It’s that time of year, you guys! Just two sleeps til Christmas. And, just eight sleeps til the new year. 2016 is coming to a close; 2017 is just around the corner.
I’m about to sign off for my holiday break — time for family hang-outs, lots of chai tea, and PJs all day. But before I do, how about if we reflect a little on this year here at Unfancy?
In this post, we’ll chat:
- the single greatest thing I learned about my style in 2016
- 2 things I learned about blogging in 2016
- best of: outfits 2016
- best of: blog posts 2016
- and a quick look forward to 2017
Get yourself a cup o’ hot chocolate and settle in — this is a long one! (Oh, and here’s a Christmas playlist while you read!)
THE SINGLE GREATEST THING I LEARNED ABOUT MY STYLE IN 2016
DRESS FOR REAL LIFE, NOT THE FANTASY
Another way of saying this:
Instead of letting Pinterest or Instagram set the expectation, enjoy what is. For me, that looked like tuning in to my day to day lifestyle and the climate where I live — instead of tuning in to the fantasy.
First, I let go of fantasy fall — that Pinterest-propagated idea that once September hits, I should be wrapped up in cozy sweaters, scarves, and boots. Note: September in Texas is still 90 degrees. So … you do the math. But instead of wishing it away for sweater weather, I could engage with it and enjoy those extra days of shorts and swimming weather.
Then, a little bit later, I let go of fantasy holidays — that feeling that I should stock up on party outfits because, tis the season! But I had zero fancy events to attend this year. So … no need for that embellished maxi dress, and no need to spend any more time or energy thinking about it. Instead, I could divert that time + energy to things that bring me joy.
So, all in all, when I’m present with my real life — instead of the fantasy — regrettable purchases decrease, wardrobe clutter decreases, and my closet grows even more useful.
And bonus: I’m happier and more content in general. Pretty cool.
I can’t wait to keep practicing this one into 2017. If I could recommend one wardrobe goal for you to try in 2017, this would be it.
And, shameless plug here: my free printable wardrobe planner is a great place to get started. :)
2 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT BLOGGING IN 2016
1 / NO MORE FREEBIES
Earlier in my blogging days, I took a hard and fast stance against freebies, because they didn’t align with my vision for Unfancy.
In 2016, however, I wanted to shift my focus to featuring more responsible brands. So I thought, “Hey, the goal is to show people more responsible brands, and freebies will help me do that. So, yes to responsible freebies.”
But even though the motive was a good one, here at the end of the year, I’m calling it: freebies still aren’t a good fit for Unfancy. It was a try, a fail, and how fascinating! :)
I think it’s infinitely more helpful + interesting to see what someone buys with their own money.
It also helps me keep my wardrobe smaller and more intentional.
Now, you’ll still see old freebies listed as “gifted by” in the credits. And, honestly, I’m trying to shed my black-and-white, either-or nature, so there may come a time when I do take a freebie.
But overall, my guideline is no more freebies. Feels good.
2 / TRY CAPSULES ANOTHER WAY
Alright, I have to laugh at this one. The Style Series — AKA this year’s attempt at a new approach to capsules — was a flop in my opinion.
Sure, I liked parts of it, like setting a goal or two for my wardrobe each season. But the rest of it was just … less helpful than I wanted it to be.
So I’m saying bye to that series.
In it’s place, I’d like to come up with some sort of seasonal capsule post, like I used to do. The thing is, I don’t want it to be so rigid — like it used to be, when I was all, “These are the only 37 pieces I’m wearing for exactly 90 days no matter what.”
Again, trying to shed my black-and-white, either-or tendencies. Are you sensing a trend? :)
Anyway, my best idea right now is to post a loose capsule at the beginning of each season, and then do an update or two during that season, so we can talk about what’s working, what’s not, and any pieces I’ve added or subtracted along the way to make it more useful. That way, it’s more dynamic and “real life”.
I don’t have it completely figured out yet, so I’m 100% open to your ideas here. What would you like to see from a fluid, less structured capsule post? I would love to hear your thoughts on what would be the most helpful for you.
BEST OF: OUTFITS 2016
From left to right:
One: There’s something so casual and cool about this outfit. Also, looking at it makes me realize that I miss my clogs. I still haven’t pulled the trigger on cold weather clogs because they are such an investment. But maybe one day.
Two: Sure, there are plenty of ways to style overalls, but to me, this is the way to do it: with a tank top and clogs. Can’t wait to wear it again come spring.
Three: Who wins MVP of my whole closet? This black silk dress! I wore this particular boho-minimalist look to my sis-in-law’s baby shower.
From left to right:
One: This is one of those outfits that just matches my everyday lifestyle in Abilene. It’s cozy, easy to wear, and no frills.
Two: Here’s another cozy, no frills outfit, but this hat makes more of a statement and I love it. This was one of my first attempts at adding warmer color into my cold weather wardrobe.
Three: I feel like this is the quintessential “Caroline” outfit of 2016: striped button down, a bandana, and cognac accessories. Ironically, this outfit never made it onto the blog, but here’s a similar version of the outfit.
From left to right:
One: Color! I was getting more and more into color towards the end of the year, and I was so proud of this outfit and it’s understated color palette. If I had to choose a favorite for 2016, this would be it.
Two: No doubt, this was my boldest “statement” outfit of the year, with those dramatic flares and a bit of skin showing. I wore this out for Aaron’s and my 5 year anniversary celebrations.
