Happy New Year, my friends. I’m back and ready to launch into 2021 with gusto. But before I can kick 2020 to the curb, I must do my yearly slow fashion review. Every January at this time I review my purchases from the year that just ended. What I bought, and how I measured up in my journey to be a better, more ethical shopper. And this year, of all years, I thought my count would show that I had bought very little. That I had demonstrated uber restraint, even more than in past years. I mean, I didn’t go anywhere. I’m sure I bought next to nothing.

Ha. Not so fast Miss Jumping to Unsupported Conclusions. It appears that I am totally wrong in this assumption.

But before I reveal what my 2020 count actually was, let’s review previous reviews, shall we? I started this whole yearly slow fashion review thing back in 2016 after I read an article that said the average American woman purchased 70 items of clothing in 2013. Surely not, I thought. How was that even possible? So I counted my own purchases, and found that I had purchased 26 new pieces of apparel in 2016. I bought 25 new items the next year in 2017 and the same in 2018. And last year in 2019 I had whittled that down to 20 new pieces. Last year’s review is here if you’re interested.

What was interesting to me this morning, as I looked over my posts from past years, is how many of the pieces featured in these old posts I still love and have no intention of eliminating from my wardrobe any time soon. And how many of the outfit combinations I’m still wearing. Which is good, I think.

But what is not good is that I have made little progress over the past five years in becoming a more ethical shopper. I have cut down on purchases a bit. Not because of any real ethical effort on my part, but simply because I didn’t need any more clothes. And I have made little, if any, progress in finding and buying from ethical companies. I should do better. I need to do better. Year after year, I say that.

But let’s move on to 2020 and what I bought.

My list of 2020 purchases:

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 sweaters (1 grey mock neck, and 1 navy V-neck, both Vince)
  • 3 short-sleeve tees (1 pink, 1 blue, 1 white, all Everlane)
  • 1 sleeveless tee (red Everlane tank)
  • 1 turtleneck (white Everlane)
  • 2 long-sleeve tees (1 green, one navy mock-neck, both Everlane)
  • 1 blouse (black puffy cotton by Everlane)
  • 2 pairs of sweatpants (both Roots Canada)
  • 1 bag (grey AllSaints cross-body)
  • 1 scarf and 1 wooly hat (bought while Christmas shopping at Indigo)
  • 2 dresses (both grey sweater dresses from Arititzia)
  • 1 skirt (faux-leather, black midi-skirt)
  • 1 pair of boots (Ugg winter boots with fur trim)
  • Total number of pieces… 20. Same as 2019.

So what are my conclusions? Ha. That my hypothesis about my 2020 buying habits was totally wrong. I purchased the exact same number of items this year as last.

I was on a roll with Everlane tees this year, having just discovered them, and their short, boxy shape, which is perfect for my body type. This upcoming spring and summer I will be well outfitted with tee shirts. The Everlane tank and the turtleneck were both purchased to make my at-home wardrobe a bit nicer, and easier to look at in the mirror, day after lock-down day. Ditto with the two pairs of sweat pants. The dresses and skirt were a splurge. My only defense is that a dress or skirt has been on my to-buy list for several years. The winter boots I just plain needed.

But you know what is ironic? Our long spring lock-down didn’t help with my count. In fact, if I had not been staying at home so much, I would not have purchased those sweat pants at all, and probably not as many tees. But I was royally sick of wearing my usual raggedy, at home, slumping around the yard outfits.

So. What have I learned here? Well, not much, I must admit. It seems that between 20 and 25 purchases is my set point for shopping. I have settled into a pattern, buying what I need to fill a niche in my closet, choosing carefully (most of the time), not depriving myself, but not pushing the shopping boat out either. Again… most of the time.

My biggest slow fashion accomplishment this year was in reviving old pieces from my closet. Old jackets and coat-sweaters mostly. And one surprising sweater that I knit for myself a few years ago, and forgot about. I did pretty well with my “intentional dressing” initiative in the fall. Deciding to wear one old piece each week. That was fun, and gave several older jackets and sweaters an outing that might not have happened otherwise. Even if it was only to the grocery store.

And what was fun for me, while I was preparing this post today, was seeing how many of my old pieces still look good with my new white hair. Phew. That’s a relief. I was nervous in the spring and early summer while my hair was growing out, afraid that I would have to abandon some of my favourite pieces. In fact I have packed away only a couple of sweaters and tops which do me no favours now that my hair is white. Most of my wardrobe just needed a bit of rearranging and some tweaking to suit my new hair.

Let’s have a look at how that major change in my look (i.e. my hair) has altered my style, shall we? Here’s the Max Mara jacket I wore last winter for the first time in years. Inspired by an Emma Hill video, I dug it out of the closet. And I was chuffed to find that it still fit and that I still loved it.

