In no particular order, here are my favorite outfits from 2012:
My least favorite outfits (okay, the worst ones I wore) or the ones I don't find to be "me" anymore:
After looking back through my pictures, I can honestly say that I can tell how much my style has changed in just a year's time. A lot of the change had to do with my focus on running and the changes my body experienced as a result, but I think my philosophy about shopping and buying clothes evolved the most.
When I pieced this post together, I realized that very few of my "favorite" outfits came from the months of January through April (all but two of the "worst" pictures are from these months), but I evolved slowly into a style that's more "me" over the course of the year. I'm certainly not saying that I've achieved perfection, but simply that I think the goals of my blog are working; I never set out to be the perfect example of "what to wear," but the blog began simply as a visual for me to dress and look better as a young teacher on a budget. This blog has done wonders for me to create outfits, get inspiration, and document all the changes in my life throughout the year.
Thoughts on the Fashion Failures:
Looking at outfits I wore at the beginning of this year (and the first outfits of my blog), I realize that I didn't know what I was doing. I mean, I'm still learning how to balance youth with professionalism and quality with budget, but I don't know if I'd consider wearing some of those outfits ever again. I recently found one of my outfits that someone pinned on Pinterest, and I was embarrassed by the comments on my outfit. While they were a little mean-spirited*, they were right; the outfit wasn't flattering. I realize now that the outfit probably would have looked better if I took the time to find similar, quality items...and there's a reason that I haven't worn a similar outfit since then.
*I have to say, I surprise myself here -- I've developed a thicker skin and I've let negativity roll off a lot easier than I thought I would. When I started this blog, I truly worried about putting myself "out there," and assumed I'd be ripped to shreds at every post. Whenever the occasional mean comment pops up, I analyze whatever they said for truth, appreciate the person for their brutal cador, and shrug it off (and maybe email Fran for some comforting words -- thanks for being such an amazing blogger friend!).
I am so thankful that so many of you are kind, constructive, and so accepting. I love that so many of you struggle with the same things I do; body shape, budget, or living an over-scheduled life. I am always grateful for and humbled by the relationships and communications with all of you -- even if you're silently lurking in the shadows and have yet to comment. I appreciate you. :)
Challenges and Changes to my wardrobe:
This year, I've discovered that cap sleeves do not work for me. They just don't. I removed them from my closet. I have done this with several items in my closet -- and I think I'm finally starting to have higher standards for myself in terms of fit, quality, and an item's ability to blend with my wardrobe.
In 2012, I struggled with pants. For whatever reason, my legs and my waist cannot agree on a pants size, and finding great-fitting pants at a decent price is a pretty difficult task. Because of this, I wear skirts a lot (in case you didn't notice). This year, I've tried to venture out a little more into the realm of pants...and with every venture, there is a bit of failure. I took advice from several of you and invested in a couple pair of flares/trouser-leg pants...and I am so glad I did -- I feel like a million bucks every time I wear them!
However, I'm still on a mission to find some flattering and well-fitting skinnies. I will find them. They have to be out there, right?
Reflection on Shopping Philosophy:
When it comes to shopping, I have stopped compromising fit for a low price tag, and as a result, I think my closet has become a better representation of my personality rather than what was convenient to buy. I think that's what I need to do in the future; I want to be 100% sold on the fit on my body and in my closet before I buy anything. During my recent closet purges, I got rid of several items that I thought were so awesome (like my Target coral cropped pants in the outfit above) when I bought them. They weren't me, but I bought them because they were trendy or cheap...or both. I want to reclaim my closet for myself and my personality -- and I really think that's what I've been doing the past few months.
You live, you learn, and you get dressed. I don't regret the "bad outfits," because they helped me get this far. After all is said and done, I'm optimistic that my style will continue to evolve and improve in 2013. Tomorrow, I'll share my goals and resolutions for 2013 -- so enjoy your last day of 2012!
Did I forget any or leave out your favorite (or least favorite) outfit of mine from 2012?