2017 Closet Mission

Since the beginning of 2015 I’ve been starting each year with a set of goals for both my closet and shopping habits. It started as a way to curb my overspending and over consumption (which was out of control!) and after having some success with it, the process has evolved into a system by which I try to steer my passion for style towards something meaningful.

For example in 2015 I focused on addressing my shopping triggers, developing my personal style instead of chasing trends and investing in quality over quantity. In 2016 I took it one step further and committed to shopping way less and supporting only ethical and responsible brands (ie: no more fast fashion). You can see how last year went here. Both years of experience were eye-opening and certainly trying at times but taught me a lot about wants vs needs and how much more satisfying it is to buy fewer, better things. For something as seemingly frivolous as shopping, it’s been a truly life-changing process!

Now, I’ve been thinking about this post and this set of 2017 Closet Mission goals since last Fall. I’ve toyed with concepts ranging from extremes like going on a total shopping ban to starting my own clothing line. Neither of which I was even remotely ready to embark on, of course. I felt like I needed to kick things off with some sort of grand gesture but ultimately that’s not why I started these Closet Missions to begin with! So I thought a little more and asked myself:

  • Haven’t I been working on this lean closet idea so I could feel content and at ease with my style and shopping habits?
  • Aren’t I miles ahead of where I started and feeling pretty good about my progress?
  • Don’t I want to just relax a bit and enjoy the less is more life I’ve been striving for?

The answers were respectively, ‘Yes,’ ‘Yes’ and ‘Hell yes!’. So this year’s closet mission is going to be about embracing that hard-earned contentment and continuing to explore personal style, all while shopping less and doing so responsibly. No huge resolutions or monumental changes, just continuing down the road I’m on. With our home finally finished, our wedding on the way and a double workload the last thing I need is more self-imposed restrictions and stress. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have big plans! 

Today I’ll be covering my 2017 Closet Mission in 4 parts:

  1. CURRENT CLOSET + SHOPPING MINDSET
  2. 2017 CLOSET MISSION 
  3. CURRENT BLOG MINDSET
  4. 2017 BLOG PLANS

Style Bee - Closet Mission 2017


CURRENT CLOSET + SHOPPING MINDSET

CLOSET | My closet and I are at the best point in our relationship, ever. It’s a lean, mean, finely tuned and totally functional machine. Well, for the most part anyway. Of course there are still pieces I reach for way more than others and despite my best efforts to streamline some items are still collecting dust but I’m not stressing about it. Not every single garment in my closet has to be a hero all the time. But as a general case, I’m in a really good place with my personal style and closet options. Finally!

SHOPPING | At this point I honestly can’t believe how much shopping used to run my life. Everyday I’d have countless tabs up in my browser with shopping carts full of stuff and I’d constantly be checking my credit card balance to see if it could tolerate just one more ‘complete purchase’. It was SO stressful. But now the stars practically have to align for me to press that button. I mean sure, I still shop and I certainly still browse. But I don’t spend money I don’t have and I stick very closely to my well curated wish lists. If it’s not on there or it’s not an immediate ‘necessity’ then it can wait. Most of the time I end up completely forgetting about whatever it was and I’m just fine without it.

Overall I’d say the years of hard work and habit adjustment have paid off and I’ve managed to find a level of contentment that I had only hoped was possible. It’s a work in progress but totally worth the effort!


Style Bee - Closet Mission 2017


2017 CLOSET MISSION

1 | WORRY LESS ABOUT THE NUMBERS | Last year I was all about achieving a 50 Piece Closet and that was a very worthwhile exercise for me. I established a baseline for myself and now I can work around it. Going forward I’ll continue to add sparingly, deliberately and thoughtfully while I weed out the weaker links as I go but I’m not going to be as fixated on the total number.

Instead of the totals I’m going to be focusing more on a foundation closet and this I’m very excited about! Think along the lines of a selection of core pieces that can be worn everyday all season long and interchanged with each other and with more unique items to make TONS of outfits. I’m really looking forward to exploring this concept more.

I’ve also come to terms with the fact that Canada is not a climate for a season-less closet, which is something I’d contemplated last Fall. C’est la vie!

2 | SUPPORT CANADIAN BRANDS | As you probably already know, I am proudly Canadian and as much as I love my favourite US-based brands our creative community has A LOT to offer as well. While there still aren’t too many Canadian bloggers supporting slow-fashion and promoting responsible shopping, I feel I’m in a unique position to connect my readers with the best Canadian makers that really resonate with my style and philosophy.

This might mean the odd collaboration here or there (more on that below) but mostly it will come down to investing my own money on more Canadian made goods (whether it’s for my closet, home or elsewhere). That said, I’ll still be relentless about making sure any additions are exactly what I’m looking for and will stand the test of time.

