As another year draws to a close, I can’t help but sit, The Thinker-style, and ponder on what shape I want 2016 to take. To prepare myself for the inevitable questions of what my New Years Resolutions will be. Now, my cynical self tends to be squarely in the camp of “you can make resolutions any time you choose” where, for all intents and purposes, NYE is just an arbitrary date. But, my silver-lining self thinks the world can do with a few reminders now and then. And I have to admit, this time of year definitely lends itself to reflection and resolve going forward.
So, I am doing as many of my fellow bloggers have done, and am showcasing my 2015 Outfit Review – I’ve gone through the archives from this past year to pick my favorite outfits (and moments) from each month. I was reading CiCi Marie’s blog, and she mentioned how flipping through a daily chronicle of your wardrobe can bring you right back to where you were on a particular day when you wore a particular dress. And I couldn’t agree more. Clothing evokes emotions – looking back through my year in outfits, they bring me back to a feeling at that moment. And good or bad, those moments are now imprinted on those dresses for life.
I started the year with high hopes. In truth, 2014 was not the easiest year for us and I was looking forward to a clean state – even if it was just a mental one when the calendar ticked over to 2015. We started the year properly – Some of our closest friends had flown over from the States and we counted down 2014 in Sydney, on the roof of our hotel, with a view of the opera house. Suffice to say, 2015 was looking up.
As a minor point of pride (and still an Instagram newbie), I was pretty excited when the incomparable Micheline Pitt featured my photo below on the PUG page in January. It was definitely one of those moments when you realize someone you fangirl so hard over took notice of little old you. Definitely still one of my favorite photos ever. 1950’s, ribbon-trimmed crinoline, and fruit decorations. Kind of sums me up, don’t you think?
February was a pretty momentous month, as it contained an event that got the ball rolling on his whole blogging malarky. I was contacted by the lovely Lindsey of Have Clothes, Will Travel and asked to be her Featured Fashionista for the month of February. I had honestly thought about starting a blog for so many years, but it wasn’t until this interview that I actually put my style philosophy into words. I styled the outfit below for the feature, and really credit that photoshoot and Featured Post with planting the seeds that would later grow into The Dressed Aesthetic.
Stay tuned, because you may be seeing Lindsey around the blog in the coming year…
This was a pretty big month in the land of The Dressed Aesthetic, because it was the month my blog launched with fanfare and had it’s official inaugural post! Although I had a bunch of favorite outfits from March, I decided it was truly fitting to go with my first ever outfit post. It has special meaning for me for a lot of reasons (weeks of learning HTML, picking fonts, and designing logos notwithstanding), but when it comes down to it, does it ever really get better than a butt bow?
As we barreled into April, work was definitely getting a bit crazy. We wrapped up an intensive course I was lecturing into, I presented at a conference, and then was “gently encouraged” to take some time off from the Powers That Be (turns out, it is NOT a good thing to build up too many holiday hours). This was also when I started to really get serious about collaborations – one of my favorites that month was getting to work with Etsy shop Love That Lingers and getting to style this incredible 1950’s dress. It was girlie and fun and really reminded me that the heart and soul of the blog is really about sharing my love of vintage and supporting small businesses along the way.
This was also the month that Willie really cottoned on to the whole photobombing concept…
April showers brought May flowers in the form of this amazing dress! This gingham beauty from Oh Henry Vintage was a little bit Lucille Ball, a little bit Dorothy, and more than a little bit Alice in Wonderland. She was the complete opposite of practical – but sometimes a gal needs to indulge in a dress for the sheer fantasy of it all.
May was pretty special, simply for the fact that it marked our 4-year Perth-a-versary. As someone who has moved (often overseas) every four years since I was 18, it was a momentous occasion to have hit the milestone without a suitcase in sight! So, I clicked my Dorothy heels and was happy to find that we were already home.
This gauzy green reverie from La Belle Vintage will always be a favorite for me – not only is she everything a 1950’s dress should be, but she’s two dresses for the price of one! Yep, the underdress and overlay are separate pieces, which means I can mix and match and get a bit creative if the mood strikes me. However, more often than not I usually pair them together; like partners in a tango, why mess with a perfect pairing?
