Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that 2023 is off to a good start for you. Today’s post is the second to last of my 2022 reflections, which also included reviewing my wardrobe “benchwarmers,” “all-stars,” and good and bad purchases in recent weeks (and will include a review of my word for the year in my next post). Today, I’ll be sharing some of the highlights from My Wardrobe, Myself over the past year. I look at the most popular posts of 2022, my personal favorites, and a few other pieces of information about the blog that you might find interesting. As I review the popular posts on the blog and my favorites, I’ll also offer some updates related to those topics.
For almost all my years of blogging, I’ve done “best of” posts. I skipped 2020 due to the strange and surreal situation of the pandemic, and I didn’t do a “best of 2017” essay because I only blogged for a few months that year before taking a hiatus. If you’d like to check out my previous “best of” collections (including those from my previous blog, Recovering Shopaholic), here are the links:
- “The Best of My Wardrobe, Myself 2021”
- “The Best of Full Life Reflections 2019”
- “The Best of Full Life Reflections 2018”
- “The Best of Recovering Shopaholic 2016”
- “The Best of Recovering Shopaholic 2015”
- “The Best of Recovering Shopaholic 2014”
- “The Best of Recovering Shopaholic 2013”
I like doing these yearly compilations to help new readers easily access recent highlights, as well as to offer longtime readers an opportunity to revisit essays they may have missed or would like to explore again. Of course, you can always view my earlier writings through the Article Archive (and the ones on Recovering Shopaholic HERE), and you can browse specific topics via the “Browse by Category” links on the site sidebar.
Some General Information and Stats…
During 2022, I published 26 essays on My Wardrobe, Myself, many of why I’ll be highlighting and linking to in this essay. For the sake of comparison, here’s a look at how many posts I’ve published each year since starting this blog (which was originally called Full Life Reflections) in 2018:
- 2018: 33 posts
- 2019: 22 posts
- 2020: 20 posts
- 2021: 38 posts
- 2022: 26 posts
As you can see, the number of posts has waxed and waned from year to year, but the overall average is about 28 posts per year or around two posts per month. I always want to post more often, but many factors seem to get in the way, including personal challenges, perfectionism, and lack of inspiration for what to write about.
I strive to have my posts be helpful to readers, whether it be in the form of specific wardrobe management tips or simply putting words to what readers might be feeling to help them feel seen and heard. I don’t know if I’ve always hit the mark, but I do my best to offer information of value here. I never want to publish a post just for the sake of it, which is sometimes why I can go a few weeks between essays on occasion.
I’m not sure what to predict for 2023, but I’m happy to have persevered last year and cranked out an average of two posts per month. I’ve mentioned the possibility of doing shorter posts more often, and that’s something I still think is a good idea to do. Some topics lend themselves well to shorter essays, and others can easily be broken into segments, so I’m going to work on doing that more often (but today’s post is quite long!). As always, I’m open to your suggestions for post topics and your feedback on the blog in general.
Top Posts Published in 2022
The ten posts below received the most traffic of all the articles that I published in 2022. These posts are listed in order of the traffic received, with the most-visited one mentioned first. I include a brief synopsis of what each article was about, along with updates in some instances. Additional essays from previous years that also attracted a lot of attention in 2022 will be covered in the next section.
- A Tricky “Keep or Return” Decision (March 22) – I was surprised to see that this particular essay was so popular with readers, but perhaps I should explore similar topics more often. In the post, I shared my dilemma about whether to keep a puffer vest that I had purchased from Athleta. I bought the vest a month prior to writing about it, but I had yet to wear it. I pondered why that was the case, and asked for some feedback from readers about what to do. I ended up returning the vest, as I shared in a follow-up post, but my interest in puffer vests was sparked again this cool weather season. I recently ended up purchasing a less athletic-looking vest from J. Jill that I’m hoping will fulfill my desire to wear this type of style. The vest is now sold out so I can’t link to it, but it’s a straighter silhouette that I feel works better with my figure and my wardrobe. However, if I don’t wear that vest, either, I’ll return it and try to give up on the whole concept!
- When Your Clothes No Longer Fit You (June 10) – Weight fluctuations and how they affect our wardrobes is a situation that affects a lot of people, which is probably why this post was so popular. I offered some tips to determine which clothes to hold on to when they don’t fit, and I shared about a recent weight loss that led to my expanding my “hidden holding zone.” I mapped out a plan for addressing the items in my closet, including doing some alterations and making a small number of strategic purchases. My weight has been holding steady since I wrote the post, and my wardrobe is in a much better place now. Buying some new pants and tailoring my favorite pieces has given me a lot more things to wear. I’m still holding on to larger-sized pieces that I would want to wear again if they fit me, and I plan to keep them for at least a year. I shared more about that subject in a late October post about how I’m managing my holding zone.