3 | CONTINUE TO SHOP RESPONSIBLY | This one is pretty plain and simple. I’m going to maintain my mission to shop responsibly for all the things I bring into my life. Last year my main concern was where it was made and whether it was produced ethically. This year I’m adding sustainability to the list of important criteria. The clothing industry’s impact on the environment has me very concerned and inspired to dig deeper when I’m shopping.

4 | REMIX / REMIX / REMIX | This is another goal I’m really excited about, especially after the latest 10×10 Challenge. I’ll be working on ways to remix my current closet more and make it work harder. Then when I do add something I’ll be sure to share how I see it working in several ways.

5 | SHOP EVEN LESS | So before I pretend to have such great willpower, I’ll admit, I’ve already done some damage. I added 2 new pairs of shoes to my roster at the end of last year (gifted clogs and boots on sale) and I shopped the Jesse Kamm sample sale last week (the deals on long-time faves were too good) so yes, sure, hypocrite central. But I really do intend to shop less than ever and accept far fewer gifted goods than I did last year.

I also plan to continue sharing my curated wish lists and closet mission check-ins throughout each season so I hold myself accountable to this goal.


Style Bee - Closet Mission 2017


GENERAL BLOG THOUGHTS

Full disclosure, heart on the sleeve, total honesty, whatever you want to call it, I’m going to try to express it. The truth is that I’ve had a really hard time deciphering my place in this blogging world over the last year or so. Of course, I love my blog and the community that has been slowly but surely expanding around it. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than creating worthwhile content that resonates and helps my readers. But at the same time I’ve found myself wondering, what’s the point?

Now I know, deep down this blog (at least to some capacity) is what I’m meant to be doing, I really believe that, I just need to establish a bit more direction. The trouble is that ethical blogs are a dime a dozen these days, capsule closets are everywhere, ‘slow fashion’ and ‘conscious consumerism’ are the latest buzz phrases and while I feel connected to all these elements, I’m not content to be classified as any of them. I don’t want to preach ethics, constantly reiterate the reasons for shopping small and I already know the capsule life is not for me.

But what I’ve also come to realize is, that’s ok! It just means I need to forge my own ‘category’ and roll with the punches until I figure out what exactly that is. That said, I also know a few things for certain, which are that I love:

  • Exploring personal style and how fashion can have a bigger purpose in our lives than just looking good.
  • Connecting to people through this space whether it’s readers, fellow bloggers or designers.
  • Imparting the things I’ve learned, discovered and enjoy in meaningful and visually inspiring ways.

So in the end, this sense of aimlessness is probably a good thing. It’s forcing me to forge onward and not to rest on my laurels or what might seem like the path of least resistance.

All in all, I’m very lucky to have a space to experiment and explore these creative whims. Thank you! 

Stream of consciousness complete.


Style Bee - Closet Mission 2017


2017 BLOG PLANS

So sure I might be exploring, but I’m still a planner by nature, so I decided to set out a few general plans for the blog this year. I make no concrete promises but these are all things I intend to see through as the year unfolds:

1 | KEEP IT REAL | Okay ‘real’ but still organized and fun to look at! Whether it’s my outfits, my closet, my home or my collaborations I plan to keep things as genuine and transparent as I can. This means I’ll be sharing as many ‘real-life’ outfits as possible and sticking to no more than 2 partnerships a month, which will as always be clearly noted.

2 | CREATE MORE TOOLS | For a long time now I’ve wanted to make Style Bee a comprehensive destination to shop responsibly and to establish your own lean closet. So keep an eye out for a totally revamped SHOP page to bookmark for the best, up-to-date collection of responsible style sources. It’s going to be way more user-friendly than the current list format too!

I’m also working on a proper start to finish toolkit that you can use to refine your style and take steps towards building your dream wardrobe. Full disclosure: This one is a long way out still!

3 | BLOG REVAMP | Style Bee is ready for a little face lift and I’m currently in the process of vetting some designers to help me bring this space to the next level. When the time comes I’ll be asking for some input from you about what you’d like to see happen!

4 | BUSINESS AS USUAL | You can expect 3 posts a week for the most part going forward. During 10×10 Challenges they’ll jump to daily but otherwise I find I can’t even keep up with most daily blogs, let alone my own! Expect lots of outfit posts with Closet Mission posts sprinkled in. You might see a couple more of my wedding plan musings and I’ll be dabbling a bit in loungewear and activewear too.

Hope you’re excited about what’s in store! 


Style Bee - Closet Mission 2017

Style Bee - Closet Mission 2017


ALL-IN-ALL I KNOW THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST CLOSET MISSION YET AND I’M SO HAPPY YOU’RE ALONG FOR THE RIDE!

Now let me throw it back to you.

What are some of your closet goals for 2017?

Feel free to share them in the comments below and if you’ve got a post or topic request, now’s your chance!