And then we were off! July was the start of a flurry of travel this year. First stop: New Zealand. Whoever said you can’t go home again must never fly Qantas. It had been nearly a decade since I’d been back to Middle Earth (and the first time the Mr. Dressed had ever been). Getting to show him around, visit the lab where I did my PhD, and introduce him to people who helped shape who I am, it was like my past and my present collided in one amazing, weird, melty fondue.
So, it’s only fitting my favorite outfit from the month was my shark skirt handmade for me by Girl in a Whirl, with a shark chasing a shoal of red swirling fish, who are just as equally hot on the shark’s tail. Sometimes, when it comes to the past, you can’t ever figure out who’s chasing who.
This month’s favorite was a no brainer, because it involved an amazing collaboration with AskSarah, a DIY tutorial that blew my mind, and the cutest pair of shoes in the history of shoes! As someone who really doesn’t do a whole lot of DIY, my mind is always blown when I see the awesomeness of what people can create (usually with a few really simple household items). Getting to know Sarah and work together on a flurry of posts for our blogs was absolutely one of the best parts of August. Have any of you had a go at making a pair of these tasty flats?
Hands down, September was one of my favorite months of 2015 because it involved The Greatest Vacation Ever. The Mr. and I boarded yet another plane that was bound for Fiji to celebrate the wedding of one of my very best friends. We spent 10 days at the incredible Octopus Resort and I can honestly say I have never felt so relaxed in my life. By the first day, we all left our phones behind. By the second, no one was wearing any shoes. By the end of it, we had all pretty much melted into the sand in a big puddle of happy…
September also marked one of my most popular blog posts of the year, where I shared my musings on the importance of investing in my happiness, irrespective of age, weight, or relationship status. Self-love shouldn’t have an age limit. A milestone limit. A expiration date. We should always invest in the people we love, take pride in the work that we do, and be selfless when it comes to how much we love. But we should never ever let any of those things supplant the investment we put into ourselves.
One of my all-time favorite things about vintage is always the attention to detail (and midway through my latest sewing project, I’m gaining a serious appreciation for the time and work that goes into those details). This 1950’s gerbera daisy-print dress from Kitty Girl Vintage was so beautiful in her own right, but the time and care someone took to painstakingly cut out those flowers, back and fill them, add appliqué them onto the waist, makes all the difference in the world…
Picking a favorite outfit from this month was really really hard – I also adored my tailoring adventure, this seaside print dress, and my love affair with this border print beauty. Warmer weather definitely brings out the creativity in me (not to mention the sundresses in my wardrobe).
Truthfully, November suffered a few tough blows, not the least of which was an unsuccessful outcome in a grant we were on pins and needles waiting for. But, as one of my best friends once said, when everything is churning into chaos, you have to have faith that it’s the universe’s way of letting you know that something amazing is just waiting to be born.
Before I new it, I blinked and December had arrived and the year was nearly gone without my permission. I thought this outfit, with my favorite Chicwish Neon Light Pleated Midi Skirt, completely epitomized the way 2015 felt: fast-paced and frenzied, as if I spent the year darting in and out of traffic, constantly trying to keep moving forward and getting to my destination, only to arrive and not really have an understanding of how I got there.
I have to hand it to 2015, though, she sure knows how to keep things interesting!
I wonder if it’s normal to feel a little melancholy when a year ends. Even though 2015 and I have had our differences, it’s ever easy to say farewell to a friend, particularly when you know you’re never going to see them again. Sure, you say all of the usual pleasantries. “We should meet for coffee” and all that. But really, as that final ball drops, you both know it’s not really a see you later. But, goodbyes have to happen to make room for your next hellos.
So, in keeping with the tradition of a year’s farewell, we can make the typical resolutions that will never stick – to eat more healthily (ha!), be more active (never gonna happen. I am so not a gym bunny), and give up on one vice or another (don’t take my vintage away from me!) Or, we can work towards what will really make us better people. To be kinder. More emphatic. More understanding. Less quick to judge. Less cynical.
And I can only wonder – what will next year bring?