- I Don’t Care What “They’re” Wearing (September 19) – This was sort of a “rant” post that I like to do from time to time. I wrote about my irritation with bloggers and YouTubers changing out their wardrobes based on the calendar rather than the weather, as well as their seeming obsession with the new fashion trends. Although I don’t avoid trends altogether, I like to focus more on what works best for my body, lifestyle, and personal style aesthetic. Because stores seem to cater primarily to the trends, it can be difficult to find these types of items much of the time. I wish that there could be more variety in retail offerings, especially when it comes to things like pant rises and silhouettes (why must everything be ultra-high-rise and cropped?). My sentiments must have resonated with many other women, as this post got a lot of views. I’m not sure when or if things will change in the retail landscape, but it makes me feel better to know that I’m not alone in the way that I feel.
- Trying Out the Four-By-Four Wardrobe from “The Vivienne Files” (May 31) – I admire the creative capsule wardrobe approach used on The Vivienne Files blog, so I decided to put together my own capsule using her “four-by-four” method. Although it wasn’t easy to make my selections, I was pleased with the result, which was a capsule of 16 garments that could be combined into dozens of outfits. While I didn’t restrict myself to dressing only from this capsule, I referred to it when I packed for my November trip to Lake Tahoe to see my family. I had to make some modifications, but my travel wardrobe was inspired by the four-by-four capsule in this post. I will likely revisit the four-by-four method soon, as I find it to be a very useful concept.
- Closet Reorganization: Summer Tops (April 26) – I have the most trouble getting dressed during the summer, as I rely heavily on using a “third piece” to create interesting and cohesive ensembles. Many of my summer tops are not suitable to be worn on their own, mostly for reasons of emotional comfort. Rather than simply storing all my tops by color, I opted to separate them out into three categories: “standalone” tops, tops that require a topper, and tops that are worn only at home or for exercise. This reorganization made it a lot easier for me to get dressed, and I was able to either pare down or repurpose many of the tops that couldn’t be worn on their own (see this post for an update). As it gets closer to summer this year, I plan to revisit my summer tops to make sure I’m ready to dress confidently and well for the warm season.
- Summer Four-By-Four Wardrobe Capsule (July 1) – Since I enjoyed putting together my first four-by-four capsule in May – and the original post was popular with readers, I did it again a little while later with a summer This capsule wasn’t as successful as the first one, however, because summer dressing is harder for me and I had also lost weight that led to some fit challenges. I think I could potentially tweak this capsule in a few ways to make it more workable and effective, which I will likely do for a post later this year. Although I included multiple toppers in my four-by-four, I can’t rely on them when the weather is warmer. I’d like to create a capsule is less dependent on the “third piece” because there are many days when it’s too hot to wear one.
- A Few Wardrobe Check-ins – and Goals for the Rest of 2022 (August 12) – In this post, I gave updates on three earlier posts related to summer tops, black tops, and Caslon rounded V-neck t-shirts. I was able to report good progress in all three areas following my initial posts about those topics (the earlier essays are all summarized and linked in the update). I also listed four wardrobe-related actions/goals for the remainder of 2022, which I’m pleased to report that I mostly accomplished. The only goal that I struggled with was limiting my purchases of tops to only those pieces that were “standalone” and included special details. I’ve really struggled to find good tops lately, as I don’t like many of the recent styles and they also don’t tend to fit me well. Finding good “standalone” tops remains one of my major wardrobe goals for 2023.
- A Dark Side of Buying “Multiples” (June 24) – This is the post about my Caslon rounded V-neck tees that I mentioned above. Because the tees were offered at very low prices at Nordstrom’s anniversary sale, I had accumulated fourteen of them! Sadly, the tops were not of good quality, and they all seemed to become stretched out and shabby-looking at around the same time even though they were purchased over a two-year period. I learned a difficult lesson about why it’s often not a good idea to buy “multiples,” at least until a particular item has proven itself to be tried and true. At the end of the post, I shared links to some of the tops that have worked well for me for at-home and exercise wear. I wish that I could find some out-and-about options that are equally good! In terms of the Caslon tees, only four of the fourteen remain in my closet, and they’re all reserved solely for at-home wear. If you ever decide to give these tees a try (buyer, beware!), I recommend that you size down, as they stretch out a lot with wear.
- Too Much of a Good Thing (May 17) – And this was the post about black tops that was mentioned in #7 above… Anyone who has been reading my blogs for a while knows that I love to wear black. That’s fine, but I had accumulated too many black tops that were very similar. These tops were all quite plain and were not the type of “standalone” pieces that I referred to in #5. As such, they didn’t add a lot to my outfits, and some of them were rarely worn. After writing the post, I did a thorough evaluation of my black tops and was able to either repurpose or purge many of them. Of the nine plain black tees/tanks highlighted in the post, I’ve designated two for sleepwear and one for exercise wear, and I purged three others. The remaining three black tops are still in my out-and-about wardrobe and will hopefully be worn regularly when the weather warms up again (I’m primarily wearing long-sleeved tops now).
