A couple of days ago I shared the Top Selling Items From 2020 and Most Popular Blog Posts. Today I’ll share more about life behind the blog in 2020. At the end of every year, I look back and remember all that happened. 2020 was definitely a year like no other for all of us. At the same time, because so much of it felt constant change, constant adapting, and rolling with the punches, it also felt like a blur. It’s helpful to take a moment to look back to remember the year, no matter how nuts or difficult it was.
And, to lighten things up, I’ll also talk about two major ways my style changed in 2020 along with my favorite purchases from the year!
Summary of 2020
No one anticipated all that 2020 would hold. Between a global pandemic and all of its effects on people’s health, livelihoods, relationships, school systems, way of life, and more, a broader awakening to racial injustice, a presidential election, increased political tension, a lot of people passing away for reasons unrelated to COVID, and a thousand other things, this year has put people through the ringer. I cannot adequately sum up everything that has happened behind the scenes or internally for myself related to all the things I just named, so I won’t begin to.
Instead, I’ll just share what I’ve been grateful for from 2020. I’ve been in a discipline of practicing gratitude regularly for many years, and I felt its importance this year more than ever. It helps me not take things for granted and not become entitled, which increases my ability to empathize with others. And, in the wildest and worst year we’ve collectively experienced, it has kept me anchored. It doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge what is hard. Rather, it helps keep me steady in the midst of difficulty.
So, here are the major things I’m grateful for from 2020:
- Leading worship at a conference in Florida in January. This was part of a year-long commitment I had starting at the beginning of 2019, training a team of other leaders. It was a vibrant time with a diverse team that jelled so well together and empowered each other. I loved it!
- Creating and opening my online style course Simply Put Together! I had been building up to doing this for TWO years, and I had wanted to do it for even longer than that. Simply Put Together is my online course that teaches you the style foundations and frameworks you need to know how to put yourself together and become style empowered. We welcomed over 700 women into the course this year, and it has been so awesome to see style finally “click” for women. If you are an SPT student, than you for joining! (You can get on the waitlist HERE to get notified when SPT opens again in the spring.)
- That I had enough energy to write, record, and launch Simply Put Together–while 5-7 months pregnant…with part of that during the very beginning of lockdown and all the chaos that came with that. I honestly don’t know how it got done given all those circumstances, but it did. Very grateful.
- Benson and I both still have jobs and can both work from home. And, we have enough flexibility to (barely) handle the chaos of online learning and newborn life and two working parents. We don’t take this for granted and are extremely grateful.
- Addie is doing fairly well with online learning and all the transitions.
- Increased time with our kids. While it has been difficult to juggle working and parenting 3 kids, we are grateful for the increased time with our kids and their increased time with each other. With how quickly they grow up, I keep reminding myself of how precious this time is.
- Aiden was born in June! He’s been SUCH a fun addition to our family. Full of smiles, chatting, and laughing.
- FaceTime and Zoom. We are extremely grateful we can “see” our families. Not ideal–we await the day our kids can hug their grandmas and both of our moms can finally, finally meet Aiden in person. But video is better than nothing. So, we are grateful.
- Both of our moms are healthy so far. I alluded to it above, but our moms live hundreds of miles away, and we haven’t seen them this whole year. They haven’t even met Aiden. No doubt that has been hard and felt weird. Still, we are grateful that they are both healthy, especially because Benson’s mom is a nurse who sometimes cares for women who have COVID.
- The PMT Team. Getting to do this with a team of powerhouse women has made both life AND work feel way less lonely. We are all moms with multiple kids who have juggled work and online learning, and I have so, so, so appreciated the amazing women on this team.
- The PMT Community. That’s YOU! Earlier I said that I am extremely grateful to even have a job at all, and that is only possible because of all of you who come and read this thing and engage with the content. (Read more about how PMT earns income HERE.) More importantly, you are such awesome readers! You’re encouraging, supportive, and truly make this feel like a community, not just faceless followers. Thank you for your comments, emails, messages, DMs, and all! Thank you for shopping through the links on this blog, liking posts on social media, purchasing outfit guides from the PMT Shop, sharing PMT with your friends, pinning outfits and capsule wardrobes, joining Simply Put Together, and any other way you engage with and support what happens here. When I first started blogging, I hoped that some day PMT would grow enough to help women feel like style was easy. Our mission is to make style easy so that every woman can feel confident and show up as her most vibrant self. I love hearing how confident you feel in your style, when you find a new clothing item that you love, when you have epiphanies about style or how to put together outfits or that clothes can be comfortable, and when you share that you’ve gotten compliments on your outfits! Thank you for being part of this community and for making it what it is.💛
How My Personal Wardrobe Shifted This Year
Like I said, a couple of days ago, I recapped the top sellers of 2020 that the PMT community loved the most, along with the most popular blog posts. I also want to share my personal favorite purchases of 2020!
