What I Wore in May 2014 and My Style Reflections

Today’s post is a continuation of my “May 2014 Accountability Update.”  Since I had so many realizations, insights, and tips to share in my last post, it ran very long.  Thus, I decided to split the post into two parts.  In this second part, I share what I wore last month, my favorite and less favorite outfits, some style reflections, and the changes I’ve made to my shopping priorities list.

I hope you find my ponderings on these topics interesting and that my process inspires you to delve deeper in your own style journey.  I sometimes hesitate to post my outfit photos, as I don’t want to open myself up to criticism, especially since this isn’t really a style blog per se.  I firmly believe that there is no one right way to dress.  Sure, some people dress better than others, and there are objectively more flattering ways to dress for certain body types. But in the end, what matters most is that we are each happy with our personal style.

Outfits and style reflections

Do you take the time to ponder your personal style?

Why Clothes Matter

Our clothes are one of the ways in which we present ourselves to the world and can also be a means of expressing creativity.   While some people will say, “they are just clothes,” clearly many of us do not ascribe to such a belief.  The reason many of us struggle so much with shopping and our wardrobes is that clothes do matter to us.  We want to look attractive, put together visually appealing ensembles, and feel good about our appearance for the various events of our lives.  In fact, I believe it’s important for us to like how we look even when no one will see us besides ourselves and maybe our pets.  I know I have a much better outlook on my day when I feel I’m well-groomed and dressed in colors and styles that make me smile.

The Value of Documenting Your Style Journey

With all that said, I have decided to share a portion style journey with all of you today.  Hopefully this departure from my standard type of posts will be interesting and educational.  I try to capture photos of my outfits to the best of my ability.  The photos are not professional quality and I definitely don’t possess “mad modeling skills.”  In fact, posing is not my forte at all, but I do my best to smile and at least look somewhat relaxed and happy.  Some of the outfits are “winners” and some are more firmly in the “loser” camp, but I will present both groups and examine why some ensembles delighted me and others fell flat.

If you’re in the midst of a style transformation journey like I am, I encourage you to take photos of your outfits, preferably when they’re on you (although “flat photos” can work, too), and make notes about what did and didn’t work and why. No one need see your photos and notes but you, but if you’d like to share your insights with this community, feel free to do so in the comments section of any of my posts.  We can definitely learn from each other’s journeys, so I encourage sharing as much as possible.

The Type of Feedback I’m Looking For

I’m not posting this outfit and style reflection in order to receive “constructive criticism” about my outfits, especially the ones that I count among my favorites.  After years of listening to other people’s voices instead of my own, I’m working to tune in to my own inner style muse once again.  Style is a very subjective thing and there will never be complete consensus about what looks good and what needs improvement.  If you’ve ever watched or read the recaps of major award shows, you’ve seen this first-hand. What’s on one “expert’s” best list is invariably on another’s worst list; even the most informed voices are not in harmony when it comes to style.

I welcome your opinions on my musings, but if you offer feedback to me, please try to gear it toward what you’ve learned about me, my life, and my preferences, rather than on your personal preferences and what’s currently “in.”  For example, I recently mentioned that I’m looking to dress more “edgy,” so if you have input on how I might achieve that without going on a shopping “binge,” that would be useful information for me.

We’ve all shopped with friends who have pushed us to buy what they like.  While that sometimes results in our purchasing looks that refresh our style and make us happy, more often than not, the end product is clothing that hangs in our closets unworn. We all need to define and follow our own style muses, and the style statement we wish to present will evolve over time.  I’m sure you’ve looked at old photos of yourself and cringed at what you were wearing, but you may have dearly loved the way you looked at the time.  I know that’s true for me!  The good news is that change can be exciting and once we have a firm handle on our desired sense of style, we can shop smarter, buy fewer items, and love more and more of what we own.  That’s an end goal we can all embrace!

What I Wore in May 2014 – By the Numbers

Okay, enough introduction… Now on to what I wore during May 2014.  For the past year-plus, I’ve kept track of everything I’ve worn each month in terms of clothing and shoes.  I may start tracking accessory wears, too (I did that during my first round of Project 333), but I was already sufficiently overwhelmed by the sheer volume of my closet contents when I started this endeavor.  While I’ve decided not to continuously follow Project 333 as an ongoing way of life, I do want to move more toward a minimalist wardrobe strategy.  Tracking what I wear and what I do and don’t like is a good step in that direction.

During May 2014, I wore 54 items of clothing and 10 pairs of shoes.  Yes, that’s a high number, particularly in terms of clothes, but I was purposely wearing more pieces in order to evaluate them.  I still feel that I have too many clothes and I know that much of what I have aren’t “8”s or higher.  Pushing myself to wear questionable items helps me to evaluate them.  Just seeing garments on a hanger or shoes on a shoe rack can tell us if we like their general aesthetic, but won’t clue us in as to whether or not we like these pieces on our bodies.  We have to take things for a “test drive” in order to make an informed assessment as to their value in our lives.

Here’s a photo of the 64 items I wore last month (click for a larger view):

Items Worn - May 2014

These are the 64 items that I wore during May 2014.

How Do These Pieces Fit Together?

I know the images are small, but you may notice a “disjointedness” about my pieces. Part of that lack of cohesion is due to the seasonal changeover, as well as the fact that my trip to Tahoe necessitated my wearing more cold weather items.  There are also a few random colors thrown in that aren’t part of my evolving color palette, such as the coral blazer and top and the leopard print dress.  While I likely won’t purchase any additional pieces in these tones, I opt to keep items around as long as I still like them and feel good with them on.  The remainder of the items I wore last month fall into my desired color scheme of black, blue, red, burgundy, purple, green, and grey.  As I’ve mentioned previously, I also hope to add more white to the mix in order to lighten things up a bit.

My lounge and workout wear is not included in the photo, but some of my recently downgraded tops are pictured, as well as some tops that I wear around the house and for walks or going to the gym.  Since last fall, I’ve been wearing more “regular” clothes at home and I’ve enjoyed doing so.  That said, I sometimes still wear “lounge wear” when I’m working from home. It all depends upon my mood, how I feel, and what clothes “call” me on any given day.

I hope to wear fewer pieces overall during June and have more repeat wears.  In May, there were only seven items of clothing and four pairs of shoes that I wore more than once.  Eventually, I’d like to be re-wearing at least half (or more) of my items during a given month.  I believe that will happen more and more as I pare things down to only those garments and shoes I truly love.

Favorite Outfits

I was happy with the vast majority of the outfits I wore last month.  I liked virtually all of the ensembles I wore during my Tahoe trip mid-month (scroll down in the post to see my outfit photos).  Many of those looks were quite simple, but had enough interesting details so that I felt happy and true to myself in what I was wearing.  In addition, I also felt good about most of the looks I wore back home in San Diego.  Besides my travel outfits, the eight outfits below were among my favorites.

May 2014 Favorites Outfits 1-4 May 2014 Favorites Outfits 5-8

Why Did I Like These Outfits?

In the past, I’d look at my outfit photos and get a visceral reaction as to whether or not I liked what I was seeing. But I never really took the time to investigate why I either liked an ensemble or felt it missed the mark.  As I believe in the tremendous value of introspection, I decided to write about my reasons for either liking or disliking particular looks.

Here’s why I liked the outfits pictured above.  I’m listing overall impressions rather than look-by-look analyses.  I will delve deeper with the less favored outfits, as I’d really like to understand why things didn’t work so I can avoid future mistakes.

  • My tanks and tops are all fitted and include some type of interesting details, such as pattern or subtle ruffles and/or embellishment.
  • My skirts are all moderately loose, hit about knee length, and have some sort of special pattern or detailing (however, I do wish a few of the skirts were a bit shorter and will keep that in mind for future purchases in this category).
  • My shoes are all comfortable but stylish and don’t look “heavy” on my feet.  I like metallic shoes and feel they look good against the pale tone of my skin.
  • The jewelry is mostly silver-toned and of moderate size.  I like my jewelry to be eye-catching but not over-powering.
  • The pants/jeans are straight-legged and are fitted but not overly tight.  At this point, all of my pants are dark colors, but I hope to add a pair or two of lighter colored pants into the mix at some point.
  • I feel like “me” in all of these outfits. They are all fairly casual in keeping with where I live and my lifestyle, but I still feel put together and like there is something interesting in all of the looks.

A Few Less Favored Looks

Now for a few looks that I didn’t like so much and why… The photo below shows four outfits that I wasn’t entirely happy with, both while I was wearing them and in retrospect.

May 2014 - Less Favored Outfits

From left to right, here are my reasons for feeling less than stellar about the ensembles in question.

  1. While I love the tank and the shoes in this outfit, I don’t like the fit of the jeans.  They tend to look wrinkled and baggy in the knees and thighs.  They are comfortable, I like the color of the wash, and they are the right length to wear with many of my shoes, but I’m not happy with how they look.  Also, I’ve grown bored of the open cardigan “uniform” that was one of my standbys of the past few years.  I now prefer either a shorter and more fitted topper or a longer, more tailored coat like what’s pictured in my travel debrief post.
  2. I like this look more than the previous one, as the jeans are definitely a better fit (the legs looked smoother in person than in the photo).  However, I just don’t love the open cardigan look anymore.  I like it once in a while and with some outfits, but these first two looks just kind of fell flat in my opinion.  I love the colors in this outfit, but the silhouette is not as much to my liking.
  3. I like the top half of this outfit, but the bottom half is not so great.  I like the color of the top and the ruched sleeves are the type of special detail I enjoy.  However, the pants are too baggy and the shoes are worn out and need to be replaced.  I’ve been looking for a new pair of peep-toe metallic flats/low heels, but haven’t had any luck as of yet.  Once I can find better pants and shoes, I think I’ll like wearing this type of outfit for casual days out and about.
  4. This was the least favorite of my Tahoe trip outfits.  I like the black and I like the scarf, but the overall look seems too boring and somber to me.  Perhaps I would have preferred having a bit more color in the mix, which I could have added by means of the top, scarf, or accessories. When I wore my cobalt coat with the outfit when outdoors, I felt a lot better about the way I looked.  I think I need some “brightness” in my outfits to feel more true to my sense of style.

