Lessons From My Outfit Journal: 2016 Style Shifts and Goals

Almost two years ago, I started keeping an outfit journal as a way of better getting into touch with my personal style and helping it to evolve.   Although I had previously taken photos of my outfits for at least a few years, I believed that capturing my feelings about what I was wearing would be even more beneficial.  Well, I was right!  At this point, I can unequivocally state that my outfit journal has been the most important tool in my style evolution. And since it continues to produce benefits, I have no intention of giving it up anytime soon.

Style and outfit journal

I’ve shared a number of insights from my outfit journal since its inception and have recently created a separate category for these posts, if you’d like to check them out.  In today’s post, I’m going to highlight the shifts I feel my style has made in 2016 thus far, as well as my style goals for the rest of the year and beyond.  Most of these shifts and goals are a direct result of my outfit journal, as I capture my feelings there about what I wore and what I would change about each look.   Over time, these thoughts have led me to make changes and try new things.  Also helpful to my journey are the “outfit of the day” (OOTD) threads on Facebook.  Seeing what others are wearing and reading their and others’ comments about those outfits (and mine) has helped me to increase my style awareness and make changes to what I’m wearing.

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Lessons from My Outfit Journal – Re-Working a Problematic Look

As longtime readers of this blog know, I have been maintaining an outfit journal since summer 2014.  In this journal, I write down what I wore, where I wore it, my feelings about the outfit, and what I could change in order to improve the look.  I also rate all of my outfits on a scale of 1-10, and I’ve noticed that my percentage of “9” and “10” ensembles have steadily increased over the months that I’ve been keeping my journal.  It only takes a few moments each day, but the benefits have been well worth the effort.

Style journal

Keeping an outfit journal has helped me improve my style.

The notes about what I would improve upon in future outfit iterations have proved to be the most beneficial part of the process.  Sometimes just switching out one piece can add a point or two to an outfit’s rating and have me feeling much more confident in what I’m wearing.   These changes generally happen rather organically, as I tend to remember what went wrong in a look without having to go back and refer to my journal.   The simple act of writing down my feelings has led me to make subtle shifts in how I dress that have added up to increased satisfaction over time.

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My Style Evolution: 2000 – 2015

As we close out 2015 and the third year of “Recovering Shopaholic,” I thought it would be fun to reflect on how my personal style has evolved over the past decade plus.   This is a post I’ve been meaning to do for a while after I had seen another blogger do it, but now seems like a good time since I feel I’ve made a lot of positive changes to my style this past year.

This will be a very photo-heavy post with not as much writing as usual.  There is an old saying, “A picture speaks a thousand words.” Well, that is definitely true when it comes to what we wear, but I will also add some commentary throughout to shed some light on what you’re seeing.  Some of my older photos are a bit embarrassing for me to post, but I’m sure many of you aren’t exactly thrilled with your outfits from days gone by.  It’s all part of the journey, right?   It’s important to note that I liked a lot of these outfits while I was wearing them, but there were definitely times when I felt insecure and uncomfortable in my ensembles.   Again, that’s probably something most of us could say.

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Style Reflections – Summer Outfits Then and Now

Now that summer is well under way, I wanted to reflect on how my warm weather style has changed since I started this blog two and a half years ago.  I took some time to go through my outfit photos from 2013, 2014, and this year.   I selected some ensembles that were fairly representative of what I used to wear, as well as a group of looks that fit my current style quite well.

In today’s post, I share eight looks from the past two years, as well as eight looks from 2015.   I highlight what I no longer like from the previous outfits and what makes me happy about the current ensembles.   I also reflect a bit on what I would change about the older looks to make them work for me today.

Cabrillo National Monument

It’s summer – what have you been wearing?  (photo: Cabrillo National Monument) 

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Lessons from My Outfit Journal – Summer Then and Now

It’s been a little while since I last shared some entries from my outfit journal (see the most recent installment here), so it’s high time for another post in the series.  For those who are new to the blog, I’ve been keeping a journal of my outfits since last summer.  In this journal, I write what I wore, where I wore it, how I felt about my outfit, and what I would change if I had it to do over again.   I also try to take photos of my outfits most days so I have both a visual and written representation of what I’m wearing.   This process takes me just minutes each day and has helped me tremendously in improving my personal style and wardrobe satisfaction.

Summer outfits

What do you like to wear during the summer months? 

I’m going to do a mini “series within a series” beginning with today’s post.   I will share two outfits from last summer as well as two outfits from this summer.   The outfits I’ve selected from last summer are ones that I don’t think work for various reasons.   I will share what I wrote about these outfits last year, as well as anything else I notice today about why the look didn’t work.   I will also comment on how I would change the ensemble if I were wearing it this summer.  The outfits from this summer are ones with which I was quite happy overall.   The reason for sharing the new looks is to highlight what I’ve learned as a result of keeping an outfit journal for over a year.  I have learned so much and I feel that it shows in what I’m wearing now and how my outfit satisfaction has increased.

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