Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013


I meant to do a wrap up last year but was too lazy and never got around to it, this year how, I endeavored to do better!  Looking back I see a lot of progress in how I put outfits to together, in figuring out my personal style and how to fix my closet. And I do mean it, that disaster did me no favors.  I've made it a goal for 2014 to really pare down my closet, figure out the holes and also, to not buy as much stuff.  A big   closet do not mean better style, it just means more stuff and Id like to get to the place where I have a sharp, cohesive closet that's smaller.

All of that said, I thought Id do a round up.  I totally stole this from Franish(who you should totally read and I mean now) but as I've been going through a similar thing with my closet and style, I felt like this would be a good way to sum up the year for me.  Above are my favorite outfits for the year.  They were fairly simple, mostly neural colors but all were looks that I really enjoyed wearing and felt good in.

 Ugh, the worst outfits.  I feel like this would be most of the first half of the year but rather than put together a huge collection of pictures that would crash out everyone's computers, I just choose these three.  I feel like they sum up the biggest mistakes i've made with y closet and getting dressed in general.  First off, WHOA on the patterns!  I kept trying to do too much at once and since then I've tried to wear simpler outfits.  The last picture illustrates something I've been trying to work on, fit.  This just looks so sloppy to me now, the fit on the jacket is so off and then the tights, the shoes, the scarf and hat, it's just a big, steaming pile of noooo.   The lessons I've learned this year is to focus on fit, pare down an outfit and don't pile on the colors and patterns.  Less is more in my case.

Since working on building my closet out of the disaster it was, I've tried to be better about saving up for items I really, really love.  I stopped say "that's out of my price range" when really what I'm saying is "I don't want to save up for it."  I don't have $500 dollar to drop on boots at any point in time but by backing off shopping and just giving myself a few dollars to spend at the thrift store and staying away from shopping in general, I was able to save up for the Rag & Bone Harrow boots that I'd wanted for so long.  (I also shopped smart and was patient, I waited until a pair popped up on ebay that was in a price range I felt good about.)   I haven't worn the boots as much this winter because I'm worried about wreaking but I did wear them a ton during the fall.  The Rag & Bone leather pants were the same, I really wanted a pair of leather pants, I saved up and I got these for about 1/5th of the retail price by waiting for them to show up on ebay.  I freaking love these pants and they've been one of my favorite purchases.  The Seychelles boots however were the first time I really focused on starting to spend my money of better fitting, better quality items.  I'd worn out my cheap black ankle boots and was look around for a replacement pair.  These boots really stood out to me and I waited for a while, not wanting to spend that much on them.  Eventually I started saving for them and when they went on sale, I got them and I have been so happy with these boots.  I really like the Seychelles brand, their shoes fit my wide feet and they're just about the most comfortable shoes I've found in a long time.  I've worn these boots everywhere and they only have a tiny bit of wear.

 Not every purchase that I've bought and loved has been an expensive one though and I think that's really important.  You don't have to spend tons of money to have clothes you love, you just have to really like it.  This American Eagle Outfitters jacket was an impulse buy for me but it has gotten so much wear, it's been very versatile and really fits in with my style.  It was $35 when I bought it and it's really held up well.  The Old Navy Parka is amazing!  Id originally bought a similar parka at Old Navy but the fit was awful and it really wasn't quite what I want but I bought it anyways.  This parka is the replacement for it and while I had thought about not buying it because it seemed at the time terrible to admit to such a buying mistake in the first place, I'm really happy I did.  It's taken me a while to learn the lesson it taught me, wait for what you REALLY want and don't settle, but I think I'm finally getting it.  This purse was a cheap thrift store buy but it has been such a constant in my outfits, it would be awful not to include it.
I forgot to mention my lovely Jones Jeans Wool coat, I bought it recently but it's been in almost all of my outfits lately.  I love the longer style and the fit and it's caused me to really focus on where I want my style to be.
 Okay, I just really love this purse.  so much that it needed it's own set of photos.  I think it's a good case for waiting until you find exactly what you want, regardless of the price.  I'd really been wanting a tapestry, woven bag but the only one I'd found was a Free People purse.  The FP one was nice but it wasn't really what I wanted and it was crazy expensive, $249 on sale and I just couldn't bring myself to start saving for it.  I'm glad I didn't because I found this American Eagle Outfitters bag for $24 and it's just about perfect.  I don't usually like to buy cheap bags because they fall apart most of the time but this one is so nicely made and the woven material is really beautifully done.  Lesson here, expensive isn't always better.