Style Reflections and Shopping Priorities

I’m definitely changing rapidly in terms of my preferred style statement.  I’m moving more toward fitted silhouettes, special details, and a narrower color palette.  Concurrently, I’m moving away from looser garments and my previously loved open cardigan “uniform.”  In terms of jewelry, I now enjoy wearing larger pieces than the ones I used to embrace.  With shoes, I prefer to wear at least a bit of a heel, although I still love the black AGL flats that I bought late last year.

My changing style preferences have caused me to modify my shopping priorities list a bit.  I’ve also been going through my summer clothing and finding that some of the pieces I enjoyed wearing last year no longer hold my favor.  In particular, I’m not happy with the poor quality and fit of some of my toppers.   Since I run cold and it doesn’t get all that hot where I live, I pretty much need to have either a jacket or a cardigan on hand for all of my summer outfits.  So new summer toppers have moved up in priority for my future shopping.  In addition, I’d love to find a few shorter toppers for my pants ensembles, although that’s a lower priority since I’ll mostly be wearing skirts and dresses in the coming months.

My Revised Shopping List

Below is my revised shopping priorities list.  Note that there are more items listed than I have spaces for in my item limit for the year.   That’s because it’s likely I won’t be able to find some of the items in question due to current trends and availability.  I may have to wait until next year to purchase some of my priority pieces. While I’m not necessarily happy about that possibility, I’d rather be patient (remember the triple “P” purchasing principle…) and find things that will truly work for me rather than settling for lesser versions.

In order to adhere to my 38-item limit for 2014, I may purchase no more than 17 additional items this year.  Ideally, these 17 items will come from the list of priorities below, but I may end buying one or two “inspired pieces” along the way.  In terms of the code used below, “R” refers to closet replacements, “M” denotes missing links in my wardrobe, and “S” points to items that I feel will help to evolve my style.

Tops and Toppers:

  • Denim jacket (R) – medium blue, fitted style, not boxy
  • Grey short jacket (R)  – knit or woven, casual style, fitted
  • White short jacket (S) – knit or woven, casual style, fitted
  • Another moto-style jacket (S) – in one of my key neutrals or in a jewel tone
  • White or grey tank/top to wear with skirts (R) – special style, perhaps embellished
  • Short, tie-waist cardigan to wear with skirts and dresses (M) – white, blue, or grey
  • Lightweight, bright jacket to wear with pants (S) – anorak or trench style, somewhat fitted
  • Special tops in white, cobalt, red, and grey (R/M) – standalone pieces, modern styles
  • Hound’s-tooth or black/white geometric print top or topper (S)
  • Black/white stripe short-sleeved top (R) – higher quality to replace current two tops

Bottoms and Dresses:

  • Black maxi-dress or maxi-skirt (S)
  • Black straight-leg jeans (R)
  • Summer casual pants (M) – preferably in black, grey, or cobalt
  • Light colored pants (S) – perhaps white jeans
  • Denim skirt (R)
  • Bright skirt (M) – preferably cobalt blue

Shoes / Accessories:

  • Black peep-toe low wedge heels (R) – current shoes are not very comfortable
  • Metallic peep-toe low wedge heels (R) – current shoes are very worn out and need to be replaced!
  • Multi-color low wedges or peep-toes (M)
  • Nude/tan sandals (R) – modern, strappy, comfortable
  • Bright  (preferably cobalt or green) or black/white purse (S)
  • A few “edgy” jewelry pieces that catch my eye
  • 1-2 belts to wear with dresses and longer tops – black, grey, patterned

I don’t plan to purchase all of the items on the list above this year.  That would require me to exceed my item limit!  However, I feel the list will help focus my shopping and prevent me from making impulse buys.  It will also steer me away from purchasing items that are too similar to what’s already in my closet.  I will review the list often and update it as needed.  It’s not set in stone by any means; it’s meant to be a tool to help me shop smarter.

If you find that you buy too much and make lots of purchasing mistakes, I encourage you to use a shopping priorities list.  Read more about my rationale for using such a list and how to best create one for yourself in my April post on that topic.


I don’t plan to go into this much detail or even show my outfits every month.  In fact, I may not ever do this again.  But since I’ve been focusing so deeply on my style evolution as of late, I thought it might be interesting to delve into more detail this time around in order to potentially help those who have been similarly focused.

I hope you enjoyed this post!  If you’d like to leave a comment about what I wrote or share a bit about your own personal style journey, please feel free to do so.  I’d much prefer to hear more about your style evolution or what you’ve noticed about mine than receive lots of comments about my individual outfits.  When I’ve posted outfit photos in the past, it seemed that was all people commented on and I kind of felt that my overall message got a bit lost in the process.  So please keep this in mind if you decide to comment on this post.

103 thoughts on “What I Wore in May 2014 and My Style Reflections

  1. I actually think you look the best in many of your unfavorite outfits. Especially the one with the scarf – you look like a tall drink of water there!
    The cut of the leopard dress is ideal for you & fits perfectly, the pattern, not the best maybe?
    It’s maybe sorta a contributing factor, but your hair color seems a bit not quite spot on for your skin coloring. Please don’t take this as an insult or a jab, as it’s not meant to be, but your hair color is slightly maybe not the most perfect shade maybe & is maybe throwing off everything else? Worth a mention at least.

    • Thanks for your comment, Jayne. Style is a very personal thing, so there will never be complete consensus on what looks best. I don’t dislike the outfit with the scarf; it just wasn’t one of my favorites. I agree that the leopard pattern with the brown tones isn’t necessarily my best color. As I said, I don’t think I will buy that color again, but I like the style of the dress and will continue to wear it. As for my hair, I am happy with the color, for now. I tend to change my hair color from time to time, but I like the red at this point and actually receive quite a few compliments on it. Once my hair is more gray (it’s probably about 75% now), I will likely go lighter so I don’t have to color it as often. The maintenance can really be a pain!

      • Ha! I find as I have gotten grayer (I won’t disclose the % of white hair but it’s a frightful amount) I have to color more frequently. Down to every 3 weeks now, working toward every 10 days. I think I will go all white when I reach 75.

      • My hair really needs to be colored after 2.5 to 3 weeks, but I push it out to 4 weeks by using one of those color touch-up tools that looks like a tube of mascara. It actually works pretty well and buys me a bit of time. I think that white hair can look amazing on a lot of women! When I’m all gray (not that long off probably), I may opt to go that route, or at least I’ll go a lot lighter.

      • I try not to colour my hair too frequently. Otherwise, it would make my hair ends dry and brittle. I use semi-permanent which really blends nicely with my salt and pepper hair, particularly at the roots. When my new salt and pepper hair appears at the roots, it doesn’t look obvious as the dark brown dye gradually fades overtime.

        Debbie, your outfits in photo #2 and #6 really give you an edgy look. Having the skirt hem longer at the back makes a big difference.

      • Do you color your own hair, Rochelle? My hair stylist uses permanent color at my roots and she’s been trying to go lighter so that the roots aren’t as obvious. It isn’t working, though, and I think my hair may be too red now (like others mentioned). I was looking at old photos of me this past weekend and I liked the color better when it was more auburn and not quite so red. As for the outfits, #2 and #6 are probably my favorites of the group. Maybe it’s because they are edgier than the others, as you point out!

      • Yes, I do colour my own hair these days. It was not easy to find the right dark brown that is not too dark and not too orangey against my pale cool toned skin. Using semi-permanent is more forgiving as the colour dye fades overtime and it allows me to try different colour. I used to have my hair stylist do it for me but it was getting too expensive. She used permanent colour at my roots and if necessary semi-permanent colour at the rest.

      • Thanks for your reply, Rochelle. Yes, it is definitely difficult to find the right hair color! Every time I think I’ve got it right, the color seems to change, even if my stylist is supposedly using the same shade. Maybe semi-permanent would be better for me. I have permanent done at the roots and then a demi-permanent on the rest of my hair towards the end (mostly because I have red in my hair and it fades easily). It seems that hair color is more of an art than a science!

    • I’m very hesistant to contribute here, but I’ve wanted to say for the longest time that reddish browns and reds that veer orange may not be not your thing. They clash with your fantastic skin tone that seems very cool and clear. Warmer reds and browns also don’t fully harmonize with the lovely clear bright colors that really look good on you. When you are ready to embrace the gray, I’m sure you’ll look fantastic in it, but a very uniform dark tone looks lovely on you too. Colorists often recommend what looks great on them…

      You might want to google pics of L’Wren Scott (RIP), she is tall and dark with pale skin (mostly) and by looking at her you can see that some shades of burgundy and purple look much better on her than others – though not sure if you are ready for her pretty full-on Gothic romantic look. Anjelica Huston is another one to check out, minute variations of her hair color totally change her look, pure black seems too harsh, cool dark brown the best, and she also walks a tightrope with burgundies and dark reds. As for edginess, I’m not sure what you mean. But check out Paloma Picasso to see how to create dramatic effects with simple elements (her contrast level is yours but her skin undertones seem warm while yours are cool). It’s so much easier to see on others what works and what doesn’t. My little daughter shares my shape and I’ve started seeing that some shapes just don’t work on her at all (and I should probably avoid them too) while other shapes are terrific…

      The great thing is that your style is definitely evolving and I love the new body confidence!!! The outfits you dislike are baggier and more shapeless and the outfits that you like show that you’ve learned a lot about balancing an outfit. Emphasis on your waist seems great and by balancing your top (sleeves or other details to balance your shoulders) you can pull off a dramatic hourglass shape! Well done!

