BEST ADDITIONS OF 2019

01.17.20

Hello, hello! How is your 2020 going so far? I must admit, despite my best efforts to start the year slowly, it’s already zipping along. So before I get swept too far downstream I wanted to share a roundup of my favourite additions from 2019.

Now that I’ve got some distance on the past year it felt like a good time to take stock. I love reading these types of posts and thought it might be useful to provide some candid insights on the pieces I’ve added and love.

Some of these were personal purchases and some were added through partnerships but all these items have played an important role in steering my personal style and making my closet more functional.

So let’s take a look!


This post was not sponsored or produced in partnership with any brands mentioned but does contain affiliate links and some gifted items. If you see something you like and decide to shop through the links included, I may earn commission on a sale at no additional cost to you. All opinions are always my own and I only share items I love. Thanks for supporting Style Bee!



MY TOP PERSONAL PURCHASES



1 – CAMEL WRAP COAT by THE CURATED – I wear a size S.

I don’t usually gravitate to highly popular items but as soon as I tried this coat on I understood everyone’s obsession. It’s elegant, timeless, versatile, warm and effortlessly makes even the most basic outfit look elevated and chic. I’ll save the rest of my thoughts for a full review coming soon!

2 – RIMA BOOT by MAGUIRE (Canadian) – I wear a size 37 (slightly narrow through toe). These are currently sold out but sign-up for a restock notification (similar option by another CDN brand here).

I bought these boots on a whim during a trip to Montréal and they’ve become a go-to whenever the temps are low. They are warm, lightweight, stylish and super functional. I love that I can simply zip them up (no lacing needed) and that they’re essentially a more refined take on a classic combat boot.

3 – TURTLENECK SWEATER DRESS by EVERLANE – I wear a Medium for extra room and length.

This piece spent a while in my shopping cart and I’m so glad I pulled the trigger on it for the fall/winter. I love the minimal cut, timeless heathered grey cashmere and find it’s super versatile for anything from a work meeting to a night on the couch.



4 – STRUCTURED BAG by ATELIER BATAC

This was a very special find during my time in Barcelona, Spain this summer. It’s been one of those pivotal pieces that has steered my style in a way that’s hard to articulate. It’s truly a wearable piece of art and one I’ll treasure for years to come.

5 – OLIVER SHORTS by NA NIN – I wear a Medium.

I’d nearly given up on finding shorts that I would genuinely love wearing but these turned the tides. They’re just the perfect balance of relaxed and tailored and hit my leg at the perfect spot. Not too short and not too long. You bet I’ll be buying more colours this year!

6 – BROWN BELT by ATELIER B (Canadian). I wear a small. More colours available.

I’d been on the hunt for a simple, classic brown belt last winter and found this gem during the same trip to Montréal as the Rima Boot. I really like the weight/thickness of the leather because it’s super low profile so it doesn’t add too much bulk to my pants and feels very comfortable. It’s also a great price at just $40 CAD.



7 – CIGAR RING by ATTIC (Canadian).

This ring was a special gift to myself for my 32nd birthday because I don’t think you should have to wait for anyone else to buy you jewelry. I’d long dreamt of adding a cigar ring to my daily accessories and after trying it out during a partnership with ATTIC I knew it was the perfect one. It was a significant investment and a piece I plan to be wearing for decades to come.

8 – MICRO RIB TEES by EVERLANE – I wear a Small.

I don’t know what I used to do during the winter months before I had these basics. I absolutely adore these tops and have them in almost every colour and style. They’re the perfect fitted tee and always feel great and wash up well. See more about why I swear by base layers here.

9 – PARIS MULE by ST. AGNI – I wear a size 37 (slightly narrow through toe). On Sale!

These were a purchase I felt a bit of guilt about since I already had the almond version of the Paris Mule. I had been humming and hawing about the vintage brown and once I saw them in person I knew they were the right colour and fit for my closet. I ended up passing the almond leather ones along and I’m glad I followed through and got the pair that would be best for me longterm.

10 – LUMEN NECKLACE by WOLF CIRCUS (Canadian) – Also available in silver.