Reviving this old Max Mara jacket is the epitome of slow fashion.
I resurrected this old Max Mara jacket last winter.

Here’s how I was wearing the jacket much later in the year. Post COVID-hair grow-out, and after Carmen added my new low-lights.

Slow fashion review. Styling old jackets like this Max Mara blazer in new ways. With Frame boot cut jeans, a striped tee, and Stan Smith sneakers.
Later in the year, Max Mara jacket with old white sneakers and new white hair.

Here’s the Adrienne Vittadini camel blazer from 1991 which I wore last winter when I was experimenting with layering jewellry.

How I wore this Adrienne Vittadini blazer last winter.
Playing with jewellry and my old Adrienne Vittadini jacket.

And here’s the same jacket this past fall. I was so surprised that I could still wear camel. A total camel look up next to my face is a non-starter now. But with the right underpinning, in a cool colour, the jacket can work. I love this outfit with the black turtleneck. Or with a black tee and the grey scarf around my neck.

Slow fashion review. Wearing old pieces like this Adrienne Vittadini blazer, in new ways. With Liverpool jeans, a black turtleneck and Stuart Weitzman boots.
Finding ways to wear my old jacket with my new colouring.

Again playing with jewellry-layering in a post last winter, I wore my old red Banjo and Matilda cardigan.

How I wore this last winter. In my slow fashion review, how has this outfit changed?
Red Banjo and Matilda sweater with brown/blonde hair.

And a couple of months ago, a similar look with black jeans instead of my leather pants, loafers instead of boots. And white hair instead of dark blonde. Still looks okay, I think.

Slow fashion review of 2020. How I restyle an old outfit. Red cardigan., black jeans, loafers and black tee.
Red Banjo and Matilda sweater with white hair.

I also found that my new hair colour and style made me want to try looks that were a bit more slouchy than I usually wear. Suddenly I liked my Vince sleeveless tee on its own and not hidden under a jacket. I was owning the half-tuck with my high-waisted Frame, straight-leg jeans instead of skinny jeans. And these old black cotton cargo pants seemed just right to me, rolled up over my sneakers, and worn with a baggy tee and a jacket with pushed-up sleeves.

But let’s get back to the main idea behind posts like this one. How am I doing in my progress to become a more ethical shopper? Not that great, I’d say.

The things I do well… like shopping carefully, keeping an inventory of my closet so I know exactly what I have, and buying intentionally with an eye to filling holes in my wardrobe or replacing basics… are the same things I’ve always done well. Chalk that up to my love of organizing and researching and keeping lists. I’ve pretty much always been that way. And taking credit for it is like saying I deserve credit for being tall. I’ve always stashed away clothes that I love and which still fit, hoping to bring them back out a few seasons, or sometimes many seasons, later. I was doing that long before slow fashion became a thing. So, that can’t be considered progress, can it?

Since I first started learning about slow fashion, and ethical fashion a few years ago, I have been reading about ethical brands. I tried to find brands that were well rated. Brands which used sustainable materials, and which weren’t fast fashion. Brands whose products I liked, and which I could afford. And which didn’t have to be shipped from half-way around the world. I thought I had a winner with Everlane. Then that all changed with the kerfuffle during the early days of the pandemic, when Everlane was accused of union busting. Various “influencers” whose opinion I trusted were abandoning the brand. And I began to wonder if I should do the same.

As I’ve said before in these posts, the whole ethical fashion issue is so complex. Finding clothing made from sustainable materials is not enough. Polyester is a no go. But is recycled polyester okay? Shopping for thrifted pieces is always a good idea, but I have rarely found anything in a thrift store that I have wanted to buy. I always know what I’m looking for, which is a problem because thrifted pieces are always one of a kind, and are rarely in my size. Smart thrift shopping means rolling with whatever you find. Being more flexible than I am.

I watched an Emma Hill video last year about thrift shopping. On Emma’s first ever thrift shop shopping adventure, she found a lovely black cashmere sweater and a pair of black jeans, both of which were a good deal and fit her perfectly. Great, I thought. Except how many pairs of black jeans do you already own? If you don’t really need an item, is it still considered slow fashion just because your purchase is thrifted? Not in my books.

So once again, I’ve become mired in all the bits and variables that comprise the ethical fashion issue. But as I was reading, and thinking, and typing today, I saw this: “Ethical [fashion] is not necessarily the same as eco-friendly or slow fashion” (source.) And I experienced a kind of epiphany. Of course they’re not the same. D’uh. No wonder I’ve been confused when I have been using these terms interchangeably. Slow fashion means slowing down consumption. I’m down with that. Maybe not all the brands I wear are, but I am. I shop selectively, buy quality for the most part, and keep my clothes for a long time. I shop my closet year after year. I’ve been better lately at the eco-friendly thing, mostly because brands are better at reporting what they use, and where it comes from etc.

