My Wardrobe, Myself

The intersection of clothing, emotions, and life

Happy New Year to my wonderful readers! I hope that 2022 is off to a great start for you, and I really hope this will be a better year for the world.

I’m in the midst of a series of 2021 recap posts, which began with my last essay on my best at-home purchases from last year. I’m continuing on that path today with a review of my favorite out-and-about purchases of 2021. As with my previous post, I’ll break things down into several categories and outline why the new items have made a positive difference in my wardrobe and my style.

favorite 2021 clothing purchases

I don’t spend nearly as much time wearing my outfits for outside of the home as I do my ensembles for staying in. However, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, it makes a powerful difference when I’m dressed in clothing that I’m happy with. When we’re wearing pieces and outfits that we’re both physically and emotionally comfortable in, it can improve our confidence and our overall sense of well-being. Conversely, when our clothes are too tight, too fussy, or not in line with our personalities and lifestyles, we can end up feeling drained, demoralized, or insecure (or all three!). This has been the case for me more times than I can count, which is part of the reason I dedicate so much time to analyzing and improving my wardrobe.

My Best Out-and-About Purchases

I purchased good items in most of my wardrobe areas last year, but what’s pictured below are my absolute favorite buys. I’m grouping them into five different categories of pieces that I’m grateful to have bought over the course of 2021.

Most of the garments and accessories shown are no longer available, but several are still on offer in limited sizes and colors. I’ll include links to anything shown that’s still for sale (and often at a deeply discounted price!) in case any of you might be interested in potentially buying them. Please note that the links in this post are not affiliate links.

Comfortable Black Bottoms

comfortable black pants and skirt

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I struggle when it comes to bottom pieces, especially pants. I’m tall and short-waisted with very long legs, and I also carry any extra weight in the hip and thigh area, all of which contributes to good-fitting pants being extremely difficult for me to find. Luckily, I was able to find two great pairs of black pants last year that fit well and are comfortable to wear.

The metallic trim on the sides of the slim-leg pants adds some nice visual interest to an otherwise basic pair of trousers. I’ve enjoyed dressing these pants up and down in many different outfits. The straight-leg pants are a wider version of the slim-fitting knit bottoms that I bought in 2020 and have worn frequently. Unfortunately, the straight-leg version is no longer available, but the slim-leg version is still offered in both black and navy in standard, petite, plus, and tall sizes. You may need to size down in these pants unless you prefer a more generous fit.

I mentioned in a post last year that I’ve been mostly moving away from skirts, but I still enjoy wearing them from time to time. However, I’d gotten to the point where I only had one skirt remaining a black maxi skirtthat I felt fit and flattered me (two other skirts are in my holding zone). While I pondered phasing skirts completely out of my wardrobe, I decided to add a second black skirt to my closet instead, as I still own a small capsule of shorter tops that only work with skirts. The purchase of the new midi-length black skirt, which I bought via a late-season sale, will help add more versatility to my summer wardrobe and help me get more wear out of the tops. The skirt pictured above is no longer available, but a similar version is currently being sold from the same brand.

Loveappella Printed Tops

loveappella printed tops

Just as it can be challenging for me to find pants that fit me well off the rack, I also experience issues with the fit of tops. Much of the time, I need to have the sides of my tops taken in because I have broad shoulders and a narrow torso, and I also prefer a more fitted (but not snug) silhouette. However, I found a brand and style of tops this past fall that fit me well without the need for any alterations. Since I’ve also been wanting to purchase more tops that look great on their own, I was happy to find a few great options from Loveappella at Nordstrom.

I purchased the black print floral stripe top first, and once I saw how well it fit me, I bought the navy stripe / polka dot hybrid version (available via the same link above) shortly thereafter. These tops are both a bit longer in the back than the front, which I like because the length still works well for me even given my height. A couple of months later, I bought the charcoal and burgundy colorblock top, which I pair with black pants the way it’s shown on the model.