- My Worst Purchases of 2021 (January 15) – My second post of 2022 rounds out the top ten most-read list. In it, I shared my eight worst purchases of 2021, which were three pairs of pants, four tops, and a purse. I explained why these purchases were ill-advised and what I learned from each of them. Fortunately, none of the items were expensive, but part of what I realized is that I tend to “settle” when buying low-priced or sale pieces. One big problem is that I’m often dazzled by one aspect of an item (i.e., color or pattern) while ignoring potential problems. I think I got better with this in 2022, although you can see from my last post that I continued to falter in that respect early in the year. Hopefully I’ve finally gotten the message that even the lowest sale price is a rip-off if I don’t end up liking and wearing the item in question!
Other Popular Posts Written in Previous Years
Many of the essays that I wrote prior to 2022 continued to receive a lot of traffic last year, primarily as a result of Google searches. Although my gray hair transition posts are still quite popular (the pandemic really boosted the interest in that topic), a few articles from my first year of blogging also attracted attention from readers over the course of 2022. I’m not sure why some essays from way back in 2010 were viewed frequently last year, but perhaps there’s a renewed interest in the types of spiritual topics that I wrote about when I first started blogging. In any event, I’m happy that those essays from long ago are still being read.
Below is a list of the ten essays written before 2022 that were among the most-read posts on the blog last year. For the sake of time and space, I won’t give a synopsis for these older posts. However, they’re all linked below in case the topics appeal to you and you want to check them out.
- Gray Hair Transition – Don’t Do What I Did! (April 20, 2018)
- On Forgiveness: The Three Types and When They Apply (April 26, 2018)
- What a Pain in the Neck! (September 9, 2010 – from my first blog, The Healing Project)
- Gray Hair Transition – Rounding the Seven Month Mark (November 18, 2016)
- Messages from Pain (June 26, 2010 – from my first blog, The Healing Project)
- Gray Hair Transition – Changing the Narrative (February 20, 2019)
- My Week of Silence (July 10, 2010 – from my first blog, The Healing Project)
- Best Purchases of 2021: At-Home Items (December 31, 2021)
- Answering the “Gray Hair Tag” Questions (October 6, 2018)
- Gray Hair Transition – Three Months and Counting (August 5, 2016)
My Favorite 2022 Essays
While many of the most popular 2022 posts highlighted above are also among my favorites (numbers 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7), there are some additional essays that I feel especially proud to have written. These other personal favorite articles are listed in chronological order, from the oldest to the most recent.
Interestingly, my favorites that weren’t on the most popular list were all written in the latter months of the year. Blog traffic overall has been down, and I’m not sure if that’s specific to my blog or to blogs in general. I keep reading that blogging is a dying medium, but I know that I still like to read blogs. I also listen to podcasts and watch YouTube videos, but I think there’s room for many forms of content on the internet. I’ve considered either branching out or switching to another medium, but writing is my core competency and what I love to do most, so I keep sticking with it.
As with the most popular posts above, I include a brief summary of each essay, as well as notes about why it’s one of my favorites.
- Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Successes and Failures (August 26) – I have shopped the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (NAS) for many, many years, with varying levels of success. Instead of recapping my 2022 NAS experience, I decided to look at my overall successes and failures when shopping the sale. I only had six years of data because I didn’t track my NAS shopping prior to 2017, but I still learned a lot from my review of what purchases did and didn’t work over the years. I discovered that my best NAS purchases were bras, basic tees, cardigans, black shoes, cosmetics, clothing for my husband, and a few “wild card” items. On the flip side, I didn’t do too well with blouses, non-cardigan sweaters, short jackets, asymmetrical sweaters/jackets, jeans, skirts, workout/lounge pants, undergarments, and clothing in pale colors. Since writing this post, I have closed out my Nordstrom credit card account, and I plan to only shop at the public sale for the items that I’ve been successful in buying at NAS. I will avoid the cardholder frenzy and save myself time and money!
- Lessons Learned from My Recently Purged Items (October 14) – In this post, I reviewed ten items that I had purged from my closet in recent months, and I recapped eight key lessons that I learned from those purged pieces. I won’t mention all the lessons here, but I will say that reviewing your wardrobe regularly, not “settling” when shopping, returning pieces that you’re unsure about, and being careful with sales shopping can save you a lot of time and money. When I look at the ten featured items now, I can clearly see why they were mistakes. I often try too hard to make things work, or else I attempt to “rescue” pieces by means of alterations, both of which are a bad idea. I hope you either read or re-read this post and learn from the errors of my ways. I think I need to re-read this post myself a few times a year to make sure that my lessons learned stay top of mind!