But the “ethical” part of ethical fashion, namely the people part (workers, factory conditions, salaries etc.), I need help with that one. And so I rely on rating websites which look at the complex variables and give brands an ethical rating. Separating these terms out is important, I think. And I still need to do better in researching ethical companies. And to stop confusing it with slow fashion.

So. I may not have made much overall progress. But I have learned something after all. And the journey of learning continues as it should.

You know, I always thought by the time I became a white-haired little old lady, I would know everything.

And maybe by the time I become one… I will. Ha.

So that’s my slow fashion review for 2020. My ethical report card. That’s my shopping story. And I’m sticking to it. Now that 2020 is done and dusted, I am keen to explore pastures new. Both fashion-wise and otherwise. I’m quite hopeful for 2021, actually.

How about you, my friends? How would you characterize your style journey this past year? Are you feeling a bit lighter now that 2020 is history? Do tell.


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From the archives


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71 thoughts on “2020 Slow Fashion Review.”

  1. I probably bought about the same amount because I spent a lot of time in the first part of lockdown reviewing my clothes, just for something to do. And resolving to finally organise the capsule wardrobe. I bought more carefully because I wasn’t in shops so there was a less opportunity to be tempted but sought out what I wanted with an eagle eye, again for something to do. Once I moved to making clothes by the summer, my mindset had changed completely. This is definitely the way I will be doing things from now on. I shall be emptying cupboards later and moving out things that need to leave. Ruthless, yes. It will be the watchword for this coming tricky year. Also, realised that a really good haircut is worth far more than a few lackadaisical clothes purchases. I don’t need anything new for a good while and have no intentions of even browsing. Like I said, ruthless.

    1. I find I shop on-line verrry carefully. And only on sites that have multiple views of the item on real people, not just the item alone. Also the sites which have the actual clothing measurement as to body length and sleeve length etc. But it’s a crap shoot with respect to colour etc. I admire your ability to sew. Not my cup of tea at all! Ha.

  2. Probably bought more, TBH, having decided to wear clothes I enjoy every day to cheer myself up. Never going into any shops – or the post office with returns – I had to make “safe” choices. Which often turned out to be duplicating things I love in another colour. Or buying styles/makes that I already know. Went through a phase of buying trashed jeans, for under a fiver on ebay and patching them up. Also from ebay: a rainbow of Uniqlo linen shirts, which I shortened to wear untucked. Far too much wardrobe activity in general! But then my Year End Analysis threw up a solid 20 items (9 from previous years) in the Favourite Wears category. So I’ve been bad; but I’ve been happy. Thank you for your inspiration – let us continue happy in 2021!

  3. I’m a squirrel shopper but the 2020 was the year of the Great Squirreling. I bought a lot to be prepared for the next 10 years. Same styles as ever but new colors. I tend to wear “uniforms” : I added new boilersuits to my collection, gray and white jeans, a lot of jumpers, the most ridiculous coat (I like it so much I named it: the Yeti Bathrobe) and the over-the-knee boots I have been wanting for decades. When I’m sick and tired of something, I put it in the back of my wardrobe for a few years and wear it again when I want something new. But last year something happened: I was sick and tired of blue and 90% of my clothes were some shade of blue. I hardly ever buy clothes or shoes in physical shops and never return anything, so all quiet on that front.
    Thank you for your blog and for being you!

  4. I’d be really interested in how you manage your clothing data. I’m a bit of a list-freak and enjoy trying to “manage” my wardrobe… I used an app which was brilliant, it would list the most worn items and least, favourite colour – all very useful stuff. But, when I changed phone recently it wouldn’t replicate the information to the new phone, and somehow I managed to delete everything. So, am back to square one. Any pointers would be useful.

    Onto the main topic – I have bought far too many things this year, although I have tried to restrict… and be more mindful of what I am buying. I’ve started following people (like you!) who seem to have a better handle on things, which has helped – a bit! (Apart from the clothing envy!) 😉
    My loft has far to many boxes and bags of clothes that either don’t fit (most of them!) or that I just don’t wear/like. So, my project for 2021 is to get all that out to either be sold or donated. I have to be realistic as a lot of the stuff I will never wear again – smart suits when I had a career (I now run a B&B with hubby, so no longer need that stuff!) – even if I could fit into them again! And things which I bought which didn’t suit or wore only a few times because they were either uncomfortable or didn’t really fit my lifestyle…

    I really enjoyed your review – it is certainly helpful and a reminder to us all that we shouldn’t contribute to other people’s welfare being bad, or that may harm the environment. I will take away this as something which I can have control over from now on… So, HNY and look forward to reading more from you…

    1. I am a list freak as well. But despite my love of doing stuff on the computer or i-pad, I keep my lists old school. I have a dedicated little book. And make a new list each spring and fall. What I own and will wear, and what I want to purchase. I do however take photos of my outfits, not just for the blog. The visual reminder is so helpful when I come to decide what to wear.

