Looking Backward in 2012-2013 Limbo

My 2012 retrospection has been slow and ponderous, but I think I've got it sorted. Finally. I felt a bit confused and turned about when looking back on my outfit posts, probably because I feel my style has evolved drastically since I left my office job in August. It was hard to find a common thread or see which changes were brought about by an internal shift vs. an external one. At last, I decided to mentally redact the office-wear portion of the year and focus on the outfits relevant to my current lifestyle, and it all sort of clicked into place.

First and foremost, capital-C Comfort has risen to the top of my list of style priorities. In both my occupations and my recreations, I am on my feet and active all day, so I need clothes that stretch, flow, move, breathe, cradle, support, and cushion. Conversely, this means that The Bottom Line has fallen in my list of priorities. I paid more than usual for items this year - my sapphire jacket and Rockport boots come to mind - but I've already worn those items like crazy, because they keep my body happy.

Second, I've developed a practical interest in layering, since I have to wear a uniform tee most days. Tops that can be worn under the tee are invaluable for bookending, warmth, and variety. Scarves hold an importance they never had before. Jewelry feels absolutely necessary - and jackets are suddenly not as important, since they cannot be worn on the sales floor.

Third, it has become more important to me to feel fresh and current at any given time than to feel different than yesterday. This means I need less clothes overall, and that greater turnover is okay. I don't feel bad about reselling items after a year or so, because staying current is now a part of my business model.

Finally, I've developed a whole new relationship with my hair! As I click through my WIW photos, I wonder how long it will be before I want to go long again.

And so, in this unique time when 2012 is technically over, yet my 2013 shopping is not yet begun, I have developed a few wardrobe goals for the coming year:

- No more skinny jeans! Mix up the silhouette more.
- Swap out woven minis for jersey midis.
- Continue to purge unused items.
- Look beyond short shorts for summer - you can't wear those to work!
- Acquire 1-2 S/S scarves.
- Keep an eye out for closed-toe, comfy, summery shoes.
- Keep an eye out for 3" low-grade platforms, so you can bring your bootcuts to work.
- Save up for Shoptoberfest 2013!
* Resist the urge to shop for other, unnecessary things - save up for a family vacation!

I feel pretty good about my goals - they are simple and few, and they require both indulgence and restraint. I hope I remember to bust out this list around June, so I can see how I've done... and also see if the new career path has evolved the old style goals any further.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    Rae, Your thoughtfulness is very impressive. Your goals really match your life (Angie will be pleased).

  • goldenpig replied 6 years ago

    Wow, so thoughtful and wise! I love reading your insights and your well-thought out plan. You really know your style and what you need to make it work.

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    I hear you on the clothes that move thing.

    Last winter I decided to improve my work outfit formula from dark jeans & heavy, tailored tees to dark jeans and woven white shirts.

    I think I actually look neater in the tailored tees than the shirts. The shirts show every ketchup stain and come undone so quickly when you're reaching, bending, and carrying 3 plates of hot food.

    I got a lot of use out of them, and they were all under $20, but now my white shirts are feeling orphaned for the above reason. I'll hang onto them but some of them might get packed away.

    Live and learn, right?

  • Mo replied 6 years ago

    Great insight! I can relate to the finding of a common thread among a year's outfits when the parameters change drasticallly. For you it was office to uniform, for me hot summer year round to cold winter basically year round. Finding common elements in such disparate looks is what led me to my rubric.
    I like your year's goals as well. Fairly straight forward and concrete, not super broad like 'be more polished' or something equally abstract. Well defined goals are easier to achieve.

  • catherine replied 6 years ago

    Your hairstyle is amazingly attractive and unique.

  • Zapotee replied 6 years ago

    I am with you on the skinny jeans. I actually tapered two pairs of trousers, which are now skinny trousers. Those will debut shortly ( I still need to hem them)
    And ditto on Shoptoberfest 2013. I still have my plane ticket, which is valid for one year. I just hope the dates are similar, so I can make it.

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    It was fun and enlightening reading your musings. What a great way to stay focused! Are you missing dressing for the bank job?

  • anne replied 6 years ago

    Very interesting Rae. Looking forward to seeing your year!

  • ManidipaM replied 6 years ago

    Great introspection and a very focused to-do list.

    It's interesting that career-wise you've basically exchanged one set of strict sartorial rules for another, different one. Because I admire how well you work with and around the rules, either way, and still stay in YOUR style.

    The importance of comfort, even at a higher-than-accustomed price, which might mean fewer purchases as a corollary, struck a chord for me. I'm toying with the idea of a 12-for-12 strategy myself --- for budgetary reasons in part, but also in the hope that this way I can bring up the bar a bit and allow myself a few pricier or trendier purchases without a struggle.

  • Mochi replied 6 years ago

    Not doing justice to your extremely well-articulated, contemplative, revelatory post with this short response. But I'm very happy to witness how quickly someone can solidify their new identities so quickly in the middle of sudden changes. It's fascinating and inspiring. Hopefully I will have better things to say later, but kudos.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Rae, I really like your thought process here. Very reflective, practical, and astute. I understand exactly what you mean about reaching for comfort. As my work has become more and more focused at home, I look for that as well, at least in my everyday work outfits. They have to FEEL like loungewear, but look like stylish clothes, or they just don't cut it.

    As you know, I also identify with your recognition that you might be turning things over more quickly than in the past. And like you, I tend to wear my favourites a lot. I'm learning that it is OKAY to pay more for those items -- even if I do decide to re-sell or donate the following year, because if I've worn them as much as I tend to wear them, they will still represent value.

    Can't wait to see where you go next!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    This is nothing short of brilliant Rae! You have really paid attention to the changes in your wardrobe and style based on your career shift. And I think your 2013 goals are fab - looks like many are moving away from the skinnies to experiment more with other silhouettes.

    Looking forward to seeing where 2013 takes you!

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