I’m not a huge numbers person so no counts of purchases or anything like that. But seeing so many year-end posts has me reflecting a little bit, when I have some mental bandwidth (a little sparse at the moment, with lots of other things going on).

Last year I think I bought fewer items, and mostly was wiser with my purchases. I returned a lot, even stuff I thought was a keeper at first or things that got positive forum feedback. I just have a lot in my wardrobe, and if I don’t cut the tags and wear when weather allows, it’s usually a sign that the item won’t get the love it deserves. I want to continue to reduce closet clutter. At the same time I want to edit mindfully. All a balancing act.

Stylewise, nothing drastic, but there’s a subtle shift happening. This year I will turn 58. No getting around the fact that I’m pushing 60 and look it. This doesn’t really affect my style choices because I already don’t gravitate to young, terribly trendy, bare or bodycon styles, but it’s something I’m grappling with in the realm of appearance. I try to take care of myself — body, skin, hair, etc — but there’s only so much one can do. It’s a privilege to age — I’ve had friends who never got that privilege, so I’m trying to embrace the wrinkles and age spots.

The shift is mostly me gravitating towards more ease and “chill” in my outfits. I don’t want to be sloppy or overly casual when I leave the house — it’s just not in my DNA — but comfort is more important than ever, and so is the notion of being put-together without being too precious about it. I’m feeling a little less matchy-matchy these days.

I’m continuing to stay interested in what the trends are, and to continue tweaking what I wear to stay current. But I am more concerned with evolving my own style. Some things remain constant — my preference for certain silhouettes, my prevailing color palette, etc. I am trying to not add much more black, and am instead attempting to add a bit more white/cream. Not always easy for me, since I seem to be spill- and stain-prone, but I’m trying!

My footwear collection is smaller than it’s been in a long time. My husband has more space for shoes in the closet! Haha! But again, comfort is king, and my feet are not as forgiving as they used to be. I’ve also edited out a lot of bags from my collection, and may get rid of more. The Bao Bao has kind of become my “one bag to rule them all” to my surprise. I still use others but the BB has set the bar high for any other bag purchases. It’s a signature style piece — I get compliments on it all the time, and it just feels like me. I want to continue to hone my other wardrobe categories that way — finding the styles that feel and look great, and making them signatures so I don’t feel like I’m 1) flailing around and scattered when I go to get dressed, with too many or too few options, and 2) dressing as someone I’m not, whether it be too conservative or too trendy.

I’m also reaffirming my dedication to bossing my clothes around. I’ve gotten a new lease on life for some tops by simply having them shortened (too many old tops that I still love are too tunic-y for newer pant silhouettes). Adding shoulder pads to jackets, taking out redundant drawstrings or sleeve loops, etc. Getting waists taken in and hems altered when needed… all of these things help me use and enjoy my existing wardrobe pieces rather than tossing them for small shortcomings.

What I’m not buying this year: more dressy items and occasion wear. I have enough and not enough occasions to wear it all. Smack my hand if I try to buy anything else dressy.

A few MVP purchases of the year:

- New purchases of less than a month ago but already earning their keep, the Sanctuary cargo pants and the parachute pants (Find is Zara, but the actual ones I kept are another brand with slightly less volume all around and a more fitted waist and hip). I like the parachute pants so much I got them in grey and olive. I wore the olive ones yesterday and my husband said “I love those pants on you, you look so cute!” The black slim cargos have a similar easy vibe and like the parachute pants, are easy to layer over a Heattech layer for cold weather. These are terrific alternatives to jeans for me — still casual and comfortable but with a bit of updated style and a degree of chill.

- A couple of roomy jackets. Slightly oversized and with an interesting detail or texture — one black and subtly coated for a little shiny interest, and a back strap detail, the other cream corduroy with a distressed hem. Updated and a bit trendy but also really useful for layering and they feel like me. They help dress down something a little dressy like a nice blouse, which helps me use those dressier items in a way that doesn’t feel so precious.

- Easy but interesting summer top in washable silk, sleeveless but with a great pattern. Works layered or alone. This kind of top gets me through the summer, my least favorite dressing season.

- Zero + Maria Cornejo dress. I don’t care what I paid for this dress, it was worth it. Breezy, flattering, enough of the right kind of coverage… I would duplicate in another pattern or solid if they make one that works for me. This is my ideal casual summer dressing and set a new bar for dresses for me.

- Nili Lotan jeans. I balked at the price but I love them and have worn them a lot already. The leg is just wide enough but not too wide, the fit in the waist and hip is great (had to get the waist taken in but now perfect).

- Fisherman platform sandals and Sorel sandals. Updated summer footwear is important for me because my summer dressing tends to be rather timeless and not trendy. These shoes were so useful! Comfortable and on-trend. I hope they are still current this year because I don’t want to let them go.

- Sorel hikers. Seriously warm and dry and comfortable but also kind of sporty-cute. They even got me through a 2.5-hour walking tour in Quebec City in 15 degree weather through snow and slush and salt, and came out of it all looking like new.

For 2023, my intentions are to continue buying more wisely (and less frequently), remixing things I love, wearing and enjoying my clothes. I want to continue to balance refined and relaxed with a bit of edge and personality. I want to gently nudge my color palette a little to include the occasional venture into colors I love that perhaps aren’t my most flattering — just a smidge here and there. I also want to continue to slowly, gently, shrink my wardrobe a bit — to edit out things that are just ok, and to give my items more breathing room. Simplify!

Whew! That’s a lot of text. Sorry for the novella. Just getting it all out there. Happy new year!