SHOP THIS POST

ON THE RACK | Denim Duster Coat* | Georgia Dress | Cocoon Coat | Linen Blazer* | Denim Jacket* | Oatmeal Sweater | Georgia Tee | T-Top | Grey Sweater | Striped Shirt | White Blouse | Eloise Bag | Taupe Hat | Brown Hat | (sweater stack, top to bottom) | Grey Turtleneck* | Alpaca Crewneck | Waffle Crew-neck* | Black Sweater | T-Sweater | (denim stack, top to bottom) | Cecilia Pants | Clyde Pants | White Skinnies | Dark Skinnies | Summer Jean | Black Skinnies | Vintage Levi’s*

SHOES | Sneakers | Pistol Boots | Mars Boots (brown) | Loafers | Clogs | Mars Boots (Black)

PROPS | Stump | Planters | Market Bag | Small Pillow* | Large Pillow* | Clothes Rack | Ladder

*Linked to similar option when not available. 


See something you liked? You can shop it and support Style Bee by using the affiliate links provided. This post is not sponsored but when you shop via the links above I may make a small commission from a sale. Thanks for your support!

68 thoughts on “2017 Closet Mission

  1. I am new to the blog but found you through the partnership you did with un-fancy in the 10×10 challenge. I have really enjoyed exploring your blog particularly the section under closet mission: workbooks / exercises / experiences! I have tired reducing the size of my wardrobe to pieces that really work with my lifestyle and desiring quality over quantity. However, I found particularly the colour palette workbook helpful for me to realize that I have many pieces that although they fit the above two criteria, they just don’t work together. Two topics that I wanted to hear more about from your perspective would be on 1) clothing care (i.e laundry frequency/routine, caring for fabrics etc.) and 2) how to best store clothing between seasons. Have you already covered these topics elsewhere on your blog? Thanks for the creative work you do on this blog!

    1. Hi Elise! That’s great to hear you’ve been enjoying the blog and found that workbook helpful. I don’t currently have posts on either of those topics but they’re something I’ve considered writing about. The truth is I’m no expert on either one but I think I’ve got a bit of worthwhile experience to share. Will keep those in mind for future post ideas. Thanks for reading! xo

  2. Lee!

    Not going to lie, I seldom come across a blog that interests me longer than just a quick scroll through a few interesting posts (more of a one time thing) but yours is the first in a while that I can’t stop coming back to!
    I love all your photos and your honest, raw view about your thoughts and all of your new ideas!
    So this is just a little note to say thank you. You inspired me to go through my closet on my very own closet mission, something I’ve been avoiding like the plague, and narrow it down to a wardrobe I’m really happy with and feel is genuinely “me”!
    I also super respect the fact that you are working towards getting out more and focusing on being more present as that is something that I too am always striving for.
    Anyhow, happy new year and I look forward to keeping up to do with your wonderful blog!

    Julia

    1. Hey Julia! Thanks for the great feedback. So glad you found your way here and you’re finding this space to be of use to you. Good for you for taking on a Closet Mission of your own! I’m so excited for you because I know what a profound and positive impact it will have on your day to day life. Especially when it comes to getting out more and being present. Feel free to keep me updated on how it goes and if you hit any roadblocks. All the best for the year ahead! xo

  3. Keep up the good work! Honestly, everywhere I ‘log-in’ these days, I’m being yelled about people’s political beliefs and your blog (amongst others) is a welcome respite from that. I love fashion, I love having a hard working, good-looking wardrobe. It’s not changing the world (ok, a little it is 🙂 ) but not everything has to be. Can’t some things just be fun anymore?
    I appreciate you finding good brands and companies. I really enjoy those discoveries and look to you to bring them to me.

    Lastly, your fur-babies are adorable!!

  4. Ah I’m very much excited for your loungewear, activewear and wedding posts since it’s a bit different from your usual stuff. I am so looking forward to the next 10×10 Challenge and all your upcoming blog posts! Thank you for being such an amazing inspiration.

  5. Hi Lee!

    I’m a new reader (thanks Caroline!) and I thought I would give my two cents regarding what you said about minimalist fashion blogs being a dime a dozen. That may be true, but your blog has really stood out from the rest for me.

    You have a rare gift: an eye for detail and nuance is evident in every single on of your outfits. During the 10 x 10 challenge I kept having going back to the original post saying “Wait, that looks new which piece is that? How does it look so different here than it did two days ago?!” Somehow you manage to reinvent pieces over and over again with some sort of voodoo magic that I don’t even understand.

    Some blogs make me go “There she is wearing a sweater and skinny jeans. Oh look, there’s the same sweater with black skinny jeans this time. How revolutionary.” Yours does not. Every remix/formula/general outfit post you do looks completely new and fresh, so much so that I don’t even recognize when you repeat pieces. Like I said before, it’s voodoo magic!

    Then there is the pieces themselves. I have been in a skinny jeans, black ankle pant, Breton top, black blazer, rut for forever. I have the “classics” nailed down and have no clue where to go from here. All of your core pieces are so fresh and interesting, but still classic. Somehow you manage to look current, but timeless at the same time. Not everyone can do that!