      • I also think green is not your color. However, the metallic sandals are fab and work very well with your skin tone. Plus lengthen your enviable long legs!! (Jealous!) I’ve mentioned before that the open front cardigans add too much bulk without additional style points and hide your curves. You look so great in the closer-to-the body clothes. I am not sure how edgy you want to go — you have a classic beauty just as you are. You definitely look best in clothes that showcase your long neck and have a deeper scoop or v-neck style. (The 2 open front cardigan sweaters create a squared-off neck that is less flattering and may contribute to your unfavorable view of these outfits.) Good work on sorting out these tricky style issues.

      • I agree that the bright yellowish pea green in one of the does-not-work outfits strikes as not ideal for you Debbie. You might look good in emerald though. And the last top in the does-work outfits is a shade of blue straight from my wardrobe. It’s stripy and the blue of the stripes worn as a solid or in wider stripes could work on you but it visually blends to a faded blue. I’m a low-contrast pale blonde so faded blue is my core wardrobe color, but it’s not ideal for you. Also, the top ends at a tricky spot (that same area is challenging for me too, it’s my ‘frumpy zone’) so it’s not just quite right for you. With your other ‘does-work’ outfits, your tops end in much more flattering places. The second to last top is identical lenght but because it visually blends with your dark pants it looks terrific on you!

        I hope we are not too direct! I often don’t get it right either. A couple of years ago, I wore an Isabel Marant dress all summer long until my mother told me to take it off and never ever wear it again because it was the most unflattering thing she had ever seen on me. The material was lovely; the colors were, in theory, right; the pattern and the silhouette were not. Then I saw some vacation photos where I was wearing the dress and felt mortified – it was the ugliest thing ever. What I hoped would look laid back and cool made me look borderline homeless – it was just too unstructured and the wrong shape for me. Other people were just too polite to tell me the truth. My mother tends to offer unsolicited advice, and it does not always feel great, but I’m actually thinking of going through my entire wardrobe with her because she can and she will give a death knell to many items 🙂 And if she endorses something, it usually means that it is terrific on me. When I was a child, my mother and her sisters used to go through all their purchases together – they had Sunday afternoon runway show in our living room. One of them modelled an item, others critiqued it. Although it did not stop my mother’s overshopping, it was easier to return something when it got a thumbs-down from others.

      • Thanks for all of your kind words, Dottie, especially about my legs, neck, and classic beauty! I agree about the v and scoop necklines. I like those best, too. What you wrote about the cardigans makes sense. They started to look “off” to me recently, but I wasn’t sure why. You encapsulated it pretty well.

      • My hair is naturally dark brown, but sometimes it would get some red in it from the sun. I colored it dark brown or dark auburn for a long time, but since I have so much gray, my hairdresser has been going lighter. I always tell her I don’t want it too look too orange or brassy, but sometimes that’s the effect that happens. I do get a lot of compliments on my hair color, but that’s just people liking the actual color and not necessarily ON ME. I hesitate to go dark because the maintenance is so much! But I don’t have enough gray to go all gray or even a much lighter tone. I’m in that in-between salt and pepper phase. I have other issues with my hair, but I don’t want to get into a big discussion about that! I’ve thought of writing a post about hair, but I think I would just get confused by the varying opinions out there (that happens to me about style sometimes, too). If I end up getting my colors done, I will see what the consultant says about hair color. That won’t necessarily mean any sort of immediate change, but it would provide food for thought.

        As for the green top, I agree that emerald is a better shade for me. I wouldn’t buy that lighter shade today, but since I still like the style of the top, I keep it. Sometimes I wear it with a topper that is a better shade for me. I don’t think it’s a horrible color on me, but not ideal. I do like the blue top, however. I don’t think it reads like light blue in person. I posted a black and white stripe top before and lots of people thought it looked gray, but no one thinks that in person. Lighting and monitors can disrupt how colors appear in online photos.

        I don’t necessarily mind “directness” and I do take everyone’s comments in. However, as I wrote in the post, opinions really vary quite a bit. In the end, we all have to decide what’s right for us and that definitely changes. Sometimes it takes a while for us to realize that others are right. Your mother sounds very direct, FrugalFashionista, but it seems like she knows her stuff. My mother relies on ME to steer her in the right direction, but she’s never been very into fashion. I think that it’s often hard for us to be objective about ourselves, so getting input from others can be helpful. It seems like you have a good handle on what works for you and are wearing a limited wardrobe, so maybe the things your mother would toss wouldn’t be your favorites, anyway!

      • If you do “get your colors done” I hope you’ll share that experience with your readers! I have located a source in Dallas for professional color analysis that sounds legitimate, but it seems quite expensive. It would be helpful to know if you find it useful or worth the expense, etc. I know I have a lot of “wrong” colors in my wardrobe. I tended to buy them when I splurged on a pair of shoes in a color that went with nothing. In order to justify the shoes and make sure I wore them, I bought several outfits that needed those shoes. I’m doing better on that type of shopping, but now I have a wardrobe with bright orange-red, blush pink, a dull mauve, lime green and many other colors, most of which probably don’t flatter me. But I still love those shoes, most of which cost over $200 per pair. Please keep us updated if you decide to do color analysis – thanks!

      • I will definitely write about it if I get my colors done, TexasAggieMom! I think a lot of people have found the experience helpful, but I also think there are different ways of doing it and some may be better than others. I like the systems that yield 12 results (different types) instead of the old method of just 4 (the four seasons). I know that I am cool-toned, but beyond that I’m not totally sure. The online tests have been somewhat inconclusive. For the most part, I think I know what colors work for me, but it might be nice to zero in on it more.

        It wounds like you love color and are expressing it through your shoes. It often looks good to use shoes as a pop of color with neutral outfits. That was the in thing for a while, but now it seems more stylish to include a few colors with the neutrals (see Bridgette Raes’ blog and all of the outfit combos she does with colorful accessories). I’ll bet you can get more like out of those shoes. Using shoes and accessories are ways for us to wear colors we love which just don’t suit our skin tones. Wearing those colors as bottom pieces is another way to do it.

      • Thanks for your kind words about my evolving style and body confidence, FrugalFashionista. I do feel better in my clothes when I accentuate my waist and aim for an hourglass silhouette. I’ve been focusing too much on what I didn’t like (my hips and thighs) that I sometimes glossed over the things I DO like about my body (pretty much my entire top half). I’ve been trying to make peace with what I cannot change and celebrate the positives more. I will always have somewhat of a pear shape, but I know my broad shoulders help to balance things out. Even when I was scary skinny, my hips were broader, as that’s just how I’m built. Now that I’m edging closer to 50, I’m trying to accept more and lament less!

        I will Google the women you mentioned, although I am somewhat familiar with all of them. I was very sad about the death of L’Wren Scott even though I didn’t know a whole lot about her. She just seemed to have such a promising career and I loved the clothes she designed (and the fact that she was very tall and designed for tall women).

  2. I don’t know Debbie, but my favorite is the very last one. You have such striking features that a this low contrast outfit seems to highlight beautifully. To my eye, this ‘simple’ outfit calls attention to your height and face . Exactly where you want it.

    • I don’t dislike that outfit, Cornelia, but it wasn’t one of my favorites when I wore it. I appreciate what you said about the outfit highlighting my height and face. Maybe I will try it again to see if I feel better about it. I could have had an “off” day, I guess 🙂

      • Seems lots of other readers agree with you, Cornelia, so I’m going to give that outfit another chance. One reader even said it looked Parisienne. If that’s the vibe that came across, I’m all for it!

  3. I’m not sure I understood your request for feedback w/ caveat! Do you want us to say what we like about your outfits and what you wrote? Or should we refrain from commenting on you and talk only about ourselves?

    Since I don’t understand, I hope you’ll forgive me for offering a comment on your outfits — I really like the last, least-favored outfit! I love blue and black together (very Japanese) and think the low-contrast top and bottom elongates you and makes you look very elegant.

    • Sorry to be confusing, Bette. I actually went back and modified the post after I received your comment and a few of the others, so I hope it’s clearer now… I mostly wanted feedback on the style evolution process, mine and that of readers, more than comments on my individual outfits. But that said, readers seem to be liking the last outfit, so perhaps I should try it again. I didn’t really dislike it, but it wasn’t one of my favorites at the time. But as I mentioned to Cornelia above, I may have had an off day…

      • Thank you!

        So, here’s a comment on style evolution — a three-way mirror (or a hand-held mirror as you face away from a full-length mirror) changed my life! LOL! Many outfits I thought looked fantastic actually looked horrible from the back! I now look at EVERYTHING from the back. It’s pretty shocking.

        Example: I used to wear a lot of hip-length cardigans over sheath dresses for work. What I didn’t realize until I got the back view was that the cardigan came across me at my very widest point. It was super unflattering. I switched to a longer cardigan (women with a nice waist could switch to shorter or longer cardigans) and the back view was quite a bit more flattering.

        Not suggesting you post back photos. This is something every woman should do in the privacy of her own home, LOL!

      • I agree about using a 3-way mirror or hand mirror, Bette! I wish I had the former, but I do have the latter and use it regularly. But no, I would never post back photos! Few bloggers do… I can only think of 2 style bloggers who do that and my hat is definitely off to them!

  4. I have to say that I like the black sweater w/scarf as well… But I agree with you about the fit if the jeans, and think some nice jegging type jeans would work great with black/scarf combo and heels. Same with the cardigan outfits (leaner leg fitting jeans). I like the tank/skirt outfits as well … And, I think those would look even better with a belt and/or long statement piece necklace (long chain/large pendant)… You have a nice elongated neck that carries scarves well too!

