendar and did this for about three months but found it too cumbersome and stopped. I learned that I crave variety
and end up wearing different outfits almost every day, rarely repeating the same outfit over the time I tracked. An extensive closet edit, motivated by an Angie blog post, allowed me to keep the practical and meaningful items and cull the remainder. I learned a lot about my
style preferences with the edit, especially that stripes, gingham and the color white do not make me happy. I introduced some new items,
trying to keep in mind that my style goals were to add movement and texture, as well as stick with my style adjectives of Soft, Calm, Fresh, Classic, Polished Light. I also stayed true to my style statement, which had been Serene Elegance, but part way through the year, the
statement stopped feeling right for some reason, and I am not sure I should stick with it for 2019. I will speak more to this later.
To keep my wardrobe fresh and trendy, I added three puff shoulder sweaters, which I love, but are not conventionally flattering for me because of my IT tendencies. I purchased two very different, fairly pricey, pink pant suits this year. Neither one is classic, but I’m hoping they are avant-garde enough to stand the test of time, so I splurged
and am happy to own them. I also added 4-5 pairs of high waisted full-length skinny jeans. It wouldn’t be an annual review post from me without saying I bought a cashmere sweater or two. This year I was attracted to hoodies for some reason, so I replenished my dwindling collection and purchased two pullover style and one zip up style. I replaced my glasses frames after my annual eye exam in May and have been happiest with a pair of crystal-clear frames, and some large light pink sun glass frames, but I also have some red frames, purple from last year, and my all-time favorite turquoise frames, which I duplicated in a pair of reading glasses. My daily wear frames are all a similar classic round shape, which I have come to prefer, and I think this shape frame may become part of my signature style.
This year, I also had my first YLF meetup with Toban when she came to town for the local Iron Girl Triathlon. She and her husband are warm, intelligent, and friendly, and I recall our too brief visit fondly. We shopped together at a few local boutiques and had dinner at a pizza place which had recently been visited by Jerry Seinfeld because it has had some national recognition. (We didn’t see any celebrities).
In 2019, my intention word is Wellness. If you look back at my posts for 2017 and 2018, you will see that I usually pick one or two intention words for the year. Wellness may seem like an odd choice for someone who “Stays-fit”, but it incorporates the features from my previous intentions of being mindful, moderate, and meaningful, and adds to them. For me, wellness is the active pursuit of physical, emotional, financial and social wellbeing. I have a long list of chronic, somewhat nuisance medical concerns which require that I follow a certain diet that avoids a fairly long list of foods (which I tend to ignore), and that I drink more water than even the best water drinkers among us can fathom (64oz/day). I also have a stressful job, and my long-term goal is to continue doing it without burning out, so finding fun activities that reduce stress and maintaining my health is of utmost importance.
I am not exactly sure how wellness looks in a closet, but my initial thought is to break it down into the four components: 1. Clothing should be practical and comfortable, breath and provide adequate protection from the elements – cool in summer, warm in winter, durable, and soft, it needs to move with my body and be easy to care for over time. Physical wellness) 2. I need to feel a spark of happiness and joy about the clothing I am wearing, or at least content and calm, depending on the sort of wardrobe item. The clothing I wear on a given day is highly tied to my emotions, and sometimes I pick items that make me feel more energized, or powerful, or steady, etc. (emotional). 3. My clothing needs to be sleek, and appropriately professional when I am at work. My clothing needs to help identify my role without looking pretentious, or overdone. Colors should be mid-tone, happy, joyful and fun, but not garish or harsh. Styles, colors and patterns should highlight my best features and not distract from interpersonal interactions. Clothing that make me look warm, genuine and personable is better than anything that makes me look intimidating. Clothing is part of what makes the first impression and is therefore very important to my relationships with people. (Social). 4. Clothing budget is firm, and I must adhere to it! (Financial) I have some clear financial goals this year and spending to increase my wardrobe is not among them.
