Rae, Una, Anna et al: Define elements of UWP style

I admit I'm still fascinated with your Urban Warrior Princess Style. It seems like such a polar opposite to my demure bombshell/retro ladylike style. Which may explain why the couple times I tried on some of your UWP items (Heed sweater, plaid pants), it just didn't seem to work on me as well as it does on you. The closest I came to feeling like an UWP was when I wore my RATE Kate Spade outfit and when I wore my grey sweaterdress with the obi belt and boots. I wish I could be a tough UWP at least once in a while when I want to feel totally bad@$$, but it seems so hard for me to pull off (and so effortless for you!)

So, hope you don't mind, I'm not trying to rip off your style, but I'm just curious--what would you say are the essential elements of UWP style as you wear it? I mean, I know it's supposed to be based on Xena the Warrior Princess but I don't see you wearing body armor! ;) And how does RATE play into this--are they one and the same (ie UWP is always RATE), or is there a distinction? Like for example, I know Nicoleb likes RATE but is she also an UWP? Anyone else on YLF consider themselves an UWP? I have a guess as to some UWP elements, like lots of black and grey, mostly muted colors, leather, studs/zippers and hardware, military cuts and details, androgyny/masculinity, asymmetrical hems, etc. but I'd like to hear from the experts! And did you guys make this term up or did you hear it somewhere? How long have you been dressing in this way--was it a pre-YLF style or something that evolved after you joined?

Thanks for indulging me!
Urban Warrior Apprentice :)


Closet Nirvana: complete wardrobe inventory and organization pics!

Anyone wanna peek in my closet?

I joined YLF in July (after I started wardrobe shopping for the first time in 5 years since having kids) and now that six months have passed, I think I am finally done! As in my wardrobe is pretty complete and organized now. I did a major purge a few months ago and organized my closet by type and color. And now I have done some additional re-organizing of some shelves & bought some accessory organizers at Container Store so now it's super organized. But my closet is getting rather full now. I just counted up all the pieces in my wardrobe and I am shocked! I guess I now have what would be considered a very large wardrobe. It's nearing 300 items total, not even counting loungewear/PJs/swimsuits/underwear! I'd say probably at least half of that is new items from the last six months. So, is that "OMG you're crazy" huge, or is that still within reason? Well, I guess the new year will be a good time for me to go on SYC/SYB!

Here is an inventory of what I have and some pics of my closet. Mainly doing this to be accountable to myself so I don't continue to accumulate--as fun as it is to shop, I don't have any more room and I won't be able to wear all my fab clothes as often as I'd like if I keep buying more stuff! This was a great exercise to take stock of what I have so I don't keep buying more of the same item, and to see what my relative wardrobe holes are.

I have half a walk-in closet, plus a five-drawer dresser. I don't separate clothes by season as it's pretty much always 50's-70's and often foggy year round here, so my main season is fall. Biggest discovery from my inventory--I have tons of skirts and dresses and outerwear and am relatively lacking in cardigans, shorts, and "nice" T shirts and loungewear (as opposed to souvenir dive T shirts and pajama bottoms ;-)). I'm also struck by how relatively balanced the numbers are and how evenly everything is laid out in my closet in terms of linear space per category. Looking at the list, I feel like everything is balanced pretty evenly within each category too (tops vs. bottoms, skirts vs. pants, skinny jeans vs. bootcuts, skinny belts vs. wide belts, etc). I didn't plan it that way, but I kinda like the symmetry!