Three: This was my favorite outfit from my fall 10×10 challenge. It taught me that I love slouchier pieces
BEST OF: BLOG POSTS 2016
Since I’m signing off for a while, let me point you in the direction of the most helpful blog posts from 2016. Who knows, you may even discover a post you missed along the way. Happy exploring!
Posts about capsules:
- My loungewear capsule (and how to build one for yourself)
- Creating (and organizing!) a useful panty drawer
- What it looks like now: my capsule for special occasions
- Free printable wardrobe planner (updated for 2016)
Helpful how-to posts:
- How to shop for clothes online: 5 tips to simplify the process (plus my fav stores that offer free shipping)
- How to wear ankle booties with jeans
- How to wear ankle booties with socks
- Sweater 101: keeping them happy, pill free, and fresh between washes
My favorite packing lists this year:
- No body-con dresses required: a weekend worth of unfancy outfits for Vegas
- What to pack for 4 days in Seattle (in a carry-on)
- Carry-on only: What to pack for the beach
- Nashville: a weekend of outfits + my packing list
And a few other fun posts:
- 10×10 remix with style bee
- All about my hair + makeup + well-being routine
- Two looks: one for my mom + one for me
A LOOK FORWARD TO 2017
In 2017, Unfancy will still have that same outfit-a-day vibe, and I’ll continue to slowly, thoughtfully incorporate more responsible brands into my wardrobe. I’m also excited to get more color in my wardrobe — and figure out how to do it in a less-is-more kind of way. And finally, I’m excited to invite you into my wardrobe in new ways — like exploring a different approach to capsules, sharing videos from my closet, and getting into topics like organization and garment care.
But first up, on January 9th, I’m partnering with my friend, Lee from Style Bee, and doing a second 10×10 remix challenge! Mark your calendars — I can’t wait for this!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays, you guys! I hope you have a delightful time, whatever you’re up to. And, from the warmest place in my heart, thanks for sharing this journey with me this year — I’m so grateful.
See you in 2017! :)
What a year!! Great work, lady. Your dedication and hard work shows. Just gets better and better. <3
Diana Angela says
I just started following your blog just now and I find it very interesting especially with your style that I feel I can relate to. All your posts I’ve been reading are so helpful and makes me want to read more ! For sure I am marking up my calendar for Jan 9 ! Happy Holidays !
Oh, oh, I am so excited for 2017!
I’m so glad to hear your thoughts on the freebies. Maybe I’m alone here, but I really, really like the mix & remix of the minimalist wardrobe and that is where I learn the most on your blog! I want to LEARN over having a desire to buy and keep up, so this is just great news!
My favorite posts this year have been lots of outfits, and your more recent posts on how to care for garments and how to style garments (boots, socks, bags, etc!). It’s so fun to learn about style and I’ve been buying more quality items since I started reading so I appreciate all the care tips.
Also loved – TRAVEL posts. Also great to learn how to up my packing game!
Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing all the knowledge this year!
Echo this 100%. So grateful for your honesty and transparency. Love that you limit/ steer away from freebies- makes your blog one of the most real. While it’s fun to see what’s out there, most of us have to make mindful choices about what to include- like you said, what someone buys with their own money.
Love the idea of the updated capsule approach- some of my favorite aspects of your blog have been the full capsule overviews and then seeing those pieces remixed. That really appeals to my desire to build a more coherent wardrobe (broader focus than individual outfits). Also love the packing posts for that reason. Both give me lots of ideas of how to simplify and combine in new ways.
Thank you for all your work, sharing your journey. Wishing you and your family a happy holiday season!
Your idea of an evolving capsule is exactly what I like to do! Like the ladies above me, I would also like to see the learning process of what worked and what didn’t. I most enjoyed the panty drawer, the boots and bags, and the learning posts. I also really enjoyed your comments about fantasy fall and fantasy parties. Those lessons apply to LOADS of scenarios!
Thank you for sticking with us and cheering up ours days! Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas! And thank you for all the thought and effort you put into your blog. I mainly read sewing blogs but I love in-fancy for your fresh ideas, honesty and thoughtful explanations of your own discovery of what does and doesn’t work for you and why. I’m looking forward to what’s in store in 2017. And your realisation about not dressing for the fantasy life has made me realise how much I do that and how much of my wardrobe is never worn because of it!
Erin Murphy says
I love your blog because it’s realistic – “not fantasy.” I am a jeans and slouchy tshirt gal and I love how you dress those up, never fail to inspire me! Looking forward to 2017 :-)
I look forward to seeing the posts of everything that is in your capsule for a season. Somehow seeing all the pieces spread out like that really helps me think in a big-picture way about my own closet.
Thanks for the great blog! I enjoy it immensely.
Holly J says
I agree- I love seeing your whole season’s wardrobe–it gives me ideas! I also loved the 10X10 mix up! In 2014, you did the lookbook–that was REALLY helpful and a really great idea…I would LOVE for you to bring that back! I also love that this isn’t a sponsored blog–keep up the “real” blogging!! Great job and thanks so much!
PS–I’m also on the flexible capsule–like you, I put together a season, but if I realize I need that pair of boyfriend jeans, I just move em back.
Your blog is one of my favorite spaces on the internet. I love when I see an Un-fancy post come up in my blog feed. Though we lead different lives (I’m a stay at home mom of 5), live in different climates (rural PA), and have a bit of a style difference, I have learned so much from your simple and real style. It’s given me confidence to wear what I love and what works for my body and my lifestyle. Keep up the great work!!