My jewelry tastes have simplified in recent years and I find myself gravitating towards minimal pendants on dainty chains for daily use. I’d first purchased the Woman Vase necklace from Wolf Circus and loved it so much that I picked up another pendant from the designer. I love wearing them each on their own or together for a layered look.



MY TOP GIFTED ITEMS



1 – RE:DOWN LONG PUFFER COAT by EVERLANE – I wear a Small, which is roomy.

When accepting gifted items, I always try my best to only add pieces I really believe I’ll wear a lot and this puffer coat definitely surpassed all expectations. I’ve worn it almost every single day this winter and it’s been such a game changer for outdoor activities, staying warm during walks with Dobby and running errands downtown. I’ve shared lots more about it in this style series.

2 – CLASSIC CREW by BARE KNITWEAR (Canadian) – I wear a XS/S. See more details and fit notes in this post. This colour is sold out but black and charcoal are on sale.

Similar to my puffer coat, this chunky tobacco knit sweater had been on my winter closet wish list from 2018 so I jumped at the opportunity to add one. I’d already had the chance to try Bare Knitwear’s incredibly soft hand loomed baby alpaca knits so I knew this would be a very special addition. Since arriving, I’ve reached for this sweater several times a week, whether it’s to throw on with jeans or to drape over my shoulders when I’m feeling chilly at my desk.

For a more accessible price-point this alpaca crew option has also been a winter favourite (I have one in Almond).

3 – WOOL ANDY TROUSER by ELIZABETH SUZANN – I wear a Small Regular. See more details and fit notes in this post.

If we’re picking a winner for coziest pants ever, these are a top contender for sure. I know it’s annoying when bloggers say they’ve been ”living” in something but that’s sort of the only way to describe my relationship with the wool Andy Pant. I’ve slept in them, hiked in them, worked in them, traveled in them, gone out for dinner in them and the list just goes on. They’re incredible and I cannot recommend them enough!



4 – MIDI DAY TOTE by EVERLANE – Taupe is sold out but the black version is still available. See this piece in lots of outfit posts.

This bag has turned out to be a wildcard closet hero, which was not the fate I’d expected when it first arrived. I love the taupe colour, which magically works with everything, the compact size that’s still big enough to toss all my essentials in, the convertible cross-body strap and the leather has held it’s shape and withstood scuffs incredibly well. It’s the bag I reach for most often when I’m zipping out the door and always adds a touch of polish to any outfit.

5 – BUTTON DOWN DRESS by VETTA – I wear a Small – See it in action here.

I’m not a huge dress person but when I find one that works, I’m all in. This one was a summer favourite because it’s just the right mix of feminine, fun and practicality. The fit is easy-going enough to wear on an average day but with the right heels (see below) and the sash belt, it transforms instantly for a more formal occasion. I love the feel and fluidity of Tencel as well so this one ticks a whole bunch of boxes. It’ll be summer again eventually and I can’t wait to pull this one out!

6 – BLOCK HEEL DOUBLE STRAP SANDAL by EVERLANE – I wear a size 7 – See these in action in this post.

Gosh I love a sensible heel (not something I would have said when I started this blog haha)! A cute sandal that adds a couple of inches, goes with everything and lets me dance the night away (without ravaging my feet) is a rare find indeed. These sandals totally changed my summer style game and became a go-to for events, trips and any day I just needed a little boost.



7 – DUFFY JUMPER by ESBY – I wear a Small, which is quite roomy. – See it on in this post.

This jumpsuit is sort of like the warm weather equivalent to the Andy Trouser, except it’s a whole outfit in one. ESBY always uses beautiful fabrics in their line and this gauzy cotton/linen blend is extremely soft. I love that this piece can be dressed up or down and found myself reaching for it all throughout the summer and well into the fall. It is supremely comfy and the breathability of the fabric lends itself to a range of temperatures.

8 – CREAM CASHMERE SCARF by EVERLANE – Sold out but this option is very similar.

Another piece I’d had on my winter wish list was a light neutral cashmere scarf and this one has been perfect for adding a touch of freshness to my winter style. It can feel a bit gloomy to wear black and grey all season long so having something a little brighter that’s still highly functional and warm has been a very welcome addition.



WOMAN VASE by RACHEL SAUNDERS CERAMICS (Canadian) via ROOK & ROSE (based in Victoria, BC) was my Christmas gift from Dave and I’m so obsessed I had to include it in this post.