    • Thanks for your comment, Karen. I’m not sure I see myself in jeggings, but I do have some slimmer jeans that I can pair with the outfits to see if I like them better. it’s worth a try. As for belts, those are on my shopping priorities list. I’m a bit “belt-challenged” at present, but I’d like to gradually start adding more belts to my ensembles. I do have lots of long necklaces and scarves and will try adding those to some of my skirt outfits to see what I think…

      • Like you, I am “belt challenged” but I have had good luck thrifting belts lately. Styles don’t change much over the years and I have been able to find several that exactly met the criteria on my shopping list. Thanks to you and your list concept, I am gradually gaining control over my shopping tendencies. Posts like this one provide plenty of food for thought, and I am learning so much valuable info from your posts. I often continue to wear things that people say are not my correct colors or don’t hit in the right spot on my hips just because I love them and they feel good to me. I’m sure all your commenters just want to be helpful, but you should always have the last word on your personal wardrobe. I only found your blog recently, but have read your archives and can definitely see your style evolving into one that suits you. Thanks for sharing your style journey with us!

      • Welcome, TexasAggieMom, and thanks for your comment. I’m glad that my list concept has been helpful to you! I appreciate what you wrote about the comments. I DO feel that people want to be helpful, but you’re right that we should always have the last word on our wardrobes. We’re the ones who have to wear things, so we need to feel happy, whether what we’re wearing is the absolute best color and style for us- or not!

  5. I am glad that you’re becoming more comfortable with your personal style. It does feel great when an outfit feels “very you”. I love outfit #2 on you. That skirt is super flattering and it has a bit of the edgy vibe that you’ve mentioned that you’ve been looking for. I take a picture of my outfits with my phone and it’s been very helpful. I notice things in the pictures that I don’t in the mirror. It’s been very helpful in deciding what to keep and what to pass on.

    • Thanks, Tonya. I love the high-low skirt, too. That’s why I bought a dress like that (in the photo below). I’m gradually working in the edgy vibe as I feel comfortable. I think I’d be a bit taken aback if I changed all at once! I agree that we often notice things in photos that we don’t see in the mirror. Sometimes I think an outfit is great, but then I see the picture and think, “not so much.” I’ve had an easier time letting go of things since I started taking the photos. On the flip side, I sometimes like looks BETTER in the photos. Then I’m encouraged to try a similar look to see if I like it better the next time. Either way, it’s helpful!

  6. P.S. Purple or red tank w/black hi/low skirt and leopard scarf from Jan… and black heel. ??

    • That’s actually a dress, not a skirt, Karen, but I wouldn’t mind having a black high/low skirt, too. I like the idea of the red or purple with the leopard scarf – thanks!

  7. Debbie, reading your reflections is so helpful in gaining insight into my own wardrobe. I’ve never tracked my outfits (I always forget to photograph or record them), but I’m trying to at least for the month of June to see if I can learn anything new. Like with your open cardigans, I have some old favourites that I keep even though they no longer appeal to me as much for various reasons. I’d like to make an effort to wear them this month and make a decision about them one way or the other.

    • I’m glad that reading my reflections is helpful to you, Kayla, and I’m glad you decided to take outfit photos for the month of June. I’d love to hear what you learn from doing it, so please check back in and let me know. I think your plan to wear the “on the bubble” items this month is a good one. I’m doing that, too, especially with my summer clothes now that it’s warmer.

  8. Hi Debbie,
    it’s great that you’re embarking on a style journey. I’m sure you will eventually end up with a wardrobe that works better for you if you are more conscious of what outfits work for you in practice and which don’t. For me overshopping also happens because I’m not that happy with all the pieces in my closet, not just in terms of fit and quality but also because they’re a mix of everything rather than just “me”. I do get swayed by trends and sometimes end up with items that really don’t fit my style. When you are out shopping, it can be hard to decipher if you like an item because you like it on someone else or whether it actually fits your own aesthetic. I have a similar problem with colour. Other readers have written a lot before about staying in their particular colour palette and how that makes life easier. I have and wear every colour, I think partly because I have red hair and was always told what I could and couldn’t wear so that at some point I just decided sod it, I wear whatever I want. But that also lead to some less than stellar combinations and now my wardrobe has something of everything in it and is not very cohesive.
    What I found helpful in getting to know my own true style is making a little lookbook or something. I took three or four old magazines and went through them to see what drew my attention. It was interesting because I totally gravitated to the same shapes and styles over and over again. I also use the Stylebook app. Apart from all the statistics it gives you I love how you can log your outfits, similar to what you’re doing with your pictures, and you can see how the ones that work are often similar. Quite enlightening!
    A short comment on the pics you posted if I may, I really like you in skirts. I love skirts and dresses anyway but for me these outfits draw the attention to your waist and are just overall more flattering. I think you’re not too far off a bit of an edgier style! With some of the combinations, for example just throw a biker jacket and some big sunglasses on top or you could go a little bit chunkier with your jewellery et voila. 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment, K. I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. I used to have every color of the rainbow, too, and I’ve often been swayed by trends and the opinions of others, including salespeople and friends with whom I shopped. I agree that keeping a look book of sorts can be very helpful. I have both a physical folder and an online folder. I go through both regularly and look for themes, which is how I came to realize that I wanted more “edginess” to my style. I like your suggestions for adding more edge to my looks – thanks!

      • Hi Debbie!

        Can’t say enough about how much I enjoy reading these posts: the ones that grapple with the “why?” behind the outfits. Much harder and more complex to write about than posts about this or that outfit [although those can be very interesting too.] Someone else who does this well is a Frenchwoman, Kali Vine, at http://the-nife.blogspot.com.

        I’m commenting in this location because K so well expressed my exact thoughts about how to add the desired “edge.” Add the moto jacket, sunglasses, somewhat bigger jewelry like the fabulous necklace in picture # 7 or like the new earrings your mom got you. [Which seem to encapsulate a fabulous palette for you.] Oh, and here’s a suggestion: when you start looking at other jackets, see whether you can find a common color in your favorite skirts and coordinate that with the additional jacket. I usually think of stiffer textures–like leather in a jacket or plastic in sunglasses or metal in studs–as looking more edgy than softer more drapey fabrics. With your height, you can carry bigger prints and larger jewelry very well, assuming you want to go in that direction.

        I thought about your “basics” post when I read this WSJ article about the perfect tee: http://online.wsj.com/articles/finding-the-perfect-t-shirt-1401923313.

        And like others here, I really love the tall drink of water look with the scarf that you list as a non favorite. You mention that you like the outfit better with a colorful trench. Maybe if you experimented with a scarf with a livelier color palette, you might also like it more. . .?

      • Thanks for your comment, Amy! I’m glad you find these types of posts helpful. I love Kali’s blog, too! I went back and read all of her posts about clothing and style and got some much out of what she wrote.

        I appreciate your tips about adding “edge” to my outfits. I find that I am liking larger jewelry a lot more than I used to. I used to wear more delicate pieces (although not too small), but I’m enjoying the larger items more now. I have revisited some pieces in my jewelry box that I hadn’t been wearing and am liking them!

        Thanks for sharing the WSJ article. Very interesting… I’m glad I’m not alone in the way I feel! As for the scarf outfit, you may have a point. I do like the scarf pictured, but I often wear it with brighter tops. Maybe I would prefer a livelier colored scarf with the black tee. Will try it!

  9. Hi Debbie, I like the idea of the very you outfits. It’s interesting that most of the ones you picked add skirt/dresses, so you feel good in a skirt. I love dresses and I have loads of them. My family will say a cute floral dress for example is very me and get at work I don’t wear clothes that are very me at all. Don’t know what this means but maybe I have my head down at work and don’t want to stand out. Anyway I like the process so maybe I need to take a few pictures of the ones I feel good in so I can feel good everyday! Keep up the good work x

    • Yes, I definitely like wearing skirts and dresses, Christy, especially in the summer. I don’t wear them much when it’s colder out, though, as most of the skirts and dresses I own are more geared toward summer. I may want to change that moving forward. I understand how you feel about not wanting to stand out at work. Maybe you can add small touches of the styles you like when you’re working so you don’t feel like your work and non-work styles are so diametrically opposed. I definitely think taking photos can help, but maybe take photos of ALL looks for a month or so and then assess them all. I really think you’d learn a great deal from doing so!

  10. Debbie, I liked your analysis for May, so did a similar one for myself as a comparison. I wore 47 items of clothing (excluding scarves and jewelry) and 10 pairs of shoes in May. I wore 15 of the 47 items more than once (my beloved navy/cream chevron cardigan five times and white jeans eight times!) and 8 of the 10 pairs of shoes more than once. I wore more items than usual for May, I think, due to a trip to Boston early in the month where the weather was a lot colder than in Texas! Your suggestion to consciously try to wear seldom-worn items has been helpful to me. I have way too many tops/blouses, I think, so have avoided buying any more of those. Thanks for all the work you put into your posts!

    • Wow, we wore a very similar number of items, Tricia, but your repeat numbers were much better than mine. I think I’d be more okay with the total number if I had more repeats… I’m glad my suggestion to wear the “benchwarmers” has been helpful to you. I have too many tops, too, and still bought too many this year. But my overall number is going down because I’ve purged a lot, too! I still don’t know what my ideal number of tops is, but I’m moving in the right direction.

  11. Just wanted to let you know that I love your blog. Your posts are so insightful, well written and really help me to shop less and think more about what I buy and what I wear. I also love reading the comments ❤ Yesterday I read some of your old posts and you have made such great progress!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Jessica! I’m so glad that my blog has been helpful to you in helping you to shop less and more consciously. I appreciate your letting me know that you’ve noticed my progress!

  12. The black and white high-low dress (skirt/tank?) is super flattering! In terms of dressing edgier, I think skinny black jeans and white on top would be a good base. And this is an observation and not a suggestion, but all of the jewelry that you wear strikes me as bohemian. I’m not really sure what kind of jewelry counts as edgy – layered minimalist looks? (Lots of skinny rings, layered necklaces?)