I rarely if ever comment on the blogs I read, but just wanted to say I discovered you this year and have so been enjoying your posts. I skim so many blogs that are just professional photos of girls in designer clothes I’ll never wear and, sorry, I can see advertisements in magazines. So tired of it. I really appreciate your simple style, useful content, and real-world approach to dressing. Keep it up! -Joan
I’d like to say thank you, Carolyn. This year I found your blog and it has made a very real and positive change in my life. Un-fancy helped inspired me to wear whatever I want to wear and stop feeling pressure to dress the way I’m “supposed to dress”– whatever that means. Looking forward to the 10 x 10 and the wardrobe posts in 2017! Happy Holidays!
Lee Vosburgh says
LOVE LOVE LOVED this one Caroline! SO excited for January! Happy Holidays, enjoy a wonderful with your friends and family. xoxo
Caroline, I love the loose capsule with updates idea. Will you be posting one for Winter? Have a happy holiday season! I’m looking forward to your January posts.
Your blog is real and refreshing. I agree that it’s frustrating to constantly see bloggers donning the most expensive designer clothes which just aren’t viable for normal day to day people. Thanks for keeping it real.
The Pale Tails
– Beckie x
I LOVE THE NEW DIRECTION YOU ARE TAKING. YOU ARE RIGHT THAT IT IS SO MUCH MORE HELPFUL TO LEARN FROM SOMEONE WHO IS ACTUALLY PURCHASING ALL THEIR CLOTHES.
I ALSO REALLY LIKE THE IDEA OF A LESS RIGID CAPSULE PROCESS. WHAT WOULD BE REALLY HELPFUL TO ME IS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR PROCESS OF CHOOSING WHAT WILL BE IN YOUR CAPSULES. I’M PRETTY GOOD AT PARING DOWN MY WARDROBE BUT I’M LESS SKILLFUL AT MIXING AND MATCHING AND CHOOSING THINGS THAT WILL COVER ALL THE BASES.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR CONTINUING TO BE SO OPEN AND TRANSPARENT ABOUT YOUR BLOG AND DECISIONS THAT YOU MAKE. I REALLY LOVE THIS BLOG AND LEARN SO MUCH FROM IT.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I love the letting go of the fantasy, its so real! It would be awesome to see some videos of your closet. It would also be nice to see more of your house than that one corner.
I love your blog and especially this post. End-of-year reflection is the best! I have a question: why do you consider your style series a flop? I really enjoyed it and found it useful so I am wondering why it didn’t work for you. Merry Christmas and thanks for your words and ideas!
Thanks for the hard work you put into this blog and for keeping it beautifully real.
I enjoy the posts in which you give us a peek into your thought-processes when you put an outfit together. So often I look at my carefully-collected closet and think, “Now what?”
I like seeing the whole capsule (or closet, or season, or whatever) laid out because it gets me to thinking, “Wonder how she’ll wear that. Wonder what will go with this sweater…” The same questions I have about my own closet. It’s the process of putting an outfit together, and why this shirt over that one, that’s so interesting (and sometimes mystifying) to me. Seeing the collection, then seeing how they’re used is helpful.
Wouldn’t mind a bit of a reference point, as well, for lifespan of clothing or style. For example, I read somewhere that “classic styles” are really only styles that recur regularly or stay in for 5-7 years. Along similar lines, how much wear do you really get out of your jeans? Or sweaters? or tees? How often do you expect to replace them? I remember many of your items that you wore often several years ago, but I haven’t seen them since. They seemed like nice pieces, and you were so happy with them, and I wonder what happened.
More personally, I’m looking for my own rhythm and expectations when it comes to using & retiring clothes. The older I get, the more I catch myself thinking, “Oh, that’s still new; it’s only…. seven years old. Hmm. Wonder whether it’s out of style now.”
I really appreciate your reality checks this fall and winter. Dressing for your own life, your own weather, your own comfort. Definitely something I’m working on and feeling good about embracing these days. Encouragement and reminders in that area are great.
Thanks again for sharing yourself with us.
Colour and capsules are coming back! In a more you way too, I’m excited as for 2017.
I have loved following your blog through this year! I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings!
Might I suggest socks with clogs? I know, a little out there, but I tried it out with my own pair (Lotta from Stockholm-I love them!) and I haven’t looked back since. The key is to do it with neutral, knit socks. Maybe just give it a try, you might surprise yourself ;)
Have a lovely holiday break!
I switched to a loose capsule midway through this year and then I do updates of what’s worked, what I’ve added, and what got axed. It works well for me because it still gives me a space to think about my wardrobe as a whole without any “shoulds” or rules floating around.
Merry Christmas, and thanks for sharing your creativity and thoughtfulness with us this year!
Out of africa says
LOVE your blog Caroline!
Thank you for teaching me to dress for my lifestyle and to stop buying outfits “just in case” I may need them for some fantasy event or a non-existing corporate meeting. Now I spend less and have more style! I dress for comfort and my day-to-day busy life. When I shop I plan ahead so I know which piece is missing to make my wardrobe work better for me and I stick to it.
I really enjoyed your “travel capsule wardrobe” when you went away. It really helped me pack smarter and think about how I can wear a few pieces in multiple ways so I didn’t get bored of my outfits on a trip. Keep making these!!!
