There wasn't really much going on fashion-wise for me in 2021, but it has been a year that will have a significant impact on my style in 2022.

Spring 2021 found me woefully out of shape and at my highest weight ever, with the bulk of the weight in what is usually considered the least healthy place -- around my midsection.

When things finally opened up a bit, I signed up for a "re-entry" type class at my gym, desperate for to start changing my health trajectory. Although the class didn't turn out quite as expected, the circumstances around it led to a dramatic shift in my eating habits, which in turn has led to a loss of 40 pounds of body fat (so far). While I still have some fat to lose and muscle to build, my visceral fat has now at least reduced to a healthier level, for which I am extremely thankful.

Although this significant weight change has left me in an awkward place when it comes fo my wardrobe, the pandemic has provided its one small silver lining in the form of seriously reducing the need or occasion to venture out in public. (Nothing to wear AND nowhere to to -- talk about a mixed blessing!)

Over the past several months I have mostly gotten by with wearing old pieces that have fit again as my weight dropped, or that just fit differently. I had a bit of a buying frenzy as I prepared for the events around my nephew's wedding this fall, but sober second and third thoughts resulted in most of it going back! In fact, I returned a couple more pieces just the other day after realizing I'm probably not going to wear them.

Although I think I "didn't buy much" in 2021, I was surprised when I reflected back on what I actually purchased:

  • 3 long sleeve t-shirts/lightweight sweatshirts to get me through warm fall. I had sleeveless summer tops and heavy winter sweaters, but noticed a definite gap when it came to transitional tops. A cheery graphic tee and pink sweatshirt saw quite a bit of use, but the simple grey heathered top has been a bit neglected. I think it will get use with jeans as spring approaches.

  • 2 sweaters. The solid cream got quite a bit of use, but it took me until very late fall to commit to the striped one. (Fall was warm, so there just didn't seem to be an occasion for it). Now that I've taken the tags off it, I've worn it a few times and gotten at least one nice comment on it.
  • 1 grey velvet topper - worn once (for my nephew's wedding). I was going to pair it with jeans for a holiday lunch, but the event was cancelled. I might get a chance to wear it before the end of the year.
  • 1 lightweight olive green trucker jacket. Worn a couple of times, but the jury is out. The weight is perfect, but I have felt sloppy both times I've work it. Probably because I envisioned it as having a somewhat dressier supporting act (ie I thought I'd wear it for work with a matching green turtleneck and skirt or fluid pant. There's been no occasion for this look. The matching turtleneck is one of the pieces that went back.)
  • 2 skirts. I wore the oatmeal midi tube skirt to one of the pre-wedding events with the cream sweater and felt good about the look. The black knit trumpet skirt still hasn't been worn. I'm hanging on so far because it was inexpensiveI, could be useful for specific circumstances, and I THINK It will still fit even after losing a few more pounds. It can still be returned if it turns out it is going to be too big.
  • 2 pants. Very lightweight camo joggers were a bit of a novelty item that got a bit of use in our warm fall. I enjoyed wearing them around home with Birks quite a bit, but was never entirely happy with how I felt wearing them out in the world. I think I needed a dfferent supporting act. Will see what happens in the spring. I finally gave in and added a pair of very inexpensive jeans later in the fall. These have already gotten quite a bit of wear, and will probably serve me reasonably well until spring at least.
  • Um, four puffers (five actually, but I haven't committed to one of them). I got through the past several winters with ONE plain black puffer. This year, I added four new puffers in a variety of weights and lengths. I figure even if something is a bit big on menext winter, I can always use room for layering. I bought on sale with an eye to making sure I have a variety of needs covered:
    • A long, warm puffer for winter walks around the neighbourhood and for general use any time the temps demand extra warmth (burgundy)
    • A shorter warm warm puffer (olive) - general use, grocery shopping etc on average cold days
    • A lighter weight cream puffer -- for warmer days, dressier outings. Will serve me well in spring, too
    • A lighter weight black puffer - for slightly warmer days, dressier outings. Will serve me well in spring, too.
    • A very light packable puffer I thought I could layer under my walking coat for extra warmth is still under consideration.
  • Four pairs of shoes. I really hadn't bought shoes since my foot issues escalated four or five years ago. Tired of living in my Blundstones and Merrell hiking shoes, I decided it was time to take some risks in hope of finding some more fashionable flat footwear.

    I lemminged LIsaP on a pair of cognac Olukai sneakers and also added a pair of bronze Ecco Soft 7s, a black patent Clark's loafer that served as my "dressy" shoe for the wedding, and a pair of burgundy Ecco oxfords.

    The loafers and oxfords have been worn once each. Both would be good "office" shoes, but there's no return on the immediate horizon, and I have no desire to wear them at home. Still, I remain confident they WILL both have a role to play in my future wardrobe.

  • Two cheap, cheerful, and somewhat cheeky winter hats -- mostly to wear on walks around our suburban neighbourhood.
  • One orange scarf to wear with my burgundy puffer. Plus assorted socks and undies.

Close but no cigar...
I have been trying to find at least one new pair of winter boots, but after several orders and returns I am giving it a bit of a rest. I can function with what I have, so will try to be PPP.

Shifting thoughts to the year ahead...
WFH is going to continue until at least March, and don't have many real "getting dressed" occasions ahead of me this winter, so it should be easy enough to get by with what I have until spring.

At least I have a few new outerwear options to entertain myself with, and let's face it, outerwear is all anybody's really going to see of me for the next few months anyway!

I'm not losing weight as rapidly now as I was in the beginning, so it's hard to project where I will be this spring in terms of fit. I'm trying not to fuss too much about the slowdown and focus instead on maintaining the health gains I've made by staying mindful of my eating patterns and doing what I can to build -- or at least not lose - muscle over the longest, coldest months ahead.

Regardless of where I am in the body recomposition journey come spring, I do know that by then I really will have to start some serious wardrobe rebuilding -- although for what activities and lifestyle is still a bit unclear!

I've added finds for what I could. My wardrobe (such as it is) a bit of a disjointed mix right now, but I'm hopeful that 2022 will help to connect the dots and allow me to truly move away from the pieces that no longer fit or serve my purposes.

More on 2022 goals in a future post.

Thanks to Angie and all on the forum who have taken the time in the past several months to offer suggestions, advice and kind words to my posts! I learn so much from all of you.