December 23, 2016
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:
- 2016 Closet Mission Goals + How I Made Out
- Biggest Style + Blog Takeaways
- What’s Next
- 3 Cute Outfits + The Year’s Best Posts
- Thank You!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
- 1 FORMULA – 3 WAYS
- SPRING 10 x 10 CHALLENGE
- FALL 10 x 10 CHALLENGE
- SILK 2 WAYS
- LAYERING WITH TURTLENECKS
CLOSET MISSION POSTS
- DEFINE YOUR STYLE
- 5 STEP CLOSET EDIT
- CLOSET PREP
- HOW TO MAKE A USEFUL WISHLIST
- 50 PIECE SPRING + SUMMER CLOSET
- 50 PIECE FALL + WINTER CLOSET
- 5 WAYS TO PREP FOR A STYLISH 2017
- COSTA RICA IN A CARRY-ON
- COSTA RICA
- AMSTERDAM + PARIS IN A CARRY-ON
- AMSTERDAM + PARIS
- ALGONQUIN 2016
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!