    I know it’s important to talk about fashion philosophically on a blog like this, but you really have a gift for teaching. Your styling notes are actually helpful, and on top of having an eye for what works, you have the rare ability to explain WHY.

    I have mastered the art of the small closet, but I have no creativity when putting it all together. I have about 5 pairs of black trousers, and a selection of tops. Everything matches so it’s pretty mindless. In the morning I randomly grab two and call it a day. Your blog is slowly teaching me that maybe I could put more thought into it.

    I read a lot of blogs like this and trust me when I say that I have learned more from you than anyone else. I wish I had found your blog sooner!

    Keep doing what you’re doing!

    1. Claire! Thank you so much for this generous and thoughtful review. I’m honoured that you’ve found my blog to be unique and helpful for you! I honestly can’t ask for better feedback than that and I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know. Sounds like you’ve got the lean closet idea down and it’s just a matter of injecting a bit more ‘personal’ style into the mix. The good news is that’s the fun part! All the best for 2017! xo

  6. Lee, I adore your blog, your resources and your organization! I too am a fellow planner and have felt myself feeling a little lost as to my place and purpose in the blogging realm. Love your reflections! Please keep on keepin’ on!! 🙂

    1. Laura, you’re so sweet to say that, thank you! Your blog is beautiful and I so appreciate where you’re coming from about the blogging realm. It’s a tricky place to navigate all the time. Same to you! xo

  7. I’m doing a one month spending freeze starting February 1st. I always get so much out of those and feel a renewed sense of perspective. I’m also planning to use that month to intentionally wear every item in my wardrobe and avoid repeats. This will force me to confront what I do and don’t love, and what is and isn’t working for me, versus relying on my handful of go-to’s.

    For my casual/work wardrobe, this year I want to finish fully replacing my old, not-so-great items with a handful of high-quality pieces. I also want to work on defining and developing my “uniform.” I think that uniform is basically skinny jeans, OTK or ankle boots, and a flowing and/or voluminous top half. I’m still working on experimenting with what makes me feel happiest and most comfortable on that front. Your style has given me so many ideas here!

    Lastly, as you may be able to relate, it’s extremely challenging as a style blogger to find the right balance of buying new things for blog work versus falling into the trap of mindlessly buying just because it’s new and on-trend. I struggle to know where that line is, and I’ve certainly crossed it a few times! It doesn’t help that my blog is not explicitly about minimalism, even though that happens to be my personal philosophy. This year, I’m continuing to look for the right balance of being a savvy businesswoman who creates valuable, fresh content versus my own personal views about mindful buying. Still working on that, and you’re definitely a source of inspiration on that front! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for sharing these fabulous thoughts and intentions Suzanne! A shopping freeze will certainly help and I think confronting all the items head on is a great idea. It’s easy to just let things hide in the background. Defining a couple of go-to uniforms has been a huge help in developing my style so I’m sure you’ll find the same!

      You’re so right, the balance is really hard to find sometimes and I’ve definitely found myself feeling like I’ve gone too far a couple times. It’s a learning process though and it’s meant to be fun so try not to go too hard on yourself 😉 Your blog is awesome so you’re definitely doing something right! xo

  8. I’ve just discovered your blog via Caroline’s and this is the first post I’ve read. Closet mission – what a great idea! I’m looking forward to trawling the archives but for now, I want to contribute my closet mission for 2017 as I think it’s a great idea to put it down on ‘paper’.

    For the past few years I’ve been whittling down my closet and trying to identify my real style. In 3 years I’ve gone from being a city dweller with a pretty sizeable disposable income and a closet full of corporate/fancy restaurant/hip bar/weekend away appropriate clothes to a suburb dwelling, mortgage paying, SAHM to two tiny people. My needs (and wants) are so different now and 2016 was the year I was honest with myself and sent the silk blazers and designer cocktail frocks to a new home. Overall I’m really happy with what I see when I open the closet doors but every now and then I have a stupid week where I buy 4 or 5 things that I just don’t want/need.

    For now I try to stick to a 70 piece year-round wardrobe (clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery, accessories but not including minimal loungewear/pyjamas and intimates). I’m happy with that amount so now it’s just a matter of one in, one out and my mission is to not waiver from that. I tend to dress in uniform silhouettes (flowy patterned blouse with skinny jeans/denim shorts or fitted tank with flowy patterned midi skirt are my go-to’s) so it’s fairly easy to identify what I need more or less of.

    But there will need to be some shopping this year – I’m at the point where my well-loved basics and one or two building blocks are a little too well-loved so I also want to replace those in an ethical and sustainable way.

    Lastly, to satisfy the need for something new and fun/some variety every now and then, I have joined a buy/sell/swap page on facebook for my 3 favourite labels. I’ll stick to my one in/one out rule and try to just swap one blouse for another etc when I feel like a change.

    Sorry for the essay- I could write more about this so easily!!

