At the end
of June I reached my 4 month YLF anniversary, and the 6 month anniversary of
retiring. It seemed a good time to stop and reflect.

I can’t believe it’s been only 4 months since I joined YLF.
I thought it would be a great place to get some wardrobe and style ideas, and
of course it is that but is SO MUCH MORE!
I cannot say enough about how happy I have been to join this wonderful
community led by master stylist Angie. I have learned so much and made some real friends, and I hope I can meet many of you some day. One of the
things I love the most about YLF is that members treat each other as friends,
and do meet each other IRL when possible, it’s not just about hiding behind a
screen name. The encouragement, honesty,
humor, advice and different styles of all the YLF members are just wonderful! It
has helped me enormously in defining my own style and it has been so much fun
along the way. I hope I can contribute even a small fraction
of what I’ve “taken” from YLF.

YLF is such a gift from you Angie. In addition to your styling
skills, warmth, support, coaching, humor and endless reminders to eat cake :-). I love that you give
such excellent advice, paying close attention to each individual person.

What I've learned, what has changed, and where I want to go next.

My initial goals were to build a more modern spring/summer
wardrobe, for a newly casual lifestyle. My new lifestyle is evolving slowly; after spending a lifetime in the corporate world I do not have a
lot of structure in my life right now and I’m enjoying it a lot. It does mean
my wardrobe needs are evolving too.

Hair, Specs,
Bras -
I’m letting my bangs grow and
contemplating a shorter haircut; otherwise all is good for now in these areas.

I was able to easily identify
my basic color palate
, which made color choices easier. I also started using
some of the rules of forming a capsule,
especially trying on new items with things in your closet before making a final
keep decision. I’ve become extremely
aware this year of the difference
between spring and summer clothing needs in my climate,
especially since I’m
not spending much time in AC anymore. I live in a true 4-season climate with
extremes on both ends.

I have a pretty good idea of what modern silhouettes I like and look JFE, although I have not completely mastered this.

I have completely overhauled
my body image
, which of course was 95% mental. I see myself in a much more
positive light now. At the same time my
overall self-confidence
has grown, which I did not expect.

I feel much more
modern/stylish now than I did 6 months ago,
and was pleasantly surprised
that I had a lot of pieces in my closet that were modern once I styled them

The biggest specific style change I’ve made is embracing the
slimmer pant silhouette and lengths
above the ankle
. I had resisted this style, but with guidance from Angie
Miss Pedantic Pant Lengths I retrained my eye to see this as flattering,
figured out what tops and footwear are flattering, and I am sold! I expect to also wear straight leg and
boot cut styles in cooler months but I am loving the more modern slim look too.

I have
completely changed how I shop.
used to shop randomly, buying things I liked that were on sale with an ok
fit. I gave very little thought to how
they fit my wardrobe or real life or whether they were truly flattering. I had a good work wardrobe (classic/menswear)
because I had followed the same formula for many years, and I do have a few outfits
that work for dressy events plus a few nice individual pieces, but most of my
non-work wardrobe was pretty chaotic and about as far from “well-curated’ as
could be. I didn’t know how to change any of this, and I also had a lot of
those little voices in my head saying “you don’t deserve it, spending $$ on
clothes is frivolous, blah blah blah”. I used to think that I needed
counselling to deal with all the baggage behind these old patterns.

Now I make a plan before I buy, and even impulse buys tend
to be in line with my goals. I think about what I need and want for my real
life and my real body. I am a big user of
YLF ‘Finds” – to the point where I shop there (including other members’ lists) as much as I
do online. I’m doing a lot of “retail research” where I try on lots of
different styles to see what works. I’m doing more analysis of price points and
reasons for choosing high vs. low. I do quite a bit of online shopping so I’ll
always expect to have some returns. My “keep rate” has gone up quite a bit from
March until now. I have started consciously repeating outfits more. I am
tracking each purchase, all returns, and what I wear every day which is giving
me a lot of great information. Last but not least I know I don’t need a counselor,
those little voices are fading into the background as I work on developing my style
and wardrobe and make it work for my life and my goals. It’s like any other
skill, it can be learned.

Successes (new items) - shown in finds

  • dressy blouse in a bold print

  • tweed jacket and denim jacket in a shorter length

  • knit tops in grey/silver and navy (it got a bit too warm for
    these shortly after I bought them)

  • Slim fit jeans (that I often wear rolled) in blue and white,
    black slim fit pants, olive chinos

  • Light blue small purse (somewhat dressy), white clutch, blue
    print scarf

  • Casual Sandals and sneakers and one pair of dress shoes

  • A few dresses (haven’t worn these yet but feeling good about

Key Fails
(new items) - also in finds

  • The floral tunic. I
    shortened the sleeves and hem and took in the sides to get a decent fit and I
    still think the silhouette is too loose and not JFE. The fabric is also not
    that great, it’s a little bit scratchy and not as breezy/cooling as I would
    have thought.

  • White tunic. It’s two layers in the front, which bunch up
    and shift around unmercifully. Great
    idea, poor execution.

  • Cargo Capri pants which I decided to wear instead of shorts
    this summer, Not loving the way they look, maybe too masculine but really not
    sure. I don’t have any real desire to wear them with dressier tops/shoes either.

  • Blue/grey slip on sneakers…ok and pretty comfortable, just
    not totally loving them.


  • I do not yet have a well-curated closet even for this
    summer, but I now “get” the concept and have made some progress toward it. I’m
    mostly finished with my spring & summer shopping, although I’ll still
    browse sales for a while. Starting this month, I’m going to primarily be in “wear
    what’s in my closet” mode, trying different combinations, donating things I
    don’t like etc.

  • I just read a posting by fabber Author Linda and I want to exactly
    copy one of her successes….“Wearing items I love instead of just "what I have handy for
    weekends" (which is what I did for years) makes me feel--and I'm going to
    say it--younger, more visible, more engaged with my own life, and just plain

  • I need to take a break from shopping and rest up for NAS…I
    expect to mostly be in observation mode for it but who knows

  • Need to create a few FFBO outfits. That won’t be too hard

  • I want to spend a bit more of my budget on higher quality
    pieces. I have a much better idea now about
    how to decide, and will continue to read he many excellent YLF postings on this
    topic. This will be a big but welcome change from my magpie
    quantity-over-quality tendencies.

  • I want a more polished casual wardrobe. The super casual is
    just not doing it for me like it did when I also had a dressier work wardrobe. I’m
    still working out what this means….some of my thoughts are to go with dresses
    and skirts instead of pants/jeans, crisp ankle pants or white jeans instead of
    blue jeans, blouses and interesting tops instead of t-shirts, slight heels
    and/or wedges instead of flat shoes,
    ankle strap closed toe flats instead of gladiator sandals, etc….and all based
    on season.

  • I want to add a little color beyond my neutrals.

  • have learned that I have an insatiable appetite for the
    shopping/return cycle, both in-store and online. I’m not sure this is good

  • I’m looking forward to tackling my fall/winter wardrobe.

  • I’m still thinking about creating a YLF blog but I need to
    sort out a better way to take photos first

  • I’m going to go back
    and review Angie’s Seven Steps to Style Renewal