All of these tops are still available in most sizes and for a discounted price. The colorblock top is also offered in two other color combinations, but I didn’t take the leap on those because the colors didn’t suit me as well and I also want to avoid having too many “multiples” in my wardrobe. I find that the Loveappella tops run true to size, and the three-quarter sleeves have enough length for my long arms. At the moment, I’m pairing my new Loveappella tops with cardigans or jackets, but they also work well on their own, which is in line with my goal (that I wrote about in this post) of buying more “special tops” that don’t need layering or a lot of accessories in order to look “complete.”

J. Jill Cardigans

J. Jill cardigans

I blogged last year about my “addiction” to cardigans and my desire to pare down an oversized collection. At the time, I had purchased far too many pieces for that area of my wardrobe. Fortunately, I was able to return or sell nine cardigans that didn’t work well for me and also identify the issues that made those items problematic. It wasn’t all bad, though, as the cardigans above were good acquisitions that have served me well since I brought them into my closet.

All of the cardigans pictured were purchased at J. Jill during the early portion of 2021, so they are mostly no longer available (but the light purple cardigan is still available in size XS). A lot of J. Jill clothing doesn’t fit me very well, as the cuts can sometimes be too boxy and oversized, but the five cardigans shown are all cut slimmer (although I sized down in each of them). The cardigans are all mid-weight, which is perfect for my Southern California climate. I also own black and teal versions of the red cardigan from 2020 that have been worn often.

The only cardigan that I had altered in any way was the textured tweed duster, as it originally had side slits, which is a detail that I don’t like (I mentioned why in this post). It was a simple alteration to have my tailor sew the slits shut, but I plan to refrain from purchasing tops or toppers with that detail in the future. The other cardigans all fit me well off the rack, and the duster is a new favorite after the simple modification was made.

I like that the two black and white print cardigans pair well with all of my black pieces, as well as with the jewel tones that I like to wear. The red and purple cardigans look great with my black tops and many of the printed tops in my closet. I have a handful of navy-printed tops (including the Loveappella one shown in the last section), so it’s nice to have a good quality navy cardigan to throw on over them when necessary. All in all, I’m very happy with these five cardigans and I’m glad I bought them. I still need to curtail my penchant to accumulate an overabundance of cardigans, but at least I’m more aware now of which styles are likely to become wardrobe workhorses.

Sleeveless Midi Dresses

sleeveless midi dresses

For years, I only wore dresses and skirts during the summer months, but I’ve embraced cropped pants more during the past few years. That said, I still enjoy wearing dresses, especially when I go out with my husband or to meet a friend for lunch or dinner. While my preferred hemline used to be either knee-length or a full maxi, my preference is now the midi-length styles that have recently become more popular. I added the above three dresses to my closet last summer, and I love them all.

I already owned several black dresses, but I was immediately attracted to the asymmetrical hem of the first dress when I saw it at Nordstrom. The silhouette of the dress is “easy and breezy,” which is wonderful during the hot summer months. The black and white print dress also came from Nordstrom, and it can easily be dressed up or down based on what I pair it with.

The pink print dress was kind of a “wild card,” as I don’t own any other garments in that light pink shade. I tried it on at J. Jill on a whim and was surprised to find that I loved the way it looked on me. I do need to wear a special bra with it because of the halter style neckline, but I fortunately own several bras that I can easily convert to a racerback fit. I like that this dress is quite different from all of the other dresses that I own, so it adds some nice variety to my summer wardrobe. I never used to be able to wear such a light pastel shade, but since I transitioned to my natural hair color a few years ago, I’ve found that many lighter colors that previously washed me out now suit me quite well.

I now own twelve dresses, but I’ll likely pass a few of them on next summer. While I used to basically live in maxi-length dresses, I currently have just two, one of which was not worn at all during 2021. That dress and two or three shorter styles in my closet probably won’t make it into the rotation for summer 2022. However, with my new acquisitions shown above, I think I’ll have plenty of pretty and versatile dresses to carry me through the warmer months this year.

