2016 Closet Mission Conclusion

It’s time to bring the 2016 Closet Mission to a close. While these finale posts are somewhat bittersweet, they’re also cathartic in many ways. I never used to be a goal setter but since I’ve been conducting these closet missions and assigning clear, deliberate goals, I’ve found I’m not only much more likely to take action but I’m actually able to achieve them instead of just letting time pass with open ended thoughts of what I’d like to do in my head. Of course, having an audience of people to answer to is a big motivator too. This will mark the completion of my 3rd Closet Mission to date and while there is plenty of room for improvement, I’m quite pleased with how the year went.

I’ll do my best to be thorough without belabouring things, so here’s a quick run-down of what today’s post covers:

  1. 2016 Closet Mission Goals + How I Made Out
  2. Biggest Style + Blog Takeaways
  3. What’s Next
  4. 3 Cute Outfits + The Year’s Best Posts
  5. Thank You!

Style Bee - Closet Mission Conclusion


2016 CLOSET MISSION GOALS

Reduce. Whether it comes to my personal style, how much I spend, how much stuff I have or how much I waste, I want to focus on reduction and simplification.


To be totally honest, how well I did on this one is tricky to say for sure. I certainly bought less and saved more but at the same time I was gifted a lot more items than previous years. That said, I feel like I made better choices and holding closet sales that has helped my less used items find homes where they will get lots of use. Otherwise those items would be going to waste. 

I should have said ‘No thanks.’ to quite a few more collabs or gifted items than I did but spending the last quarter of the year sponsor free has definitely helped to balance the scales. 

My closet overall has shrunk down to its smallest size yet and magically I feel like I have more options than ever. 

SCORE: 7/10


Create. Whether it’s my own clothing, home goods, stationery, beauty products or food, I want to take more ownership of the things that are part of my life. I want to get away from the screen and use my hands!


I would have loved to get the hang of my sewing machine this year but there just never seemed to be enough time. I know, lame excuse but in all honesty when it came down to putting effort into a side hobby or the blog, well, you can guess what won every time. 

I did manage to take a ceramics course, which I really enjoyed. I took a stab at two product collaborations, which were both an absolute joy to be part of. I learned so much throughout the process and (surprisingly) loved the thrill of taking a risk to put my work and myself out there in a big way. It’s never easy to share a creative project with the world but I was lucky that it was totally worth the trepidation. 

I was in front of a screen WAY too much all year so I’m definitely making an effort to change that in 2017.

SCORE: 6/10


Style Bee - Closet Mission Conclusion


Connect. I absolutely LOVE connecting with unique brands and makers who are creating outstanding goods. I’m excited to share more insights about the people behind great products and hopefully introduce readers to new brands and promote the importance of supporting quality craftsmanship.


Perhaps I was a little too eager to achieve this one but as I’ve mentioned before (here) I’ve decided to tone things down on the collaborations front. I love working with other like minded creatives and sharing the work of talented designers and craftspeople but I know I need to be cognisant of not letting partnerships take over this space and cloud my style or judgement. 

SCORE: 9/10 


Empower. The best part of my mission last year was discovering how many women are just like me and looking to shop smarter and embrace their best self through style and personal discovery. My plan is to streamline the process even more and create a proper toolkit for any woman who’s ready to embark on their own closet mission!


Judging by much of the feedback I’ve received throughout the year on Closet Mission posts and style posts alike, I’m feeling pretty good about how this goal played out. I would have loved to put together a complete Closet Mission toolkit of some kind but to be completely honest, I don’t feel like I have enough answers or know how to pull that off just yet.

I’d love to churn out more Closet Mission posts in general but sometimes they’re tough to predict and they usually take a lot of time, research and effort to bring to life. No complaints of course, I know that’s why they’re so well received, but I just need to be careful not to over-promise and under-deliver.

It has been such a pleasure to connect with so many stylish, savvy, creative women who appreciate the importance of personal style and shopping responsibly over the course of this year. I know it sounds super cheesy but I’ve learned so much from you guys and really wouldn’t be able to do what I do here without your input, so thank you!

