Hello, and welcome to Dressed for My Day. I’m so glad you’re here because this is quite a special day. I’m pausing on the eve of the new year to look back at the past year at Dressed for My Day. And you, dear reader, are such a significant and beautiful part of my year. I hope you’ll spend a few minutes reminiscing with me today.
In case you didn’t know this, I only started blogging here at Dressed for My Day as a style blogger in March of 2018, so I hadn’t even worked this thing a full year when 2019 began. While I waded into the water in 2018, I feel like I ventured into the deep end of the pool this past year. I kinda got my rhythm, figured out my personal style and grew tremendously as an entrepreneur, influencer and stylist.
Let’s take this review one month at a time, starting in January, and I’ll share my top blog posts, my favorite blog posts and any significant life events that happened along the way.
If you were with me in January, you know that I was living in the high desert of Arizona at the time. My husband pastored two different churches there for a total of about 15 years. Our kids had grown and gone, leaving James and me more time to explore new opportunities. My husband had taken up photography and I had piggy-backed off his new interest by asking him to take photos for my new style blog.
By January we were hitting our stride and I was close to finishing up one year as a style blogger. I had learned that when it came to style, I had a lot to learn! So in 2019 I determined to build a more workable wardrobe. That’s when I began researching the 2019 style series, Building a Wardrobe that Works for You. More on that in a bit, but the impetus for that series drove my fashion decisions all year. I can tell you that I’m still personally growing in this area, but I feel so much more knowledgeable about building a versatile and beautiful wardrobe that I love and wear.
January’s Most Popular Post – 9 Signs Your Clothes Don’t Fit
Not only was 9 Signs Your Clothes Don’t Fit the top blog post for January, 2019, but it was, in fact, my all time most popular post. Ha! I guess a lot of gals are wondering if their clothes really fit. And I get it. If we learned one thing here on Dressed for My Day in 2018 from my Dressed for My Day My Way series, it’s that we are all built quite uniquely. Fit can certainly be a struggle.
My Favorite Post – How to Dress Your Age Beautifully
As I look back over January’s post, I discover that many of them are How-To guides. You can expect the same this January. This is simply a good month to educate ourselves as we’re kinda done buying winter clothes, but not ready to buy spring duds yet.
I especially like this post about dressing your age because I tried not to make it the typical don’t-do-this-or-that post on the topic. At the same time, I wasn’t afraid to say that there is some wisdom to evaluating your style choices as you age. Personally, I think this post is full of great, practical tips, and they’re tips I pretty much dress by.
My Favorite Outfit – Fresh Casual Look with Camo Pants
Ha! I don’t think I’ll be wearing this fairly lightweight outfit this January, since we’ve moved north. But of all the outfits I shared in January, this is definitely my favorite. I love this casual, mixed prints look for so many reasons. And I think that shows on my face in this set of photos, too.
In February I visited my parents in Florida, where they “winter” for the month each year. While I was on the road I posted my first Beauty Week series. These posts seemed to be well-received, so I’m considering doing something similar this year, but maybe with a different twist. We’ll see.
February’s Most Popular Post – A Trench Coat for Spring
When I joined forces with popular and seasoned style blogger Cyndi Spivey I created my most popular post for the month of February. I have a feeling I met many of you sweet readers that day! We shared our takes on A Trench Coat for Spring. I’m so grateful to Cyndi for teaming up with me that day. I continue to be amazed at the generosity and grace I’ve encountered in other style bloggers.
My Favorite Post – 9 Keys to Building a Wardrobe that Works for You
In February I began producing posts for the 2019 styles series, Building a Wardrobe that Works for You. The posts that really wraps up that whole concept was the first one, 9 Keys to Building a Wardrobe that Works for You. Y’all these keys have unlocked a new sense of style for me this year. I really feel like I’ve honed in on what I like to wear and how I like to wear it and what I want my clothes to say about me. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series as much as I have. If I’m not mistaken, this series ended up with 13 posts. Did you miss any of them? Binge the series here.
