The 2016 Style Resolutions



Happy New Year!!  It’s 2016, the year of….the red fire monkey?  Um, OK.  It’s also the year Juno is expected to arrive at Jupiter (so. crazy!!), the summer olympics in Rio, of “rose quartz” and “serenity” (the first time Pantone has declared two colors of the year) and the UN International Year of Pulses.

This is also the year I will publish an article about the easiest way to clean out your closet.  It’s been years in the making and It. Is. Time.  (If you see nothing by the end of next week, feel free to send hate mail.)

In addition to The Great Closet Clean-Out of 2016, I have a few additional focus areas, style-wise, to talk about.  All are designed to help make getting dressed easier, more fun, and to avoid a style rut.  So.  If you are a New Years Resolution junkie like I am, place one hand over your heart and repeat after me:

I Mama….


….will establish ‘layering pairs’

I have sweaters.  I have long-sleeved tops.  One might think layering one over the other would be a cinch, wouldn’t one?  But taking into account the, oh I don’t know 3948134876 different necklines that don’t line up, the dropped hem sleeves that bunch, or the fact that some striped shirts show through some sweaters and sometimes it’s in a cute way and other times it’s in a ‘is that sweater dirty?’ kind of way and there really seems to be no RULE for this and GAH!

[deep cleansing breath]


So.  In 2016, I, Mama, resolve to find a long-sleeve shirt that looks good under each of my sweaters.  And I will write it down, or take pictures, lest I forget all of my hard work in the Early-Morning Chaos That Reigns Supreme.  (She is a bitch.)


…will create accessory sets

Like ‘layering pairs’, these require pre-planning, something I am admittedly terrible at doing.  Hence, the resolution!

Here’s how it works:  Establish a set of accessories that all go together:  boots, bag, hat, scarf, mittens, sunglasses, lipstick – or any combination thereof.  Come up with a few different sets if you can.  If you don’t have a ton to choose from, stick with themes:  day, date night, summer, winter, park outings, errand running – whatever.  Obviously you can reuse pieces, but this exercise will help you understand where your closet falls short.  If you have many bags/shoes/etc to choose from, you can create multiple sets for day and night, perhaps by color?  I like to have at least one for each bright lipstick I wear (strange, but it works).




…will find three practical, everyday, machine washable, fabulous tops…that are NOT tshirts

Oh, t-shirt.  How I love you so.  I will write sonnets in your honor, I will hang you up – NOT fold you, nay – in a prized location in my closet thus marking your esteemed position for all to see, but no longer will I wear you Every. Damn. Day.  I need some space, t-shirt.  Some time to think.  It isn’t over – it will never be completely over – I just need something different in my life.  And besides, in 2016, it seems like we should have had some major advancements in the field of Machine Washable Fabrics and be able to find a pretty, machine-washable blouse. For crying out loud.

(Of course, I just bought yet another tshirt. But it’s Janice Joplin you guys!!!  Powerless to resist. )


…will wield blush like a weapon

If there is one beauty product that falls in the realm of transformative, it’s blush.  Happier, healthier, younger –  there is no downside to blush!  Unless, of course, we’ve got a wrong color / bad application / wrong shade for the lipstick thing going on.  (Yes, my sister has assured me, many times, that last one is a thing.)  So this is the year to get serious about blush.  Red lipstick, I’ll take you in stride.  Coral?  BRING IT.  I will deftly apply a pretty glow to my pale skiing face as easily as I’ll put on a bright, happy flush to my (faux) tanned summer skin.  Beware, old blush that fell and broke into zillions of little pieces two years ago that I keep trying to resurrect because the exact color is worn out on the back and I can’t replace it….your days are numbered.     Knight-like, I will let my blush be my sword, and all who see me wield it, fearlessly, unflinchingly, will cower in the face of my rosy, healthy glow.  Or something.


…will finally figure out how to wear boots and boyfriend jeans

Right??? I mean this shouldn’t be impossible.


