Last week I poked my head in with my traditional Word of the Year New Year’s post and then poked my head back out. I just wasn’t ready to be back full throttle. I thought the reason was I was still on holiday time but as the week progressed, I started to feel pretty icky. Considering the world is currently buggier than the Florida Everglades, I wasn’t sure which virus from the hot stew of current viruses flying around —which includes the horrible stomach flu, the regular flu, your garden variety cold, COVID, and now this frankenvirus called Flurona — I might have caught. I wasn’t sure what was causing the stomach issues that made me feel like I had been digesting broken glass because all these viruses seem to have symptoms that overlap. Even better, my 48th birthday was January 5th, which I wasn’t planning to be a stellar birthday given the state of the world anyway. And, let’s face it, the bar was pretty low for this birthday to be better than last year’s considering last birthday I took an ambulance with my husband to the hospital and watched his heart get shocked with a defibrillator (about that here.) I spent my birthday this year wearing what would be considered one notch above pajamas, no makeup and we ordered in. It was perfectly fine and I’ve got no complaints.
It was easier to get a Cabbage Patch Kid in 1983 than has been to find an at-home COVID test, so unless my lips were blue and I have already coughed up one lung, I didn’t want to waste the one test I have been hoarding. The day after my birthday, I stood in line for an hour in the cold to get a COVID test because of my progressing symptoms that started to include congestion, a cough, and a runny nose, and my cousin, who gave me my one precious at-home COVID test a few days earlier — as if we were doing a shady drug deal in the West Village — came down with his second case of COVID shortly after we met and had some symptoms similar to mine.
I just joined the COVID club
Frank was sick before me. He developed a cold right around the new year and went for a rapid test on January 2nd. Even though he requested a PCR, it seems urgent care didn’t follow through on his request and I can’t stress how important this step is if you are feeling sick. When I went for my test on the 6th, I requested one and had both done. My rapid came back negative and it took three days for my PCR results to come back because NYC is so backed up. I was shocked but not surprised that it came back positive. Wondering if by that point Frank and I actually got through COVID and were now negative, we broke open our one sacred home test, swabbed ourselves and my test lit up like a red Sharpie in seconds, and Frank’s turned pink in a matter of a minute.
The unsettling part is even though Frank took a few days to work from home due to his cold despite having a negative rapid test, he did eventually return to work last week, clearly not knowing he was positive, and while I haven’t been too out and about for the past week, I haven’t exactly been isolating either. We even got our boosters this weekend. Now we’re isolating, but it does feel like we closed the barn doors after the horses got out. Thankfully, we live in a highly vaccinated area and if you are vaccinated and don’t have underlying health issues, COVID isn’t that bad. But if you are around people who aren’t or who have health issues, if you aren’t feeling well, push for the PCR. We’re still not sure what our point of infection was and despite my cousin coming down with COVID right before I saw him, we met outside and for mere minutes.
Anyway, all this to say, that last week’s post really had nothing to do with fashion and while I appreciate how inspired so many of you were by my post about my word of the year and that I delivered it from my Unitarian Universalist congregation as a homily, I get it, it’s not why you’re here and I wondered if you were all thinking:
And given last week and not being 100% healthy, I am trying to return the best I can. My clients have been amazing when I asked to push an appointment off or I was just not myself, and I appreciate all of you as I find my groove while getting over this.
What Are Your Styling Intentions This Year?
Thankfully, a Facebook Group Member really did me a solid by posing a super insightful question to the group. She asked, “What are your styling/self-care intentions this year?” Not only did I like this question, I liked the phrasing of it. Intentions feel so much more approachable than goals. They feel gentler and like a lot less pressure. Intention speaks back to my post about creating a Word of the Year; about how you live your word in all your actions and decisions. So in asking what the other group member’s style intentions were, it opened up great dialogue. Below, I am listing some of the answers the members gave and my thoughts on each one. I bet some of these intentions you can relate to.
Refine and Build
I like to get involved with the group so this first answer was mine. No matter how evolved my closet is, I am always refining it because I am always changing and so should my wardrobe. I spent a great deal of last year refining my wardrobe and style and as I refined it, my shopping goals got clearer and clearer. The more granular I became in my thinking about my style, the easier shopping became, the more cohesive my wardrobe looked and the easier it was to not only get dressed but feel great in what I was wearing.
You are never done refining and exploring your style. It is not a set-it-and-forget-it process. Allow yourself to be constantly curious about what makes you tick, what you are drawn to, what you love and don’t, and don’t be afraid to take a stand on what you will and won’t wear.
Recommended reading: Finding Your Style Through the Process of Elimination
Make Time for Accessorizing
A member set the intention to make more time for accessorizing. Accessorizing tends to trip most women up so this is a great one but, really, accessorizing doesn’t have to be that hard. You have some more advanced accessories that might take a little more time and skill but the trick is to also have no-brainer pieces that take no thought and also no time. Pieces like a long link or station necklace that can be worn with just about any outfit, some pairs of novelty basic earrings that wear like basic earrings but add some interest to your looks. Try having accessories in colors that play well with others, like in yellow or green or teal, and play with shoe colors in these versatile shades and other pop colors that will add a punch to a look without it feeling like brain surgery to achieve. You have to wear shoes anyway, right? Accessories like this will make you look like you took the time when in reality you didn’t.