Closet size--10 feet in length overall.
12 linear feet of clothes, 28 linear feet of shoes, 4 linear feet of accessories:
2 feet of short sleeve/sleeveless tops
2 feet of long sleeve tops
2 feet of skirts
2 feet of cashmere sweaters (in a basket)
1 foot of pants
1 foot of jackets
1 foot of coats
1 foot of dresses
8 feet of boots
20 feet of shoes
2 feet of accessories
2 feet of purses
5 drawer dresser: one drawer each for bras/underwear/socks, T shirts, shorts/jeans, PJs/swimsuits, and cotton sweaters/sweatshirts/ponchos

Inventory--total number of items 295 (not including lingerie and loungewear/PJs)
62 tops:
48 shirts: 9 sleeveless blouses/tops, 2 tank tops, 4 (nice) short sleeve T shirts, 11 short sleeve blouses/tops, 15 long sleeve blouses, 7 long sleeve tops
14 sweaters: 3 cotton sweaters, 6 cashmere sweaters, 2 sweater ponchos, 3 cardigans

60 bottoms:
30 pant bottoms--7 skinny jeans, 6 bootcut/flared jeans, 12 pants/trousers, 2 wool shorts, 3 summer shorts
30 skirts--8 bias cut prints, 8 pencil, 8 midi, 3 A-line, 2 mini, 1 maxi

24 dresses--14 day/work (3 sleeveless, 6 short sleeve, 4 long sleeve, 1 sweater dress), 5 casual/summer dresses, 5 date/evening/cocktail dresses

27 outerwear:
15 jackets--2 suit jackets, 2 leather jackets, 1 denim jacket, 3 blazers, 2 fleece jackets, 1 snow parka, 2 rain/windbreakers, 1 shearling vest, and 1 cropped trench
12 coats--2 trench coats, 4 wool long coats, 2 wool short peacoats, 1 shearling parka, 2 puffers, and 1 raincoat

41 footwear:
30 shoes--9 pumps, 2 kitten heels, 2 ballet flats, 4 casual sandals, 2 evening sandals, 2 clogs, 2 Merrell mocs, 3 sneakers, 1 Teva, 1 Crocs, 2 flip flops
11 boots--3 heeled knee high, 2 flat knee high lace-ups, 2 heeled mid calf lace-ups, 1 short Uggs, 1 hiking boot, 1 snow boot, 1 rain boot

78 accessories:
20 belts--10 skinny, 8 wide, 2 obi
10 scarves
6 tights
12 necklaces
12 earrings
6 bracelets
15 handbags--8 purses, 3 clutches, 3 leather totes, 1 leather and velvet satchel

Here are some pictures of my post YLF-makeover closet, totally organized and ready for the world, thanks to Angie and all of you at YLF! Pretty much everything in here fits me and makes me feel fab! I think I'm about as close to "closet nirvana" right now as I've ever been in my life! You guys are the best!!!

1. The closet!
2. Ottoman and mirror
3. Boots. Cashmere sweaters and tank/camis in bin. Hats. Two eight-compartment bins, one for bracelets, one for tights.
4. Shoes. I have room for one more pair of boots and two more pairs of shoes! ;-)
5. Top rack--jewelry, belts, scarves, short sleeve tops, and long sleeve tops
6. Short and long sleeve tops, organized by color.
7. Bottom rack--skirts, pants and jackets.
8. Skirts (I'm definitely a skirt gal!)
9. Pants and jackets
10. Dresses and coats
11. Handbags (not including the totes)
12. Jewelry organizer
13. Belt organizer--wide belts on one side...
14. Skinny belts on the other
15. Hanger for obi and other non-buckle belts
16. Scarves
17. Bonus pic of my pre-YLF closet (this was actually pretty clean compared to how cluttered it usually was).

Also here is the post after my big purge, if you want to see my closet mid-way through my revamp (it's a lot fuller now, LOL!)


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


What have you accomplished this year and what are your NY resolutions?

Happy Holidays everyone! Now that this year is drawing to a close and the new year is fast approaching, let's take stock(ing) of the State of Your Closet. :)

What have you accomplished this year? What are your fashion-related resolutions or goals for the coming year?