Score: 8/10


Style Bee - Closet Mission Conclusion


Live better with less. This objective carried over from last year and it’s something I want to explore further in all aspects of my life.


I can’t say that I’ve given this goal a whole lot of attention this year but it has had an influence on a lot of my choices. Whether it’s been through rigorous editing, holding off on shopping, saving for travel instead of shoes, meal planning or allowing only 1 dinner out a week I’ve felt the presence of this ‘Less is Better’ mindset. 

I still struggle with my tendencies to want more or believe I need more to feel fulfilled or successful but they’re far less ferocious than they used to be. I can almost always temper my cravings to add more to my life by reinvesting in what I’m already lucky enough to have. It’s an ongoing battle and there are better days than others but overall progress has been made! 

Score: 7/10


Shop Responsibly.


This was a goal I added on a little bit later in the year and I’m so glad I did! I’ve had almost no slip ups or cheats since I started and it’s felt really great to be able to slow down and support brands that are ethically producing beautiful goods that I can feel great about wearing.

I worried that this goal might restrict my options, my style and my blog, and while it has in some ways, in far more ways, it’s had the opposite effect. 

Going forward I plan to stick to shopping responsibly and extend that commitment to any additions I make to our home as well.

Score: 9/10


Style Bee - Closet Mission Conclusion


BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS

1 | I DON’T MISS FAST FASHION ONE BIT. 

Before I openly committed to shopping responsibly, I was really worried about how much I’d miss the option to shop from my go-to Fast Fashion brands like Zara, Mango, J.Crew, ASOS and Madewell. Sure, the first few months were a bit tough, with Spring collections coming out and seeing so many of the bloggers I followed rocking the latest and greatest. But all of my pining for cheap thrills has subsided since then, so much so that I rarely even cyber window shop any more.

Okay, that’s a bit of a lie since I’m on Garmentory a lot and Elizabeth Suzann can count on site views from me nearly daily. But instead of satiating a momentary craving, that simply carves the way for more, I’m planning, saving and strategizing for a more useful wardrobe rather than simply wasting money on a fleeting one. That’s definitely a big win in my books.

2 | PERSONAL STYLE IS A MOVING TARGET. 

Sometimes you nail it, sometimes you don’t and that’s ok! I used to feel like every outfit had to be perfectly pinterest worthy but I’ve found the less I worry about that and the more I follow my style instincts the better it works out, both aesthetically and in terms of response. When I put my sartorial blinders on for a bit and ignore what everyone else is wearing I find the looks I come up with are much more original and that’s what we’re after, right? That fact probably shouldn’t surprise me so much but there you go!

3 | JUST BECAUSE IT’S A GOOD FIT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S THE PERFECT FIT.

I know, I’ve already talked this one to death but one of my biggest takeaways from the year was that I need to be much more discerning about how I pursue my blogging business. Carefully choosing to work with brands and designers that I feel truly embody the Style Bee ethos is going to be a big part of next year’s mission.

In fact, I’m still deciding if I’ll open the doors up again at all. I’ve found a lot of blog and style contentment in the last few months as a result of my sponsorship and freebie hiatus. Something I’ll be thinking about a lot over the holidays.

4 | I FINALLY HAVE CONFIDENCE IN MY STYLE CHOICES.  

It’s taken a few years to get to this point but man, does it feel good to finally have a handle on my style! Of course I’m still exploring, but I do feel like the hardest part is over. I know what I like, I know what I don’t like and I now have a much better grasp on how to decipher between what will be short term and what will be long lasting when it comes to new closet additions. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that my style isn’t for everyone and that’s totally fine! This understanding has given me confidence to invest in fewer better pieces and the willpower to say no much more easily.


Style Bee - Closet Mission Conclusion


WHAT’S NEXT

Without giving too much away I’ll tell you there are some fun things on the horizon for 2017! The year will be kicking off with a cold weather 10 x 10 Challenge in collaboration with my girl Caroline of UnFancy that’s sure to be a blast (BTW her latest post is a must-read!).

Mark January 9th in your calendars if you’re up for joining in!