Clothing rack and wooden step ladder from IKEA.


THANKS FOR TUNING IN AGAIN, I’VE MISSED YOU!

I’d love to hear about any additions you made and loved last year too!

I hope this post is helpful in planning out your additions for the year ahead. Feel free to ask me any additional questions you might have and I’ll respond asap.

Leave me a comment here!

  1. Elizabeth says:

    My top addition last year was definitely my linen York Pinafore. I sewed this versatile dress/jumper from Vancouver-based Helen’s Closet last August, and I’ve worn it every week since–with a sleeveless tank under it in summer and with leggings and sweater in winter. I ordered the fabric from Pure Linen Envy, an Ontario-based online shop, so I didn’t have to pay any duties. This was a winning “make” for sure!

  2. sara Drake says:

    Hi Lee!
    I’m new to your website and so excited to have found it! I’m interested in creating a more curated conscious closet. I was looking at the section “shop my closet” and noticed there are 96 items listed. I was wondering if you try to keep only a specific number of items in your closet at all times, or is that something that fluctuates? Or does it even matter? If you add new things do you get rid of others? I’m just trying to find a balance and looking to reduce the number of clothes I haven my closet. I’m just a little overwhelmed and confused I guess! But happy to be finding mindful people who curate their closets, rather than buying on impulse and trying to learn myself.

    • Hi Sara, welcome! So glad you found your way to Style Bee and I hope you’ll find it to be a useful resource for your closet and style. It’s definitely overwhelming to begin with so I understand where you’re at. In terms of the numbers, I’ve come to believe that they don’t really matter, it’s more about figuring out what is manageable for you. If having a limited number helps you to pare down that can be helpful to start with but if trying to maintain a certain number and this starts causing stress, you can let it go. I don’t count the items in my closet at this time but I conduct regular closet edits to make sure I’m wearing everything and the pieces I’ve forgotten or don’t love wearing get moved on to new homes.

      I think the best way to start is to take a shopping breather for a month or so and really try to weed out the items you love to wear versus those that aren’t serving you. Do check out the Define and Streamline Closet Toolkit as there are loads of helpful exercises to guide you along. Thanks for tuning in and hope to hear from you again! xo

  3. […] also like the idea of these shorts, which I discovered on the StyleBee blog– so great to have a Canadian […]

    • sara drake says:

      Thank you Lee for your kind reply. Very useful advice and I will check the closet toolkit. Looking forward to more of your posts!

  4. Louise says:

    Lee,
    Over the past few weeks I have found lots of really useful advice on your blog. You are right on about the Everlane micro-rib Ts — so great. Your comments on the Boss Boot inspired me to snag the ankle version on super sale and they are perfect. I even cleaned out my closet so that all my shoes fit neatly in a row at the bottom. My goal is to bring ease to my life by having a simple series of go-to outfits for work and weekends. I am grateful for the guidance that you have offered because it is helping me reach that goal sooner.

    Btw, I found Stylebee through a search for reviews of Vetta’s relaxed capsule. I decided to get the white Boxy blouse.

    Louise

    • Thank you for this lovely note Louise! So glad you’ve found this space helpful and have discovered a couple of pieces that work well for you. I hope it will continue to be a good resource as you work towards your closet goals! xo

  5. Isabey says:

    Interesting that you decided to get the St. Agni mules again. especially from someone who has been stalking your original review from 2018 and agonizing about if I should get them! I see that you opted for the size 37 this time around – do you like the fit better at this size over the 38? Though since they aren’t restocking the Paris mule I imagine maybe your choice might have been limited to what was available. As it warms up I’m starting to vie for these shoes again – do you have any additional input in regard to the sizing now that you’ve owned two different sizes? I wear a 6.5/37 regularly, but I have wide feet.

    • Hi Isabey, I found that the 38, while totally wearable, ended up feeling a bit sloppier than I wanted and the end of the footbed stuck out behind my heel farther than I liked. I tried the 37 on a whim since I was near a stockist, and while very tight to start they have stretched out to fit my foot exactly how I’d hoped. The vintage tan leather feels a touch thinner and softer than the Almond leather so they had a bit more give right off the bat. I have very narrow feet so that might have been why the 38 was ultimately a little loose. If you have a wider foot then I think it may still be advisable to size up. I hope that helps!

