Hi everyone,

I've really missed the forum over the last year and have enjoying hopping in and lurking around when I have the chance. For various reasons, the last year has been a bit of a toughie - I've had little time or energy to invest outside of my work and family commitments. Style concerns have definitely fallen to the back-burner. However, this has also given me a great opportunity to understand what is absolutely essential to me ... what are the things I (tried to) find time and energy for, even when there is no time and energy to spare?

For me, this list is short and has included:

  • classic polished casual pieces, in neutral or muted tones - thus proving my style descriptors are still good for me. My plain old well-fitting jeans and merino sweaters or good quality t-shirts have served me well and kept me feeling together, at least on the outside!
  • polished hair, nails and makeup. I cut my hair to about shoulder-length so that I could keep it looking not-too-bad even with little time, and found a not-too-bright but not-too-neutral lipstick that I can throw on without thinking and feel a little bit polished in a pinch (normally I have several colors on the go, although they are usually all fairly similar). My nails are a disaster but I am trying to get them back in shape. I have basically skipped color altogether and wear them either plain or nude.
And that's it! Color, trends, different silhouettes, dressier and more casual options, variety, scarves, much accessorizing beyond my everyday pieces, changing up shoes or purses - all these are decidedly by the wayside at the moment.

What are your absolute style essentials? If you could only focus on one element of your style, what would it be?