…actually, will figure out boots and jeans as a whole (even if cropping is involved)

I’m DONE throwing on a pair of jeans and boots only to have them look weird.  Even skinnies, the Most Boot-Friendly of All the Jeans sometimes stymies me.  And nothing makes me want to scream I WANT THE LAST TEN MINUTES OF MY LIFE BACK  like frantically changing outfits five times before school drop-off.  And PLEASE:  don’t even talk to me about laying outfits out the night before.  I’ll tell you the same thing I’ve been telling my mom for 30+ years:  Dream on, sista.  #hotmess #whatevs


…will find a statement ankle boot that makes my soul take flight

Like the God Hermes with wings on his heels, I want a statement ankle boot that lifts up my entire being, not just my outfit.  A boot that transcends all forms of sartorial boredom (old skinnies, tired tshirts, pilled sweaters) and causes a choir of angels to break into joyous song.  Also, I want a walkable heel, and thick socks because this will also be my date-night boot.  (Cold ankles, begone!)


(leather jacket, sweater – cashmere, on sale!, jeans, similar boots, bag, sunglasses)

My current favorites (and please share yours):


…will finally buy that damn racerback bra

Let’s be clear:  I already own that racerback bra.  I’m talking, Mamas, to you.  Whether it’s a racerback bra that’s preventing you from wearing that pretty tank, or a strapless bra that would be perfect with the unworn dress hanging in your closet – or heck, a pair of Spanx or invisible underwear or whatever….get ‘r done, Mamas.  2016: The Year of The Critical Undergarment


…will wear something sexy (ish) to bed

It dawned on me recently that I’m not getting any younger.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  And, I wondered,  do I really want to be wearing the same undies to bed that I once wrote up as being the perfect post-partum pantyFor the rest of my life?   No.  No I do not.  So…thinking this problem through….at some point, I need to buy new bedtime undies.  Like, NOW.


(photo:  free people lace bikini briefs)

…will find fresh ways to wear tall boots

Just to be clear, “fresh” does not mean over low-rise skinny jeans.  Especially over skinnies that aren’t quite skinny enough so they bunch up around the top of the boot.  Cause that would be moving backwards (circa 2005) and it is time to move forward.  (Spoiler alert:  I’m thinking skirts…but I’m also wondering what a skinny jean with a really high waist would look like with tall boots….)


…will stop buying color for color’s sake

In hindsight, Puce-Green Sweater, no sale price made you ‘worth it’.  And I’m not sure what possessed me to think I should start wearing more red.  Lips, Ok.  But I am not, nor will I ever be The Girl In The Red Shirt.  Yes, it’s on sale, that’s the whole point, and I convince myself that I need it because I don’t have anything else colorful.  And then the sweater/shirt/dress/whatever comes in the mail, and I wear it out for a few days….until I catch a random glimpse of myself but it’s not really me, it’s me at nine years old, with too-big teeth, a ton of freckles, and bad hair.  And I gasp and recoil (how did time warp??) until I realize…it’s the sweater.  It might as well be covered in rainbows and unicorns.  So I pull out my old black turtleneck and fire the brightly colored sweater into the giveaway pile.  I mean OK:  there are some colors I do like (I count ‘stripes’ as a color), but the point here is this:  this year, I, Mama, resolve to buy only the colors I love.  The colors that make me happy.  And if my favorite color is black, black, and more black with a little gray thrown in….I will just embrace it.


(similar shoes, leggings, socks, bag)



There you have it – my 2016 Style resolutions!  (In addition to the very important Wear More Faux Mustaches While My 5 Year Old Inappropriately Drinks Fake Champagne because obviously.)



(everlane cashmere dress….it’s goood)

What are your style resolutions this year?  I’d love any insight into what you guys are thinking….

Here’s to 2016!




  1. SO with you on embracing the color palette you’re drawn to. One day it occurred to me that there is nothing wrong with neutrals every damn day. It feels so right; I don’t know what took me so long to realize it!

    Can’t wait for the closet clean out post! Happy new year!

  2. Love your resolutions and your writing! For me – Simplifying everything. Last year I whittled an impressive collection of bags down to: a Clare V. clutch that works with everything, a practical Clare V. satchel and an Annabel Ingall trio crossbody that stands up to everyday use. I want to keep honestly evaluating my needs and making style decisions based on my reality, not my aspirational lifestyle.