  6. Alejandra says:

    Happy new year, Lee!

    This year marks my third anniversary in capsule wardrobes and slow and sustainable fashion, and you and Caroline (from Unfancy) were my first sources of education (and inspiration) this regarding.

    After this time (and two pregnancies and postpartums later) I can happily say I am much more content with the clothes I own and the style I have been developping.

    Cheers to always continuing evolving and learning!

    All the best,

    Alejandra.

    • That is so wonderful Alejandra! Happy slow fashion anniversary 🙂 Thanks for your support and readership over these years, it means more than I can express. I’m so glad this space has been helpful for your own closet adventures. All the best to you as well! xo

  7. Wendy says:

    I loved The Curated coat so much that you’ve featured a few times. After looking and admiring all of their coats for quite some time, I purchased one. Gorgeous but not at all made for Canadian winters. It’s the warmth of a heavy sweater. It’s so beautiful but if you need a winter weight coat and live in Canada, this is not it. I’d love some suggestions for a dressier work-appropriate coat (not down) for the winter.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on The Curated coat Wendy. I agree that it’s not cut out for the deep cold here in Canada (though I’ve been able to wear it a lot this winter). I’ve had success with the coat options from Aritzia, which are often insulated, and would also look at Mackage and Everlane. Probably a good time to buy since the sales are on. Warm, work appropriate outerwear can be a bit of a unicorn!

  8. This was such a lovely roundup. I too enjoy reading these types of posts. I’ve been searching for a good camel coat for ages and I just might have to take a look at that one!

    • Thanks Sarah, so glad to hear that you like these posts too 🙂 Oh yes, definitely give The Curated a look. It’s a crowd favourite for good reason! xo

  9. Catherine Horvath says:

    Great post, Lee. As always, thoughtful and honest Can’t wait for more.

    p.s. Dare I say it’s time for another partnership with Attic?

  10. Leah Wise says:

    Good to know that you recommend the Everlane puffer. I have a nice long puffer jacket, but recently the zipper jammed. If I can’t get it fixed, I may need to purchase a new one.

    • It’s a good one to bookmark just in case! So far no issues with the zipper and I’ve had it on and off probably 100 times by now. Zippers though, always the weakest link! Stay cozy! xo

  11. Courtney says:

    Love this post! I’ve been eyeing the cashmere turtleneck dress and the camel coat all winter. Would you mind sharing your thoughts on the length of the turtleneck dress? Several of the taller reviewers on Everlane’s site have mentioned wishing it was longer. At 5’7.5”, I’m a tad worried it will be too short.

    Like others, I’d also be curious to hear your thoughts on how the curated coat does in northern climate winters. I’m in Wisconsin and pretty much live in my puffer all winter. I’d love to add a more elegant option to my closet though.

    Lastly, I sure wish Elizabeth Suzann’s wool pieces were a bit more affordable. I love what they are doing as a business but the price point is so far out of reach for so many people. I just kind of get grumpy when bloggers who got the wool pieces for free go on and on about what great investment pieces they are.

    Sorry to sound cranky 😬. Thanks for your beautiful blog!

    • Thanks for reading Courtney. I’m essentially the same height as you and have a slightly shorter than average torso so my legs are relatively long. I saw the same notes in the reviews and opted to size up in the dress for a bit more room and length (from my usual S to a M). It’s still fairly short and I wouldn’t wear it without tights underneath, but it wouldn’t be scandalous if you wanted to pair it with a tall boot and no tights or a more sheer tight. I’m also considering wearing it over a slip dress that falls a few inches longer to make it more versatile for springtime. Hope that helps!

      Working on a review of the curated coat right now so stay tuned!

      I can understand your perspective on gifted pieces, especially at a higher price point. For my collaboration(s) with ES I put a tremendous amount of time and effort into the content and did a lot of work to ensure I had tested the pieces the best I could to offer accurate and useful insight into their fit, functionality etc.. So while it might seem like they were free, there was more than just the retail price worth of time and work put into the content. For what it’s worth, if something happened to my Andy Pants to render them unfit for use, I’d purchase a new pair in a heartbeat. I hope that helps to give you a bit more peace of mind when it comes to the opinions I share on here 🙂 xo

    • Courtney says:

      Thanks for the additional thoughts on the length of the turtleneck sweater. I think I need to resist the urge to buy it. I have to bend down to pick up a toddler far too frequently to pull off a short dress! I look forward to seeing how you style it with a slip dress though. Love that idea!