    1. Wow! There’s forthright and then there’s just rude. . . what about simply skipping the posts that don’t interest you? I don’t imagine you’ve thought much about how much work went into this one — which obviously pleases a good proportion of the readers here. What about the fact that the Sue who writes about books in a way that presumably provides you enjoyment is also interested in writing about clothes? Couldn’t your gratitude for the former motivate your polite tolerance for the latter?

    2. Wow! This blog is not written specifically for you. Many of us follow Sue’s blog at least in part because we are interested in what she has to say about fashion, about what she wears, and about why she decides to buy what she does.

    3. That was very rude! Sue puts a great deal of time and effort into her blog. I’m not a fashion person per say but I do learn a lot about fashion just by reading this amazing blog. There are polite ways to say things and this was not polite at all!

  5. At the beginning of the pandemic I finally decided to accept myself at the weight I’ve been for the past 7-8 years and so I purged my closets of everything that I didn’t love or that didn’t fit. Very proud of myself and my closets. Then I decided to slowly get into exercise: I bribe myself with BBC TV mysteries (I only allow myself to watch while I’m on the elliptical). And finally I took a look at my diet and decided that I know what to eat but eat way too much of it. So I only concentrated on portion sizes. End result – after 6 months I’m 32 pounds lighter and much toner. And I have very few clothes that fit me now. I’ve bought some online but not much as its hard to know what size I now am. I am so looking forward to shopping in stores and trying lots of things on. And I will try to be as organized and thoughtful about it as your are!

  6. I appreciate your disciplined approach to your fashion choices- it serves as a touchstone for my own approach which is too often Willy Nilly. But I’m doing better ! And by the way, I love the balance you bring to your blog -savoring your opinions on reading, travel, and fashion in equal measure.

  7. Love this post! Love all your posts, clothes, books, travel, home life and musings of any kind.

    This year I tried to be more organized about my clothing. I did purge many items. I tried wearing something different every day and getting rid of anything that didn’t suit me physically or emotionally.

    I haven’t bought much, but did buy a few things to help me feel better about being home all the time. This year I hope to, again, try to get organized and purge more. One thing I really need to do is organize my closet in a better way. I have watched videos, but it seems hard to translate to my closet. I don’t understand why it seems so hard for me, as I am quite organized in other way. Oh well, sigh…..

    1. Dressing emotionally. Interesting. I am going upstairs to look at what might come under that heading. I am, in fact, wearing emotionally comforting trousers at the moment and there is one shirt that I know just won’t get worn again but cannot part with it because it has joyful memories. Just the one, though…

    2. Thanks, Liz. My tiny closet does not conform to anything I’ve seen in YouTube videos either. I like to hang things in my closet according to type of clothing… jeans together, jackets together etc etc. I helped my sister organize her huge closet last year, and we did one side spring and summer and one side fall and winter. With workout stuff in one drawer, and work uniforms in one small part by themselves. But the size and style of closet dictates so much about how you organize it… IMO.

  8. I’ve been very good this year . Only because we decided we needed to protect ourselves & stay home & I have plenty of stay home stuff . I did get a couple of new dog walking coats – just because I liked them & wanted a change . One by Aigle , a French company I like . The other is a navy fleece cardy coat , very light & warm but not waterproof of course . My sister bought me a top for my birthday . Black with a big silver star on the front – not what I would have chosen but I love it especially with my ‘new’ hair . It’s my lucky Zoom quiz top now . So that’s it . I still enjoy your clothes posts though . You could write about anything & I would enjoy it ( well maybe not sport 😁)

  9. I do love clothes (and books! And travel!) and have continued to buy, mostly online but also from a friend’s local boutique. I have learned from you to be very very thoughtful and take my time with new purchases. I also love quality so I hope buying good pieces will mean I don’t get tired of them as quickly. I used to be reluctant to return online purchases but have become more ruthless and return those pieces that I don’t absolutely love. I get dressed every day even when I’m just going to be home…jeans/turtleneck/sweater/sneakers. Not fancy but dressed. Inspired by you, I bought a good puffer coat that is used everyday to walk the dog. I am lucky to have a stepdaughter who loves clothes and looks great in everything. She takes my castoffs and either keeps them, gives them to friends or takes them to the resale shop. Love your blog. You are a great writer!

    1. I will NOT Be rushed with a purchase. That’s why I don’t shop well with others. Unless we are buying for them. I can’t think clearly enough and always make a mistake because I’m talking too much. Ha.