My Favorite Outfit – A Trench Coat for Spring
Sorry for being redundant, but my favorite outfit that I shared in February really was the jeans/chambray shirt and trench coat look I shared with Cyndi. First of all, I love, love, love my pink trench coat. Talbots has just come out with a similar trench in turquoise. Or if, like me, you’re drawn to the pink, they have this new pink rain jacket.
In March I celebrated Dressed for My Day’s first birthday. Yay! I even threw a Birthday Party! I’m thinking that this year I may have a live birthday party on Facebook. Would you come??? You can bet I’d have door prizes and party favors!!
One of the party games from the blog birthday party continues to draw readers to Dressed for My Day. It’s the What’s Your Personal Style Essence? Quiz. Have you taken the quiz??? If so, I’d love it if you’d share the quiz with your friends on Facebook or through an email.
March’s Most Popular Post – 10 Things to Take Out of Your Closet
Evidently everyone was in the spring cleaning zone because my number one post in March was 10 Things to Take Out of Your Closet. Not very glamorous, but chock full of great tips for purging your closet and getting ready to build that wardrobe that works for you.
My Favorite Post – Spring Completer Pieces to Layer on Style
Besides the Birthday Bash post, my favorite March post was the spring completer pieces. I love a good third piece.
My Favorite Outfit – Styling Jeans for a Casual Spring Look
It was much harder to narrow it down to one favorite look in March. I love spring clothing! So I’m going to cheat and mention that the two looks in this Column of Color post are close seconds. And I actually used the same green cardigan in one of those looks that I wore in this casual jeans outfit. AND I’ve noticed that Ann Taylor has brought back that same amazing green cardigan just recently. It’s probably updated a bit, but it’s strikingly similar. And I love the blue shade, too. (Use code BYE2019 for 40% off!!!)
Also, this post was part of a collaboration with my sweet friend Susanne at Thompson Hill. I always have fun when I’m teaming up with her.
April was a bend in the road kinda month for James and me. That’s when we visited Ohio for the first time. We came to meet with the church’s search committee as two skeptical, wounded but healing and slightly weary ministers. Honestly, we intended to enjoy the time away from home, eat some good local food and go home, never to think of Cincinnati again.
Then a strange thing happened. We just clicked. With the committee, the church’s history and vision, the city, everything. We left for Arizona that Saturday a little shell shocked and knew we had a lot of praying and talking to do.
April’s Most Popular Post – 13 Ways to Style a Denim Jacket for Spring and Summer
I’m actually thrilled that 13 Ways to Style a Denim Jacket for Spring and Summer did so well. I think a denim jacket is such a workhorse in your wardrobe. I’ve had my denim jacket for over 25 years and it’s still available. That’s how classic this one item is!
My Favorite Post – Perfect Spring Weekend Get-Away Look
I favor this post because I love the outfit, but also because I think the photos are some of our best. We had a great time taking photos in Bisbee, Arizona. It’s definitely a unique little town with lots of photo ops.
My Favorite Outfit – 4 Ways to Style a Pink Blazer
I really like all four outfits that I created with this pink blazer from Target. And of course, I styled this great jacket lots of other ways through the season. But I think it really shines with jeans.
In May we made a second trip to Ohio and officially fell in love. We met more people from the church and we liked what we heard. The good news is that we are still absolutely loving it here. We love our church and we love our community and we love what we’ve seen of the state.
But let me back up and say that in May we were not “official” yet. We accepted the committee’s call to come in “view of a call.” That essentially means we agreed to come and meet all of the church and for James to preach a trial sermon. So this was a somewhat stressful but joyous time for us. Plus, I was having to keep all of this a secret and that was hard. I especially wanted to let my readers into the loop…but mum was the word!
May’s Most Popular Post – How to Build an Appropriate Wardrobe
This one surprised me a bit. But then again I bet there are a lot of people getting dressed for specific events or venues and wondering if they are dressed appropriately. Thus, they “Google” it and land here! And it’s a good thing they do. This post is full of savvy style wisdom, if I do say so myself. Ha!