What have I accomplished in the last six months:
1. Joined YLF and became interested in fashion for the first time in ages.
2. Learned about correct fit, dressing the body you have, wardrobe remixing, layering, belting, accessorizing, mom-on-the-go formulas, and the importance of feeling fab in whatever you're wearing.
3. Stretched my fashion boundaries and tried lots of new looks for me, many of which have become new staples in my wardrobe (like skinny jeans).
4. Figured out my best color palette.
5. Figured out my style persona (I can't tell you enough how huge this is!)--Demure Bombshell
6. Figured out a shopping strategy that (more or less) works for me. How to navigate shopping in-store and online, how to get price adjustments, how to order items that are out of stock online, etc. etc.
7. Completed a major closet purge and reorganization.
8. Completed a major wardrobe overhaul.
9. Found a wonderful supportive community filled with new friends who make me smile and laugh and are always willing to answer all of my questions and give feedback on my K/R's and WIW's and always make me feel super fab!
10. Had lots of fun with fashion!

My New Year's resolutions:
1. Go on SYC/SYB. Haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do yet, still mulling the options--complete SYC, exceptions for lounge and casual wear, one item per month, monthly or yearly limit, etc. I just know that I won't be buying clothes at the same rapid pace I have been because my wardrobe is pretty much complete. And even though it's scary to think about SYC, that actually is a great feeling!
2. Buy a steamer. I never iron clothes--I'm not even sure if we have an ironing board anymore. I really need to get a steamer so I can de-wrinkle clothes before wearing and cut down on dry cleaning costs.
3. Make an appointment with a tailor. I have to get over my laziness and PPL anxiety and bring in all those new pants and flare jeans I've bought for a proper hemming so I can finally wear them.
4. Learn more about thrifting and how to successfully find stuff in vintage or consignment stores.
5. Figure out how to sell stuff on eBay. I have a whole collection of Paul Frank T-shirts and purses from pre-kids that I need to whittle as many of the T-shirts are now too small/short and I have way too many PF purses, plus I never carry them anymore since they don't seem to go with my new style.
6. Learn more about scarf-tying. I have several scarves now and never seem to wear them.
7. Start using StyleBook and keeping track of daily outfits and CPW. This probably won't happen but still a theoretical goal!
8. Figure out how to play against my style but in a way that works and doesn't feel contrived.
9. Keep working on creative wardrobe remixing and advanced pattern mixing.
10. Try to keep sharing what I've learned and help others here feel as fab as you make me feel! You guys are the best!
XOXO, Natalie


What would you like to teach YLF about? And what do you want to learn?

I thought this would be a fun topic...I've been thinking a lot about this lately. Here on YLF we all have our strengths and interests and have so many diverse styles. And we all have areas we'd like to work on more. Just hypothetically, if you were going to give a little class or tutorial to the rest of us at YLF, what topic would you want to cover? Any tips you want to share right now?

Here are just a few examples off the top of my head to show you what I mean...Rae and Una could cover Urban Warrior Princess Style. Janet could do Incorporating Rocker Style. Kari and Sveta could teach how to wear Halogen Pencil Skirts. Aida could do Photo Tips. Una and Sona could do Waist Surrender. MaryK could do Advanced ALGO, Wearing Brights and Pattern Mixing. Suz could do Layering for the Cold. Astrid could do Scarves. Annagybe could do Creating your Own Unique Style. Nicoleb could do DIY Projects. Lyn and Claire could do Bargain Hunting Savvy. There's tons more I could come up with if I sat down and really thought about it. Really, everyone here I have learned so much from that there's too many to list (but thank you all!). So, what's your area of expertise or interest, and what do you wish you could learn more about?

Mine would be Demure Bombshell Style and Wearing the Autumn Palette. And I'd love to learn more about Scarves, Layering and How to Find Thrifted Treasures.

ETA: Here are some quick tips for my two classes (please add your quick tips for your own class!):
Demure Bombshell: 1) Always use a belt or tucking to define the waist. Try fitted tops or tie neck blouses tucked into pencil skirts 2) ruffled hems or ladylike details 3) stacked heel pumps with T straps or ankle straps.
Autumn Palette: 1) Use warm muted but saturated colors: rust, mustard, teal, olive, cranberry, pumpkin, plum, cinnamon, caramel, cream and chocolate brown 2) use cognac leather--boots, bag, jacket or skirt 3) find a handbag with all of the above colors and wear it every day! ;-)


Team-Picking Challenge!