  10. I think your new hair color is extremely flattering on you. I also think you look fantastic in red and black! I particularly love the two gray sweater dresses that you showed, both the shorter one and the long length with the slit. You carry them off impeccably.

    I’m very envious of the fact that you can still wear so many of your clothes from previous seasons – primarily because my weight fluctuates all too easily, and this year in particular has been bad bad bad, with a 20+ pound weight gain on my tiny frame. (Five dress sizes!) I’m working hard to knock off those pounds as best I can in my “indoor lifestyle,” – about 7 down – but it’s going to be very slow going. And I miss my clothes!

    Even if fashion is just for us, for the quick glimpse we have as we pass by the mirror, it can make all the difference in mood and spirit.

    By the way, I find it really interesting that you basically bought the same number of things as in previous years. I think the fact that many of us are at home and online so much tends to lead to taking advantage of sales a bit more easily. At least, that has been true in my case! And some thing of a necessity with the weight gain. The expression “I don’t have a thing to where“ has been absolutely true.

  11. Sue, love your blog, love all the fashion, travel and mostly books. The books are how I found you, don’t remember how though. The fashion was a very nice bonus…keep up the good work. As for this years shopping…online, not always successful. Loved a summer dress online, terrible on me in my old age…but I have daughters and we recycle amongst ourselves until we finally donate. Happy 2021, here’s to better and healthier times.

    1. Heather, I had to laugh. I did the same thing last summer – bought a sweet little dress online. When it came it looked a horror on me, but my daughter was very happy with it! 😊

  12. Originally inspired by you when I read your 2017 review, I’m working on my third annual fashion shopping review which will appear on my blog on Friday. As I went over my list of 2020 purchases, I confirmed what I already knew to be true. I bought much less this past year. That’s because I rarely shop online and Covid restrictions kept me from shopping in person. With the exception of two small thrift stores, the closest clothing shops and shoe stores are an hour away and we simply didn’t go unless we absolutely had to. I yearn for the day when I can spend a leisurely afternoon browsing the stores again, feeling the fabric, trying things on, and possibly adding a few new things to my wardrobe.

    1. I have become accustomed to on-line shopping, sadly. But with lots of restrictions as to what kind of sites. Some are so bad for listing the actual measurement of the garment. And some only show the garment lying flat. That’s no good, I think. I need to be able to measure clothes I already own and compare to the garment measurement. That’s one reason I liked Everlane.

  13. Love your very thoughtful blog posts on all topics. Sorry that someone previously was critical of today’s post.

    Question: what site do you use to research ethical clothing manufacturers?

    Thank you for all your efforts!

  14. I’m in a weird place, clothes-wise. Got rid of a whole lot of “work” clothes, now that I’m retired and life is more casual. I don’t tend to wear nice stuff around the house, partially because I’m working pretty steadily on getting rid of things pre-move, and partially because I have two kitties who love to cuddle, and I don’t want fur and snags on my nicer clothes. But I know we’ll get to go out again someday, so keeping many things for that happy time. And since I have no idea what Portugal will offer vis-a-vis plus sizes, I’m loathe to get rid of anything that I think I might possibly want to wear there, even though I don’t have a firm idea about what my day-to-day will look like. Like I say, a weird place, but I figure it’s better to hang on to things I *might* need rather than get rid of them and then not be able to find replacements.

    1. I don’t have cats anymore and still don’t wear nice clothes around the house. It just goes against the grain for me. I always splash something on myself… even when wearing an apron.

  15. Thank you for the excellent round up of your purchase and for pointing out the difficulty (and sometimes sheer expense) of ethical shopping. Prior to the first lockdown, I began a determine effort to lose weight (timing sucked, but I made it work). About 25% of the January 2020 me is gone so far. Dropping multiple sizes meant none of my pre-weightloss clothing fit, but Covid meant in-store shopping wasn’t an option. Hence, I’ve had to replace everything by shopping online. Would say I’ve had about a 80% success rate in terms of sizing–being petite makes things tricky–like finding regular tunic length sweaters could pass as dresses on me. At first it was hard to figure out my new size(s) as I continue to lose weight, but I’ve found–and stuck with–a few sites where the sizing/fit was fairly dependable across styles. Just have to stick with petites. Getting the right colours (almost my entire former wardrobe was black) has been little less successful as the monitor often “lies.” Have given away almost all my former clothing and even passed on some new things I initially thought would work, but ultimately didn’t please me. Helps to have a DD and DDiL who can use things or pass them on to their friends since most of the items are classic styles. Returned only about 10% of purchases. Not going to count how many new items were bought, but definitely more than twenty. 🙂

    1. I was looking for Canadian or American ethical brands… sadly so many of them are from the UK or Scandinavia. And shipping and returns … whew. I haven’t had to return anything purchased on-line except to companies which have local stores that take the on-line returns. That’s always a clincher for me.