I never followed the capsule wardrobe in a strict sense but I did use it to create a loose structure for the coming season. I would love you to go back to capsule wardrobes at the beginning, middle and end of a season. I like seeing the single pieces altogether in a picture list form and then see the outfits you make out of them each week. I would love to see a new post everyday!
Would love to see see all your shoes and accessories in a separate capsule. I have found that a simple belt can change an outfit from casual to a more “put together”.vibe when I need it. Sometimes I wear black leggings and black tunic and switch my shoes: sneakers, to ankle boots to mid-calf boots to over the knee boots. Totally new feel each time!
I learn so much with your posts so please keep them coming! I just LOVE the idea of making the most of what I have before spending $$$ on clothes that just don’t work with my current wardrobe.
Warm wishes for a happy holiday and gleeful 2017!
Hi Caroline! I love your new idea of the seasonal fluid capsule wardrobes with updates. This could be a Middle Way of these wardrobe experiments. I am looking forward to read your posts in 2017 and continue to learn from you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Thanks Caroline for what you do!
I was confused for a while about the freebies, remembering that at one time you didn’t accept them, and so I thought to myself, “she needs someone to stage a ‘capsule intervention’ to curb her shopping!” :) Then I realized some of the new clothing was gifted. Ahem. Yes, it must be hard to showcase responsible brands when you can’t afford them, so I see the predicament. I can also see how it must have cluttered your wardrobe because it felt like there were new pieces showing up all the time! :)
I guess my three wishes for next year, and by the way thank you for humoring me in all this, would be: First, keep encouraging us to buy less, make do with what we have. I hope Unfancy never becomes a “shopping” blog – even if it is also about buying better. Less comes first to me, anyway, and is harder (for me) to do. I loved your capsule year for the lack of shopping happening then (once per season, get it all out of the way!) :)
Also, even without freebies you could continue showcasing responsible brands even if you don’t own the item – like the “similar” items you list behind the actual item. I think there are many locally made and responsible options that could be featured in this way with some of your garments that haven’t been yet. Ask for other ideas from readers, maybe, once in a while, if you are coming up short on ethical suggestions, and to take the pressure off yourself?
Finally, are you still thrift shopping? You posted about this once earlier this year, and not again that I recall (though I haven’t read through all the recent months’ posts). Maybe this just isn’t going to be your thing, but boy, I feel you might be missing out! It is perhaps the most responsible and greenest way to shop and can free up funds for, oh say, those winter clogs….hmmm. It’s a fun and low-risk way to experiment with new pieces and styles and it’s also how I justify having mainstream name-brand clothing in my wardrobe (i.e. brands that I don’t consider especially responsible). EBay is great when you are looking for a specific type of item (“gray cashmere sweater”, for example).
Just food for thought! Happy holidays to you and yours!
Thank you for your wonderful post!
I love your for being so honest and mixing minimalism with real life circumstance. Since August16 I follow your blog, and you are such an great inspiration! Looking forward what 2017 will bring for us!
Sweet wishes Sonja
Tanya E says
Firstly, Merry Christmas! A great summing up, I like the idea of dressing for your real life. For instance, we spend the lead up to Christmas mostly low key with the children and friends, so not exactly occasion dressing. Thank you for being honest about freebies, too, it is good to see what people really buy. Some blogs are great, but I do wonder how much stuff these people have!
I’m looking forward to seeing your capsule and then what pieces you add, I think that’s how I work. I make a list of any gaps I have each season, things that need replacing etc. Thank you.
hi caroline, I really appreciate your honesty on the freebies and the style series! looking forward to 2017, and hope you enjoy the holidays!
I think a less rigid capsule is such a great idea ! It’s what I’m currently doing with my own closet, I have a few goals, I make a list of the pieces I want to keep and along the way I stop and make adjustment (like in October when I realized I could never wear heels during the week because I’m walking waaaay too much). Also sometimes you just gotta accept the country you’re living in : Paris has a crazy weather, some days it’s just sunny and almost spring-like and the next morning you’re freezing, so I had to integrate this in my capsule.
I’m undergoing the whole “review of I have bought since septembre” this week and this is so helpful !
xxx from France !
Kelly Boyce says
Thanks for the year in review. I’m fairly new to the blog and the links to previous posts and list are really helpful to play catch up. Off to read about the 10×10 challenge! Have a fantastic Christmas and see you in the New Year!
You’re blog has resignated with me because we think so similarly. I’m a very black and white thinker, and it helps to have “rules” I can stick to. I feel you’ve struck a good balance of following the guidelines you’ve set to reach your goals, and knowing when it’s okay to break rules. I’m definitely excited for the more capsuled approach!
Thank you for being so willing to share your journey and thoughts. Although you’re mainly writing about fashion, the thoughtful approach you take extends to all aspects of life and daily reminds me to live intentionally. I can’t wait til next year!
Hi Caroline, I just want to say I’ve so enjoyed your return to blogging this year. It’s always apparent that you put such thought and care into your posts, and not just in terms of the aesthetics–they’re actually written and edited well (I’m an English teacher and sometimes the lackluster style and rampant grammar errors in blogs drive me crazy!). I especially love all of your how-to’s (the useful underwear drawer, loungewear capsule, and sweater care were favorites of mine). I think I remember you mentioning doing a closet organization post sometime? I’d love to see that one in 2017. And I say bring on the loosely structured seasonal capsules! It’s what brought me to Un-Fancy originally, and I always found it really helpful–it made me think more thoughtfully about the pieces I really need to build a versatile wardrobe. Merry Christmas!