    • I love everything about this comment: Your obvious Clare V obsession (haha), simplifying, and this quote: “making style decisions based on my reality, not my aspirational lifestyle.” So good.

      • I think that “making style decisions based on my reality, not my aspirational lifestyle” just became my style resolution for this year. And I have to say that even having a style resolution (or a style, period) is in part thanks to following this blog since I became a mom 3.5 years ago. So thanks, Shana.

  3. I hear you on the color. Black, grey, navy, cream, taupe, olive if you’re daring. All the colors you need in life, right?

  4. Last spring I started a capsule wardrobe and it solves many of those problems (I realized that I, too, was wasting money on colorful tops). So, this year I want to continue with that and refine my style even more. I still purchased a few duds last year. I would love to love EVERY item I purchase. No more impulse buys!

  5. Ok. You have to do a post on clothes storage. My t-shirts, especially my floaty ones, are folded because I’m terrified they’ll lose their shape if I hang them, even though I have delicious wooden hangers (and a few of those skinny hangers with nice shoulder slopes)… And also a post on washing cashmere. Because 😮

    Thank you!

    • Most of my tees are folded too. But the ones I wear the most – these tend to be the very thin and drapey tees, I do hang. I couldn’t figure out a way to fold them without getting wrinkles. But YES. Will talk about washing cashmere – good idea.

  6. Those black and rose gold nikes you linked are a dream! Adding them to my must haves!
    My fashion resolutions this year are pretty simple: wear lip color everyday and be comfortable being myself. Wearing what makes me happy and feel good w/o worrying what others (women) think about it.

  7. Yes, with you on sticking to what works and what you love for colors. I am trying to do that on a grander scale with my whole house. Just stuff we use and love, nothing else, no matter what.
    Can you do a post on how to wear silk scarf without looking too precious or matronly? I love scarves, but usuallly stick to chunky knits. I got a beautiful Hermes scarf for Christmas, but have only worn it once thus far, paired with all black.

    • Oooo….the house idea. That’s a really good one. And yes – will work on something with silk scarves. My first instinct is to pair it with a slouchy v-neck tee and destroyed, light-wash jeans, but that will most likely have to wait until Spring. Let me think on this a bit more.

  8. I have the everlane sweater dress in dark grey and while I looove it, I’m having trouble styling it. I’m tallish (5-7) with long legs and so far it just looks too short on me with anything but black leggings. There must be something more fun I’m not thinking of!

    • I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t overly long, so yeah. Taller gals would have trouble. I’ve been wearing it a ton with black faux-leather leggings (surprisingly different than regular black leggings), but I’d also try throwing it on over flares. The neckline is so sexy, I think it would be really cool in a dress-over-pants kind of way.

      • Ooh flares. That’s a great idea. And I just picked up Paige denims new flares so perfect timing too! Thanks.

        I love everlane’s first cashmere tunic sweater so much I’m wearing holes in it. It’s my go to after work in the winter.

  9. I definitely want to wear more clothes that make me happy- purple is my favorite color and I always wear some when I need a boost but I should just wear it whenever I like! Also to embrace my ridiculous side and not be afraid to be dressed up even if it’s just for park days in the mud. This Spring I will be having double mastectomies and I will need to plan some things that are comfortable but also feel like myself to wear through the reconstruction months and then work out how to dress the new bewbs 🙂 I also want to embrace my toddler’s approach to clothes- sparkle, poof, punk rock boots 🙂

    • It’s funny….I came out of my double mastectomies wanting the same thing: sparkle, poof, punk rock boots LOL!! It’s a celebration of life, Babe. I totally get it. Best of luck with your surgeries. xo.

  10. Can’t wait for the closet clean out! I struggle with getting rid of things. I’m a neutral (navy blue everything:)) so I struggle and buy colors to get me out of my so called rut. But no more! But now I just need the courage to purge all of my colorful clothes I never wear!
    I also LOVE the idea of something sexish for bed. Any suggestions for bigger bottom gals?? Those bikinis in the picture would never cut it for me;)
    It’s so hard this time of year in NW PA when I just want to sleep (and live) in warm fleece!!