Fun and Interesting Accessories

fun and interesting accessories

Accessories are the pieces that add a lot of “flavor” and personality to our outfits, so I was pleased to acquire a nice selection of accessories during 2021. The three bracelets, two pendants, two scarves, and pair of sunglasses shown above are all among my best purchases of the year. The sunglasses were my most recent accessory purchase, from a costume accessory store at my local mall. They were inexpensive and kind of an impulse buy, but I love the cat-eye shape and I feel the sunglasses are in line with my “dramatic” style guidepost.

My favorite bracelets to wear are a combination of black and silver. The three bracelets shown are all in line with that description, but they’re different enough to allow me to mix things up a bit. I’ve worn the bracelet in the top right more often than the other two, but I love them all. I also really like the two pendants I bought from J. Jill, which are similar styles but different colors. The gray and black version is still available at a very low price, and that pendant is also available in a violet option. Because I’ve been moving into wearing navy and other blue shades more often, the long blue pendant was a good purchase for me. It would also look good with a white or light-colored top as part of a summer ensemble.

I haven’t been wearing scarves as often as I used to in recent years, but I want to get back into it, as a printed scarf can really help to pull together an outfit that includes several solid pieces. The two new scarves also came from J. Jill, and the black watercolor print wrap is still available (and on sale). The navy print scarf pairs well with the navy cardigan pictured earlier in this post, as well as with the light purple cardigan. The fact that both cardigans were also purchased at J. Jill helps with the color coordination.

Conclusion – and Your Thoughts?

Overall, I feel that I bought too many out-and-about pieces this past year, especially given the fact that we’re still in a pandemic and I spend even more time at home than usual. Not all of my purchases were successful, but I feel good about the items that I covered in this post and the last one. I’m also happy that I placed greater emphasis during 2021 on buying clothes for the way I actually live my life. I’m making far fewer mistakes than I used to with both out-and-about and at-home clothing, which I feel is in large part due to my style definition and my analysis of what pieces didn’t work for me.

Speaking of that last point, my next post will cover my worst purchases of 2021. Fortunately, there weren’t that many of those, but I could sometimes kick myself for the ones that do exist. I’m not going to kick myself, though, and instead will endeavor to learn from the error of my ways so that I can continue to improve my purchasing track record.

Stay tuned for my worst purchases review next week, but for now, I’d love to get your thoughts on what I covered in today’s post. Feel free to share about either my purchases or your own. Here are a few questions that may help you to gather your thoughts:

  • What were your best out-and-about purchases of 2021?
  • What was it about those items that made them your favorites?
  • What is on your list to buy this year, either for your at-home or out-and-about wardrobe?
  • Have you dramatically changed the way you dress as a result of the ongoing pandemic?

I welcome your answers to these questions, as well as any other thoughts you’d like to contribute here. Thank you and have a wonderful weekend!

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19 thoughts on “Best Purchases of 2021: Out-and-About Items

  1. Andrea says:

    Another great post Debbie, your writing sings to my soul! Cardigan addiction has been my bete noir for the last 10 years. In the last month I have purged my entire wardrobe and replaced it with my style aesthetic “simple, clean, elegant” lines as a DYT Type 4. Discovered DYT through your essays recently and feel I’ve “come home”. My out and about wardrobe is the same as my at home home but with a few tweaks. Realised I am happier knowing I can slip out as I am with a topper of choice and feel presentable enough even in my current work role which is public facing but low profile. I hope 2022 is also my year of “less”. Less worrying, less excess, less buying – less is more! Thank you for another great piece. Happy New Year to you and all of us who follow your transformative work.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      You’re so kind, Andrea. It feels nice to have someone say that my writing sings to their soul! It sounds like we have a lot in common in terms of our preferred style, and it makes sense since we’re both DYT Type 4. Like you, I feel so much more like myself when I dress in line with my DYT type (dressing my truth, as it were). How wonderful that there’s so much crossover between your out-and-about and at-home wardrobes. I try to have more crossover pieces, but I have physical comfort issues that can get in the way (I prefer looser-fitting pieces to wear at home for that reason). Yay for 2022 being your year of “less”! That was my word for last year, and I had more success with it in some areas of my life than others (I’ll do an update on that soon and also share my 2022 word, which I’m still finalizing). Best wishes to you on your path this year. I especially like the less worrying piece!