Recommended Reading: How Accessories Can Change Up Your Looks
The pandemic has all of us scaling back and reevaluating what we really need and don’t. The intention of a group member to minimize is a style intention that probably doesn’t surprise anyone. The problem with most closet purges and attempts to minimize is that by the time you get around to it, you’re so over the clutter and our packed surroundings you just want to be done with it all. There is no planning, no forethought, no real idea what you’re doing besides making your environment less jam-packed. So slow your roll and figure out where your final destination is before you start loading garbage bags with all your cast-offs.
Recommended Reading: How to Create Closet Edit Goals
Honing in On a Work from Home Wardrobe
In 2020, the pandemic threw a monkey wrench into the work wardrobes of women everywhere. Suddenly, everyone’s dress code was leggings and what was clean while work clothes gathered dust. Now, nearly two years later, many women are working home permanently, workplace dress codes have changed and we’ve started rethinking just what it means to get dressed for work. This is why this member’s intention of honing a work-from-home wardrobe is so spot on. The key to honing in on what you wear for telecommuting is to still keep your lifestyle in mind. When you work from home, you have more flexibility to do personal things throughout the day and balance your life differently. Don’t just look at building your work-from-home wardrobe. If you do that, you risk your wardrobe becoming too compartmentalized. Look at these work-from-home pieces in terms of how these pieces could be worn during the rest of your life and build accordingly.
Recommended Reading: Mid-Casual Capsule For Working From Home: 30 Days of Looks
Developing a Retirement Style
Women entering retirement no longer go off to knit somewhere in a corner. Well, that would be like my dream, but you get my point. Instead, women retire and enter a new and exciting third act and they should have the wardrobe to match that. As with this member who has set the intention this year to develop her retirement style, the question is, how does one take their clothes from their working days and repurpose them so they don’t have to start over? Obviously, not all things will work, but many items will if used differently. Depending on how a person will use their time in retirement will depend on what stays and what goes, but before you ditch it all and start again, give your current wardrobe a fresh look with your retirement-on-the-horizon eyes.
Recommended Reading: Retirement Style: How to Wear Your Professional Clothing After Retirement
Preparing to Travel
Remember travel? Remember a time when we all gallivanted around the world without a care in the world? We may be traveling again but it’s not the same. Well, this optimistic Facebook Group Member has her sights set on some travel in 2022. Travel hasn’t been easy since 9/11 and COVID adds that additional layer of pain-in-the-butt. The goal is to pack smart and light and to do that you need to know your itinerary ahead of time, to build a capsule that mixes and matches and includes a tight color palette, and, if you can, you want to fit it into one carry-on. If I can pack my client for living out of a suitcase for a year, surely you can pack smart for a few leisurely trips away.
Recommended Reading: Stylish Capsule for International Travel
Cutting Back On Shopping
For this group member, the intention for 2022 is to shop less and work with her wardrobe more. I love this intention because, let’s face it, most women, with their glutted closets and never-worn clothing, could stand to take a shopping break. However, as I have seen many times, it’s not always as easy as just putting the kibosh on buying more clothes. If that were the case, your closet would be a lot more manageable and workable. Sometimes, in order to get your wardrobe working more efficiently, you do need to add some things to help connect the disparate odds and ends you own and don’t work together. Too much does not always mean a shopping fast is in order. Before cutting yourself off, make sure this is the case for you.
Recommended Reading: Too Many Clothes? Why a Shopping Fast May be a Mistake
Using Fashion to Feel Better
This group member understands the power that fashion has on how we feel. She also smartly understands that fashion isn’t a salve that can replace the hard inner work required to feel like a whole and complete person. No, fashion can’t make us whole, but it can make us feel authentic and true. We’ve all had enough experiences to know the difference in ourselves when we feel good in what we wear and when we don’t; have experienced those crushing moments when we’ve been caught off-guard looking less than our best. This isn’t a secret to any one of us and the best part about all of this is we have our own internal gauges to know when we’re on the right track and when we’ve steered off course.
Recommended Post: Feel Better, Do Better: Why How You Feel in What You Wear Matters
Build a Capsule Wardrobe
Ah, the coveted and elusive wardrobe capsule. I think the capsule has become such a mythical thing that few women really stop to think about whether they fully understand what a functional wardrobe capsule looks like or how to strategically build one. I have issues with wardrobe capsules, which I’ve never been shy about saying because the way most women approach building one is in this rigid and set-it-and-forget-it way. A wardrobe capsule like this is doomed to fail because this isn’t how wardrobes work. Wardrobes are fluid and ever-evolving, so the idea that you’ll build something and be done with it is a fallacy. Second, if you strategically build your wardrobe, you don’t need to think about building a capsule because most things in your closet should at least relate to each other; there should always be a connective thread. Lastly, what do you do when a piece from your beloved capsule gets damaged, gets too big or small, or you just don’t like any longer? Does your whole capsule collapse? While I do use the word capsule on this blog all the time, I think it is time to rethink how a wardrobe capsule should be built and what it should look like. Capsules should have fluidity, not rigidity, and you should be able to add on to it and also take away from it without losing the integrity of it.