    1. Liz! This is so great! Essays are always welcome around these parts 🙂

      Thanks so much for sharing where you’re at with your closet and what you’re hoping to achieve throughout the year. Putting it on paper makes a big difference (at least for me!). My lifestyle went through some similar changes when we moved out of the city too so I know how that can be. It’s hard to let go!

      Sounds like you’ve got a great handle on your personal style and you’re just ready to streamline it a bit more. I think adding intentionally and thoughtfully will definitely help with this. That Facebook group also sounds like a great idea!

      Best of luck! xoxo

  9. You’re the best! 🙂
    So, the Madewell Summer Jean – what size did you get? I’m curious if you think they run small or not. Just trying to gage. Hard pulling the trigger all the way from Canada!

    1. Thanks Hannah! I have them in two sizes actually and love them both. The 26 is my usual madewell size and it runs quite relaxed (like a boyfriend fit). The 25 is slimmer and fits more like they were intended to (like a Mom jean). They felt quite snug at first but will stretch out quite a bit as you wear them. I’ve had to have the waist taken in on both but I would suggest you order a size down if you want the leg to be more fitted through the thigh. Hope that helps!

  10. My closet goals are to be more conscious about what I shop for. I’m starting with a shopping fast (for clothes, beauty and fun dog toys that mine will never play with…) for February to see what my on closet holds for me and where I need to add some pieces. After that, I am planning on a ethical, more sustainable shopping plan, supporting local designers and not fast fashion. Last year I made the switch to cruelty free beauty, thinking it would be a challenge and it wasn’t. Definitely looking forward to learning more about my style and being more mindful about my habits instead of getting bored and shopping. Thank you for the push and the inspiration!

    1. Thanks for sharing your closet goals Amanda, sounds like you’ve got a great plan! I hear you on being mindful about habits and avoiding ‘boredom’ shopping triggers (those are one of my main weaknesses). All the best and enjoy your weekend! xo

  11. I so appreciate your openness as you journey through your thoughts and ideas. Since I’m doing a shopping fast this year (with similar goals to one commenter above-to stop the influx and outflux of items in my closet and analyze what’s working for me), I would love to continue to see re-mixing and style notes that give something a new twist!
    I’m realizing that I love fashion and probably always will, but I’m wanting it to be the harmony in my song, and not the melody anymore. By having a leaner closet (sooo much inspiration coming from YOU!), I can focus on other important things in my life and develop skills I’ve long wished to try!

    You are a blessing, Lee!

    1. Thank you so much Star! You’re kind words and thoughtfulness are very much appreciated 🙂 So proud of you for going on a year long shopping ban, that’s no small feat! Will be happy to oblige your request for remixing and styling. All the best lovely! xo

  12. Hi Lee!
    Thanks again for your inspiring posts! I have a random question – I love Haley Boyd’s style and she always seems to be wearing the perfect high rise, vintage jeans. Do you have any tips on how to find these jeans? I know you always look on Re/Done’s site but it just seems a bit overwhelming. This is what I’m looking for – https://www.instagram.com/p/BO3j2ocAs9G/?taken-by=haleboyd&hl=en
    Any tips would be appreciated! PS- a new favorite brand of mine is called the Permanent Collection.. they have the most beautiful, timeless collections.
    -Annie

    1. Hey Annie! Thanks for the lead on Permanent Collection! Swoon-fest central!

      Glad I’m not the only one who obsesses over HB’s denim collection! haha I would definitely send Redone an email with that image and ask them for suggestions. Additionally I’ve seen this pair from COH that is super similar and another pair by GRLFRND that looks like a great option. I’d also look for vintage and thrift shops in your area that have Levi’s you could try on. Hope that helps!

    2. Thanks, Lee! That is super helpful:) Yes, I’m deff obsessed with HB’s style.. haha. Its so spot on:)

  13. Hi Lee,
    thanks again for a very inspirational post. Here’s what I think:
    What would I like to see and read from you?
    1. more of your style of writing and your personal thoughts
    2. remix posts, versatile pieces (even if the exact items are not available for me in Germany, it gives me an idea what to look for)
    3. simple styling tricks (like wring the belt buckle on the back)
    4. encouragement to shop less, posts that leave me feeling happy with the clothes I have

    Personally, I don’t need the Canadian makers and American ethical brands (reason above), but I don’t mind if you include them for other readers.