    P.S. I had my eye on the black booties from Anthro for a little while and your post the other day made me pull the trigger and get them:) Nice to have something different from Uggs. They should be at my door when I get home today!

    • Oooo…report back on the black Anthro booties! Would love to hear what you think! And in terms of sexy-ish sleepwear….I’ll throw your comment up on FB, and see if anyone has suggestions. (And ps – the closet cleanout article I’m writing is a pretty no-fear approach. No courage needed. I promise.)

    • Along those lines, what are some good sexy(ish) tops for ladies with large post-nursing saggy boobs? We’re talking 32G…..seems like a cute tank with no support would make me look awful as opposed to sexy …..

  11. Overall I’m working on being more daring, trying something new. For example you’ve pushed me to try
    – jean overalls, check, love them
    – faux fur coat, check, but I think I got the wrong size
    – chandelier earings for date night, check, but I am giving them side-eye while I brush my teeth.

    I gravitate to bright color & I would wear the red sweater in a heartbeat. But I just bought a black one to push myself And can we see a picture of little girl S in crazy unicorn sweater? I can specifically remember wearing a read sweater with monogram, and two polo shirts (collars popped) around 1986.

    • Oh GAWD. I’m sure my mother has something to terrorize me with. If I have a few too many glasses of wine tonight, I’ll instagram one, HA.

  12. My resolution is to remember the outfits that I feel really good in and then recreate them in various ways so I’m not just wearing the same exact outfit over and over again.
    I’m also all about simplifying and getting rid of anything I don’t love and use in my home (still working on that in my wardrobe). We moved a year and a 1/2 ago and cut the square footage in half so we got rid of tons of things. It was so great! Now I’m constantly reassessing and determining whether or not we really need something, and there hasn’t been a single item that we have missed after donating or selling it. If only my son wouldn’t miss some of the thousands of Legos he owns….

  13. I’m so excited for the Closet Clean Out post! I know I need to do it, but I don’t really know the right way to go about it. Every time I give it a go, it I get overwhelmed and quit.

  14. This post is practically perfect in every way! I love everything about it. And I especially LOVE the Juno shout out (Tracy here, from your What an Engineer should wear to work post from several years ago. I’m a JPL aerospace systems engineer and did a little Juno work at the beginning of my career – now I work Mars rovers). This post captures everything I’ve been semi-formulating into style goals in my head that had not yet formed coherent sentences. Especially the stop buying color for color’s sake one…guess I’ll be returning that red sweater that’s on it’s way from Nordi’s that I bought (on sale) because, well, I could really use some color in my wardrobe. I also have several statement tops on the way, hopefully I’ll nail the fabulous top resolution, but not sure on the machine washable bit – yikes.

    • Did you see The Martian??? Is it not spot-on? Mike and I were DYING. Liked it so much I’m now reading the book, which is hysterical. xo!

      • Yes — Loved the Martian! Laughed through the whole thing, especially every JPL scene, totally spot on. Unfortunately I was home with a sick kiddo the day Matt Damon and Andy Weir came to tour JPL, life of a working mommy I guess! But our hallway here on the Mars 2020 floor is filled with Martian movie posters, so that’s a nice reminder each day that what we do inspires awesomeness of all sorts.

  15. Ha! I thought I was the only weirdo who changed outfits 5 times before the school drop off. I’ve tried laying out outfits the night before but it doesn’t work very well for me. The mood I’m in usually changes and then the outfit that worked the night before just doesn’t feel right anymore at 7am.

  16. I’m kinda dying over 2016: The Year of The Critical Undergarment. Lol, but totally essential!! I’ve been pregnant like ALLLL off 2015 and I am so ready to get my body (and someday, my boobs) back and start wearing some sexy-ish clothes again. Or at least less leggings and sweaters and more cute tops lol! Love the resolutions!


  17. OMG yes on the layering pairs! This is one aspect of layering that never gets mentioned. NOT EVERYTHING LAYERS WELL TOGETHER. I can’t wait for that post.

