Thursday, 31 December 2015

Farewell 2015 - 2016 is beckoning!

I hope that you have all had a wonderful holiday. No matter whether we celebrate Christmas Day or not, most of us enjoy a few days of relaxation with friends and family at this time of the year and for many of us (including retirees who blog!) the festive season is a welcome break from work.

Looking back over 2015, I am grateful that so many of you commented on my posts. We bloggers love to know that people out there are actually reading our blogs! My most popular posts, both for the comments made and the number of views they had, were those about the 7 Steps to Style system and the recent No Repeat November challenge. I believe - from comments made, plus looking at photos I've posted here - that I have made giant steps in developing my style by following Imogen's 7 Steps system. I'd started on my journey by having a colour analysis in 2013 followed by a personal style session in early 2014. It was established that I'm a Natural Gamine, which suited not only my personality but also my lifestyle.

Before: picture 1
Before: picture 2
The two photos above show where I started out from style-wise. I look casual and comfortable, however my body is cut in half, especially in the second picture, so I look shorter and (being honest with myself) a little dumpy. The trousers are a bit baggy too, which doesn't help matters.

This year I learnt that there is more to creating stylish outfits than discovering my best colours and finding clothes that flatter my H (rectangular) shape, important though they are. I found out about the importance of value and colour contrast, plus values, lifestyle and style personality. I even created my own style recipe: "Colourful casual chic, with a little bit quirky and a Parisian influence." 

Below you can see what I like to think is the new improved and more stylish me. The cardigan and trousers in picture 1 create a column of colour, which helps to make me look taller and slimmer. In picture 2 I am wearing a dress (not my usual look as regular readers will know) and I'm showing off my legs. Enough said!

After: picture 2
After: picture 2
Have you made any New Year resolutions? I'm hoping to find a theme for 2016 rather than the usual resolutions that inevitably get broken. I will continue my pursuit of becoming more stylish and plan to add to my capsule wardrobe in the spring. In the meantime, I need to decide on my Winter 33 items of clothing to get me through the colder months. 

I also intend to eat more healthily, specifically to find an anti-inflammatory diet, having been told by my doctor that I have arthritis of the jaw. My husband put it down to over-use! I'm hoping that a new healthy diet will help me look younger - I'm an optimist in case you haven't realised! - plus I'm starting to use shiatsu face massage so i will report back on whether it works.

Finally, I'd like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year. If you've made any New Year resolutions, or have chosen your own theme for 2016, please share it with us.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

No repeat November - conclusions

Surviving 30 days with a more limited wardrobe (my Autumn 33 items of clothing) wasn't as difficult as I thought, even though I had the additional challenge of not repeating any outfit during November. Layering was the answer, especially as one of my tops was too warm to wear and another one was on my shopping list rather than physically in my wardrobe, which clearly limited my options. Luckily the weather was perfect for short-sleeved tops worn with different cardigans or jackets. You can see one example of this in the outfit I wore on day 29 and another in day 30's outfit.

Day 29
Day 30
The following photos show the winning outfits from each week. Where readers have liked several different outfits I have chosen the one with the most mentions. In the case of a tie, I had the casting vote!

Week 1 winner
Week 2 winner

Week 3 winner
Week 4 winner

Honorable mention
Honorable mention
Looking back over the month and seeing which outfits were my (and my readers') favourites, it was clear that warmer colours flatter me the most.  When I wore neutral outfits I needed a dash of colour to lift them such as my "hero" cardigan. My style recipe is colourful casual chic, so not surprisingly most of the outfits I wore during November consisted of tops worn with trousers. I did receive several compliments though the one day that I wore a dress, which was the week 3 winner.

I realised that I tend to wear the same bottoms and accessories each time that I wear a particular top, so this challenge was particularly good for helping me create different outfits. It proved to me that having a more limited wardrobe can work if you have neutrals for your basics, with accent colours to add some variety, that can be mixed and matched.

Which of the above outfits do you think should be the overall winner? Or perhaps we should award a gold, silver and bronze medal to the three favourites. The outfits I wore on the last two days of November can also be considered, if that makes it any easier (I suspect not!)

I'm going to vote the dress that was week 3's winner as the overall winner. In second place is the outfit that I wore on day 29. Finally, in bronze medal position, week 4's winner.  Do you agree?