- Items that I Loved… But Ultimately Returned (November 7) – This post shows that I’m learning, which is why it was one of my favorites… I featured three items (a pair of sandals, a cardigan, and a dress) that I loved but decided to return. All three pieces were great in some ways but lacking in others. In the past, I would have kept them and tried to make them work, but this time I did the right thing and took them back to the stores. I don’t regret a single one of those decisions, either, as the sandals were too high, the cardigan was too staticky, and the neckline of the dress wasn’t right for me and didn’t work well with a topper. I plan to do more posts like this because I think it’s helpful to remind ourselves that all elements of an item need to work for us, not just some of them. I feel a small pang now when I look at the shoes, but I know they never would have been comfortable for me to wear. On to the next…
- November 2022 Packing for Travel Debrief (December 1) – I don’t travel all that often, which is probably why I continue to have a difficult time with packing. I always seem to pack too many items, and often they’re not the right items for my destination and activities. When I visited my family in Northern Nevada last fall, the weather was colder and snowier than anticipated, which challenged my not-very-warm wardrobe. Although I didn’t pack perfectly, I still managed to have attractive and comfortable outfits for what I was up to on my trip for the most part. I wasn’t well-equipped for being outdoors for long periods of time, but I have a good idea of what I could do better next time to turn that around. I was able to determine which pieces would have been better left at home and what I might pack instead. I like that I can refer to this post when I next travel to see my family in the cooler months (but I hope to mostly stick to visiting there when it’s warm instead).
- My Best and Worst Purchases of 2022 (December 31) – I’ll close out this list with my last post of the year, which was published too late to appear on the most popular list (but it’s gotten a lot of views since then). This post took me a long time to write and should probably have been broken into two parts, but I was happy with how it turned out. I found it very helpful to determine what were my good and bad purchases of the year, and I was pleased to see that there were far more of the former than the latter. I love all my best purchases and have been very happy to wear all of them, and I also learned some valuable lessons from the thankfully fewer mistakes that I made. I’m not going to buy any more curved-hem tops, stiff fabric pants, and final sale items. I hope that almost all my 2023 purchases will be successful and that I’ll make very few mistakes this year. Fingers crossed!
Where Readers Came From…
Here’s a look at the top ten countries where my 2022 readers hailed from:
- United States (the same as last year and to be expected)
- United Kingdom (also #2 in 2021)
- Canada (also #3 in 2021)
- Australia (also #4 in 2021)
- Sweden (wasn’t in the top 10 last year)
- The Netherlands (#7 in 2021 and where my husband’s family is from – FYI, my last name is pronounced like “roose,” not like “rose”)
- Germany (#8 in 2021)
- New Zealand (#5 in 2021)
- India (#6 in 2021)
- France (also #10 in 2021)
As you can see, the list is mostly a repeat from 2021, except Sweden is now part of the top ten and Ireland dropped off (previously #9 and now at #13). It makes sense that half of the top ten countries have English as their primary language, but I’m happy to have many readers for whom English is a second (or third) language as well. I welcome readers from all over the world, and I’m grateful to anyone who reads my words.
Most visitors reach My Wardrobe, Myself by way of internet searches, but a lot of readers find the site via Pinterest, Facebook, and the WordPress Android app as well. There were also a few blogs that regular directed traffic here in 2022, including my own previous blog:
- Ruthie K Sews – Adventures in garment construction (plus random thoughts, photos of interesting places, and various stuff she’s made). I got to meet Ruthie when she visited the US a number of years ago.
- You Look Fab – Comprehensive blog and forum about all things fashion and style!
- Recovering Shopaholic – The blog that started it all in 2013! I haven’t posted there since 2017, but I’ve left the site and its hundreds of posts up as an ongoing resource on smarter shopping and other related topics.
Conclusion and Coming Attractions
I hope you enjoyed this retrospective on the state of the blog in 2022. Hopefully you were able to read a post or two for the first time or perhaps revisit one of your favorites. It was interesting for me to see which subjects were popular with readers this past year and to also reflect on which essays I liked the most (half of them appeared on both lists).
I plan to go back and re-read some of the essays linked in today’s post, as I often need reminders in various areas of wardrobe management and related topics. In fact, I plan to revisit some of my previous topics in future essays to see what’s changed in terms of my experience and perspective. Stay tuned for that…
As always, I welcome your thoughts on what I’ve shared today. Feel free to comment on anything that was highlighted above, as well as whatever’s on your mind. In my next post, I’ll share my word of the year for 2023, as well as recap how I did with 2022’s word, “lightness,” which I introduced in this post in early February.