What I want to do today is a bit more of an uncommon new year analysis—surveying the changes to my closet and style over the last year. I’m sharing six notable changes to my closet in 2018, and my perspective for the upcoming year. Hopefully, you can have a few ideas for your own review.

1. Downsized

Last year I reached a point where I understood my style and didn’t feel as much need for the variety I had in the past. I know I wear blazers all year round and comfy, oversized sweater cardigans in the winter. I understand that I like simple jewelry (nothing glitzy or too large), and I wear my pearl earrings from my grandmother on repeat. I only wear winter scarves. Big ones.

Despite the fact that I had a closet to myself for the first time I did some heavy clearing throughout the year. My goal was to fit all my clothes in my closet and my dresser with no seasonal storage. I not only managed this goal, but I have extra room in my closet. I halved (ish) my jewelry and gave away my lighter scarves.

The result was that I could see what I had better, and wear what I enjoyed more. I still purchased throughout the year but I probably gave away at least three pieces for every single piece I added. The clothes I weeded were in very good condition (hand washing and air drying make a huge difference!) so I donated those. While I have a few pieces I’m debating whether or not I need, I feel like my closet is a good size and is worn on a frequent basis.

2. Purchased with a Purpose

I have an extremely small spending budget, which limits how much I can buy. As a result, I’ve learned how to focus my buys on what I need or items that will work in my closet. I purchased some items now and then as a bit more of an experiment (trying a new color, style, or fit). The results were mixed, but because my experimental purchases were still purposeful they helped provide some insight into what I might like to purchase or try in the future.

The best thing is not feeling like I need or want to buy something all the time. I am better at analyzing my closet every season for what I need, and evaluate what I want to buy honestly. Impulse spending still happens once in a while, but the intensity I’ve felt to really want something has dropped dramatically.

3. Shopped Small and Thrift

I shopped more boutiques than I had in previous years, and thrifted more as well. There are a number of magnificent thrifted/boutique pieces in my closet that I love to wear and style. Thrifting is a bit of a challenge—my body doesn’t like dusty-musty stuff and will react to dust and mold—but finding some great pieces this year has encouraged me to try it a bit more.

closet review downsizing sustainable purposeful spending style changes outlook reviewing personal style

4. Ditched Polyester

Due to Lyme my skin began to react to most polyesters. It drove me so nuts this year I made it a point to try not to buy polyester as much as possible. I’m fine when it is a good quality or mixed with other natural based fabrics, so I did purchase a handful of pieces that were mixed, but I really wanted to limit it to natural and sustainable fabrics as much as possible.

5. Added Color

At the beginning of the year my closet was about…30-40% black. I was determined to switch it up and began to pursue adding color (that included browns) to my wardrobe. I spent the year searching for colors that looked good on me by studying color analysis (which I did wrong and didn’t realize until my birthday), and was able to spice up my wardrobe a bit. I also limited my purchase of black pieces and gave away several. Neutrals still make up most of my closet, but the color balance works far better than before.

6. Hello, Denim!

Nerve damage kept me from wearing most pants the last five years but they healed enough for me to reintroduce them back into my wardrobe. I was surprised to see how much denim I wore, and how I wore less skirts. I still love and wear dresses regularly, but I became reacquainted with my love for denim, pants, and shorts, and it took over my daily style.

A New Year…

With these things in perspective, there are a few visions I have for my closet in 2019:

  • Shopping more small and (especially) thrift
  • Purchasing more investment pieces, especially jewelry and shoes
  • Add more color
  • Purchase with more purpose, focusing on needs, replacement, and styles that I love the most (I use my bullet journal for this!)

And that is my closet review of 2018!

How has your closet and style changed over the past year? Do you have any buying habits you’d like to change or begin? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear!


  1. Marilyn January 17, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    You did what I have to do. I have so much clothes that I do not wear any more. You did a good job and have given me a motive.

    1. Mary Tait January 17, 2019 at 11:05 pm

      That’s good! It feels wonderful to have a smaller closet now.


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