      1. Andrea says:

        Thinking about your reference to comfort with style and the pyjama analogy is so pertinent to my life also. My ideal scenario is to dress in the morning with clothing I can’t wait to wear, feel comfortable all day be it working from home, running errands, walking or attending work meetings whilst looking stylish, appropriate and feeling good in my skin. My job as an advisory teacher means that I have to be prepared for formal and informal settings but no longer need the stuffy, rigid uniform of a senior leader. Even my end of day pre sleep outfits are not actual PJs but a variation of this theme – usually thermals with with dressing gown as I am continually trying to simplify. Looking forward to your 2022 word, Debbie!

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          Sounds like you’re doing great with your wardrobe, Andrea! It can be challenging when we transition to a new phase of our careers or life, but you seem to be navigating it all very well. How great that you no longer need to wear a stuffy, rigid uniform (that doesn’t sound comfortable to me). It can be helpful to have “uniforms” for the various areas of our lives. It helps to simplify things while also having us feel good about what we’re wearing.

  2. Gail says:

    Since I have retired, I practically live in my very casual clothes. My new hoodie and Oofos slides are functional for the beachy community here and for at home. I did not buy any other out and about clothes because I do not need them, especially with the pandemic, but even before. I sold/discarded most of my teaching clothes–there were, as you’d imagine, not that many–ten years ago. One resale shop allowed me an even swap for a few pieces that are more comfy for my present life–good deal! As for the new year, I will need some sleepwear and probably new everyday pants. I am hanging on till dressing rooms are open again as I have to try on and hate mailing things back when they do not fit. I have pants trouble, too, but for me it’s because I am 5’3″ and some petites are too long still, and because my waist is small, but my thighs are not. Also, I detest tight clothing and not soft material.
    Debbie, I really like what you bought. Your new style is more classic and suits you, from what I can tell from this distance as a blog reader😉. It is always enjoyable to read what you have been up to and to appreciate your fine writing. Thank you for all the work this entails.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      That’s great that you were able to swap some of your teaching clothes for items that better suit your retired lifestyle, Gail. It sounds like you have a perfect wardrobe for where and how you live now. It was probably easier for you than most to settle into being at home so much during the pandemic. Best wishes with finding the right sleepwear and pants this year. I have the same issue with a smaller waist and larger thighs, as well as the problem of pants being too short much of the time (both too long and too short can both make things more challenging). I share your disdain for clothing that is too tight and not very soft! My goal is to feel like I’m wearing pajamas all the time, but not to look like it! I’m getting there… 😉

      1. Gail says:

        You are right, Debbie: I am reasonably content at home! I do miss volunteer work, and I am glad that we are now able to be with the grandkids.
        What about you? Did you somewhat “enjoy” not being able to get out much? I read one person’s comment–don’t recall where–that he/she was more afraid of the end of isolation! Introverts unite!

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          That’s great that you’re able to spend time with your grandkids again. I know it was really hard for me mom (who is high-risk) not to be able to see my niece and nephew. As for me, I have missed some of the things I used to do, such as going out to the movies and to eat a few times per month. For awhile, I was doing more of those things again, but not lately as things have worsened. It’s not that difficult for me to be at home all the time because I’m used to being home a lot anyway. I definitely think the “sheltering in place” has been easier for introverts, and some even dread going back to a world with more socializing again.