I was inspired by Fruitful's thread about how she had a lightbulb moment and realized that Angie's posts on picking teams was more than just a fun poll but a way to define and refine your style. And by Laurinda saying she would use the Team X Team Y posts as a quiz for her girlfriends.

So, I had another lightbulb moment and thought, why not combine those ideas and make it into a YLF challenge? I think this will really help each of us figure out our own style! Plus, it will be a fascinating read to see each member's replies. I bet we'll even be able to figure out who are style twins by people's responses to these questions.

So, without further ado, here are 50 Team X Team Y questions for you to answer. I selected some from Angie's list of Team X Team Y posts, and added a bunch of my own as well. And, as Angie says--over to you, and no batting for both teams! (If you can't decide, you can sit on the bench).

PS, if you want to post one or a few representative looks of your style, I think that would be great! It will really help us visualize how you put these questions all together!

YLF Team X Team Y challenge questions:
Personal Style and Silhouettes
1. Casual or Dressy—do you tend to underdress or overdress?
2. Minimal or Maximal—Less is More, or A Lot Going On?
3. Polished or RATE (Rough Around the Edges)
4. Feminine or Androgynous
5. Sleek or Frilly—do you prefer simple looks or embellished with ruffles, bows etc.?
6. Fitted or Flowy—body conscious or voluminous looks?
7. Waist definition or Waist surrender—do you like to have your waist showing or hidden?
8. Volume on top or Volume on bottom—tunics/ponchos with leggings/skinny jeans or fitted tops and full skirts?
9. Classic or Trendy—do you stick with the tried and true or do you always like to try something new?
10. Singular or Schizophrenic—do you stick with your one well-defined style or do you mix it up with lots of different looks?

Shopping, Wardrobe and Wearing Habits
11. Online or In-store--where do you mostly shop?
12. Thrift or Retail
13. Full price or Bargain price—do you mostly buy full-price items, or do you always wait for sales before you buy something?
14. Tops or Bottoms—do you mostly shop for tops or for bottoms?
15. Impulse or Deliberate shopper—do you tend to buy things impulsively when you first see them, or do you think and wait for a long time before purchasing something? Also related, do you buy things randomly that you see and like, or only look for a specific item that you know you need?
16. Keep or Return—do you pretty much keep everything once you buy it, or do you buy a lot and return most of it after trying it at home?
17. Wear or Save—do you rip the tags off and wear right away or do you let things sit in your closet for a long time?
18. Edit or Keep—are you minimal or maximal in number of items in your wardrobe? Are you a ruthless purger or do you save a lot of your clothes?
19. Dip or Dive—when trying trends or new looks for you, do you dip your toes in the water or do you dive right in?

Colors & Patterns
20. Colors or Neutrals—do you prefer colors, or neutrals like white, black, gray, brown & beige?
21. Lights or Darks—do you prefer lighter colors like pastels or darker colors?
22. Warm or Cool—do you wear warmer or cooler colors?
23. Brights or Muted
24. Earth Tones or Jewel Tones
25. High contrast or Low contrast—do you prefer high contrast or monochromatic looks?
26. Matched or Mismatched—do you try to match colors or wear different shades of the same color?
27. Black or White—which do you wear more, black or white?
28. Black or Brown
29. Gold or Silver—both for jewelry and clothes
30. Solids or Patterns—and if you do patterns, do you do pattern mixing?
31. Floral (or other organic nature-inspired patterns) or Geometric—which type of pattern do you prefer?

What you Wear
32. Blouses or Knits
33. Long sleeves or Short sleeves
34. Jacket or Cardigan
35. Cropped or Tunic/hip length Cardigan
36. Skirt or Pants
37. Skirt or Dress
38. Mini or Midi
39. Leggings or Jeans
40. Bootcut or Skinnies
41. Bare legs or Hosiery
42. Heels or Flats
43. Stilettos or Stacked heels
44. Round toe or Pointy toe
45. Knee high boots or Ankle boots
46. Sandals or Sneakers
47. Scarf or Necklace—how do you like to adorn your neck?
48. Bejeweled or Bare—do you wear jewelry or not?
49. Natural or Made-up—do you wear makeup?
50. Wash and go or Styled—do you routinely spend time blow drying, curling and/or putting products in your hair?