I have enjoyed the direction you have taken your blog this year! One thing I wished for these last few months was maybe a category for some of your more worn/styled pieces where I could click and see all the posts you’ve worn them in. Often when I’m debating on whether to purchase something I will browse around Pinterest and blogs so that I can convince myself that it can be worn 2731 ways before I buy so that would be so cool :). One of my biggest goals is to have a smaller wardrobe that I can do more with.
Daniela Soriano says
I loved this post, thanks so much for sharing all your thoughts on this year! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!! <3
I have really enjoyed your blog and have learned a lot from you. My favorite posts have been along the lines of Four Ways to Wear a Pencil Skirt. You posted several along the lines of this and I thought they were great ways to take a basic that almost everyone has in their closet and style it several ways. I also enjoyed the how-to’s like how to wear socks with jeans. Keep it up. It’s good to evolve.
Yes to all of that! Thank you for your transparency and your marvelous fashion style. I have to say, your voice is truly unique in the world of blogs! I’ve been reading you since 2014 and you are really inspiring. Keep up the good work and Happy New Year!
First of all, I just want to say that I love your blog and your ideas for it moving forward! I really love your decision about freebies and what you said about it being useful to see what someone buys with their own money. I love that you talk about being content all the time. That’s something I really struggle with, and clicking on a link to a beautiful item from a fashion blog, only to see that it’s hundreds of dollars can make living in the present and practicing contentment really hard. I also love your how-to posts – so good for learning how to make my clothes last longer! Thanks for being a unique voice in the blogging world!
Karen stephens says
Hi Caroline. Thank you for all the interesting, thought provoking posts this year. I get so much inspiration from you. It is really helpful when you share what works for you as well as what doesn’t. We all learn by our mistakes. Please carry on the good work in 2017. I am already looking forward to seeing how you continue to develop your blog. Have a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy new year.
Mary Beth says
Hi Caroline! I’m THRILLED that you won’t be accepting free clothes this year. I think it is so much more useful and inspiring to see what people buy and wear in real life. Thank you! I love your style and look forward to seeing your outfits and thoughts on style every day. Happy Christmas!
Thank you again for a lovely post. It’s not only your style in fashion bus also your style in writing and your look on life that made your blog one of my very favorites. Go ahead and try the new capsule series, I’m curious how it turns out.@ freebies: I love about your blog that it leaves me happy with what I have instead of wanting more. I like the idea of seeing the same items repeated in different outfits. Plus, living in Europe, I don’t use the links anyway.
Top 3 inspiring posts for me: the black silk dress (I got myself one similar to yours),
the bandana post and the 10×10 challenge. Top overall inspiration: explore ethical fashion
Looking forward to your collaboration with Style Bee!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
I started reading Unfancy right when you were taking a break from blogging a few years ago, and I have to say your comeback year has been just wonderful. I really look forward to your posts, and there are not very many blogs I can say that about. You are authentic in your writing and your fashion and that is a rare trait. Have a Happy holiday break and here is to a wonderful 2017!
LOVED following along in 2016 and can’t wait to read on in 2017! Thanks for inspiring intentionality in your followers. Thankful for you and your blog!
i admired your ethics (ad free/freebie free)! ;) and am glad to hear you’re coming back with the ‘loose’ capsule series.
have you heard of leo babauta from zen habits? he has a completely different kind of blog, but also is ad free. so peaceful and clutter free. he’s a vegan, mindful, meditating, minimalist of six children in davis ca.
wishing you a merry holiday, caroline.
Thank you for an awesome year of content! Happy happy holidays! :)
I commented before and I just can’t help doing it again after reading so many posts of people thrilled about no freebies! Such a fabulous decision!!! THRILLED!!! What a great way to keep it relevant, useful and real!
So excited for the 10×10 Collab w/ Lee! I have been loving her blog lately as well and even though I have been off the social media (and don’t miss it) I’m excited to see what y’all come up with and play along myself :D
Unfancy is absolutely my favorite blog. So many blogs are full of sponsored posts and advertisements while your posts feel authentic and real. I love that your links are to clothes that are beautiful and afforable, unlike many fashion blogs that only show designer pieces. Your theme of real life vs fantasy life really resonated with me this fall. I recently had a baby and went from a full time teacher to a stay at home mom which has meant a major wardrobe change. You inspired me to look at my lifestyle and make sure my wardrobe matches it. I would love to see a post at the beginning of each season showing the clothing you will be wearing for the season, at least your key pieces and most frequently worn items. And then updates throughout the season if you make purchases or pull other pieces out of storage to add in. I think an end of season round up post showing the pieces you wore most and others you didn’t wear (similar to when you were doing a strict capsule) would be helpful as well! And I’ve been loving the regular outfit posts along with the styling and care posts. I need to order that sweater spray because all I wear are sweaters for about eight months of the year. (I live in park city, Utah.) also, I agree that a post about your accessories capsule would be very helpful! I love how you use simple accessories to change the look of an outfit. thank you for your authenticity, inspiration and commitment to a freebie free, real world blog. Happy holidays!