  3. Vildy says:

    Everybody I know is a Foodie except me. Some say that the approach to food and clothes is the same for people but I like my food/fuel monotonous and my clothes experimental. I want the new experiences from the aesthetics of my clothing/outfits. Which doesn’t mean I won’t repeat outfits because that, to me, is like overlistening to the same song until I’ve heard it “enough”. So when the pandemic hit and there was no opportunity to explore and add clothing, I turned to online thrifting, which I usually strive to keep to a minimum because there are very few aesthetic qualities that are discernible plus, as someone once wrote, you don’t want to “fall in love with a jpeg”.

    I’ve just read a whole slew of year end wardrobe evaluations on You Look Fab. But I have no idea of what is new in for the past year. Well, a very fuzzy idea, maybe. I don’t seem to associate particular dates: New Years, Back to School, Jewish New Year, with a time to make changes/improvements. I also don’t have wardrobe goals. I used to keep notes on what I bought for each month but I stopped that and deleted all of it because I like being forward looking plus, in my eyes, it seems near-punitive as though I have to be careful not to do something “wrong”. I’ve never had debt or financial irresponsibility problems with my clothes purchases. I have, at times, done a few months long clothing fast owing to having found all the things I had been wanting for the season but have never had any negative feelings as a result. Did not feel restrictive but more as a positive.

    My husband terms my clothing activities as “a hobby” and I think that’s a pretty good summation. I joined one of Imogen Lamport’s clothes challenges a few years back because she had a two dollar offer for readers. This one was about wearing a series of possibly challenging features for 30 days. Besides teaching you what you do or don’t like, I think it was designed to help people adjust to being more open. My reason was the opposite, I felt I might be
    too experimental. There’s nothing I am afraid or uncomfortable to wear, though many things I would choose not to, such as cleavage-baring tops and even skinny jeans. So I felt this challenge “failed” for me but now I see that the experimentation is an important feature of my approach to clothing.

    I laughed the other day when I put on a pair of micro houndstooth black and white (grey) pull on pants that were obviously meant to be a sort of dress pant but the fabric was lightweight, they had pockets, easy on and off and I was wearing them as At Home wear. This is pretty consistent with my style – dress pants as at home wear! 😀 Oh, and I have been loving soft polyester “corduroy” pull on pants in a wider leg. I see myself in the mirror and it signals that this woman is “relaxed.” 😀

    On the other hand, just lately I have been drawn to wearing skirts. When I think of being very active, whether
    physically or mentally, I think of pants. When I wear skirts I feel graceful and imperturbable, grounded. I feel strong in my femininity and, despite wearing a lot of classically feminine elements, I haven’t usually felt typically feminine or, in fact, graceful. I realized, through this and also because I am new to a blood pressure medication – which I turned out to love because for me it’s like cognitive therapy in a bottle – short-circuits my hyper-responsibility and helps give me a What? Me Worry? attitude, that I need to slow down a bit and be less hectic and impulsive in my approach to all of life’s What Ifs. Less like the boy with his finger in the dike. That story, plus the old tv show Beat the Clock, must have made a huge impression on me as a child. If I’m not darting in many directions I am automatically a lot more
    graceful and less clumsy. It’s easy to trip over your own feet when you keep changing your mind about which direction you’re heading mid-step! And always in a hurry to boot! 😀

    One new thing I am trying is something I picked up from a typical Youtube wardrobe advice video: in an outfit you like, name the impression it gives – one word like chic, romantic, sexy, classic and all the usuals – but then try to identify
    what detail(s) specifically in that outfit gives rise to that thought/feeling. This isn’t particularly easy for me but I have been finding it rewarding.