    What are my goals?
    1. structured approach to shopping (wishlist, versatile pieces) and outfit planning
    2. buy less, buy better
    3. support ethical fashion or buy second hand more often

    1. Thanks so much for this list Tina! It’s really great to get some sense of what people are interested in before I spend a bunch of time on it 🙂 Sounds like you’d got an excellent list of goals for your closet this year! Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend! xo

    2. I agree 100% with everything Tina says! Also, recommendations on European bloggers with the same spirit would be very much appreciated! (preferably with an office-wardrobe – I loove Caroline’s blog, but I rarely wear jeans to work, so most of the outfits are not applicable to me)

  14. Lee,
    What great thoughts! Thank you for putting your closet, your mindset, and your thoughts on display for us. The mulling-over-since-the-Fall, the photos, the detailed lists, the sense of new direction, the honesty… it all takes a lot of energy, and your readers appreciate it.
    I’m am currently on a self-imposed year-long shopping ban. I hope to gain vicarious knowledge through your purchases and those of Caroline at Un-Fancy’ this year, and also to learn and practice more the “art of the edit”. I also hope that the side benefit is a bit of money saved. My hope is if the influx and outflow of my clothing can be paused for just a bit of time, I will better get my bearings on what is important to me in the way I clothe myself.
    Thank you for writing. Onward and no laurel resting! (Well… maybe some laurel resting, but I like the faith you have in the process.)
    Keep doing it… but only if you are still enjoying it. We sure are!
    -Britt
    http://www.radiantearthart.com

    1. Britt, thanks for the kinds words of encouragement and good for you for embarking on a year-long shopping fast. That’s awesome! I’m sure you’ll learn so much and it will be a very worthwhile exercise for you. Good luck and all the best for the year ahead. xo

  15. I just discovered your blog and LOVE it. I am so excited about your plans to revamp your shop. Your style is very similar to mine and I would love a one-stop shop for finding timeless and ethically made clothes.

  16. I’d love to see some posts on Canadian made activewear! Personally I love Innerfire but that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Since I live in Canada too, I really appreciate that you focus on local brands (although they are mostly out of my current price range).

    1. That’s great Michelle! I’m definitely looking into Canadian-made activewear and ethical activewear options in general. Thanks for the tip on Inner Fire I will have to check them out! xo

  17. I totally agree that you have your own unique category in the blogosphere. I always look forward to your posts, and I think yours is the first “fashion” related blog I’ve consistently read, because they’re so much substance to it and it’s very authentic (such a cliche word but it’s true!) You have so many great things to say and I appreciate your outlook on both style and life in general! Can’t wait to see what you come up with this year.

    1. Emily! What can I say, you’re just the best! Thanks so much for your support and positivity. It’s not taken for granted! Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend love! xo

  18. Hi Lee,

    Thank you for your inspiring post, once again.

    When I first started following you, thanks to Caroline at Un-Fancy, I assumed you were American. I was so happy to learn you are Canadian, and just an hour down the 401 from me 🙂 This is important to me because you dress for the same weather as me. Also, you have the same level of access to clothing/accessories as I do.

    I find following American blogs can be limiting because most American stores don’t offer free shipping/returns to Canada. Through you, I learned about Garmentory. I’m very excited to read that you will be featuring more Canadian-made brands this year. I shop local as much as possible (thankfully, London has some amazing local shops and restaurants), but I struggle with clothing. I can’t wait to see the options you present to us.

    Maybe the fact that you are Canadian can be part of your “blog brand”? It’s certainly hard to find a fashion blogger from Canada whose discourse on style I can appreciate.

    Ashley

    1. Hey neighbour 😛 Garmentory is wonderful isn’t it! Totally a game-changer for me. I’m glad you’re interested in discovering more Canadian brands too! Thanks for reading and stay warm out there Ashley! xoxo

  19. Thanks for talking us through your goals for 2017. Very helpful to see that level of organization, even though I’m not a blogger 🙂

    As far as finding your place or niche, one of the things that I really appreciated during the 10X10 challenge was how you took the time to talk us through the small details, like rotating the belt buckle to the back or why you cuffed/didn’t cuff. That is something that I frankly don’t see in a lot of blogs I read; posts often tend to focus so much on the product that the actual styling aspect gets lost. So please keep doing what you’re doing! Grateful reader here.

    1. Thanks for the wonderful feedback and for being here Jennifer! I so appreciate it. I’m thrilled to hear you like the styling details because that’s my favourite part 🙂 Hope your weekend has been great so far! xo

  20. I’m a recent subscriber and the fact that you feel slightly “aimless” within the blogosphere both shocked and comforted me. Shocked because I think Style Bee is absolutely on point and hits all the marks for me, comforted because as a blogger I know the feeling of not fitting in well…so although it’s not ideal for you, it’s nice to know I’m not alone in the feeling!

    Your 10×10 challenge has been a real inspiration for me and is something I’m planning to embark on in the future. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to following you on your closet and blogging mission in 2017!