I’ve been doing exactly that with my capsules this year – doing a mid season review for what works and what doesn’t, so I don’t have to force myself to make do even if the weather hasn’t turned out for what I anticipated in the wardrobe. It’s definitely taken the pressure off myself. Cannot wait for your content next year! Thank you and Merry Christmas :)
Hi Caroline, I love your day to day outfit posts- not just to see the outfits but to read your thought process behind them…what you feel worked and what didn’t…it helps me think about my own wardrobe and what questions i could/should be asking myself to figure out my own style.
I do also love seeing and being inspired by your capsules, so I like your idea of a loose capsule that you update with what your subtracting and adding throughout the season. You posts those capsules but don’t feel pressured that you can’t change and evolve either! Much love into 2017
I’m so thankful you came back to blogging! I truly enjoy your posts! A general closet overview at the beginning is really helpful. It’s nice to see all the pieces in your closet. Some posts I’ve really enjoyed lately are the “3 ways to wear ____” or something similar. Seeing the same piece compared multiple ways in one post is great! I’m pumped for the 10×10 (I did the fall one and I learned so much!). Merry Christmas!
I was really happy to see you come back this year and it was great seeing outfit posts more frequently. I liked that you started incorporating more responsible brand links but I maybe you’re right about the freebies. Because isn’t capsuling and working on a more minimal wardrobe supposed to be about working for contentment. I think it would send the wrong message if you were spending all this money overhauling your wardrobe. And maybe seeing something you’ve worn from another (less responsible) brand will inspire someone to go search their thrift stores and places like Thred Up if they really fall in love with the item but still want to be more responsible. Or maybe they go out and buy it from that brand because they really love it and it will be closet hero that they wear often and for a long timeand what really matters is that they’re not just replacing it in a month. Anyway, looking forward to following you in 2017 and maybe I’ll do the 10×10 challenge this time :)
Merry Christmas to you and looking forward to 2017! Your blog is honestly my favorite one out there. Real life. Not fantasy. I’ve also come to terms with pinterest vs everyday life this year. I spend 90% of my day playing with my young kids. My wardrobe needs to be relaxed and easy. Hip retro runners are my everyday shoe. I’ve convinced myself black booties or even cute ballet flats just don’t work in my life right now.
I really enjoy your blog because it feels authentic to me. I love fashion blogs, but I struggle with all of the freebies. It’s so hard to know if bloggers would actually buy that item if they were spending their own money on it. It gets really frustrating and overwhelming, so I really appreciate that you are evaluating items from the same position of your readers. Happy New Year!
Marie Therese says
I really appreciate how relate-able you are, and your commitment to being you and doing what feels right and true for you. Thank you for being one of my favorite bloggers ever :) Merry Christmas Caroline!
Happy Holidays! I’m excited to see what is coming in 2017. I love the idea for more realistic capsule examples for each season, especially when it comes to dressing challenging, long seasons.
Hey Caroline, I have to echo the comments above and say how much I appreciate your real-life approach and ethics towards your wardrobe. I have been reading your blog since before you took your break and I have loved that your style is accessible to your readers. I follow a few other style bloggers, and I don’t think that I can say the same for them. I have also found myself on various occasions while cleaning out my closet or trying on clothes in stores thinking, “what would Caroline do?” You have inspired me to evaluate what I’m buying, making sure that my hard earned money is going towards something that is worthwhile and practical for the life I live. I’m excited about your direction for 2017 and can’t wait to see what you come up with! Wishing you and Aaron a very Merry Christmas!
The outfit is wonderful,
Merry Christmas Caroline!
I discovered your blog this year and it’s changed how I look at clothes in general. I have still made mistakes with my shopping but have learnt so much about styling and outfits here! I would previously wear the same shirt with a particular pair of pants and would not use that shirt outside of that outfit! Having gotten rid of a ton of clothes from my closet this year by various means (eBay, homeless shelter, charity shop) i bought a few items that fit my current lifestyle. I feel so happy to say that as an experiment I’m actually not going to shop for anything for the first 6 month and of 2017 as I truly feel I have finally found wardrobe contentment:-):-) my plan is to see if I can do the whole of 2017 but starting with something achievae. it’s a moment of enlightenment and I hope that I will now spend my shopping time on my family/friends/travelling. I hope everyone here have a lovely 2017!!
Angela @ HonestlyAngela says
Ohh I would love to see a “loose” capsule wardrobe. I still look back at your old capsules for ideas. I have a tendency to fill my capsule full of tops and only include a couple of bottoms and layering pieces. Looking at your old capsules inspire me to add things like shoes or a different style of jeans when I need to update, rather than the same style shirt as what I already have in a slightly different neutral.
When I make a capsule wardrobe for the season I start by pulling out every piece I have that would be suitable for the climate and my lifestyle. Then I go through again and eliminate pieces that i don’t like or no longer fit or are too damaged to repair. I hang all the remaining items in my closet on one side and as I wear them I move them to the other side ( I have a big closet!). within a few weeks I have a pretty good idea about what pieces i actually want to wear and I can examine the rest and decide whether they are worth keeping in that season’s capsule, if i should store them for another season, or if I should get rid of them. Doing something like this might be a good way to keep us posted with updates throughout the season ☺. It leaves me with a nice paired down wardrobe full of clothes I love and helps me get rid of what I don’t really want to wear.
Kimi, Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair says
Oh, yay! I was hoping you’d start the 10×10 on January 9th, since that’s when I was planning on starting mine. :) (Well, starting to share the blog posts, haha. I’ll likely be doing the actual challenge before then.)