    One way the pandemic has been taxing to me is not being able to communicate more fully owing to most of my face being masked. I now do wear it as seldom as possible wherever it is not required. I need my lipstick! And get tired
    of not only smiling but grinning with my eyes. I had a good conversation with the woman in the chemo chair next to mine. She volunteered that she was so grateful for my cheerfulness since when she first arrived the waiting room was “full” (social distancing so actually not full) of glum people. Understandable, of course, with what people go through.
    The late middle-aged woman who is the nurse who sees you first to weigh you, temperature, blood pressure, hear
    about any changes or symptoms offered that I had the best attitude of any patient she has ever seen in her career.
    And I had that before I got my first comparative Petscan that showed that the metastases were gone. My oncologist
    was trying to schedule my next treatments – one heavy metal drug gone and the remaining drug “maintenance” –
    around the Christmas and New Years eves holidays and asked if the days before the eves were okay. I told her
    that when you have spectacular results like I did, every day going forward is a holiday.

    1. Vildy says:

      Oh, and I realized yesterday one solution to my ongoing “problem” with casual clothing, that I don’t really like. I don’t even like Effortless style since my outfits are very intentional and I want that to show! I had on a dark brown close knit stretch fabric gored skirt – graceful movement – with a short sleeved nubbly sweater in dark burnt orange and a black collared sleeveless textured vest with blocks of fall color (that reminds me of the “inside” of a plaid) that when I leave off my frequent emphasis on a color throughway, that this in itself is my own version of Casual!

    2. Murphy says:

      Vildy, I’m glad your chemo is going so well!

      1. Vildy says:

        Thanks, Murphy! You know, it was about 5 months from initial diagnosis to where I am now and the chemo lab is quite gregarious where patients and chemo nurses include each other in their lives. It’s quite social! Who could’ve guessed.

    3. Debbie Roes says:

      Vildy, I’m so glad to learn that things are going well with your treatment. I’m sure your wonderful upbeat attitude has helped you along the path – and also helped to life the spirits of some of those glum people you wrote about! I hope you will continue to recover well. I love what you wrote about “every day going forward is a holiday”!

      It’s great how experimental you are with your clothing (and fine that you’re not also like that with food – I’m not, either). My husband has called my clothing-related activities a hobby, too, but I don’t think I enjoy it as much as you do, nor do I feel I’m as successful with it overall. Your fearlessness about your style seems to serve you well. I always find myself wishing I could see some of your outfits, as they always sound so inspired and fun. I can almost picture you in those micro houndstooth pants (which sound cool, by the way) at home. Why not wear such things as at-home wear? There are really no rules for what we should wear at home.

      I like the idea of naming the impression of outfits we appreciate, whether it be in a YouTube video or in someone we see in person. Sometimes when I’m in a public place, I try to pick out ensembles that I would actually wear, as well as ones that I like on the wearer. Sometimes there is a cross-over, but often I like things on others that I wouldn’t wear myself. I’m not really going to set any wardrobe or style goals for this year (more on that soon), but I will continue to work on improving my wardrobe and my style. I agree that we don’t have to start improvements on particular dates like New Year’s.

      Regarding your follow-on comment, interesting what you wrote about “effortless style.” I can see wanting the intentionality you put into your outfits to show and be appreciated by others. The outfit you described sounds amazing!

  4. Murphy says:

    Since I read this post and the last one , Debbie, I’ve been thinking about my purchases from last year. I realized that there was substantial overlap between my at-home and my out-and-about purchases. For example, I bought some dark wash jeans and a couple of hoodies, and they seem to fit in at home and elsewhere as well. Today I even wore the jeans to work since it was a quiet day with no meetings.
    Anyway, my best out-and-about purchases from last year were the hoodies (one black and one navy), two print pullover sweaters and two print sleeveless blouses. The sweaters and blouses are flattering and can be dressed up or down depending on what I team them up with- I love that.
    I think the pandemic, with so much working from home, has made me value comfort and simplicity in my clothes. It has also made me realize that I don’t need anything complicated, but I do want some variety in the form of different colors and prints.
    For this year, the only things I have really set my sights on are some lighter wash jeans for wearing when the weather gets warm, and some comfy shoes and/or ankle boots. But I’m always on the lookout for more cute tops, so I might have to rein myself in on that!