Next year will be all about mixing, matching and making our closets work harder. I’m also really looking forward to trying some new things with style, photography and creative direction. I’d like to play with some editorial shoots and push myself to bring a few ideas to life.

Look out for more lifestyle and interior design infusion. I’m thrilled with how the finishing touches are coming along in our house and I’ve been craving an outlet for my love of home decor. Don’t worry it won’t be taking over but I will try to find some cohesive ways to add that element to the mix!

I’m really excited that an all new Style Bee will be launching next year (date TBD at the moment). I’ll be asking for your thoughts and some feedback so I can make this space the best it can be!


Style Bee - Closet Mission Conclusion


BEST POSTS OF THE YEAR

I’ll be away for a couple weeks for the holidays  so there won’t be any new posts until January. We’re heading out tonight for a ski adventure in Panorama, B.C. with Dave’s family, which is sure to be filled with gorgeous sites and snow. I’ll still be posting on Instagram if you’re interested in following along.

In the meantime, here are a few cute outfits and some great posts from the year to help inspire your most stylish year yet!


STYLE POSTS


Style Bee - Closet Mission Conclusion


CLOSET MISSION POSTS


Style Bee - Closet Mission Conclusion


TRAVEL POSTS


Style Bee - Closet Mission Conclusion


THANK YOU FOR READING! 

I really can’t say it enough but thank you so much for being here and for making this little corner of the internet a space of positivity, personal growth and savvy stylish fun! Whether your visits are once in a while or every day, your time spent here is not taken for granted and I truly appreciate your support.


Wishing everyone a wonderful, warm Winter Holiday and all the very best for 2017!


 

14 thoughts on “2016 Closet Mission Conclusion

  1. Excited to start the 10 X 10 challenge on Monday. Hoping for a blogpost to direct my friends to, to join me!

    1. That’s great to hear Joanna! I just uploaded a new page all about the 10×10 Challenge where I’ll be answering any questions and announcing start dates going forward. You can take a look here. Happy Friday! xo

  2. I just found my way here from Unfancy and oh- what an awesome finding this is! I live in Finland, and we too have crazy weather: from super cold winter to hot+chilly summer. Most of the style blogs I have found are from warmer areas, so dressing for colder weather is not discussed. It is tricky to remain stylish, when it’s freezing outside and you need layers after layers. I have learned to dress practically and stay warm, but I completely neglect style for 4 months each year. But now I have found so much inspiration for winter dressing from your blog already. So thank you for writing such an inspirational, fresh and beautiful blog. It’s clear that you have given a lot of your time for this, thank you again! 🙂

    1. Hi Meiju, Welcome! So glad you found your way here and that you’re finding some style inspo! I definitely hear you about the drag of dressing for cold weather, UGH! Lots more cold weather looks coming soon! Thanks so much for the kind words and for stopping by 🙂 xo

  3. Thanks for taking the time to blog! It’s a huge time commitment, but I am so thankful you do! You’ve inspired more thoughtful closet purchases, and some of my current closet heroes are pieces you own (in fact, I can now almost make a couple of your exact outfits). I appreciate that you take time to make goals, and then revisit them. I’m not so great at the revisiting part. I think one of my favorite components of a blog is seeing a piece worn several times/in different ways. So encorporatings that is very helpful to inspire restyling pieces I already have. Also, I’m very excited for the 10×10! Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks so much for reading and the kind words Hannah! So happy to hear you’ve found some great pieces through this blog and that your wardrobe and style are better for it!

      I definitely have to force myself to revisit goals as it’s not my favourite thing but I’m always glad that I did. Trying to carry that same discipline through to other aspects of my life and work as well in the new year.

      Glad you’re into the repeated items. Mixing and reworking pieces into new looks is one of my favourite things. Of course new pieces are fun but it doesn’t take the same amount of creative effort.

      All the best for 2017 Hannah! Xoxo

  4. Thank you, Lee! Such a beautiful wrap-up of your closet mission…and such a wonderful glimpse of things to come. I’m eager to join in your January 10×10…and to read future posts on interior design.