Great post Caroline!! I really enjoyed reading your article.. Hope you have a very happy new year ahead!!
Hi Caroline! Longtime follower here. I always come to your blog for two things: 1) inspiration for thoughtful, minimalist living and 2) style inspiration.
You always hit #1 out of the park, but here a few things I would love to see for #2:
– ideas for dressing different body types. I love your aesthetic but I always wonder what proportions, pieces, etc. you would choice if you had my pear shape (I think about this sometimes when I am considering a purchase)
– addressing reader dilemmas. I always love when interior blogs take a reader question (about remaking a kitchen or laying out furniture) and offer solutions. I would be really curious to hear your thoughts on struggles your readers face (for example, I just moved from Chicago to LA and have struggled with dressing within the new climate and style. I also just became a mom and have been trying to balance easy to clean clothes while still feeling put together).
Love your little corner of the Internet! You and one other blog are the only ones I check every day – thanks for making it such a special place.
Star White says
I know you get a lot of comments, but I had to say….
Because of you I tried a capsule for the first time and I’ve learned SO much. Definitely VERY interesting. ;) I’ve moved into more of an experimental mode where I’m trying to wear everything in my closet to see if it even fits the bill for a capsule/smaller wardrobe lifestyle. Like phasing out pieces that in my mind work, but in reality don’t…or maybe ‘rediscovering’ a piece I’ve been neglecting.
Additionally, I love that you aren’t doing freebies. You are real, girl. And I like that. And I think SO many people are drawn to you b/c you are real….not just in it to get free things.
Thank you for inspiring so many of us!
Hope you had a lovely Christmas! Blessings!
I’ve been reading your blog for years Caroline, just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2017. I get so much inspiration from your posts – whenever I feel myself drifting back into a careless mindset (in my wardrobe, or my life in general) I come back here and read through the archives and I’m reminded to keep my focus.
Thank you for all you put into this blog, and I can’t wait to see what an un-fancy 2017 looks like!
Just wanted to say that I’m glad 2016 brought you back to blogging. I used your website as a start for my own Capsule wardrobe and have loved the idea from beginning to start. I did immediately let go of a couple of ideas like how many pieces it should consist of and I didn;t count in shoes. I guess I also didn’t like the rigidness of it. For next year I hope you continue to blog away, I love the way your blog feels like a girl I could hang out with one day instead of all the girls who live in fantasy fall who I can never really relate to. So please, keep up the good work. And in terms of capsules, I am curious to see how you decide what to switch out, when and what you replace it with and why. Because for me, I usually just get bored of a piece (and all its combinations) and then look for something similar but a bit more on trend and easier to combine with other (already owned) pieces.
Anyway! Hope you have a lovely holiday and see you in 2017.
would be cool to see features like “10 ways to wear chambray” or a lbd, denim shorts, a white button down, a maxi skirt, etc. it would help people see how versatile clothes we maybe already own can be!
Great wrap-up post, Caroline! As I reflect back on 2016, I can see that I have learned so much from your thoughtful, relatable blog. This year hasn’t been about acquiring ‘more’, but being authentic to myself despite trends and getting what I truly need in my closet. I have enjoyed what I own more than ever and gotten better at identifying mistakes and correcting them as needed (while forgiving myself along the way). :) Thank you for these valuable lessons. I can’t wait to learn more from you in 2017!
Stefanie Murrer says
I’m so excited to hear that you’ll be moving back towards some form of capsule wardrobe. I think the one thing that I feel like capsules do provide is motivation/encouragement to remix pieces and challenging ourselves to get creative with how we wear and re-wear certain pieces – the 10 x 10 challenge taught me that and I’m excited to see different ways how you remix certain pieces.
For me, I think I’ve discovered such an easy style with jeans and well made t-shirts, or just really neutral pieces that I can almost get bored or have a hard time spicing up my basics – especially when I’m just around the house. In the summer, it’s all just t-shirts or tanks and shorts and winter, I just want to be cozy and stay warm (we keep the heat pretty low and I work from home).
Great re-cap! I love the fluidity of the capsule. Living in Chicago, my capsule needs to start about 2 weeks before the ‘season.’
I’m totally in on the 10X10 challenge!
Can’t wait to see more of your house and closet! Thanks for sharing <3
Yes, I agree with Lissa. Would love to see “10 ways to wear……”. I started exploring the capsule wardrobe concept about 2 years ago. At the beginning of this year I took the plunge and got rid of a bunch of clothes and created seasonal capsules. It’s a work in progress. I haven’t really replaced much yet. My perspective on buying clothes has been forever changed. I purchased a summer dress at the beginning of Fall. It was a very intentional process. I made sure I loved the fit, the color, and that I could wear it all year ’round if I needed to. The same day I brought it home I was able to come up with over 5 different ways to wear the dress including during Fall and Winter.
Amazing..you made a such beautiful and classy styles with your fashion..and also the way sharing of your thoughts really impressive…hope you done the best in 2017 also…have a great time…
Hi, how about how you live minimalistic in your home?
I also agree with Lissa above on how to wear a piece multiple ways.
Thank you!! :)
Hannah Hardy says
Loose capsule is my favorite thought for the coming year! I like that term. It’s much more workable for “real life.” Can’t wait to see what you have in store!
