You can learn a lot about yourself by posting a picture of your outfit on the Internet every day for a year. I know, because I did. This was a pivotal year for me – this space may not look like a lot, but to me, it’s a chronicle of everything.
I’ve accomplished a lot, failed a lot, made brave choices and bad ones. Made some money! Burned some bridges. It’s been a year, you guys.
I’ll get one thing off the table right away: many of you have probably seen that I no longer have an Instagram account. I deleted it a few days ago, and I don’t intend to bring it back (see above re: bridges burned). It’s been a painful experience, but also a healing and necessary one. I spent the last two days penning a cathartic blog post about it titled “My Year as an Instagram Influencer: All I Got Were Some Free Clothes and This Pesky Anxiety Disorder,” but I decided to keep that for me, and for you I offer only this:
Instagram was no longer a productive or healthy space for me, so I left it. I respectfully request that you don’t fill the comments section or my email inbox with questions about what happened, because this is the only comment I plan to make.
Boundaries, people, boundaries.
Now, with that out of the way, I’d like to talk about some of my biggest takeaways from 2018, my wardrobe MVPs, and my resolutions for 2019.
Less is more, and better is better
I got dressed in 2018 with the fewest number of garments I’ve ever owned since I was a child (I was a notorious clothing hoarder as a teen, so my closet was literally bursting with random things I’d had since childhood but did not wear). It was so much easier to get dressed every day with fewer clothes, and my style got so much better because of it.
But the other reason that my style got better is because my clothes were better. I had a small number of garments in 2018, true, but I was all the while rotating out old fast fashion and rotating in high quality ethical and vintage fashion. Now that I can really compare the two, it’s plain to see how much worse the fast fashion clothes were in almost every aspect – fit, quality, longevity, everything. I only have a few pieces left from the olden days, but I reach for them less and less, and I much prefer to reach for my smaller selection of nicer things.
It’s worth waiting for the right piece
There were a few times in 2018 when I knew I wanted something – a cream colored silk shell, for example, and a nice pair of leather boots. My previous strategy would have been to just buy whatever the closest approximation to that thing was at H&M or Gap and live with that little feeling of disappointment that it wasn’t exactly what I wanted.
Now, I spend weeks or sometimes even months looking for the right thing, and that investment of time really pays off. For one, I end up spending less money, because my first method is always to scan Poshmark or local consignment shops for the thing I need. For another, I know after I’ve bought it that because I’ve spent so much time considering it and searching for it, I will appreciate it and wear it often.
My style is best when I’m not looking at anyone else
I said I wasn’t going to talk about Instagram, but I will talk about this one thing: It’s really, really hard to find your own style when you spend hours of your day looking at pictures of other people on the internet, especially if literally your entire feed is other bloggers and influencers who write in the same fashion niche as you.
I found myself under a lot of pressure this year to wear what I saw other people wearing and talking about (a specific brand of cardigan that went viral, for example), but I was happiest in my personal uniform, without the influence of the new and the shiny all the time. I find Pinterest to be a much better tool for finding and curating style inspiration than Insta, so I recommend that if you’re feeling burned out on the ‘gram.
I can create cool things, and so can you
This one’s kind of meta, but it’s important. I put off starting a blog for years because I was worried that I was going to be bad at it. When I finally decided to start writing, I learned that yes, indeed I was bad at it, but people read it anyway, and lots of people even liked it. Some people liked it enough to pay me to keep doing it. Not every post on this blog is a winner, but every post that I make instead of wallowing in self-doubt and doing nothing is progress. If you’re thinking about starting a blog this year, here’s my advice: do it, and keep doing it. It may very well be bad, but you created a thing when you thought you couldn’t, and you should be proud of that.
2018 WARDROBE MVPS
A quick list of my favorite, most worn wardrobe items this year, in no particular order.
- Vetta Capsule Boxy Blouse
- Tradlands Elms Shirt (15% off with code goblinshark15)
- Everlane Square Cashmere Turtleneck
- Everlane Easy Chino
- Vetta Capsule Peg Pant (currently sold out, similar here)
- Eileen Fisher Pull On Skirt (no longer available, similar here)
- Everlane Silk Tree Dress (no longer available, similar here)
- H&M Tank Dress (no longer available, similar here)
- Everlane Short Sleeve Mini Wrap Dress
- Vintage Linen Blazer (tbh I cannot find a good vintage linen blazer for sale by an ethical company in December, but I found mine on Poshmark, so I recommend looking either there or Etsy)
- Coat Check Chicago Wool Bomber
- Everlane Oversized Blazer
- Cole Haan Suede Mule Sandals (no longer available, not a lot of good new options in December, but I found mine nearly new on Poshmark)
- Everlane Day Boots
- Nisolo Mariella Mules (currently 40% off!!! This hardly ever happens so if you’ve been thinking about these shoes I recommend shopping this sale)
2019 NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
- Read 52 books, 1 book per week
- Finish writing my sci-fi novel
- Go rock climbing with my husband every day before work
- Bring my lunch to the office every day
- Post on this blog – a lot
I specifically didn’t include any wardrobe resolutions on this list because I’m still working those out. Now that I’m off Instagram, there are some things I need to re-calibrate in terms of how I buy clothes and how I get dressed. It’s like I came out of the bunker after the radiation went away – I need some time to readjust to the real world and remember what it’s like to live in it.
I intend to start using this blog in much the same way that I was using insta – daily outfits, daily feelings – so if you liked that kind of thing there, I hope you’ll continue to visit here.
To all my readers who have been with me for a long time, and to those of you who are new, thank you for reading. I appreciate you, and I wish you the happiest of new years!
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