    My style resolutions seem to be similar to a lot of people’s.

    1. Simplify. A 21 piece capsule adjusted every 2-3 months seems to work best for me. And shop only when the capsule needs to be adjusted.
    2. Get my butt into Sephora or Ulta and have someone help me find a lip color that actually works with the makeup colors I usually wear. Surely this is a better system than the random tubes I pick out at Target and Walgreens only to chuck them because I’m clearly incapable of making this decision for myself.
    3. Ditto your goal to find three every day shirts that aren’t tees.
    4. Upgrade my winter sleepwear. And summer. And spring and fall.
    5. Cashmere, baby. Next winter I am taking the plunge.

    And seriously, embrace the black. I’m a professional musician and it comes with the territory. I don’t wear my concert black for every day but it is a color I find myself drawn too. And I vehemently disagree with the color experts who claim very few of us should be wearing it. Boo to them.

  18. Thanks for these. Here are mine:

    1. Buying outfits, not just random pieces. I did a huge purge this past fall (goodbye pre-baby size xs tops…) and now I need to rebuild. And I need to do it more strategically. I am notorious for grabbing a cute skirt, or skinny cords and then having them sit in my closet because I haven’t thought out the rest of the outfit. I need to pull together more outfits from the get-go. Getting an almost-three year old out the door after trying on multiple things that don’t work is maddening.
    2. Invest in ‘go-to” jeans. I need two new pairs of go-to jeans. I need jeans that I know will just work and go with at least 50% of my wardrobe. I am kind of scared of this one. I finally dipped my toe into the girlfriend jean pool this fall, but cold ankles mean that I haven’t been going to them much lately.
    3. Find a BB Cream/CC Cream/Tinted whatever that I love. I am pale, so often stuff looks dark or just fake.
    4. Find a mascara I love. Help!
    5. Buy new bras that fit. I have two post-baby bras. Neither fit very well. I have tried to nail down my size, but after some missteps, I think I may need to go to one of those fancy-schmancy stores for a proper fitting. Then I need to buy practical bras and sexy bras.
    6. Buy some statement shoes. Red pumps, boots with buckles, leopard loafers, etc.

  19. Great post (as always)! In the near future, could you do a post showcasing your closet (post purge). Would love to see how you organize your wardrobe. Also, do you know if Everland has a storefront in SF? I live in the Bay Area and it sure would be nice to be able to peruse through their lovely clothes. Happy New Year!

  20. Loving these comments! Good to know lots of us are trying to pare down house and closet. Shana and Scotti, thanks to you I finally bit the bullet on some sale cashmere and the Sorel wedges, I so hope they work! I’d love to hear more from Scotti on “the right blush” (I have the worst time finding even one right blush but I’ve been wondering why it doesn’t always go with my eyeshadow) and I also need a tinted BB for uber-pale winter skin. You guys ROCK.

  21. Shana,
    I just love everything about this post. It made me feel so much better to know you, style goddess, also has the morning ritual of discarded outfits. With three kids, I just don’t have time for that. My promise to myself (im not a resolution girl) is to “Take Five”. Five minutes to find the right socks, five minutes to apply lip gloss, five minutes before I commit to anything (purchase, play date whatever). I deserve that five minutes, heck I NEED that five minutes. Thanks for sharing so much with us. I read every post. Your an inspiration!

  22. If you crack boots and boyfriends- word. Love, my blue ankles.

    Also, good shout on a better class of bedtime gear. (Husbands everywhere salute you.) Adding that one to my list NOW.

    That list was simply- don’t buy it, keep it or wear it if it doesn’t both feel amazing and make me feel amazing.

  23. Shana – check out for washable cashmere – just a thought on the t-shirt substitution resolution. I’m totally with you on the resolution to not buy color for colors sake – I always seem to go back to grey, black, white, blue, stripes and the very occasional pastel pink or light blue in the summer.

  24. Looking forward to the post on layering pairs. I bought several grey Lou and Grey sweaters this fall that I adore but sometimes I need something underneath and they have wide necks. That can be tricky.

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