Looking Back at 2016

I wanted to share a post to close out 2016 and share what has happened in my life this past year. There have been some exceptional and memorable moments that I will cherish forever. So this has turned into a very lengthy - with mostly pictures! - and more lifestyle post. However, I wanted to take you through some big events that happened and I wanted to summarize my style journey thus far. Maybe I should have separated these two things but then the post wouldn't truly represent 2016! So much happens in just one year and I'm so grateful that I get to share it all with you!

So without further a due here's what happened in 2016!

WE GOT MARRIED!
YAY! Honestly, I'm not a super emotional or sappy person but this was simply the best day ever! I meant to do a full post about our wedding but time slipped away as it usually does and frankly it never happened. But below are some of my favorite pictures from that day - there are a ton, it was so hard to choose! My photographer Joy Lyn did such a wonderfully fantastic job. If you're in the Chicago area I definitely recommend her! I also have to say that my florist Viviana from Petal Play Designs and our wedding stylist Joanna Goss did an absolutely amazing job as well. Viviana was so easy to work with and designed exactly what I wanted without having to break the piggy bank. And Joanna, oh Joanna! We brought her into the show very last minute. I mean very last minute because I thought I could design and style everything myself...I was wrong. The barn and reception turned out perfectly all thanks to Joanna's brilliant sense of interior design. Actually so many people helped make this day perfect. I’m so unbelievably lucky to have my friends and family and of course my wonderful husband and best friend, love you darling!

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WE TRAVELED LIKE CRAZY!
We were so fortunate that we were able to travel to as many places as we did last year. In the beginning of the year we went to LA. We then did several trips to Michigan and Georgia and an epic road trip out to Boulder, CO right after our wedding as a little mini honeymoon. Our big trip for the year though was our honeymoon to Greece. The weather was perfect the whole time. We stayed in Athens for a couple days then went to Santorini then Crete. Of everywhere we stayed Crete was by far my favorite. We stayed in a small old harbor called Chania. It was picturesque with winding cobbled streets and outdoor restaurants everywhere. It also had the most diverse terrain for being an island. There were gigantic mountains, lush forests and bright clear beaches. We would go back for sure! This year I will be better about sharing our trips in a separate post but for now below are my favorite pictures from our Greece trip! 

I FOUND SOME NEW FAVORITE LOOKS!
My style really took a turn during my summer capsule. I started playing with more shapes and I started investing heavily in quality sustainable garments. I discovered my love for linen and wondered how I've lived so long without it and I tried to up my layering game even if it didn't work so well. Here are some more concrete things I've learned from this past year of defining my style through capsules:

1. A capsule per season might not be the right fit for me.
I've started to see my capsules blend from season to season with pieces sticking around longer and longer. This pushes me towards creating only two capsules - one for SS and one for FW - but I have more learning to do before I transition to an even minimaler - that's not a word - closet. Oh and this was my first full year of capsules! So in 2017 I will continue to create one capsule per season and wait to merge until I feel more comfortable with my style. 
2. Wear what makes you feel like you & don't be afraid to take a risk!
Do you wear what is right for your body type or do you wear something that makes you feel good? This is a question I posed in one of my summer posts this past year. My decision, wear what makes me feel like me. Wear what truly represents my goofy sometimes awkward personality. For me this was deciding to try high waist pants and crop tops. I'm naturally a pear shape and always thought high waist/crop top action would highlight my curvy hips even more. And you know what, it does but I love it. 
3. I am shopping smarter.
I"m starting to lean more and more to slow fashion choices. If I see something that is in fast fashion stores I immediately hunt for a sustainable version online. I don't know if I'll ever be rid of some stores - madewell or anthropologie - but I'm really trying to shop smarter and I definitely plan to continue this into 2017!
4. My capsules need wiggle room.
I don't like the confines of a fixed number of items that must be defined prior to a season. Honestly I find it stressful which is the opposite of what this exercise is about. Instead I like to choose about 30 items and leave room for about 5 more items that I can choose during the season if I need too. This way I'm not stuck with a capsule that feels incomplete or not truly me. I realize this isn't a traditional way of capsuling and kind of goes against the very principle. But it is what works for me. I did set out on my capsule journey to help me be more creative with my clothes. Shopping less was a secondary goal while still important. I find that as long as I am sticking to my budget I am personally fine with adding a couple pieces during the season if the garment makes sense, is a quality item and I can see myself wearing it for many years to come. I realize everyone is different but this is what works best for me right now :)
5. I dove into slow fashion and capsules at the same time and I need to take a step back. 
I think this is part of the reason why I need wiggle room in my closet. I have some major goals that I want to achieve with my style and I need to focus instead of trying to complete all of them ASAP. These goals include:
1. Creating a truly sustainable wardrobe
2. Shopping less
See how one is sustainable focused and the other is more about limiting your wardrobe and cutting the need for shopping? They also contradict each other :) So I am going to focus on sustainability but be mindful of my budget. I am still going to do my evolving capsules but just highlight sustainability more in my posts. I want to show consumers that naturally made clothing isn’t just a hippie thing but you can create sophisticated and elevated looks. I’m also working on my own workbooks based off of the processes I've done for defining my style. My brain is kind of all over the place especially when it comes to abstract ideas. So it has taken me some time to process and form my own defined steps to building a lifetime wardrobe. I’ll be sharing my first workbook soon!

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HELLO 2017!
So what's up next?! I have a few thoughts. First I'm super excited for River's and my first anniversary. How awesome is that?! One year! I know you long timers out there are probably thinking that's nothing but marriage has it's ups and downs. And I want to make sure I truly cherish every single year. So yay first year!

Next we already have a big trip coming up! We're going to Paris in February for my birthday, eek!, thanks again to the awesomely great hubby. I'm sure we'll have more trips that pop up down the pipeline so stay tuned! I'll be sure to do a proper Paris post this time ;)

Finally the style journey. Well as I said before I'm going to try and provide more educational pieces and create workbooks to help my readers build a foundational wardrobe. I'm sure I'll expand those workbook topics but that's what I'm cooking up now. I'll also continue to provide outfit inspiration through versatility posts and do more 10x10 challenges! I also have a secret goal to do a collaboration this year. Maybe I'm ready, maybe I'm not but I will definitely try to put myself out there more and see what happens!

Also, can we quickly talk about how far this blog has actually come? My posts were pretty bad when I first started but now I feel that I'm starting to really get into a rhythm. I still need to continue to perfect my photography but overall I'm super proud of what this space has turned into and the community I've started to build around slow fashion and style. So if there is anything you all would like to see or see more/less of please let me know! This is my creative outlet but it is also to help and inspire you!

I'm super excited to see what this year brings and I'm so happy and blessed to have you all tag along with me! Thank YOU for a wonderful year!
 

Cheers!
Allison