    I very much believe that how we live one part of our lives is how we live all parts. In my own work (which centres around a holistic, mindful approach to eating and health), I feel a pull toward making things more inclusive – encompassing style and the spaces we inhabit. I’m quite certain your blog will be a continued source of inspiration along this path. Again, thank you!

    1. Thanks so much Dana! So happy to have you on board again for the next 10×10 challenge. It’s going to be a great one!

      I couldn’t agree more about what you said when it comes to transferring our mindset from one aspect of our lives to another. I think it creativity and conscious decision making is applicable to all aspects of the way we live.

      Sounds like your doing some very interesting and important work! Thanks for reading and supporting this little space. So glad we were able to connect!

      All the best for 2017!! Xo

  5. Lee,
    I’ve said this many times but your work on this blog has changed my life. By helping me find my style you have also helped me find confidence as a woman, and consumer. I know I’ll still make some mistakes along the way, because I’m leaving room for experimentation and creativity in my wardrobe, but I also know I’ll make fewer of them. The biggest take away from 2016 has been that fashion is personal. I don’t want to look like anyone else, though I may admire them – I want to look like myself and I want to wear only clothes I love. I had an aha moment after reading one of your posts that made me realize I don’t want to save my favorite pieces for special occasions. I want everyday to feel special when it comes to my wardrobe and home. That may mean saving for a really special item or picking up a cheap pair of earrings at a market in Marrakesh, hopefully all responsibly done.

    If you’re looking for post ideas for 2017, may I request a post on loungewear or a post on skin maintenance, please. The FB discussion you started on adult acne was really helpful and I’d love to see more posts on self-care and maintenance.

    The happiest of holidays to you and yours! I look forward to reading along in 2017. XO

    1. Alex, Words just can’t quite express my appreciation and thanks for your heartfelt note and continued support but it really means so much! I’m so honoured that you’ve been able to find your style and better shopping confidence in part to this blog. That’s 100% my goal for this space!

      What a great and empowering takeaway you’ve made. I think you hit the nail right on the head about what the true purpose of personal style is. Have fun, allow yourself some wiggle room and don’t feel too bad if something doesn’t quite work. It’s all about self expression in the end.

      Thanks for the post requests! I think those are both great ideas and I was planning to revisit the skincare discussion for sure. I still haven’t found a ‘solution’ per se but I’ve made some notable discoveries.

      Hope you’re having a wonderful winter break with your family. All the best to you for the New Year lovely! Xo

  6. Hope you, Dave & Dobby have a very Merry Christmas Lee!

    I will definitely be joining in the cold weather closet remix with you & Caroline. For what it is worth, I really like when you don’t do collaborations. Looking forward to what you do in 2017.

    All the best. XO!

    1. Thanks Jodie! I hope you and your boys have had a wonderful Christmas so far! So glad you’ll be joining in the 10×10 and I very much appreciate your two cents on collabs. Thanks for reading and all your positive support lady, it means more than you know! Xo

  7. I’m a relatively new reader to your blog, and I am so inspired by your closet mission, from the mission itself, to the way you’ve organized and documented it. In a blogosphere filled with surface-level copy, it’s so refreshing to find someone who goes deep. As a blogger who’s still finding my place in the style world (although I suppose it’s a never-ending process!), you’ve really inspired me.

    I also find it interesting that you didn’t rate yourself 10/10 on anything. You have a couple 9’s, and I wonder why you didn’t just go for a 10? I know if it were me, I would be too hard on myself and set 10 as some unachievable pinnacle of perfection, so I wonder if you’re not giving yourself enough credit. 😉

    Anyway, wishing you lots of relaxation, love, and joy during your holiday break!

    1. Thanks so much Suzanne, you’re kind note and positive feedback is so very much appreciated. I do think that it’s an ongoing process to find your groove in the blog world but you’re doing a fabulous job! Your blog has been a great resource as I plan to make fitness a bigger part of my life in the New Year (so original I know! Haha). So thank you for sharing your passion for health and style!

      You are totally right about the 10/10 thing. I felt like there was room for improvement in all aspects of the mission goals so I felt like a 10 was too generous.

      I hope you’re having a wonderful winter holiday so far and look forward to seeing more of what you’ve got in store for 2017! Xo

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