  16. I love your year end reviews on what you purchased and I think your shopping is very conscientious and deliberate. You really know what looks good on you and what holes you need to fill in your existing wardrobe. And I love that you still enjoy fashion so much that you add in pieces that you love and will wear and work with your existing pieces. I think you have really got the wardrobe making process down pat!

    I believe I am still buying too many clothes and this year I am going to make a very conscientious effort to shop my closet. I love clothes and I enjoy wearing them even during these locked down times. But I also know that I need to tell myself that it is not necessary to have to own everything you like when you find it in your size or if it is deeply discounted – which I often find a bargain motivates me to buy.

    So for 2021 I am aiming to be more selective in my purchasing, to shop my closet even more and to not purchase clothing just because it is a deeply discounted quality item. Wish me luck as I do love a bargain!

    1. I am aiming to not buy anymore sweatpants and tops… but I still have holes in my closet. And I’m going to be living in my sweats for a few more months, I think. So don’t think I will last. Maybe a new sweatshirt in a lovely colour? Sigh.
      Good luck with your own endeavour, Liz.

  17. You are a great writer and I enjoy all your posts whether they be about books, fashion or life so please keep up the excellent mix. I admire your skill of being able to weave a story again and again.

    I appreciate your honesty about your year of clothing purchases and is a good reminder to me of trying to keep things slow and ethical. For me slow is not a huge issue as I keep clothes for years but the ethical part is very difficult whether buying clothes or fabric (I sew a lot of my own clothes). I just try to do my best.

  18. As always, I learn a lot from you, Sue. You have given me a very different perspective on clothing choices and the idea to check on a seasonal basis what lurks in the closet.

    Here in the Amazon area of Ecuador, we don’t have distinct seasons. The temperature is consistently moderate so it is never cold and seldom too warm. Even so, it still is necessary to dress to accommodate whatever the day may bring because it changes.

    I never shop here. I have purchased a few things online, which was a gamble, given I had to trust reviews and my monitor for color choices, but so far so good. We have no direct delivery here in the country for anything that must pass through customs. The tax rate is horrendous. There are people who run a courier-type service. They make regular trips between the U.S. and Ecuador and bring ordered goods in luggage to Guayaquil. There is a transport service within the country that gets it here by truck over the Andes Mountains. All is charged by weight. Not at all like my previous life in Seattle where a quick car jaunt took me to a Nordstrom store at the mall with list in hand.

    When the stay-at-home order came, I made up my mind I would dress every day, put on the’ silly putty and crayons ‘(If not for just myself, also for those who have to look at me.) And jewelry—I prefer small-scale good pieces, which I don’t save for good, and always fragrance. It is fun.

    I enjoy your posts and reading all the comments. Sue, you mentioned being “tall” — but how tall are you actually, if you care to say?

    1. It’s always so interesting to hear about where you live, Elaine. Makes my little delivery glitches seem so simple. To answer your question, I am a little over 5 ft 7 in. Maybe a bit more now that my hair is puffy. 🙂

  19. Sue,
    I love all of your posts! This one really made me think so I did a count of my 2020 clothing purchases and ended up with 62 – same number as my age haha 🙂Yikes! I need to get a grip! I am a manager in a hospital and have worked throughout the entire pandemic so I figure I must have been doing some online stress shopping. At least that’s my excuse! Thanks to your post, I have vowed to at least cut this in half in 2021.
    I love your style and love the concept of slow fashion! I also have Vince sweaters that I have kept for years and plan to do a better job shopping my closet. Thank you for your thoughtful posts and inspiration. Wishing you a happy & healthy 2021!

    1. How great of you to count up your purchases and put that number out there, Julie. I would bet that stress shopping did contribute. Especially working in health care in 2020. I know my sister is a pharmacist and she has been really stressed this year. You can only change the future. So… onward and upward, eh? Or maybe I should say downward…with respect to numbers. 🙂

  20. I read your article on this issue last year. At the time I could not say how many items per year I purchase, i was going to make an effort to keep tabs on this, but unfortunately I haven’t. At present I tend to be given clothes from my sister and a friend, the rest are from opp shops. I could pat myself on the back that I didn’t have any new spends this year, but it is still nagging at me the amount of clothes given to goodwill etc, which I think salves the conscience of people donating, but does not solve the problems around consumerism. At times I feel I am feeding this beast by buying second hand clothes.