    • Yes, that is a dress, Sara, and it’s actually light grey and black (colors sometimes don’t come across correctly online). I’m glad you like it! I like your suggestion about the black jeans with white top and/or topper. I am looking for all of those pieces, but they can be hard to find! About my jewelry, I do have some bohemian pieces, as I used to embrace that style more, but I also think I have pieces in other vibes, too. I’m not sure what jewelry is edgy, either, but I’m going to try to figure that out…

      • I think “edgy” jewelry would have much more “yang” lines, like these:

        I think the v-style would accentuate the neckline that looks good on you

        The straight, simple lines of this type of earring seem edgy to me:

        For bracelets and rings, I think a larger scale also makes them edgier, like the way they are stacked here:

        Also materials like leather, graphite and black cobalt will make a bolder statement. At least to me!

      • Thanks for sharing these images, Sarah. I agree that these jewelry pieces look edgy. I especially like the long earrings! I will have to re-read what Imogen Lamport wrote about yin and yang, as I remember it was some good stuff!

  13. My first thought when I saw the small thumbnails of items was how overall dark it was together. Then I read you wear aiming to lighten up some colors. Great plan! I can’t tell you how often I wear white now, even in dead of winter (I don’t subscribe to silly “Labor Day rules’) and it makes the other colors more striking by comparison.
    I can also tell you are comfortable with snug tops and looser bottoms. I wonder if you would try the opposite, which I’m sure is out of your comfort zone, just to see how it looks and makes you feel. I was loathe to give up my tops that worked so well for so long, but embracing a drapey looser style really upped the ante. Now, what worked for me might not for you, but couldn’t hurt to try? It also might nudge you a bit closer to that edgy you are looking for. Something about a traditionally tailored cut top doesn’t say edgy like a Rick Owen or Helmut Lang or Allsaints style top. Know what I mean? If all the volume scares you, wearing a somewhat more snug topper (like your awesome new striped moto) could reign in the volume just enough. Just some thoughts to forward the tried and true silhouette and maybe branch out into edgier territory 😉

    • Yes, I do have a lot of dark clothing, Mo. I definitely want to add more white pieces, but I keep looking for nice white tops (not plain, some special details) in stores and haven’t seen anything I like. Perhaps I will have to focus more online. I don’t ascribe to the “no white after Labor Day” rule, either. If I like a color, I wear it all year round!

      As for your suggestion to try looser tops with snugger bottoms, I will give it a try – probably play in my closet and take photos to see what I think (or maybe try some different styles on in stores). It’s possible I may like that type of look more than I think. I really don’t like drawing attention to my hips, though… It’s funny that you should mention Allsaints, as there is a new store in my local mall. I went in recently to check it out and really liked a lot of their pieces. The prices are high, but I wouldn’t mind adding a piece or two at some point. They are definitely edgy!

  14. My absolute favorite on you is the high-low dress with black & white striped top and solid black bottom. And I like the metallic shoe with it too. Since I’m also very pale I tend to wear a lot of metallic shoes as well. I like the shape of the green top with arm ruching and agree it’s not quite the right shade of green for you. It’s a bit too warm. I think that top in emerald or teal would be awesome with your coloring.

    After a lot of soul searching, I finally got around to compiling my very own “clothing rules.” I was inspired by one of Mette’s posts on her blog. Doing this exercise helped me see why so many of my clothes were orphans. Here are my new personal rules:

    Overall Clues

    No collars on shirts – I don’t like them on my neck and my hair gets caught.
    Quality materials and workmanship.
    Like cotton, merino wool, cashmere and linen.
    No silk – I hate the way it smells.
    Prefer soft, silky, buttery feel to clothing.


    Looser fitting tops but not boxy.
    No button-front shirts. Period!
    Only V- and deep scoop necks. No crews.
    No drop shoulders.
    No cold-shoulders.
    Curved hemlines.
    No blazers. I’ve bought many and worn none.
    Soft knits but no chunky knits.
    Only tops I can wear a bra with.
    No long-sleeves.
    Nothing that emphasizes tummy.
    Knit moto jackets.
    Fabric must have some Lycra.
    Dresses preferably with empire waist but not so much it looks maternity-ish.
    Toppers to go over sleeveless dresses and shirts.
    No hoodies.
    TSu colors only. No black tops.


    No skirts. Prefer dresses.
    Dresses should either be maxi or to knee or a bit shorter.
    Jeans either with bootcut or straight leg. Like Hudson’s a lot.
    Either medium or dark jeans only.
    No fading or whispering on jeans.
    Pants & jeans should always be 31-32” inseam only.
    Should try wider leg pants sometime.


    MUST be comfortable! I have picky feet.
    Quality materials.
    Can have fun details like whipstitching, cut-outs, etc.
    No heels higher than 2”.


    Silver-toned jewelry only.
    No more post & clutch earrings.
    Only lever back or Omega back earrings.
    Like nice gemstones, esp in TSu colors.
    Can be colorful costume jewelry.
    Try for more minimalistic instead of flashy/bold.


    No belts except to keep jeans up. Don’t want to emphasize tummy.
    Crossbody purses only. Medium sized.
    No scarves except over winter coats.
    Eyeglasses – want to find some in TSu colors.
    Gloves to go with winter coats.

    Other Details

    Monochromatic or harmonizing.
    Pretty prints.
    Interesting detailing.
    Nothing fussy.
    Medium scale prints.
    Nothing bohemian. It’s just not “me.”
    Only in my preferred color palette.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your clothing rules, Kim. I love it! I loved Mette’s post on that topic and plan to do a post on it myself at some point. I think it could be a very useful exercise to do. I love the level of detail you put into it. I get a very strong impression of what you like and don’t like as a result. I’m sure the list has already been very helpful to you!

      As for my green top, I agree about the color. I bought it years ago when I was pretty much buying every color under the sun. I really wish it was emerald or teal. I wish I knew more about dyeing clothing – does it work? how to do it? how close can one get to the desired shade? It may not be worth it to try to dye this top, but I have some other pieces I’ve considered dyeing as well. I had one pair of boots and one purse dyed from brown to black, but I haven’t found a place locally that dyes clothing. I found one place online, but they wash and dry everything on hot and I’m afraid I’d be left with “hand puppets” in the end!

      • You could try to dye it yourself. Look at dharmatradingcompany.com. They have different dyes for different fabrics. Some don’t need hot water and they have pretty good instructions on how to use the different types and if you need to pretreat. It’s much more refined than a box of RIT.

      • Thanks for the link, Tonya! I will check it out. Yes, I was nervous about using RIT. I vaguely remember trying that years ago and not being happy with the results. If I could dye a few of my less than ideal colored items, I could breathe new life into some existing clothes that I otherwise like. There are a few of those…

  15. Hi Debbie I am a long time reader but have never commented before. I live in Europe and wardrobes are much smaller here. I love the last outfit with the scarf, so Parisienne. Chic and with slim leg trousers would be very edgy. I discovered a while ago that for slender women, as you are, slim leg trousers that skim rather than cling are very flattering and edgy. Your journey has definitely been inspiring. Thank you.

    • I’m glad you took the time to comment today, Jean. I know that Europeans don’t accumulate the huge wardrobes that we Americans have. We need to follow your example! If the last outfit looks Parisienne, perhaps I should give it another try. Maybe I just need to “tweak” it a bit like you suggested… I’m glad you’ve found my journey inspiring! I am always happy to learn that I’ve inspired others.

  16. My May totals are 53 items of clothing and 16 (!) pairs of shoes, or 69 total. The weather here was quite variable last month so I was wearing everything from tall rain boots to little strappy thong sandals. I think it’s interesting that my totals are not that far off from yours, yet you are hoping to wear fewer pieces overall this month and I was pretty happy with the level of variety. I think that’s probably because even though we did have a few very warm days, I am still doing a lot of layering so most of my outfits are 4 pieces (bottom, top, cardi, shoes). Thus, despite the high item count I wore 20 items of clothing and 5 pairs of shoes more than once. After tracking my daily wears for 2 months I have 3 items that have been worn at least 10 times (my rough goal for wars per year) — it will be interesting to see how that develops over the course of the year.

    I really liked the favorite outfits that you posted. They seem very in line with the style goals that you’ve talked about on the blog, in terms of the color palette and having at least one item in each outfit have some “interest” to it.

    You have great arms and shoulders, and the cut of the tank tops you’re wearing especially in that first row of favorite outfits really suits you well. I am probably going to say this clumsily, and I am REALLY not a fan of age-based fashion “rules,” but I think that for a woman over 40ish there is something a bit “edgy” about bare arms. Not because it’s improper or inappropriate to go bare-armed at 40 or any age, but many women in that age range choose not to do so (and that is totally fine for them, too!) so it does imply a certain level of self-confidence and body confidence. (Think Michelle Obama, for instance.) All that is to say that if you wanted to play that up, I think a wide but simple-lined cuff bracelet worn with your sleeveless outfits could be a simple strategy to up the “edginess” factor.

    I think the coral items that you posted are really pretty, and you could pair them with navy (classic for summer!) or burgundy (in cooler seasons) to continue to get wear out of them in a way that incorporates your current preferred palette.

    • Ooh, I completely agree with a cuff bracelet to add edge. I do this myself with my summer looks where any necklaces can feel too hot and sweaty.

    • Thanks for your comment, Sarah, and thanks for sharing your numbers. How interesting that our numbers are so similar. I like the variety, too, but I’d like to be repeating my wears more often like you did. Although I do wear “regular” clothes at home more, I still have days when I just wear lounge or workout wear all day, and I rarely wear two outfits in a given day like I know many people do. You seem to be doing great in having worn so many items 10-plus times in 3 months. That’s a goal I’d like to reach myself.

      I appreciate your kind words about my outfits and my arms and shoulders. I like those parts of my body and feel I should show them off while their still good. If my arms and shoulders still look good past 50, I will still show them off then, too (like Michelle Obama does!). I like your suggestion about the cuff bracelet. I have a hard time finding ones that fit my small wrists, but I do have a few. In fact, I just wore one the other day and did feel a bit edgier 🙂 I like your tip about the coral items, too. I will try the color pairings you suggested!