ETA: Oh no! I forgot a couple!
51. Modern vs. retro
52. Big purse vs. small purse


What is your style and who are your celebrity style icons?

OK, since I kinda stuck my foot in my mouth in the other thread I started about your YLF style icons (didn't mean to cause hurt feelings by singling people out!), how about I try to redeem myself? Let's see if we can try this again but with famous style icons this time!

What is your style (if you have a catchphrase or adjectives, even better!) And who are your celebrity style icons and why? They can be present day or from the past, movie stars or other celebrities or famous people. Do they mesh with your style or are you drawn to celebrities with very different styles from your own?

Having gone through the process of figuring out my style with your help, it looks like I am a Demure Bombshell. Other phrases to describe me are classic elegant, retro ladylike, and boho luxe, with a touch of romantic whimsy.

I am not much of a celebrity watcher. But I did some internet searching and here is who I came up with. Interestingly, I think I tend to be drawn to brunettes who dress in a very ladylike way with a hefty dose of retro glamour.

I think my #1 celebrity style icon right now is Zooey Deschanel. She likes romantic, ladylike vintage dresses and flared skirts with waist definition. She's a bit quirky and not afraid of patterns. I could see her being a spokeswoman for Anthropologie which is one of my new favorite stores! I think my style is very similar to hers. Here's a cotton commercial she did that shows some of her outfits (I love her closet!):
and her "stylebook" (from the cotton advertising website):

Also I like "pinup girl" bombshells like Bettie Page and Dita von Teese--at least their more demure outfits anyways. I like 40-50's style with a lot of polka dots and red and glamour.

I also like a touch of boho luxe, like Liv Tyler. And French chic like Marion Cotillard and Audrey Tatou. And I am also drawn to brunette gamines like Audrey Hepburn and Natalie Portman.

Here are some pictures to illustrate their styles and how they mesh with mine. I think I would wear any of these outfits myself if I could!
1-3. Zooey Deschanel
4-5. Dita von Teese
6. Bettie Page
7-8. Liv Tyler
9-10. Natalie Portman
11-12. Audrey Hepburn
13-15. Audrey Tatou & Marion Cotillard

Who are your famous style inspirations?


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Who are your inspirations--name your YLF style twins and style idols!

I thought this would be another super fun thread. I find everyone's WIW posts fascinating and so helpful in my style journey. There are really too many to name everyone and I am thankful for everyone here at YLF because I have learned so much from all of you. But Sona's style twin thread got me thinking, and wondering who you all feel a kinship to and are most inspired by on YLF?

So, please tell (you can name one, or up to three people in each category):
1. Who is your style twin--who dresses the most like you, and why?
2. Who is your style idol--whose style do you aspire to/who do you consider to be your style mentor?
3. Who are you curious about and would like to see post more WIW's?
4. Who has a style very different from yours but who you find fascinating?

Here are my answers:
1. MaryK--patterns, bright colors, ALGO, blouses & pencil skirts, bombshell; Sona--both apples and doctor moms; Kari--bright colors and patterns, specs
2. MaryK--I totally want to copy everything she wears, even her bee blouse :); lyn*--I love her style and seeing her posts convinced me to join YLF!; and Angie--of course :)
3. Fruitful (ever since she posted herself in a plaid mini like mine!), Hillview (I dragged her over here from my mommy board and she's even more of a shopper than I am...I know she's got some fabulous stuff in her closet!), and ironkurtin (she posts/repies a lot and is quite insightful, but I never see her post her own WIW's!)
4. Annagybe, alaskagirl, and Andrea Wheatley--I'm fascinated by RATE queens since I'm so polished (ever since I tried Una's RATE challenge)!

Looking forward to seeing who else you all come up with!