    1. Ah, thank you so much Lorna! It’s great to hear that you’re interested in trying a 10×10 Challenge! They’re really such a great exercise. All the best for your blog and the year ahead lovely! xo

  21. Hi Lee,
    I just want to recognize all you put into this blog. I imagine it takes a lot of time to set and articulate goals the way you have. I really appreciate your honesty and integrity that’s interwoven in the content you share. I was so excited last year when you decided to exclusively feature ethical brands, it’s something I also set as a goal in 2016. This year, as a Canadian, I’m excited to see more content from Canadian talent. I find in my own life I’d love to shop more locally (Canadian being local) but I find it so difficult to find brands that are truly rocking it. Can’t wait to see what you find 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for the positive feedback and kind note Brittany! I appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog and I’m so happy that you’re excited about discover and supporting more local talent. I’ve already got a few gems on my radar 🙂 Hope you’re having a great weekend! xo

  22. I really enjoyed this post! I would love to Know more about how you’ve grown your blog and audience without heavily relying on sponsored or partnered content. I began my blog in late 2015 and have struggled with growing it due to the fact that I don’t want to show off new clothing all the time – and no fashion brand wants to collaborate with you and show their year-or-more-old products; they want to promote the next new thing! Not sure how to collaborate with brands while following my passion of exploring my current closet and what I can do with what I already own.

    I love what you’re doing and hope you are able to continue your blog with your goal of more authenticity. This Instagram age has over-curated us all!

    So happy I found your blog!

    1. Thanks for reading and for the great feedback Heather! Honestly, my audience has grown pretty slow and steady. My main tactic has been to focus on consistency and high-caliber content and not worry so much about how many page views or followers I get each week. My most popular posts are typically those in which I’ve shared something useful and genuine with my audience but rarely are collaborations the ones people come back to month after month.

      Many of the brands I’ve collaborated with appreciate my buy less, choose well philosophy and appreciate that I continue to style their products long after the season has passed. In fact, many carry the same ‘essentials’ all the time so it’s still relevant. Another thing is that collaborations don’t necessarily grow your audience. Sure it’s nice to have a few reposts here and there but for the most part your readers and followers will find you organically and that’s who is more likely to keep coming back.

      My best advice would be to collaborate with only the brands that are extremely well aligned with your values and aesthetic. The rest will just water down the core message of your blog. I hope that helps! xo

  23. Hey Lee – This was a great post! I’m also excited to hear of your Canadian brand finds! Over the past year I’ve been transitioning to buying mostly from Canadian brands, but it can be a bit challenging. (And hard to completely give up Everlane!) My goal this year is to stick to my (very short) clothing shopping/wish list and only buy stuff that will be versatile and last for a long time. To start this, on January 1, I started unsubscribing to all the ‘fast-fashion’ emails that clutter up. How liberating! Looking forward to the next year! xo

    1. Thanks a lot Jen! Good for you for making the an effort to find and support Canadian brands. That goal sounds wonderful and totally within reach if you give your purchases lots of thought (which no doubt you will!). Doesn’t it feel great to get rid of those pesky newsletters?! I haven’t missed them one bit! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks for reading. xo

  24. I second the lifestyle posts!

    As someone who has been working on a less is more closet for a few years, I feel it veering out into other areas of my life too! But it’s a very closet inspired way… which is hard to exactly enunciate.

    My favorite long term (3+ year) bloggers all let me feel like a get a peek into their lives, and I’d love to see more into yours!

    1. Thanks for the vote on more lifestyle posts Rebecca! That’s something I’m looking forward to exploring and sharing more so I’m glad you’re into it. I totally agree that the practices from one area of our lives are totally applicable and naturally transfer into others as well. Hope you’re having a great weekend! xo

  25. Also, question for you. I’m looking into investing into some Elizabeth Suzann pieces. What are your thoughts on linen vs cotton twill vs silk crepe vs raw silk? Favorite material and why/least favorite and why? Thanks!

    1. Oh man, that’s tough to answer. All of her fabrics are incredible and ideal for different scenarios. Personally I LOVE her linen and basically live in the georgia tee and florence pant all summer (I have a couple of each) but it’s going to wrinkle so you have to be ok with that. The raw silk is extremely comfortable and forgiving in terms of wrinkles and washability. The Crepe Silk has been great too (and I love that it’s washable!) but I find I don’t get as many wears out of it before it needs a refresh as I do with the other two fabrics. I have the clyde pant in an old cotton canvas and it’s great now that it’s broken in but it took quite a few wears to soften. Highly durable. No experience with the current cotton twill but my sister-in-law lives in her clydes made of the current fabric. Hope that helps!

  26. Hey Lee – a few months ago I found your blog via Caroline’s and have become a huge fan. Yes, the blogging world of ethical fashion and capsule wardrobes has become saturated recently, but you really do have a unique look and voice and something different to bring to the table than anyone else. Keep doing what you are doing and know that you are adding value to your readers through creative inspiration and deeper style purpose with each blog post! Love your 2017 goals, by the way 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words of encouragement Emily! I so appreciate it and I’m glad you found your way here! Hope you’re having a great weekend! xo

  27. Yay for more Canadian products. I know I have been disappointed in the lack of natural fabrics and some of the construction quality of Canadian makers so I am really looking forward to seeing what you find out there!