  17. I’m going to agree with your gut instinct. The last is not at all my favorite- not bad, but it doesn’t really fit the personality you show and I don’t find it as flattering as everyone else does! I love you in color and closer fitted silouhettes particularly the hi-lo skirt. I agree, show more leg! Maybe get a skirt hemmed to the knee and see if you like it? You look great and happy- well done!! Also I agree in that actually wearing things is the only way to figure things out. Case in point, I wore my favorite shoes- brown gladiators with a cone heel. They’re super comfy for 4.5″ and so stylish. Why do I never wear them? Because my pinky toe is too short and doesn’t reach the strap so it hangs uncomfortably (and unattractively) on the side. So sad!!!!

    Your post inspired me to go through my old blog- as far back as 2008! I hated looseness in the waist (so wiered) and wore everything a tad too tight on top. I was uncomfortable in slim bottoms and hated skinnies (I have since found the right styles that make me look good). I didn’t know what I liked and had no real style, so I tried EVERTHING. I also only spent little on each item so I could bring home armloads of things, which worked out badly because all of it was cheap fast fashion. The few times I spent more, I made mistakes because I didn’t have a defined style and didn’t know what items were good quality. I have come SUCH a long way!

    • I didn’t know you were blogging as far back as 2008, Meli! It must have been very interesting to see your style evolution. It’s great that you can see that you’ve come a long way!

      I’m glad somebody sees that one outfit the same way I did. I was beginning to think I might be crazy 🙂 I do enjoy wearing color in addition to neutrals. I also prefer my skirts to be knee-length and plan to hem a few of them. I can’t hem all of them due to the styles (I don’t want to attempt a difficult alteration and mess something up!), but I’m going to hem a few. Fortunately, most of my dresses are either the right length (at the knee) or maxis. Taking the pictures really helps because I often see things differently from when I look in the mirror. It’s right about a picture speaking a thousand words!

  18. As always I get much food for thought thru your reflections and this time a nudge to take photos of my outfits. Thanks for that important reminder.
    If you want to add some edge to your style how about jewelry and/or a belt? Just a few pieces in silver ( a necklace, bracelet, ear rings and possibly a ring) perhaps a studded belt? How about selecting jewelery that is less dainty and delicate for some with more weight and presence but still in scale with your frame to add the edge element?
    Yea more fitted tops! They let your lovely figure be seen. You have a trim waist to show.
    The silver metallic(sandals) are a good neutral to blend with your skin tone.
    If you chooses lighter color pants won’t that will draw the eye to your lower half unless you balance them with something to draw the eye back up to your face? Just something to consider.
    Your not favorite outfits overall look to me a bit more polished because they have three pieces to them. I find that wearing three pieces in my outfits, (a belt, scarf or long necklace added to an outfit) adds a lot.
    Your new styles choices and color pallet sound great. I’m sure the combination of them will be a giant step to where you want to be with your wardrobe. You are making great progress.
    Knowing that you have more items on your list than you have available to fill will help push you to make very careful choices with what you have left. I’m sure you will start out much more focused for next years list.

    • I love the idea of a studded belt, Annette! I’ve seen them on some bloggers and would like to find one. I’m also enjoying bigger jewelry, too, and rediscovered some pieces when going through my jewelry armoire over the weekend. I often wear outfits with 3 pieces, but not so much when it’s hot outside. But I always have a jacket or cardigan on hand because it cools down a lot in the evenings here. I agree that outfits tend to look more polished with three pieces. That was part of my rationale for wearing the open cardigans, but I overdid it and am now sick of them! I will try adding a belt, scarf, or long necklace to my outfits to see what I think. I would like to wear belts more, but I am pretty clueless about them! I hope you’re right that I will be more focused with what I buy next year. I’m honing in more and more, but still feel I need to make up for my poor decisions of the past.

  19. After purchasing your book, I decided to check out your blog. I love the idea of the documenting your style journey and documenting the clothes you are wearing. I am not a minimalist and have a large–well curated– wardrobe, but I am very interested in your style reflections. Experimenting with new silhouettes is exciting and seems to freshen closet staples. Loose cardigans can be cinched at the waist by some really cool belts. Belts and sunglasses are things that I wait to go on sale before purchasing, but I know what I am looking for, or I know it when I see it. You may want to try kimono type jackets/tops and cinch your waist with an obi belt. I like the look with my Eileen Fisher harem pants and/or Eileen Fisher fold-over maxi. Great for travel as they are jersey, too. Eileen Fisher may be the death of me yet. I LOVE her lines and want (don’t need) something of hers every season. I still have and wear her clothes from over a decade ago and they mix well with other purchases. Still, it is time to curtail and enjoy what I have–you book has been a great support.

    • Thanks for your comment, Lisa. I’m glad you like my book and I hope you’ll enjoy the blog, too. You mention Eileen Fisher. A lot of my readers seem to like her clothes and I purchased two EF pieces (a dress and a skirt) last year. I’m not used to the higher price points, but I like a lot of the clothes and have heard they are long-lasting. I like the idea of kimono type jackets and tops. I like to cinch in my waist, but have trouble with belts because they often feel “fussy” to me. I have thought about wearing a belt with the open cardigans, but worry I would have to adjust it all day long. Perhaps I will try some on (need to buy belts, as I only have 2 – one is old and rarely worn and the other I only wear with one dress) and see what I think.

  20. I think listening to your inner style muse is a good thing! I’m a huge dress fan and I love the leopard print dress and also the hi-lo dress. They look great. Metallics suit you too.

    • Thanks, Janet, for your kind words and for validating my listening to my inner style muse. I’m getting lots of comments on this post, but I’m trying to evaluate them based upon my goals and likes. I don’t want to do more of the same and just listen to other people instead of myself!

  21. I love the shape of the leo dress on you! It really shows your hourglass shape and also a little more of your nice legs. I agree that you should try shorter skirts/dresses. And I also would suggest that you try more fitted/skinnier trousers (haven’t you bought one this year?). Debbie, in my opinion you are absolutely no pear!! For me, you are an hourglass – your shoulders and hips seem to be equally broad, your waist is small, your calves are shaped very feminine (round) and you have nice small ancles.
    It’s great that you embrace more fitted tops meanwhile! I can’t wait to see you wearing your new moto jacket and am jealous 😉
    I have been in a process of style change for a couple of years myself. It started with my colour pallet which was already a huge change for me. I narrowed my colours down and am more confident with them now. Currently, I am trying to figure out what shapes and necklines are the most flattering on me. A lot of the shapes which should be the best for my bodyshape I already wear intuitively, but now I want to start eliminating the other not so perfect shapes/necklines. The biggest change for me though is that I wanted to wear skirts and dresses. I haven’t worn skirts or dresses for about 30 years, but now I know which styles suit me and I bought a few. The first time that I left the house was in a denim skirt running some errands. The denim made it a little easier for me, as it is similar to my jeans that I often wear. Now I still have to have the guts to wear the more fancy ones 🙂

    • Just a shout out to agree with Sandra: the cut and length of the leopard dress is very flattering on you; I’ll bet you would rock slimmer fitting jeans. In fact, the addition of any animal print would up the edge factor. Maybe zebra would work better for you? You could try a small dose, like a skinny belt.

    • Thanks for sharing some of your style journey, Sandra. Congrats on narrowing down your color palette and neckline choices and embracing skirts and dresses after such a long time of not wearing them! I think it’s good that you’re easing into wearing skirts by means of the denim skirt. I think we have a better chance of making more lasting changes if we ease into them, rather than jumping into the proverbial deep end of the pool (at least that’s what works best for me and other people I know).

      And thanks for the kind words you wrote about my figure. I have hang-ups about my hips and thighs and that gets in the way of how I dress. I may not be a pear, but I FEEL like one. That said, I do feel I look better in the shorter and more fitted tops now. It’s tougher for me with the pants/jeans. I DID buy slimmer jeans and like the way I look in them from the front, but I feel like my hips look really big from the back. My husband says it’s not true, but I’m self-conscious. I think I will ease into wearing them by doing what someone suggested above – wearing them with my open cardigan outfits. I will at least try it once and see what I think. As for skirts and dresses, I like the shorter length (like the leopard dress and the red/black skirt). I plan to hem a few of my skirts, but some cannot be shortened due to the design. I’ve committed to no longer tackling difficult alterations, as I’ve ruined clothes that way in the past. But I plan to shorten the ones I can, as I DO like that look better.

  22. I really enjoy reading your blog. My suggestions for creating edge in your personal style are buy lower rise jeans that fit in the thigh and flare at the knee. I have a similar figure to yours and I love this style. I find these kind of jeans have more edge and are sexier. Scarves, bigger earrings and tie dye might look nice. I like to take trips to super low end fashion stores and try on arm loads of stuff, just to get ideas. I usually buy one or two super fashioney pieces that give my outfits more “edge”. I’m a fashion risk taker. Your new sandals are cool. I think you’d look good in some classic frye boots!

    • One of my friends is always trying to get me to wear the type of jeans you mentioned, Andrea. I love the way they look on her, but I always think they make my hips look really big. I like to play down the size of my hips instead of play them up, but I know others love to show off their hips. I prefer to show off my top half over my bottom half. I like your suggestion to try on stuff at the low-end stores. I think it can be helpful to buy less expensive pieces when one is testing the waters and just a few of them like you suggested.

  23. Imogen Lamport of Inside Out Style blog did a very nice review of your new e-book. Really like her blog. Love your thoughts, you write beautifully.

    • Yes, I saw that, Pam, and am very grateful to her for doing so! I love her blog, too, and always look forward to reading it. Thank you for your kind words on my writing!

  24. Hey Debbie, One way to look edgier would be to use stronger make-up. Red lipstick would look good on you.

    • I am willing to try stronger make-up, Sara. I’ve never worn red lipstick and feel a bit scared to try. But it wouldn’t hurt to try some on in a store. Who knows? I may like it…

  25. I like your post! I think how are style evolves is very personal and depends on so many things: our lifestyle, our body image, our style icons, our cultural influences as well as simply our tastes. I think it is great you have taken the time to explore your own style do’s and don’t’s!

