Hi all,

Lisa's post yesterday got me thinking about my wardrobe and my style and my thoughts about dressing. And my thoughts about dressing are inextricably linked to my thoughts about life in general.

Since just before the US election, I've done much less work travel: fewer projects overall and more web-based research projects, which has meant more working from home. That and the general political climate has pulled me away from fashion and, frankly, been a general downer. Also, I stopped doing barre and became more active in yoga, which addressed stress issues but also brought my energy level down. It's interesting to think about how this all intersects. What this meant for fashion is, really, that I haven't cared much about it for the last 5-6 months. I've made many fewer purchases and haven't been as excited about dressing. Also, my body isn't as tight and firm as it used to be (although most items still fit.)

I need to make several changes because I want more spring back -- in my step, and in my life. I have restarted at barre for the challenge (and will continue at yoga for the de-stressor). I'm tackling a bad habit a month (all related to work-at-home: streaming video, sugar, etc.) and trying to encourage the good ones (creativity, running). And I also want to address my style. But baby steps.

When I think about my "smartest" purchases from the fall/winter, these come to mind, because I have worn them frequently and happily:
- Paul Green cigar-colored suede booties
- Zara green bomber
- Emerson Fry charcoal wool long peacoat
- JCrew cashmere long sleeve tees (charcoal, wine)
- JCrew caramel crossbody bag

My "mistake" purchase, I think, was the long plaid fringed vest from NAS, which I wore once. Or - perhaps it was not a mistake, but victim to the emotional turmoil of the season. I'm not sure.

What's interesting to me is my reliance on modern classics. When I joined YLF I lamented my dependence on JCrew, but the fact is, I love classic American sportswear, and I have come to accept that. YLF has encouraged me to indulge my love of other eras, so my wardrobe now reflects items reminiscent of the 60s and 70s as well as current fashions, but the shapes are classic. When you look at the pieces that I have relied on this winter, you can see what I mean. I've always wanted to be a little different, a little edgy or something, but the fact is I'm not. People comment on my style, but that's only because I live in an area where a lot of women live in fleece, gear, and Loft. I may seem "fashiony" to my friends but I'm pretty classic in my tastes. I think I just spend more than they do, and I tend to put unique outfits together more than they do (that is, not just what's on a mannequin in the store). Anyway ....

An interesting development this past year - and quite opposite of many YLFers, I think - is that I have discovered dresses. I may have had one or two in my closet a year or two ago. Now I have at least 10, again reflecting classic silhouettes from American sportswear of several eras. But, am I wearing them, or just collecting them?

When I look ahead, I think I need to do the following:

Scour my closet. Identify the wild cards (like the vest) that are worth keeping and make an effort to wear them. Pass on the rest.
Stop buying dresses. Wear what I have, or pass them on. (Do I keep the DVF wrap dress that I haven't worn in 2 years? Or pass it on?)
Edit footwear. I needed more shoes, and I have purchased them in the past two years! But I am tough on shoes. I need to see which ones need to go, and pass them on / toss them.
Continue to purchase carefully. I have a good-sized wardrobe now, and I like its size. It's not minimal but it's not overwhelming. I need to manage it so it doesn't get out of control, and weed out the not-worn.
Focus on outfits that feel most like me. Get dressed each day, really dressed, and dress like me.

This will likely mean: American sportswear classics, black/white/ink/bright red, shirt dresses, florals/feminine/heels to dress up, jeans/blazers/loafers for masculine edge, structured handbags. I'd like to use jewelry as a place to infuse some creativity, because it is the one place I am really drawn to one-of-a-kind.

I'm not sure what this means for my descriptors/moniker, but it does feel like it needs to evolve a bit. Any thoughts?

Thanks for letting me process publicly. Any reactions, thoughts, etc. are welcome, as always.