    1. Glad you’re excited about more Canadian goods Linda! I must admit I’ve found the same with some of the Canadian labels I’ve explored. I also find that in many cases the branding is horrific haha. On the other hand I’ve discovered some that are absolutely top notch so that’s very exciting. Stay tuned! xo

    2. I’ve found the same thing. There’s a ton of cotton jersey streetwear and active wear from Canadian brands, but linen (that isn’t super earthy hippy in style), silk, wool or cotton twill? Nope. And a lot of the brands I have found are either more severe or more twee than my desired style.

      My best Canadian purchases thus far have been the alpaca kimono from Bare Knitwear (I’m living in it, hopefully it holds up to the wear) and a couple pieces of jewelry from Forestière. I bought a couple turtlenecks from Canadian brands this Christmas and one’s been fine (betina Lou) but the other was a great disappointment in quality (Amanda Moss)– holes in the fabric and unravelling seams after two cold washes in with hanging to dry! It’s tough when you take the risk and spend more on a piece to try and support a brand and it ends up being a complete waste of money.

      Lee, I’m glad you’re not starting your own line just yet, I think I’d be broke upon your launch. 😛 Anything you do to support ethical and sustainable Canadian fashion, however, I’m super excited for!

    3. Thanks for chiming in with these experiences Hilary. I laughed because I’ve found the same exact thing you mentioned about ‘super earthy hippy’. Glad you love Bare Knitwear though, I’m also a big fan! Forestiere is amazing and her work is so inspiring. I hope to see it in person this year. Betina Lou is on my radar as well. Sorry to hear about your experience with AM though!

      Haha! Glad to hear that and thanks for reading 🙂 xo

  28. I came to your blog from Un-Fancy during the Winter 10×10 challenge and I really feel like between the two of you I’m going to get my head on straight regarding my own closet, lol. I also blog on a semi-regular basis, and I just want to make sure I don’t get bogged down in the idea of what I “could” look like, and instead choose mindfully for what I “want” to look like, and what feels like me. I narrowed it down to 4 specific goals:

    1. I want clothes for the life I live now, not the one I have in my head
    2. I want to take every other month as a clothes buying breather, to assess where I am.
    3. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that stress me out.
    4. Figure out why I don’t want to wear what I have – and figure out what I want instead.

    I feel like my goals are in the very nascent stage of wardrobe growth, lol, but I’m excited to see how it goes – especially since I’ve already made it 99% of the way through January without buying anything!

    1. Dana thanks so much for sharing these goals and general closet thoughts! They all resonate with me too. It’s really tough to sort through all the ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybe I coulds’ and ‘I probably shoulds’ of style and fashion blogging isn’t it? Simply addressing these concerns and acknowledging these issues is great progress. Good for you for making it 99% of the way through January! That’s a great first step! One more weekend to get through and you’re set 🙂 So glad you found your way here. I look forward to exploring closet contentment with you ;P xo

  29. TGIF Lee!
    Another great closet post mission. Like that now you’re in a good place and going to embrace that more and allow yourself to enjoy!
    Things I need to work on this year: shop less, continue shopping responsibly whenever I can, and worry less about what others think about my style and more about how I feel.
    If I am reading that right I am disappointed to see you’ll be doing up to 2 collaborations (gifted items) a month. I’ve really enjoyed seeing your own style these last few months as you took a break from that, and knowing you liked something enough to actual buy it if it was new.
    I’ve never had a blog but I definitely have felt adrift or like iam not sure of my place before in life, so I think that’s pretty normal. For me you feel a very big fashion niche in my life and are really inspirational. For selfish reasons like I’d miss you I hope you continue on!
    Also, looking forward to more lifestyle posts about your home etc. will you be posting a January vibes this month? Missed last months!
    I’ve also noticed you’ve mentioned your hips a few times and just wanted you to know you’re a smart, funny, compassionate and beautiful woman. I hope you find peace with that hang up. We all have them.
    Have a great weekend!
    Take care xo!

    1. Thanks Jodie! You’ve been such a positive force and support over the years and I really value your input. It feels so good to finally be in a good place but of course there’s always room for improvement.
      I appreciate your concern about the collabs and am being extremely cautious about how I work with brands and which ones I work with. In the past several of my absolute favourite pieces have come from partnerships so I believe that authenticity can be maintained as long as they are carefully considered. Some months there will be no collabs (like the month!) so I don’t think it will feel like it’s undermining the integrity of what I strive for here.
      I’m so happy to hear that this blog is a source of inspiration and a place you come to for a fashion fix. Really that means so much to know!
      Lifestyle posts will likely come later this winter/early spring because we’re waiting on some custom pieces to finish off our home with but I’m so excited to reveal! Monthly vibes are something I’m still thinking about. I might do them every other month as sort of a ‘Life lately’ since monthly feels a bit frequent.
      Again, I really appreciate you being here lady! all the best for the year ahead and enjoy your weekend! xoxo

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