Whether I realized it or not, it seemed every year I participated on the YLF Forum I had a major goal that I worked toward.
I started out doing a major wardrobe edit and defining the roles I needed to dress for in life (year one). Angie expressed some concern that I was editing too deeply and that I might come to regret it. I was lucky and the edit went smoothly. And I did broadly define the roles I played in life. Fine-tuning those roles continues to this day. Accepting that roles evolve is as important as accepting the fact that life changes either predictably or unpredictably. Unfortunately, I resisted defining the climate factor and instead dreamed to ski chalets in Colorado. Naturally I bought for ski chalets in Colorado.
The second year I embraced capsule wardrobe building (years two and three). I started out small by developing my athletic capsule. With that success, I moved onto my lounging/sleep/foundation capsules. These were easy, but they formed the strategic framework I used to start developing my casual capsule. This was a lot harder. My casual capsule is larger and includes more, less easily defined activities. Developing a causal capsule took a solid two years because I was literally starting from scratch and I had to figure out what "casual wear" meant to me and my life style. I focused on buying clothing items (few accessories) because that was what I needed the most. I learned that the feel of the fabric against my skin was the most important factor in determining whether a garment would be a success for me or not. Unfortunately, I continued to resist climate considerations and bought for my least dominant season.
In years four and five, I increased my clothing budget. This allowed me a certain freedom to buy quality over quantity. It also made me much more judicious when deciding upon what pieces to add to my wardrobe. I continued to work within the capsule theory. I continued to work on my casual capsule and added to my work capsule. I accepted the fact that my wardrobe will never be "done." It will be a work in progress. It will also be a reflection of my personality and the place I am in life at this moment. My wardrobe is a visual statement about my life. One I am proud to share with the people in my life. This was very freeing. It gave me permission to experiment and to graciously accept the mistakes I made along the way.
For the first time ever, I concluded that accessories were important and I began "finishing" the capsules by adding in defined "accessory complements." I have come to adore accessory complements.
In year five, I transitioned from shopping all the time to seasonal shops. I shopped in March/April; June/July; and October/November. I see the power in this mode of shopping. I am not perfect at it. In fact, I feel there is a lot I can continue to learn, but the logic is there and I have embraced that logic. In fact, it is actually cheaper to shop seasonally and have a wardrobe that meets your needs than to buy whimsically and impulsively throughout the year and have a wardrobe that is gorgeous but doesn't allow you to get dressed in the morning (pre-YLF days).
In year five, I finally accepted that Summer is my dominant season. My wardrobe seriously lacked summer clothing that I wanted to wear. The June/July shopping event was a flurry of panic activity to try and remedy that situation. By that I mean there was nothing close to a plan in place. The capsule strategy was the only thing that stood between me and my pre-YLF days.
Going forward, I recognize the importance of plan -- regardless of whether I am shopping seasonally or year round. In my case, I have to actually write that plan out so that I can read it and remind myself throughout the year. My memory is short and my mind can be very seductive when it sees something pretty in the store.
I am going to find some of Angie's posts regarding her planning process and use them as a template for 2018.