My Favorite Post – What to Wear to a Funeral
In May I had the opportunity to do two collaborations with other bloggers. I think mine and Jodie’s posts really resonated with a lot of women because they answered questions that so many of us have.
My Favorite Outfit – Styling a White Linen Blazer with Indigo Blue
Then later in the month I linked up with Lisa at Midlife in Bloom to share how to style a white blazer. I loved the outfit I created with my blue jeans and a lightweight paisley shirt. This white blazer ended up being quite the favorite throughout the summer.
In June we visited Ohio for the final time as guests. We met the church congregation and James accepted the call to pastor them. We were so excited.
But June was also a hard month. We had to tell our congregation in Arizona that we would be moving to Cincinnati, Ohio, to take a new ministry. We love those people at High Desert Bible Church so very much. And it was hard to leave, but James and I live with a calling, so we go where God leads. Period.
Of course, we also began organizing, packing and preparing the house to sell. So there was a lot of work to be done!
June’s Most Popular Post – Instead of Shorts…
Not surprisingly, this post actually continues to get hits every day. Yep, even in the winter, women are searching for alternatives to shorts. Maybe my most recent visitors have been from the southern hemisphere???
My Favorite Post – Casual Summer Looks for Mother and Daughter
In June our daughter Abigail came out for her goodbye-Arizona visit. She graduated from high school and college there, so she needed to bid the state farewell as we prepared to move away. I love shooting photos with Abby, and this set turned out especially fun. She’s the true model, y’all.
My Favorite Outfit – How to Style Summer Chic
My favorite look is another one that includes my white linen blazer. I was actually surprised at how well this mostly white look ended up. And I continued to wear it all summer. Plus, you gotta love a splash of leopard!
In July we made renovations to the house we’d be selling in Arizona, packed up and trekked across the country to our new home. We took about 7 days to travel so that we could visit with family along the way.
I also did my first sponsored post in July, a big milestone as a fashion blogger. I was so surprised when Chico’s reached out to me with this collaboration. And so extremely grateful! It turns out a lot of you gals love Chico’s. Many of you turned out for me that day in the comments section and I know Chico’s noticed. (By the way, Chico’s is having their semi-annual sale right now with prices marked down as much as 70%.)
For the first time ever, I shopped the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in store. And I really enjoyed covering the sale so much more this year since I’ve become increasingly familiar with their brands. I stuck to my theme of building a wardrobe that works for me by approaching the sale from that angle, and I felt quite successful about staying true to my goal.
I’m going to be able to cover the Nordstrom sale even more knowledgeably next year since I now live about 3 miles from my Nordstrom. (By the way, their Half-Yearly Sale is a good one, and it ends on January 2.)
July’s Most Popular Post – How I Styled Chico’s Summer Travel Collection
So it comes as no surprise that How I Styled Chico’s Summer Travel Collection turned out to be the most popular post in July.
My Favorite Post – Half a Dozen Ways to Wear Gingham this Summer
I really liked the post with Chico’s, but for the sake of spreading the love I’ll mention that I also liked the way Half a Dozen Ways to Wear Gingham this Summer turned out. I do love me some gingham!! And it’s such a timeless fabric.
My Favorite Outfit – The Dress of the Summer
Summer clothes are not my favorite. But I do enjoy wearing more dresses during the summer months. And I especially liked wearing this sweet polka dotted fit and flare shirt dress. In fact, I wore it the Sunday that James preached in view of a call at our new church.
We actually moved into our new home in early August. We’re renting until we sell our home (which just sold this past Friday!!! hallelujah!!!) and feel acquainted enough with the area to buy. James and I began to settle in quickly, meeting hundreds of new people and trying to get to know them. It’s been challenging but so very fun.
I also had the opportunity to work with Christopher & Banks for the first time in August. More about working with that great brand in a minute!
August’s Most Popular Post – Fall 2019 Trends & the 40+ Woman
This month’s most popular post has actually been a heavy hitter for me all fall and into the winter. Perhaps you landed here through this post. I’ll definitely be producing a similar post for spring, probably in February or March.