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing about your wardrobe and your purchases, Murphy. I think it’s great that you’re seeing such overlap between your at-home and out-and-about items. I think that’s probably the case for more and more people, especially with so many working from home and/or more workplaces allowing for casual clothing. I’m aiming to have more overlap or at least the potential for it. Many of my at-home clothing can be worn out of the house, especially in terms of my tops, but I never wear jeans at home. I wish I felt they were comfortable enough, but I haven’t really found that yet. It sounds like you had some excellent purchases last year and have a clear idea of what works for you and what you need. Best wishes with finding those lighter wash jeans and the comfy shoes and boots. I remember that you have some issues with finding shoes that work well for your feet, so fingers crossed that you will come across some winners!

  5. Just like with your at-home post, it comes through strongly here that you have solidified your preferences in garments and silhouettes and figured out how to put together outfits that work well for you. Those color/print mix tops are a terrific find for both layering and stand-alone wear. I like what you have to say re: purchasing multiples. It seems many people scoff at multiples, assuming that one will be the favorite on repeat and others will languish unworn, or buy multiples willy-nilly. I also like to purchase multiples after the first garment has proven itself a champion and like you, I try to be careful with what colors/prints I buy. (Try but don’t always succeed, haha!) I’m slowly realizing that I have the easiest time putting outfits together when I’m working with either a limited number of silhouettes or a limited number of colors. There is a lot of attention to color palettes but less so to silhouettes, I think. Another thing that resonates very strongly with me is the ease of coordinating clothing and accessories when purchased from the same store/brand as you did with the J. Jill pieces. I have had some great successes in the last 2-3 years with purchasing multiple pieces and accessories in the same colorway at the same time. I like to wear a lot of color and that’s much easier when you have coordinating pieces to assemble outfits from. I’m tired of having “that one piece” in a color that doesn’t really match anything else. Of course these color orphans can be worn with neutrals, but I look better and am happier when I have multiple colored pieces (which is itself a revelation because it’s not the standard “start with neutrals, then add color” approach that works for a lot of people).

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for your comment, Sally. I’m glad you’ve been able to notice that I’ve solidified my preferences for garments and silhouettes. I totally agree with you that getting dressed is easier when we limit the number of silhouettes we wear. Whenever I buy NEW silhouettes, I tend to find it harder to know what to pair them with. Even the one pair of wider-leg pants (which aren’t even THAT wide) shown above have been more difficult for me to style. I also agree that it’s helpful to purchase multiple pieces within a colorway from the same brand or store, as even black pieces can vary in intensity (although I don’t tend to worry about that as much as I do with other colors). I think it’s great that you embrace wearing color! Not everyone loves wearing neutrals. I like neutrals, but I usually prefer to also add at least one color to the mix, which I guess is more like the standard recipe than what you do. It can take a lot of confidence to wear multiple colors, but it’s wonderful that you’ve realized that color makes you happy.

  6. LisaS says:

    I still like dresses and far and away my favorite this year is the J Jill 3/4 sleeve wearever brand. I will be retiring soon but will keep these and wish I would have discovered them years ago. The sleeve length allows them to be worn in many seasons and covers my less than firm arms. The slightly A-line shape deals with weight fluctuations and is very comfortable skimming over but not clinging to the body. No fussy zippers or buttons. Great for travel as wrinkling is minimal to nonexistent. Can be dressed up or down.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Welcome, Lisa! The dresses you describe sound like they’re very versatile. I don’t think I’ve ever tried on those styles at J. Jill, but I will look out for them to see if they might work well for me. All of my current dresses are either sleeveless or short-sleeved, but it would be nice to have a warmer-weight dress to wear in the non-summer months. It’s always nice to find versatile pieces that check off multiple boxes. Thanks for sharing one of your wardrobe workhorses here!

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