      It is obvious that you put a tremendous amount of time and care into this space, which is beautiful and oh so helpful. Part of my frustration likely just comes from wanting all the beautiful wooly ES pieces myself, but knowing that it would be a terrible financial decision to purchase them! Basically, I’m coveting your gorgeous wardrobe. 😬

      Looking forward to the review of the Curated coat!

  12. Emma says:

    Wonderful first post of the year Lee! I absolutely love your style, and would love to add any of those pieces to my wardrobe as well! Glad to hear you’ll be pulling out the Vetta dress again as I have my eye on it for this Spring/Summer and would love to see more ways you style it!

    • Thanks so much Emma! It’s a great dress for sure. With the blizzard we’ve had today it’s hard to imagine wearing it but I know the time will come soon enough (thank goodness!). I’ll try to put together a post with some other styling ideas for it this spring 🙂 xo

  13. Laura says:

    This post makes me so excited to receive my faun lightweight wool Andy trousers in the next week or so!

    Thank you for the roundup of everything else, too. It’s very useful to know what has stuck out and been very versatile in your wardrobe!

    • I’m happy to hear that Laura! Thanks for tuning in. Hope you love your Andy Pants as much as I do. Took me a few wears to get into their whole ‘vibe’ but I’m fully converted now! xo

  14. Selin says:

    I love your blog! I have been eyeing the Curated coat too but not sure if it keeps you warm enough (Canadian winters) Any tips/suggestions? Thanks a lot for this great post! 🙂

    • Thanks for reading Selin! I’ll be sharing more thoughts about the Curated coat soon but I’ve definitely worn it more than I expected to this winter. It’s not something you’d wear on a snowy, windy, freezing day (like today haha) but it’s warmer than I anticipated and depending what you wear underneath I think it can work for pretty cold temps. More to come soon! xo

  15. NiNa says:

    Happy new year! Thanks for this best of! I wanted to ask you, are your ES CWC alpaca/wool pieces pilling or fuzzing in certain areas after some wear? I live in LA and I just don’t know if I can justify investing in the CWC considering my climate but it seems like it would be so perfect for right now/this mild winter season! Thank you!

    • Hey Nina, you’re so welcome and thanks for tuning in. Good question! I’ve found that the heavyweight wool on the Clyde Trench has pilled in high friction spots, like under the arms. The lightweight wool, which the Andy pants are made of, have not really pilled at all, even between the thighs, so I’m very happy with the way they’ve held up. The pills are easy enough to remove with a sweater stone or comb though. Hope that helps!

  16. Pamela says:

    My Bare Knitwear (the charcoal baby alpaca coat) and my charcoal wool Andys Trousers are what I’ve been living in here in this week’s crazy random snowfall on the West Coast. Glad to hear the Curated coat is working well in Canadian winter, as I’ve had my eye on one–that’s useful to know. I can’t do the fawn/brown palette you favour with my colouring but I always love how it looks on my IG feed 🙂

    • Those two pieces are both so great for cold days! I still think about the baby alpaca coat I borrowed for the shoot and it’s on my wish list for sure. Stay cozy over there Pamela. xo

  17. Poonam says:

    Eyeing the camel coat to replace a fast fashion one in my wardrobe right now. Also glad to see the Everlane Cashmere Turtleneck Dress get a nod from you – one is on its way to me now! Great post, Lee 🙂

  18. Mary Grogan says:

    Beautiful clothes, you have excellent taste, but I don’t know anyone who can afford the prices.

    • Thanks Mary, I appreciate you reading and sharing this note. I’m working on sharing some great finds at more accessible price points going forward. xo

    • Chi says:

      I agree! I would love to see more styling a piece multiple ways or closet inventories/organization posts. Things that celebrate making the best of what you have and restyling old favorites in new ways. Those have always been my favorite StyleBee posts.