My Favorite Post – How to Define Your Signature Style
I don’t think this post was as popular as some in the Building a Wardrobe that Works for You series, but it was one of my favorites for sure. Essentially, this post described what this year was all about (style-wise) for me. I was on a journey to discover my personal style so that I can stay true to it as a fashion blogger. That’s more of a challenge than it may seem.
While I want to cover the trends and all the brands and retailers my readers love, I have to stay true to my signature style. Otherwise, what I do here begins to feel cheap, disingenuous and inauthentic. And that makes me kinda miserable. So I’ve worked really hard this year to figure out what really resonates with me style-wise. I hope you’re beginning to see the fruit of that pursuit.
If you haven’t yet read this post, I really encourage you to do so. It’s not an easy topic to tackle, but I think I offered some great steps to help define your signature style.
My Favorite Outfit – Transition Into Fall with a Textured Kimono
I was actually quite pleased with the content I provided for transitioning into fall this year. We had an unseasonably warm September and October, so these were the clothes I reached for frequently. And I especially enjoyed the pieces in this transition outfit.
New Series – On Saturdays We Talk About Inner Beauty
I can’t move on to the next month without mentioning that I also began my new Inner Beauty Saturday series in August. Truthfully, these are some of my least read posts. Does that surprise you? But they’re also the posts that receive the most comments generally.
That tells me that those of you who like and read these posts really love them. But I also have readers who don’t care for them. And that’s fine. But I am enjoying the challenge of coming up with new topics for my Saturday series on inner beauty. That challenge helps me to remember that outer beauty, style and fitness are actually only a small fraction of the equation when it comes to staying vibrant, engaged, relevant and influential as older women.
In September, James and I were very busy meeting with small groups from our church. We ate some of the most wonderful food ever as we visited with people and grew to love them.
I had determined that we would take the second Friday of each month to go somewhere new in Cincinnati or further into Ohio in an effort to explore our new surroundings. We started with a trip along the Ohio River, but in September we ventured downtown.
September’s Most Popular Post – Syling the Oval Shaped Body for Fall
I started a new mini-style series quite accidentally in September. I’d had the opportunity to help a friend shop for new clothes and thought I’d share the tips I gave her in a blog post. So I posted that month’s most popular post, Styling the Oval Shaped Body for Fall.
My Favorite Post – Styling Fall Colors Tone on Tone
I think my “favorite post” choices are indicating that I enjoy working with others. Ha! My favorite post in September is the one I collaborated on with fellow style blogger Kristin Sanders of My Southern Charm Style. I think we both created really cool looks and it was fun to link up with this faithful reader of Dressed for My Day.
My Favorite Outfit – Go Wild with Animal Print
I styled a lot of great transitional outfits in September, so it’s hard to choose a favorite. But I ended up wearing this exact “go wild” look several times in “real life,” so I’ll go with it. In fact, these photos were from a “real life” kinda day. James and I had taken our second Friday to visit the Cincinnati Art Museum and the surrounding Eden Park.
In October we finished setting up house in our new rental home as we anticipated the arrival of wedding guests. Yep. Our son married his college sweetheart in nearby Columbus in late October. So that month was all about the wedding for me.
October’s Most Popular Post – Christopher & Banks Coatigans Layered for Fall
Christopher and Banks was actually the first retailer to reach out to me with a paid collaboration offer. (It just happened that the Chico’s collaboration posted first.) I had already enjoyed one great collaboration with them in August on a post about finding your perfect jeans. So I knew I had readers who shopped with them. That made it a no-brainer to join them in sharing their coatigans for fall.
I also gained new subscribers with this post as Christopher and Banks graciously threw customers my way. That could include you! I later had another collaboration with this great brand, and I’m assured of more to come.
My Favorite Post – Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom
I’m a little partial here because this post includes photos from my son’s wedding. But I also think the photos are great and the tips are relevant and practical.
My Favorite Outfit – Chic Camel Cashmere Cardigan
The fact that it has gotten more and more difficult for me to narrow down my favorite outfit as the months have scrolled by indicates to me that I learned, over time, to dress more in my personal style. In September and October I really hit my stride as I put together outfit after that outfit that resonated with me personally. So I could name several I love. But I’ll go with this Chic Camel Cashmere Cardigan because it really is the epitome of my newly defined signature style. It’s classic, comfortable and pared down sophistication. Love it!