Hey Caroline! I love your blog and this post. I appreciate your honesty about the freebies, especially. Your blog is my favorite for fashion, because I find the constant shopping and advertising and sponsoring on other fashion blogs to be exhausting and discouraging. It puts me in the place of constantly trying to discern how much of this outfit could be reasonably purchased by the blogger (or myself, by extension) and how much of it is just being advertised and given to her for free. However, responsible brands are an interest of mine and I deeply appreciated your support for them. My wardrobe needs and goals are different than yours (part-time, working mom of two, living in the currently cold, sometimes snowy Midwest), but I always find your style ideas and attitude toward fashion interesting and inspiring.
And I LOVE your goal of dressing for your REAL LIFE, not fantasy life! YES! This is something that I eternally struggle with! For example, last spring I impulsively purchased a pair of silky, dressy shorts on clearance. They didn’t fit perfectly and wasn’t sure where I’d where them or how to style them, but I thought I could “make them work.” Um … no. I wore them once and then never again. They simply weren’t a good match for my everyday life. How fascinating. ;)
Katie Altobello says
Chances are you will not get a chance to respond to this, given all the comments you receive and all the things you already have planned in the coming weeks, but I need your advice! What do you do when you’ve purchased something (in this case, a pair of jeans), and after wearing them for a few weeks, realize you just don’t really like them? I bought some cropped jeans and have been wearing them around for a bit, and I just don’t love the length as much as I thought I did when I tried them on. I’m on a tight budget and they were a bit spendy, but I thought a good pair of black jeans was an investment. I don’t need them lying around taking up space if I’m not going to wear them, but I can’t return them, and I don’t want to just donate them since they’re like new and weren’t cheap. Any ideas on how to at least partially recoup my loss?
Thanks, and happy new year!
I truly understand your struggle! I’ve gone through this experience with many items during this past year due to a major closest overhaul/reduction. My suggestion would be to try Ebay first (where you get to set your price for the item). Maybe a consignment story next, and then lastly a place like Plato’s closet.
Hope that helps!
Thank you for 2016 and I’m looking forward to 2017 on your blog!
My favourite topics were
-the talk about bags (it made med think about my own bag collection – I loooove bags!) and whether they match the shoes or not. It was interesting to read other readers opinions.
-how to take care of knits
-how to give up on fantasy wardrobe (I have been working om this one for the past 5 years or so but still needed a reminder about embracing the proces in stead of beeing disappointed with myself and my lack of being able to just find a way to make fantasy-wardrobe work in my everyday life )
-I used your wardrobe planner for the first – but not last! – time and became more aware of which things I love in my wardrobe and WHY = more careful planned shopping list that I stuck to
So thank you again :)
And happy New year!
Katherine Zeta says
A truly inspirational article. I’m glad someone pointed out the importance of dressing for real. All those fancy posts on social media platforms have set unreal expectations. At the same time, it’s important to dress well and dress appropriately for the occasion.
Looking forward to your posts in this new year! For your updated capsule posts I think showing us what’s in your closet at the beginning of each season and then posting updates for additions/removals. Fantasy outfits are nice but the best ones are what you are actually wearing that day. It would be helpful if you included what the weather is like for each outfit you choose and how well the outfit worked for your day. You are constantly inspiring me to think purposefully about my wardrobe, thank you!
AshLey laNdry says
I’m learning the same thing – dressing for real life rather than fantasy. Some outfits are so cute, but truthfully aren’t practical for everyday life. I’m hoping to tackle my closest and invest in more practical pieces in the new year. I can’t wait to see what graces the blog in 2017! Happy New Year :)
Hannah Rose says
YES! to all of the above! Love the reflections and the direction you’re heading. Thanks for letting us follow along! Happy New Year!
Love this recap, Caroline! I totally relate to wanting a looser interpretation of a capsule wardrobe, and my own have evolved a bit lately. I’ll still structure a capsule out of a small group of pieces, but keep a few extra things handy in the closet, just in case the weather gets weird or I just feel like reaching for something new. It doesn’t feel as restraining, and it also helps me pinpoint my real life instincts are better when I plan for the next season. Looking forward to seeing your and Lee’s winter 10×10, and planning to do my own along with you, so thanks for the heads-up! Happy New Year!
I continue to love your blog no matter what you’re sharing about. Selfishly I’d love to see how your style is reflected in other ares of your life, especially your home. I would love to hear more of your style and philosophy/care habits within your home as well, any chance we can expect some of that on the horizon? :) LOVE what you do!
I enjoy your consistency and genuine approach towards the blog.
Looking forward to more in 2017.
Just wanted to say, thanks for blogging & sharing. I found your blog while googling around for info on the new Curated Closet book, and am finding much style & capsule wardrobe inspiration from your posts! Your 2016 style especially. Thumbs up, and best wishes for a great 2017.
Excited for videos!
I am picking up my items for the 10×10 challenge, but as everyday I’m dressing with one T-shirt / one sweater or cardigan and of course a pant or skirt, it seems complicated to only have 10! I may finally choose only one pair of shoes to have 3 sweaters (I already decided my coat doesn’t count!).
HelEn sledge says
I love your blog and your instagram. How have I not realized all the time I have been following you that you live in Abilene? Makes me love you even more. West Texas for life! Happy 2017!
I love your style, both in clothing and in home decor. I follow you on Pinterest too. Would you ever consider expanding your blog into home decor and your photography? I’d love to see this become a lifestyle blog!
Natalie t says
So true about the pinterest fantasy outfit… I’m in Montreal and I never see any real winter outfits. Cool blog!