How do you know which trends are going to last?

Along the lines of Suz's question, I was wondering how do you all know which trends are going to have staying power? Most of my prior clothes were bought in the early/mid '90's and now whenever I post my old clothes, everyone is like "Oh, that's so '90's!" like I should get with the times ;-)

Now that I am finally rebuilding my wardrobe, I love my new clothes and I want them to be wearable for a long time. But how long can I expect these clothes to last before they become unfashionable? One to two years? Five years? Ten? Another fifteen like my old clothes? How long is realistic to expect your clothes to be fashionable/wearable for?

And I've been having fun with some of the latest trends, but I've been scared to try some of the more daring trends for fear they'll become outdated quickly. Like I've been hesitant to buy a faux fur vest because I feel like next year people are going to say, "OMG that's so last year." I don't want to spend my money on clothes that won't last more than a year, but I also hate buying "boring" plain classic clothes like basic neutrals. I really like my clothes to have a bit of flair or some sort of twist, like colorful patterns on a pencil skirt etc. How do you balance having things that are "on trend" but not so trendy that they are going to become passe quickly? And how do you tell which hot trends are going to flame out by next season? Thanks!


Una's challenge: RATE Kate Spade

I almost hate to jump in now cause this RATE thing is getting kinda heated. And I admit, I am guilty of confusing RATE with edgy but that's because the RATE queens ARE so edgy and fab! Here's my attempt to RATE up Kate Spade, because Una said it couldn't be done. ;) I'm wearing my Kate Spade ruffle trench with the belt hanging loose. I left my top half untucked, and wore a scarf that has a fringy unfinished edge. And my red zipper boots, just because I still can't get rid of the RATE=moto chic association in my mind. And I messed up my hair a little and did some slouchy poses. What do you think? Any RATE-ness at all? Throw me a bone here...this is tough--I'm so polished I don't even own any visibly ripped/distressed clothes! :)


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


What new looks are you experimenting with? Having a blast over here!

I am having so much fun branching out into brand new territory for me. I figure the more I push my fashion boundaries and force myself to try new looks, the more they'll start feeling like "me" or else I can figure out what works and doesn't so I can evolve my style. I already feel so much more fab than I did even a few weeks ago!

Here are some of the new looks I've experimented with since I joined YLF two months ago:
pattern mixing
monochromatic head to toe look
polka dots
scarves (I didn't own a single belt or scarf!)
pencil skirts
skirts with boots
skinny jeans
shirt dress
shearling vest
pussy bow blouses
wearing jewelry more often
wearing lipstick more often
shorts and tights
animal print
dramatic trench coats (ruffled black and red corset)
dressing down evening dresses to wear during the day
denim jacket
long graphic T and cardigans
colorful blazers
high heels (sandals and leopard heels)
layering and the ALGO look

Whew! Can you believe I never did any of those before? I can't believe what a style rut I was in before YLF!

And here's a few more new looks I want to try, but they would require purchasing some items first--I can only change so fast, you know! ;)
accessorizing my old plain black sheath dress (that I haven't worn in ages)
red jeans
white jeans
white and black button down dress shirts (hope to see you soon, Anne Fontaine! ;))
capri/clamdigger length jeans
more pattern mixing
cape or poncho (maybe, not sure about this look yet)
moto jacket/RATE look
parka and slip dress
faux fur vest
snow boots
fitted velvet/cord jacket
fitted neutral blazer
ankle booties
learning more about scarf tying--maybe even a headscarf!

Una recently posted this comment on one of my threads:
"GP, I think you deserve an award for "Most Rapidly Fab" or something. It is amazing how quickly your style has evolved, like watching time-lapse photography or something. Incredible." I had to laugh at that and nod my head...when I get into something new that excites my passion, I like to totally jump in with both feet! Team Dive all the way! I am so glad I found YLF--Angie and all of you ladies are the best!!! I'm having a blast!

What are you all experimenting with or what do you want to try next? I need some new ideas to try because I haven't been busy enough, LOL!