    I have always been interested in clothing and can really remember what styles I was drawn to as a teenager, student or young adult. I notice for me lifestyle and the people I am surrounded by are very big factors. When I’ve been poorer I didn’t care about fancy clothing but loved 2nd hand finds – and idolized those friends of mine who found amazing things for a couple of dollars. When I trained and danced a lot I was mostly concerned with comfort and I was really looking for the cutest excercise clothing. Entering the work life I wanted to look more professional than before and developed my style forward.

    These days I am beginning to find my own track even better. I have found which silhuettes work for my tastes and my body (a-line skirts right above the knee are best / calf length strait skirts are the absolute worst – fit and flare dresses are great / bodycon dresses don’t work at all etc.). I am still considering my lifestyle very carefully when building my wardrobe, but also taking into thought that it will also adjust to surprises: even if I never really do fancy dinner parties, I like to have a dress to suit them on hand – instead of buying one in a rush when I happen to need one, and so on.

    Reading about the color “season” system also helped me a lot. I sometimes used to buy bright colors: yellow, orange, neon pink or turqoise – but no matter how good the clothes looked on the rack, I looked washed out and pale in them. I then later found I am a textbook example of a “Soft Summer”. And voilà! The more muted blues, purples and grayish pinks are now my perfect accent colors – with gray, navy, teal and burgundy as my “naturals”. Knowing ones colors really makes shopping a lot easier – and cheaper, as I don’t fall for faulty items that often anymore.

    • Thanks for sharing the insights you’ve made on your style evolution, Rellie. It seems you’ve made a lot of excellent progress in recent years. It is very helpful to know what works and what doesn’t work in terms of colors and styles. I love what you wrote in your first paragraph about the factors that contribute to our style evolution. Body image has been a very big factor for me over the years. It really doesn’t matter how others see us if our view of ourselves is vastly different. I’m doing better in that regard, but it’s still a struggle.

  26. Dear Debbie,

    I just want to say I love how reflective you are. Your ability to analyse from multiple view points never cease to amaze me. Your willingness to experiment is definitely inspirational to me. I especially appreciate how you put your own photos!

    Now onto your style evolution – to me, you always look neat and presentable, which is always a good starting point. I most like your outfit with the dress (with stripes top) because of the waist placement – this outfit, to my eyes, makes you look taller and slimmer. Therefore I am curious to see if you would consider tucking in your top into your skirt, and wear your skirt at the slimmest point of your waist. I also like it when your skirt is cut biased – i.e. shorter in front and longer at the back. That said, I would like to see your skirts just a tad shorter – just to elongate your calves, because I think they are great to highlight. Perhaps you can try shortening temporarily with double sided tape, take a photo and see if you like the end result?

    Re colours – I struggle with colours myself. Lately, I’ve been toying with colours by considering accessories that comprises multiple colours, with the primary colour being one of my favourite colours. I like cool tones on me, so if I were to buy a new scarf, I’d like it to be primarily cool-toned blue, with hints of whatever colour I fancy at the time. I don’t really wear orange, but blue scarf with orange accents is something I am toying with at the moment. Perhaps this is something that you can play with too? Oh, by the way, I combine two scarfs at the same time if I can (it’s winter here in Sydney), so I get the best of both worlds.

    Good luck with your style journey and thank you for sharing with it with us. 🙂

    • Thanks for your insights and compliments, Belle. I would like my skirts to be shorter, too, and plan to shorten some of them (some cannot be shortened due to style). As for tucking in my tops, I try it sometimes and never like how it looks. I think it’s because most of my skirts have elastic waists and are a bit loose on me. I think I might like the look with a skirt that is tighter at the top and that isn’t an elastic waist. I might like the look better with a belt, too, but sometimes I just like to be comfortable and wear an untucked top. I’m finding I’m liking dresses because it’s one piece and you’re done like the striped high-low dress that everyone seems to like best. Thanks for sharing your struggle with colors. I like cool tones best on me,too. Good suggestion to combine two scarves!

  27. Hi Debbie, I discovered your blog recently when I began my annual spring clothing review. I would like to thank you for your inspirational and thoughtful posts. You have completely changed how I am viewing my closet. I thought I had my closet under control until I started to keep track of what I own as compared to what I wear. As a result of reading about your journey, I have become much more mindful of my buying choices. I am in the process of updating my style to reflect my current lifestyle….new empty nester… and your blog has helped me to take a hard look at what I am buying and why. I thoroughly enjoy the insightful comments of your followers as well. To my eye, the black and white striped dress is the most modern and flattering on you. Keep up the good work.

    • I’m glad you like my blog, CMO, and that it’s helped you with your closet and your shopping. I always enjoy getting such feedback from readers. Congrats on the positive changes you’ve made as of late! I will say the same to you that you said to me – keep up the good work!

  28. You know, one thing that occurred to me recently as I was lamenting that my favorite navy linen pants are now worn through in the butt and need to be replaced, is that having a smaller wardrobe finally allows us to HAVE a style evolution. Previously I had so many clothes that hardly any actually wore out, and I was always trying to buy things that would fit in somewhat with my existing wardrobe that was not itself very current. I struggled to release old clothing as I spent a lot of money on it and it was still in good condition. Now I feel that anything I buy is going to be worn a LOT, so a) I’d better give it some thought as it may be repeated every couple of weeks, but also b) that it’s probably not going to be around for decades as it’s going to get a lot of wear, so I don’t have to buy something “classic”. I can therefore be a bit more on trend, and slowly evolve my style, like wearing skinnier pants. I’ve also stopped cheaping out when it comes to larger sized clothing. Yes, I’d like to lose some weight, but I’m going to have a full, working wardrobe that works for me NOW.

    Anyway, I love the black maxi dress with the stripey grey top.

    • Excellent points!

      I think the thoughts about switching off the open cartigans took me back to the discussion about buying multiples. If you own a lot of one style it’s harder to move off of it. Owning fewer stylish items means you can wear them during their heyday then move on without regret.

      One thing I notice about women is when someone turns up in an outfit that’s obviously 10 years old, not because it’s worn, and they get points for still fitting into it :), but because it’s stuck in a 10 year-ago style. A young girl can look cute in a vintage outfit culled from a Thrift Store because we all know she didn’t wear the style 10 years ago. The rest of us look like we’re wearing something that’s 10 years gold.

      • GingerR – Thanks for this eye-opening observation, which describes the biggest problem with my wardrobe in one short paragraph! I find something that works and then buy it in several colors. Because I only found this site recently and still have way too many clothes, each piece stays relatively new but now I realize – it still ages! And wearing dated clothing ages me! This is brilliant and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner, so thanks again for helping me see this major wardrobe faux pas.

      • I can definitely appreciate the idea of a smaller wardrobe facilitating style evolution as things wear out. Especially what Sarah S. says above about “I was always trying to buy things that would fit in somewhat with my existing wardrobe that was not itself very current.” That’s a really great insight. On the other hand GingerR what you said about “The rest of us look like we’re wearing something that’s 10 years old” also brought me up short. It’s interesting how “wearing something that’s 10 years old” almost always has pejorative connotations. I’m not advocating having a completely static style, and I know that cuts and details change over time, even for “classics” (Angie at You Look Fab has written about this). But it is interesting to think about whether and how one might “opt out” of that sense that a 10-year-old garment must be dated. I guess I’m just saying, why don’t we ever say: “She’s wearing something that’s 10 years old. Wow, she really made a good shopping choice!”

    • Excellent points, Sarah and Ginger! Having a huge wardrobe and lots of multiples DOES make it harder for us to evolve our style. I didn’t realize how my packed closet and my overshopping kept me stuck style-wise, but I’m learning so much as I’m shopping less and paying more attention to what I do and don’t like. Sadly, what you wrote about older women wearing out of style clothes is true, Ginger. We can’t get away with as much as when we were y0ung (but there are other advantages to being older and wiser).

  29. Hi Debbie!
    I have to say, I really love what you’re doing with your color palette. My first impression is that there actually was a lot of cohesion in the thumbnail photos you posted first. I think you also look really good in green, and also the high contrast of the black and white stripes.
    My second thought was that I agree with you on trying out some shorter skirt lengths- ones that show just a tiny bit of knee would work well on you, I think. Because you’re so tall, I think having that visual line in the middle of your leg will help balance you better. The good news is, you can probably hem your existing skirts and not have to purchase new items! I think the silhouette of the leopard print dress is working very well for you.
    In the row of photos where you have tank tops and skirts, I am wondering if you’ve tried tucking in the plainer tops with the patterned skirts? The hemline currently is sitting at the wider part of your hip and I’m wondering if you might accentuate your waist better by tucking or belting? I know it’s a tricky thing because I do feel a little self conscious when I try it. But I do think it might work for you though, because the dress with the striped top and black bottom emphasizes a higher waistline and looks really nice on you!
    Also a thought on transitioning away from the open cardigan look to a more edgy style- do you have any comfortable belts you can use over the cardigans to cinch them in? You might even consider different ways to wrap the open front before belting. I think this could give a little visual interest. I know belts sometimes irritate me so I’m looking for one that is stretchy, or I might look into making my own.
    Also, for the issue where you think the pants are too baggy, it’s really a simple alteration to get the sides of the legs taken in just about half an inch or so on each side. I often do this with thrift store finds (there are so many bootcuts out there!) in order to make a more modern straight leg cut. It couldn’t hurt to try it out on one of your more “disposable” pairs and see if you like it. Or even just use safety pins and try it on that way to see if it’s comfortable.
    On a side note, I wonder if you might add more interest to the outfits you find a little plain with a hair updo or braid? There are so many tutorials to be found online now- I’m growing my hair out from a pixie cut and am dying to try them when my hair is long enough!