  21. Sue, Happy New Year!
    I love your year end fashion post. So much, that I totaled my purchases (20) in November, lol! . Up from (19) in 2019..hmm. Mostly, I bought for “staying at home” and for the extreme heat we had here in Northern California this past summer/fall. Shorts, T-shirts, loose fitting dresses. Not too exciting but, I’m definitely set for hot weather in 2021! Btw, I love those sweater dresses you recently purchased…been meaning to mention that!!

  22. I admire your well curated closet and I would wear your selection with joy. Our approaches are very similar-planning and shopping carefully, and knowing what I need, is in my blood 🙂
    I agree with the vintage part musings-I almost always know in advance what I want and need, plus our thrift shops are rare and not well equipped so it would be quite hypocritical to go and shop just to brag to be in a slow fashion
    My number for this past Annus Horribilis is 17.
    I had almost all I need before and have thought that I’ve shopped even less. I’ve bought 4 dresses,3 before covid,when I didn’t know that there would be no concerts,theatres,bussiness meetings,etc….-weared only one of them a lot (due to the situation,the other are waiting for better epidemiological -and emotional :)conditions). I now usually,because of Covid,wear one combination only,changing scarfs-I try to protect my other clothes from disinfectant,alcohol….they can ruin some materials or purses as well-so,uniform it is!
    I didn’t buy shoes or any other footwear or bags
    I’ve bought a loungewear top and bottom,a hoodie,cashmere-cotton mix trousers for winter walks (and got another one from a friend for Christmas)- something I needed more this year- and a couple of tops as replacements
    So,next year I’ll need only a couple of things ,maybe a new car coat,maybe a replacement of something really old
    Buying from US (will see about UK after Brexit) is so expensive nowdays,with taxes and shipping costs, that I don’t even consider their sites
    I agree that we need more information about brands
    I love all topics here,you can write even about hockey as well (hello,Beartown! Book and series!)

    Poslano s mojeg uređaja Galaxy

    1. I fear I will be buying more loungewear pieces before the winter is out. Although it’s stretching the term to call my sweatpants and turtlenecks loungewear. More like apres ski, laying on the couch wear. Ha.
      P.S. I had totally forgotten about Beartown. Uh oh… don’t tell Wendy. 🙂

  23. I did a totting up and I bought just 12 new things this year including 1 pair of shoes and 1 pair of slippers. So that is pretty good and I feel pleased with myself . But not so thrilled that the most expensive item , a linen workwear dress really should have gone back It really was too big, I hummed and aahd, then washed it to see if it would shrink, it didn’t and now I can’t return it. Note to never again keep things that aren’t exactly right.
    Generally., I buy from UK companies that have pretty good credentials, and avoid polyester at all cost. I wear things forever, and try to donate what I can.
    Your comments about most things looking good with your white hair just confirms what I am always banging on about( to the point of being a pain ! ) that going with our natural colour is so much more flattering, it highlights our faces, while dyeing our hair can make us look dull. Your hair looks beautiful !
    And I think your blog is a perfect mix of topics, fashion , books, travels, thoughts on life, and please no sport. But you wouldn’t !

  24. Your style is so adorable, Sue. You truly know what you love and what looks good on you. I enjoy imagining your personality from your writing and how you present your appearance.
    You are WAY braver than me with your revelation about your purchases. I’ve started a trend of buying winter pieces for MYSELF just before Christmas, as the new things are marked down some, but I can still find the sizes and colors I need. I still feel a little guilty about this, although it doesn’t make any more stingy about my gift purchases. I just need to do a clear-out to make way for them, and then I’ll get a little exestential about what mistakes are leaving the closet…

  25. Ahem..
    I am not proud of myself: in 2020 I bought 75 new to me items of clothing including scarves..
    All kind of second hand/vintage or never worn but heavily discounted on line on a very famous european website called Vinted. So I never paid full prices.
    I am not counting the shoes..
    Some of the clothes and shoes were mistakes, but most have been worn.
    But that is still too much! Positive is that I am now ready and full of clothes and shoes for the next few years as my size has not really changed (a few welcomed kilos) . But still..
    Now with Covid and money running low, I do not need to shop anymore, I have all I need, including clothes for our very stuffy summers due to global warming (I anticipated). I stopped buying new some 5 years ago and for the near totality 3 years ago, and will never go back. I still don’t have a lot of “at home” clothes as I prefer to be comfortably dressed with clothes. And anytime I can, I wear a jacket, even to go to the post office or to the groceries stores. I like to read your blog as it inspire me in a way and a good reminder to be more careful in my shopping and dressing.
    I send you all my wishes for this new year, may it be easier and with more hope than the last one!

    1. Thanks so much for the kind wishes. I have never shopped the on-line vintage or discount sites. Although I have looked occasionally. I imagine they can be quite addictive. Especially since the bargains are often so good.