In November I spent some time in Georgia visiting my parents and my daughter. It’s so nice to be closer to “home” so we can spend more time with family. We also benefited from living closer to my son and his wife when they were able to stay with us during the Thanksgiving holiday.
November’s Most Popular Post – 10 Ways to Style Black Pants
I’m thrilled that this post peaked as the most popular post of November because I think it’s so practical. I love wearing my black pants and actually put them on at least once a week these days.
My Favorite Post – 12 Ways to Style a Blazer this Fall and Winter
I’m a sucker for a how-to post, so I had several good ones to choose from in November. But since I find myself wearing my blazers – most featured in this post – so often, I’m going with 12 Ways to Style a Blazer this Fall and Winter. You can expect a spring/summer version, too!
Favorite Outfit – Sweater Dress for Christmas and Beyond
I love a good sweater dress! And this pretty dark green one works well with my eyes…and with my suede boots!
Are you still with me? Ha! I know this is long, but maybe you’ve just skimmed it anyhow. Hahaha!
December was full of Christmas parties and doctor’s appointments. In fact, I just received my results from my mammogram. All clear! Yay!
I did another collaboration with Christopher and Banks this month and shared lots of Christmas shopping guides. In fact, I’m thrilled that so many of you seemed to shop through my gift guides this Christmas. Thank you!
December’s Most Popular Post – Tips to Help You Look Great in Photos
It shouldn’t surprise me that Tips to Help You Look Great in Photos was my top performing post this month. Last year’s edition of this same post topped the chart for the whole year! In December of that year! But we live in an age where everyone has a camera at their disposal and photos are taken daily around restaurant tables, over coffee and as we go about life. I guess we all want to know how to look our best in those pictures that inevitably end up on someone’s Facebook feed.
My Favorite Post – What to Wear When You Host a Party in Your Home
I loved putting together What to Wear When You Host a Party in Your Home because I truly dress differently when I’m hosting than I do when I attend a party elsewhere. I just feek like this post answered one of those questions we sometimes forget to ask until the food is cooked and the house is cleaned and it’s a little too late to dash to the store. Plus, I really like this outfit, too.
My Favorite Outfit – Why I’m Loving Neutrals
I could have selected several of this month’s outfits as a favorite, too. But I’m going with Why I’m Loving Neutrals because it’s indicative of what I’m really wearing these days. Oddly, however, I ended up returning these pants because they were just a tad large…and I don’t want to give myself any reason to put on more weight! In fact, I very well may go back and buy them in the next size down when I drop a few pounds…which I will do! Ha!
Well that’s a wrap! I had fully intended to share more about what I learned from this past year and where I’m planning on taking the blog in 2020. But I think I’ll save that for another post. I need to wrap this up and publish. And you need to get on with your life. Ha!
Thanks so much for wading through this review with me. It does me good to look back over the year for both reflection and evaluation. Do you do the same? I’d love to hear from you today.
And dear reader, please know that I have loved having you with me for this journey. 2019 was a year filled with change, goodbyes and hellos. But it’s also been a year of growth for me as a woman and as a style blogger. Thank you for being a part of my journey.
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Blessed for My Day
While glancing back at the past is a healthy exercise that can lead to self-evaluation and wiser choices in the future, we’re encouraged not to linger in our backwards gazes. I’ve discovered that if I look back too fondly and too long at the past I begin to idolize it. In our rearview mirrors, the reality of yesterday is often distorted to appear worse or better than it really was.
Instead, let’s briefly analyze the past year so that we can learn from mistakes, rejoice in goals reached and fondly hold close memories made. But then let’s look to the future with joy and anticipation. Even if our current circumstances cast a foreboding shadow on the coming days, we can know that God has gone before us and is already at work in the days to come. Let’s embrace the potential of the new year with faith and hope.
Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. ~ Isaiah 43:16,18-19