    • Here are a few examples of what you might be able to do with your open front cardigans:
      Maybe tie a scarf or ribbon to get this look:

      This is a product that is meant to be wrapped a lot of different ways, but maybe it can give you some inspiration:

      To make a rounder neckline, pin one side up near the shoulder:

      I hope that might be helpful!

    • Thanks for all of your feedback and suggestions, Sarah. I really like the links you sent. I would love a cardigan like the one in the first look, and I’ve pondered buying ones of those DKNY cardigans. I’ve responded about skirt length and tucking in tops above, so I won’t repeat myself here, but as for the pants, I’ve taken in pants at the sides a number of times in the past. The first pair of jeans was already taken in before, but I could probably do it again. They tend to stretch out very easily and I am too lazy to wash them after every time I wear them, especially since I sometimes only wear them for a few hours at a time. As for my hair, yes, I could definitely stand to do more with it! I never know what to do. Mette has been trying out different styles on her blog (http://theyogasticshoppingplanner.blogspot.com/) and she’s inspired me to want to try new things, too. Checking out online tutorials is a good idea!

      • I hear ya about being too lazy sometimes! Haha! I think taking them in a little at a time is a good way to ease into being comfortable in new silhouettes. I’ve definitely overdone it on certain items (luckily they were $4 thrift store pants, for experimenting) and ended up with skinny jeans instead of straight legs!

  30. Hi! I came across your blog a few months ago and have to say I’m hooked! I have gone back and read a lot of past entries and in addition to your recent posts. I have learned quite a bit from your blog and wanted to thank you! I am a 28 year old living in New York, working in NYC. As you can imagine, the pressure here to look good is constantly there. My love for shopping is also there. This unfortunately has led me into over spending, over buying and still feeling like I have nothing to wear. Over the last few months I’ve really tried to take steps towards a better wardrobe. By better I mean, feeling good in my clothes, liking what I have and actually having SPACE for my clothes. Although NY apartments don’t leave much room for big closets, that is no longer an excuse. I simply have TOO much. I have always cleaned out my closet after every season and I love to organize. The problem is that I’d get rid of something and bring something right back in. After reading your blog I’ve learned some really useful tools:
    1. I am now aware that I make “splurge” buys. When something is on sale I’m convinced I have to have it, bc I won’t find one again and hey it’s only x dollars right? Now I am trying to stop and think like you said, would I buy this if it wasn’t onsale? Do I LOVE it? If the answer is no. I move on. At first this was REALLY hard but now I realize by the next day, I’ve forgotten the item.
    2. I re-assessed the wardrobe I NEED as compared to the wardrobe I WANT. No need for me to have a ton of going out or weekend clothes when I work in an office 5 days a week, 9 hours a day. What’s the use of that?
    3. I took a good look at what I had and what didn’t fit well, was no longer in style, was worn out, or was a 8 or lower I no longer needed. (to include not only clothes but purses, shoes and accessories)
    After doing this, I was able to sell some stuff (at a very convenient yard sale my mother in law had), give some unwanted items to my sister (who shares my dress and shoe size) and donate the rest of the items to my local charity. The few remaining items that didn’t fall into these categories fell into the trash. I then reorganized my closet to make it more functional. I can now see all my items and picking out outfits is a million times easier. I still have lot to get rid of, but little by little I have been able to pair down a lot. I started out with two closets full, two 5 drawer bureaus, 5 extra large container store bins and 3 bins of shoes. I now have one closet full, one 5 drawer bureau, 4 bins and 2 bins of shoes. Like I said, still more than enough but I’m finding that I feel like I have MORE outfits to wear bc I actually know what I have and can mix and match so much better. I am also trying to stop the amount I shop. I tried to go cold turkey for Lent, which heavily backfired on me and resulted in a binge in May so I am like you, limiting the amount of items I buy. Instead of yearly, I am doing monthly. This has helped in that, if I go out and see super cute pajama pants I stop, think and remember I don’t need pajama pants. That’s not on my list and I want to save my item purchase for something I do need to update like my old rain boots!
    In short, thanks SO much for your help. I am making great progress : )

    • Welcome, Millie, and thanks so much for sharing your journey with us! I’m so glad my blog has been helpful to you in paring down your wardrobe and shopping smarter. It always makes me feel really good to know that my writing has been helpful to others in making positive changes in their lives. And you definitely have made a lot of positive changes and in a relatively short time, too! Bravo for you! I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. I often forget things, too, if I push myself to hold off on buying them. Sometimes, it was more about wanting the “high” I got from buying more than the item in question. It’s good that you’re learning this valuable lesson, too. Keep up the great work – so inspiring!

  31. Hi, there, Debbie! I wanted to share something that I learned from my sister-in-law. She also had a hard time finding pants of any kind that she liked, so she decided years ago that she would simply opt out. No more pants (except pajama pants). She never has to waste time on them again. It’s just like with colors that will never look good on a person, she decided that pants would never look good on her, and she consciously removed herself from them, rather that struggle fruitlessly to find that elusive style that would flatter. I recently took a page from her book myself. At 42, and after 3 children, I find myself with a bit more of a pot-belly than I’d like. I was trying to wear jeans, then trousers, and always having to hike up the waist. Not only is this an inelegant act to preform, it also left me with pants hiked waaaay up over my belly-button, emphasizing that area. I felt frumpy. And like the saying goes,” First, know thyself, then adorn thyself accordingly”- or something like that! And I do know that I’m not going to be hitting the gym, I’m not going to count calories, etc. I’m mostly happy with my body- even the little pot-belly, and I don’t need the hit that my self-esteem takes when I wear pants or jeans, and I have to hitch them up (even with a belt) like an old man! So, maybe that is something to consider. Not from a position of ” Oh, woe is me, I can’t find pants I like”, but from a strength position of” I look AWESOME in dresses”- which is true! Tights and tall boots will keep dresses warmer in the winter, and you could easily throw some in your suitcase when you travel, so that you don’t get caught like you did on your last trip. PS I also love the last picture!!! For all of the reasons others have mentioned above! Cheers!

    • Thanks for sharing your sister-in-law’s solution to the pants problem, Marcy. I don’t know if I want to eliminate pants altogether, but I would like to wear skirts more often. Most of my skirts are dresses are pretty “summery,” but I’d definitely like to get some that are more suited to cooler weather (such that it is where I live).

  32. Debbie, as I scroll through your outfits, I see that you have evolved an attractive and flexible uniform of separates for yourself, consisting of an interesting tank top + a skirt, and each outfit has a different mood, so it is uniquely interesting and doesn’t read like a uniform.

    I notice how the hemline lengths change, and the overall effect this has on your proportions. Some of your skirts fall to the widest part of your upper calf and make your legs look broader. In the top row of 4 outfits, I am referring to #1 and 3. I would shorten #3 about 2-3″, but #1 cannot be shortened without ruining the flare of the hemline, so I would leave it be. In #2, the skirt length is elliptical, flashing some knee, so your legs look more graceful. In #4, the length is slightly too long and seems “droopy and unhappy looking”, lol.

    In the second row, the length of your dress is just about perfect for your proportions. And in the second photo of the longer elliptical hem, that length is wonderful on you, gives you a willowy look.

    I hope you think these are constructive comments! I also like your colors.

    • I prefer the shorter skirts, too, Deby, and have already taken a few of them to my tailor to be shortened. I’m not sure about the ones photo #1 and #3 due to the flares at the bottom and the special thread (on #3), but I’m going to explore the options. Skirt #4 is being shortened and it definitely looks a lot better in person than in the photo! Some garments just don’t photograph all that well and that’s one of them…

  33. My favorite look is the last one, you look chic. Perhaps you would like it better in a different cut of jeans. ? Here are some ideas to achieve an edgier look. An easy way to instantly make any of your outfits more edgy would be to try some different style shoes. ( I do like your sandals they look very pretty) .Perhaps a pair of cage sandals or booties in neutral or black. I find that shoes can totally change the vibe of an outfit. Also, tucking in tanks & tops and adding a interesting belt or thin belt over untucked tops. Bold jewelry large necklaces , long pendants, leather cuff bracelet for an edgy look. Mixing prints… stripe top w/ print scarf. Interesting post, thanks.

    • The majority of the 54 items you wore during the past month appear to be knit with the exception of pants. Perhaps mixing different types of fabrics would help create some new looks. It’s great that you are now wearing clothes to show off your hour glass shape! I wonder if you own any sheath dresses or pencil skirts? I think you would look really nice in those styles too.
      As far as my style evolution, I now only wear natural fabrics . Also , I wear only necklines that flatter, use accessories to dress up simple outfits. I only wear dark wash jeans no faded & absolutely no flip flops in public anymore. Living at the beach its easy to dress too casual, most people do. I guess I have a very similar style as before just much higher quality items. I would like to find some everyday dresses in solid colors so that I’m not wearing pants everyday.

    • Thanks for the tips on edgier shoes, jewelry, and belts, Jan. Also, thanks for sharing a bit of your style evolution. It sounds like you’ve figured out pretty well what works for you. I live near the beach, too, and it’s very casual around here. My life is pretty casual, too, and I’ve found that I wear my knit pieces a lot more than my non-knits. I am going to try to wear some of my non-knits more, though, as sometimes we can get into habits with how we dress. What we may term “dressy” may actually work better for casual than we thought…

  34. I think outfit photos are invaluable and I try to take these daily, even though I’m often the only one who sees them. The photos allow me to see what worked, what didn’t and most importantly, why. Which helps me modify how I will shop in the future. I only recently realized that black is not a great color for me. And now when I shop, I try to stay away from black items, at least until I can shift my core colors.

    • I agree about the value of outfit photos, Lisa. I often think something worked well until I see the photo later. Or sometimes the reverse is true… I may feel only ho-hum about an outfit while I have it on, but seeing the photo later may cause me to give it another try.

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