Recommended Reading: Wardrobe Capsule for Work: How to Build One and Expand on It
Adding More Colorful Accessories
I love this intention because, for the most part, my wardrobe is all neutrals, and where I add colors is through my accessories. By primarily wearing neutral outfits, I can add just about any accessory color I want as a finish and that feels a lot more authentic to my style. If you prefer a lot of accessories or are more minimalist, colorful scarves, shoes, and jewelry can be excellent ways places to add those small hits of personality and color.
Recommended Reading: How to Work with Neutrals in Your Wardrobe
Mindfully Consign and Thrift
I love this intention so hard because I am a huge thrifter and consigner. I don’t like rummaging through physical stores because I am an HSP, but Poshmark and The RealReal are my two favorite places to shop. Right now, we are in the middle of a supply chain crisis making retail shopping harder than ever. More importantly, we’re in a climate crisis, and anything we can do to reduce our consumption of fast fashion and keep clothing out of the landfill the better. Even if the reason to consign and thrift is less altruistic and you just want to upcycle so can pay the same price for luxury that you do for cheaper clothes, it’s more than good enough a reason. In 2019, I set a slow fashion goal shop upcycled fashion or rent for special events. I stuck with it and now I would guess that 90% of my wardrobe was not bought retail.
Recommended Reading: 2019 Slow Fashion Goal Recap: Review of purchases & How I Did with This Goal
Develop Personal Style
An intention to develop your style is a good one because you probably need to bring some gentle energy t this. I don’t know why women make this has so much harder than it needs to be as if your style is out there in the world requiring you to go on some extraneous digging expedition. If you are setting off to find your style in 2022, don’t believe what you hear, it doesn’t have to be hard. It’s all right there inside of you, all you have to do is listen and pay attention, and, most importantly, trust what you hear.
Recommended Reading: Stop Trying So Hard to Find Your Style
What Are Your Style Intentions for 2022?
What are your style intentions for 2022? I’d love to hear about them n the comments below.
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Since I’m down with a cold (covid tested twice), my goal is to get out of my pjs and slippers. Yes, aiming high! Looking for stretchy and warm. #Goals!
Hi Patricia! I am sorry you are down for the count! I got a cold during the first wave and was shocked it wasn’t COVID considering we were all pretty much in lockdown and distancing. Those germs can be pretty strong. I’m assuming you got a PCR too because as you read, we walked around for a week thinking we were negative. Crazy times. I’m sure once you are feeling better you’ll have intentions that feel more inspiring and less of the moment. But I totally know how you feel. Last week, with how I was feeling, the only style intention I could have possibly imagined coming up with was “if it’s clean.”
Wow! So sorry to hear that you and your husband were sick, and that it was so hard for you to get the tests you needed. I hope you both feel fully recovered soon!
Thanks so much, Carol! I think you are in the area so you know how it has been. On the one hand, we’re tough NY’ers and everyone is carrying on best we can. On the surface, with the exception of being very compliant with protocols like distancing and masks, it looks like just another day in NYC. But underneath all that, Omnicron is raging like a virulent river and we’ve all just accepted the fact that, vaccinated/boosted or not, it will come calling eventually. The numbers are at about 70,000 daily diagnosed a day for a while now and I think was 1 in 50 NY’ers had COVID about a week ago. Who knows what it is now. But it’s not all doom and gloom, we’re all just carrying on best we can.
But this is what has made testing and getting results in a timely manner so difficult. Around the holidays, every urgent care had lines around the block in my neighborhood and we have to have at least 5 or 6 within a mile. You have to be at urgent care before 8am if you want to get in at a decent time and before they run out of tests. Plus, rapids really don’t work unless you are pretty far along, unfortunately. So who knows how many people have been like us and put their faith in that test only to have the PCR say otherwise. Fortunately, if you are vaccinated, chances of hospitalization are low and you don’t get that sick, but it’s not linear either. Yesterday I was feeling better and today I feel worse, but it is still manageable. I appreciate the good wishes and hope you have been healthy!
Fabulous post considering the health issues. I appreciate your presence on the fb group. So many old posts to check out. Thanks. My intention is kinda all the above and just to be more mindful of how my wardrobe serves me. Take care.
Thanks so much, Elle! COVID healing is not linear so there are good moments and bad ones. When I wrote this I was feeling pretty medium. Tomorrow’s post was written yesterday and it was a bad day but I think I pulled it off. Just as long as everyone is willing to overlook some possible typos and potential gibberish, we’ll be okay. In fact, I have you to thank because you inspired tomorrow’s post and without you, I never would have come with an idea, so stay tuned!