  26. My style journey in 2020 was all about comfort. I purchased 2 pairs of sweatpants from Aritzia, 2 pairs of Toms shoes that I use as house shoes, 4 knit sweaters, 2 from Roots and 2 from a boutique store that I loved visiting pre Covid. All purchases were made online and successful, whew! When I compared what I spent on clothes in 2020 to previous years, it was down considerably. I tend to have a ‘uniform’ that I wear around the house as I do love to be in the kitchen and I’m a very messy cook. I would get dolled up to get groceries or go for Dentist and Doctor appointments. Those were fun and provided an opportunity to wear my much loved pieces.
    Sue, I love your camel jacket and black layering combo. I have a camel wool coat that I paid a lot of money for many years ago. My hair turned platinum early and I felt the camel colour washed me out but after seeing how you styled it, I will invest in a black wool scarf to separate the camel colour from my hair. Thanks for the inspiration! Like many of your readers Sue, I love the diversity of your posts and feel you give equal opportunity on all the topics you cover. And I do feel lighter this year. Perhaps it’s the promise of a vaccine in the hopefully not to distant future.
    Happy New Year to you, Stu and all your readers Sue and thank you for all you do!

    1. Thanks, Glenda. I was so pleased that I can still wear my camel jacket. Happy New Year to you too.
      P.S. I’m already planning my outfit to wear to my dentist appointment next week. Ha.

  27. I’m bad about “curating” stuff I probably should NOT “curate”. But, with weight gain over the years, some was necessary. My wardrobe is black with some primary pieces. Wool, linen, some cotton (I know…bad for the environment) and tencel. Never been a jean person, have ONE pair of NYDJ and rarely wear them. I’ve saved some really good pieces I’ve had for years, some old organic cotton sweats (I handwash most things and hang to dry, so they last forever), one handmade tweed outfit, and the rest I’ve added slowly a piece at a time through the years from Eileen Fisher. Some FLAX. Usually thrifted or sale online, Inexpensive and (guiltily) fast fashion lounge pants right now because of a medical condition which HOPEFULLY will be “fixed” soon but has been put on hold due to COVID. So, with your post, I counted…and came up with 4 pair of those lounge pants (as my mother in law would say, “cheap-ed!” and all the same, lol!), 2 nightshirts, again “cheap-ed” fast fashion for the same purpose as the lounge pants, new underwear. Two merino tunics, one Irish wool sweater, one linen cardigan, 2 linen tunics, a couple pair of leggings. A purse. Two pair of boots. Most EF. I’m thinking, “really?? Was that really it?? Because usually, it is more within that 20-25 pieces range. Maybe because I’m not wearing much outside of loungewear right now. And, at this point, nothing is “usual”. Like you, I’ve always dressed nicely to go to the doctor and the dentist, even the grocery, but that has been put on hold here, too. We used to go out a lot, so now I just look at much of my clothing longingly. I am very often complimented on my “look” when going out somewhere–when that was a thing–which I take with a grain of salt because people seem to wear either “leggings as pants” or pajamas everywhere here, lol! I love the looks you have put together. Jewelry is always a must for finish, I think. Or a scarf. You look both classic and classy. I also love the hair–I let mine grow in gray/white a few years ago and have never looked back. It is wonderful how so many are now doing so. I also love your cut. And, I also love fashion and blogs like your own give me ideas of how to use what I already have. I think I’ll resolve to buy even less this year. Hopefully for ethical reasons and not shutdown reasons. Slow fashion is the way to go.

    1. Thanks, Janice. It is interesting to do a review of what we’ve bought over the year, isn’t it? Sounds like you are a very careful and ethical shopper. But I don’t know how you get by with one pair of jeans. I wear them so, so often. I di think I have finally plumbed the depths of the good pieces I’ve saved over the years. That’s good it means I am finally wearing them again. But sad that there will be no more surprises. At lease I don’t think so. 🙂

  28. I started reading your blog for books, and usually skip over the fashion bits mainly because of being out of season – I am in the southern hemisphere. But I certainly appreciate your clothes posts, more so now that I am only working occasionally.
    I dread to think how many new pieces I have bought over the years, in excess of 100 some years. This year I have had more time and have thus sorted and culled my wardrobe by over 50%. I have become more targeted in where I need to fill the gaps, and surprised myself by making a list for the recent boxing day sales, eg black lightweight cardigan (which I haven’t found yet!)
    This is the first year since 2007 that I haven’t bought online from the US and UK sites. I have shopped only Australian.

  29. Please dont change the content of your blog. I am a key worker in Education in England and I can tell you it is very stressful back in school at the moment. Reading about all the various topics allows me to switch off at the end of the day and I love the clothes posts. On my days off we are trying to reduce all the “stuff” we have in the house and this post I find really helpful.
    Stay Safe.

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