The least favorite purchases.  Again, there was a lot of these at the begging of the year and even later on.  They were cheap buys that were versions of what I wanted but weren't quite right.  The fit on this parka, as mentioned above, was AWFUL and it just looked sloppy.  These AE jegging actually were really cute but aside from the one way I could think of to wear them, I was lost.  Maybe if I was a more creative stylist I could have made them work but for me, they just didn't.  This vest was actually a replacement for a vest I'd thrifted the year before that didn't work but because I didn't sit down and figure out exactly what I wanted in a denim vest, I bought this one.  It's not bad, it's just not right for me.  I don't really like the pale color,the fit or the length and after wearing it twice, I donated it.


I will say that one place I felt strong in this year was accepting c/o's.   As in, I really didn't.  I think it can be a dangerous thing to one's style and closet to endlessly accept clothing from retailers and I've been very careful about this.  To date I've accepted clothing only fro H&M, a few things that they sent me and a few things that I bought with a gift card that they provided for me.  The things that were sent to me were all garments I liked and were pretty true to my own style but I don't want to do a lot of blindly accepting stuff.  With the gift card I applied my own shopping method of picking buying quality over quantity, "spending" a little more for fewer items that I loved.  All of the items have been pretty constant in my wardrobe and I feel pretty good about that.  I don't mind accepting c/o's, I just don't want to do very much of it. (And I will say that H&M was awesome to work with.  they made it a real pleasure and I have nothing but good things to say about them.)


For 2014 I really want to figure out what I need in my closet and more important, what I need out.  I've been working on cleaning it out for the past 6 months and while its better, its nowhere near where I want it to be.  A large part of figuring out what items I will put into this year is figuring out what I want in fit and style of a garment and more importantly, versatility.  you know that whole thing, think of three ways to wear something before you buy it?  Huge failure on my part here.  I'll see something, think of one great way to wear it and then....that's it.   These past few months I've been better and have passed on quite a few items I like and that were pretty but didn't into my closet or hit the "three ways to wear rule.

So how about you guys?  I just really like talking about this closet thing and I like seeing the change that's happening with fashion/style bloggers lately.  A lot of people are starting to talk less about what they want to buy and more of what they want to throw out and I think that's kinda awesome.  It's easy both in real life and in blogging to see something other people wear, want it, buy it and then realize it's not something you really want. (Herd mentality?)   I really don't want to be such a consumer this year, I want to save my money, buy maybe a few things I love and then, novel concept here, remix them.   I'm excited about this and making more progress in 2014.

3 comments:

  1. Trial and error is definitely a great way to figure out where your style is going, especially since it's a constant evolution, and what you may wear now may not be what you would want to wear 5 years from now. I think it's awesome that you used a post like this constructively, and are rethinking your spending strategies. It's actually a great inspiration to me, considering I feel like I am a bit dead in the style water (har).

    Did you hear of that website, Swapdom? I think it's a great idea since exchanging clothes can feel pretty rewarding. I'm going to go through my closet and pick out some things to put on there. I am past due to empty out some things that I haven't worn in the past few months.

    Thank you for sharing your amazing style with us! I can't wait to see how it evolves over the next year. :) Happy new year, Katie!

    -Danielle

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  2. I really appreciate how reflective this post was. I'm getting pretty sick of recap posts that are just like, "Here are 20 outfits I wore in 2013! Tiny pictures! Somehow this is worth posting!"

    Lately I've been thinking a lot more about what I want my closet to look like and what I want it to do for me. I don't have any conclusions yet, but it definitely helps to read about other people's thought processes.

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  3. I really loved this recap and how you included outfits you didn't like very much too. I always think you look cute though! That's awesome that you got to work with H&M. I love that store. I feel like I'd only accept c/o items if I got to pick them out specifically if you know what I mean. I want to choose so it'll fit within my wardrobe and actually get some use.

    But anyway. I hope you have an awesome new year!

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I always like hearing feeback! (It really makes my day!)