This year has been one of the strangest years in recent memory.
In many ways it has felt like a year in flux; a transitional year full of growing pains. I for one have experienced these pains in my career, and have noticed a shift in my priorities, and even felt a difference in my passion projects (like this here blog). We all hope that once the pain of growing has subsided, strength and clarity and maybe even some purpose are left in its wake, right? In the hopes that that silver lining is a real thing, here are some of my biggest takeaways from this past year:
I never fully articulated my wardrobe goals for 2016, but I did propose a general commitment to creating a "lean closet," and a real pledge to buying only ethically made or secondhand clothing. In summary, I'd say I aced the latter and earned about a C+ on the former.
As far as my "lean closet" mission goes - well, I guess I should start by asking how one defines a "lean closet" in the first place? Not defining and not clearly articulating this goal was one of my major mistakes of 2016. That said, making the switch from the stringent rules of a capsule wardrobe to the more relaxed and flexible "lean closet" system felt like a natural progression. After capsuling all through 2015, it was definitely time to loosen the reigns a bit this year. But with that newfound flexibility and freedom I started to notice some old habits creeping back in.
CONSUMPTION AND PURCHASING
Too much stuff, you guys. This year I bought or was gifted too much stuff. Being an Everlane ambassador comes with perks, and unfortunately/fortunately for me, I think I doubled the number of Everlane things hanging in my closet this year. Sometimes I go to work and realize that I'm wearing head-to-toe Everlane, even down to the accessories. I'm OUT OF CONTROL. As sad as I am to see this ambassadorship come to an end, I think it will ultimately benefit my desire to live the "less is more" mantra.
In addition to Everlane, I found myself thrifting a lot more than I probably should have. It's not that I am frustrated by what I chose to add to my closet (I scored some pretty amazing jeans, jackets and coats in 2016), it's why I did it. I found myself shopping when stressed, when bored, or when anxious. I used buying as a distraction and a coping method, instead of thinking of it as a luxury and opportunity to support slow fashion designers and makers. The gratification of picking up something new is so deeply ingrained in my psyche, it might take a few more years of trying before I am able to fully rid myself of its power.
My commitment to only purchasing ethically-made clothing opened my eyes to a whole new world of designers and independent makers. I familiarized myself with new brands, boutiques, and women who are changing the fashion, design and retail game for the better. There is truly a beautiful community of ladies out there doing their part to make the world a better place through fashion. It's extremely cool, and it's a space I hope to cozy up to even more in the new year.
I also plan to reach out to more boutique owners, designers and makers and share their stories on the site. I love the idea of showcasing the diverse and rich talents of the women who occupy this slow fashion space. Pretty inspiring stuff, no?
DON'T CALL IT A RESOLUTION
I am crazy inspired by what I read weekly over at Seasons and Salt and The Style Bee. Andrea and Lee both have beautiful tones, and the clarity with which they describe their closet missions is remarkable. These two women and their blogs are definitely goals for me in the coming year.
To that end, I plan to post on a consistent weekly schedule. That's not to say that I'll only ever post once per week, but my lack of consistent posting this year has been sort of a wake up call. I love what I do at the nonprofit I work for, and the new role that I have assumed takes up a great a deal of my time and bandwidth. As much as I would love to blog daily, it's just not in the cards. I want to set myself up for success, and not have to sit with the guilt of over-promising, only to under-deliver. So with that in mind, I'm taking Celeste's advice and making Thursday my day! Yep. That's right. I'll be here every Thursday, just hanging out. Come kick it if you're so inclined.
At the end of the day this whole blog is really about style and choice. There are so many forms of self-expression, and so many outlets to funnel a social justice inclination into. I think the most important thing I need to remind myself about is that I'm writing and blogging because sharing with other women brings me happiness. There's no fun to be had in beating myself up over missing a scheduled post.
My biggest hope for the blog is that 2017 will be a year of consistency, guided by joy.
And with that, I bid you all a very very happy holidays and a truly splendid new year!
All my love,