My color palette continues to speak to me and brings me joy. My neutrals of indigo and charcoal/grey work well. I like them mixed together, and separately, and they work with my accent colors which are turquoise, fuschia, raspberry, watermelon red, sky blue and periwinkle blue. Mint green, pale yellow, royal blue and lavender have been sprinkled throughout my wardrobe, as have some darker richer reds, blue-greens and lighter pinks, but the mainstays are the colors highlighted above. My color palette has become narrower with each closet edit. My clothes coordinate easily with a well-defined
palette. My footwear also seems to have sorted into a color palette
of silver, navy, red, and grey. I prefer solids over patterns, and when I do pick a pattern, it is generally low to mid contrast, abstract floral, or something with soft or blurred lines or shapes.
Although my style words have worked well, I think they need a
revamp. “Calm” and “soft” seem redundant and I don’t need both. Soft feels like the best choice to represent both words. I still like the
word fresh. To me this is the word for modern, and updated, but it is not necessarily edgy, or even trendy. Fresh can also be something fun, or unique and avant-garde, and maybe even a bit youthful without looking juvenile. Classic works for me also, because I tend to stick mostly with classic pieces. I like blazers, cashmere sweaters, sheath dresses, cardigans, pencil skirts, jeans, high necklines- turtlenecks and crew
necks, wrap dresses, etc. I wonder however, if I need to clarify further my choices with a word that signifies my preference for simple line and design, and my tendency towards solids? I’m not sure what word if any that would be? Maybe unadorned? Unembellished? Maybe simple? The problem with that is I often like something simple with a twist, some unique detail that makes it special, so I’m not sure how to designate that? Maybe Fresh does the job representing this when paired with the other words especially my next word “sleek”? The word “polished” has been in every iteration of my style adjectives. I am trying to decide if my looks are truly polished? Am I paying attention to the details? For example, I don’t always clean the salt stains off of my shoes. I don’t maintain my pedicures in the summer. Some days I decide to forgo wearing any makeup. Is that polished? Maybe I should eliminate
that from my adjectives. I think looking sleek may be a better description because when I looked up the definition it says “lying close to the body and therefore looking well cared for; not untidy and with no parts sticking out”. I think that nicely describes my clothing style, although when I wear a tunic, it’s obviously untucked, but never sloppy. Ironically, sleek usually refers to hair, and I do not have sleek hair! Maybe that is why I like the word so much! Since my intention for the year is Wellness, I want an adjective that represents this, and practical is the word. I have a lot of impractical stuff. I have clothes that need to be dry cleaned. I have clothes that I may wear only once for a special occasion and then they sit in my closet waiting for the next big event. I have specialized gear and fancy shoes. In order to have financial wellness, and all the other sorts of wellness I described, practicality is necessary. Since my wardrobe is in good shape, I am only adding things to update my wardrobe, fill very few holes, refresh or replace worn out items. I am going to aim for practical, and doubt I will be perfect, but accept that it is an intention/guideline, and not an unbendable rule. I still like the word Light. I debated replacing it with the word “easy” to represent casual and comfortable, but I think these features are sought automatically when I shop so I don’t need a reminder adjective. Light represents the personal friendly genuine quality I want to portray. Light is happiness and joy. Light is sunshine filtered through the leaves that are forming on the trees in June. Light is the way my long cardigans flow out behind me like waves and maybe a super-hero cape. Light are my bangles and chains that have sentimental meaning from my aunt. Light are my summer dresses that have a
One of my biggest style changes for 2019, if it works, is going to be growing my hair. I have had a short pixie cut since high school, with the brief exception of a few years in college. Hopefully it will get long enough to pull back, or to style in an interesting way. I am waiting to see if it grows in wavy or curly. Since it is silvery grey now, the texture may be different than it was when I was younger.
I will continue to do closet edits! They are very helpful and simplifying my life, eliminating clutter, will reduce stress and promote wellness.
Getting back to my two-word style statement: Serene Elegance, does it still fit? Part way through the year, and I questioned the word Elegance. I
really want to aspire to the warmth and grace that go with elegance but not anything snobby. No doubt I have refined taste, and maybe Serene Refined, as Angie once suggested would be a better fit? My original style statement was Genuine Composed, and for some reason, this still rings true. Composed captures that calm and steady personality required for my work, although it implies something more calculated, analytical and planned, which of course I often am, so it is probably realistic rather than aspirational. The genuine hopefully adds in the warmth and together they provide the quality of elegance that I seek.
2019 adjectives: soft,
fresh, classic, sleek, practical, light
2018 two-word style statement: Genuine Composed
If you are still here, thanks for reading!