Personally, I can point to two major shifts happened in my personal wardrobe. (There may be more, I just can’t remember them at the moment.) I say “personal” wardrobe because what is shown on PMT is a mix of my personal shopping choices and outfits AND things I’m trying or showing as R&D for YOU. For example, business casual clothes–I don’t personally need anymore, and I don’t wear any on a regular basis, but I buy them and show business casual outfits for those of you who need it.
Anyway, I thought this would be a good space to share about my personal wardrobe and how it’s changed this year.
The two major shifts are 1) I’ve really grown the “very casual” section of my wardrobe, and 2) I started getting into another price tier of spending for casual clothes, to my own surprise. Haha!
#1 – Growing the “very casual” section of my wardrobe. This shift began prior to 2020 as my job and kids’ life stages changed, but 2020 definitely sealed the deal, ha! So, most of my favorite purchases have been athleisure and casual pieces. I have LOVED having a better established casual section of my wardrobe. I never knew how much satisfaction a really great sweatshirt and awesome pair of sneakers could bring me, haha!
#2 – Expensive(r) casual clothes. “Expensiver” is not a word, but it’s more fun to say than “more expensive.” 😜 Prior to this year, I had never tried nor understood why I would want $59 joggers and $49 sweatshirts when I could get both at Old Navy for around $25 or less. I was perfectly content with the latter…until I tried $59 joggers and $49 sweatshirts (both by Zella, which I’ll talk about below.) I FEEL the difference in how they drape, fit, and feel overall. Upon first try, I felt some difference, but didn’t feel THAT much of a difference. But then, as I wore them more, I got used to the subtleties, and now I can’t NOT feel the difference. Though, I also kind of wish I had never felt the difference because now I’m ruined, haha! My wallet says ignorance is bliss. 😆 (Also, I’m definitely NOT saying that all lesser priced items are worse and all higher priced items are better. For sure not. I’m just saying that sometimes you do get what you pay for and sometimes higher priced items are priced higher for good reason.)
My Personal Favorite Purchases of 2020
Here’s my list of favorite purchases in 2020! I can’t remember everything I purchased this year, especially if it was earlier in the year, so I’m sure I’m missing something. But, here’s what immediately comes to mind!
Thread & Supply Jacket – size S
One of my favorite Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchases! It’s super lightweight with a fuzzy lining. Not the best if you need a very, very warm, thick jacket, but perfect for where I live. It’s a really casual style that has been fantastic with my sweatshirts + jeans + sneakers as well as my joggers/leggings + sweatshirts outfit! See it on me HERE in both olive and black.
Rothy’s Leopard Print Sneakers
I bought these back in February, and while I liked them, I said back then that I wasn’t sure if they were worth their hefty price tag. I’m still not sure about that–they are DANG expensive, and the reason I got them was because I had store credit and didn’t want any of their fan favorite flats at the time. That said, these have been one of my three primary shoes this year. They have some cushion in the footbed, and while it doesn’t feel phenomenal initially, the cushion never gets matted down and keeps its rebound, unlike many other cushioned footbeds. The upper is also extremely flexible and stretchy. The print is awesome–less orangey and more tan. They’re machine washable! When I first bought them, I said they were a TAD narrow for my feet, where my pinky toe rubbed the side. That’s a personal problem of course. But in case you’re wondering, I’m happy to say I never got a blister from that rubbing, so it has not been any real problem.
Caslon Leopard Print Wedge Sneakers – size 9
These are sold out, but I LOVE them. Comfy, water resistant, rubber sole, keep your feet warmer than standard slip-ons because of the high shaft, and make your outfits look cool. Love love love! These have been another one of my go-to sneakers. I primarily switched to these instead of the Rothy’s once the weather cooled. Similar options are HERE and HERE.
Dr. Scholl’s Scout Sneakers – size
These have been my other go-to sneakers this past year. They are super duper comfy! There’s a bit of cushion in the footbed. The upper is thick. And overall, they are just comfy! They’re available at different places, some sizes HERE and more sizes HERE.
Live In High Waist Pocket 7/8 Leggings – size S
You know the full length Zella Live In High Waist Leggings are one of my long-time staples, and it was one of the Top Sellers of 2020. BUT, since I got the 7/8 version with pockets during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in August, these have been my top pair of leggings. I love the length and love the huge pocket at the hips! Some reviewers hate the pocket placement at the hip, and preferred it on the thighs. I’m the opposite. Pockets on the thighs add bulk where I don’t want it, and the hip placement is really discreet. I also feel it’s more secure, as it can never slide out of an angled pocket.
Old Navy Mid-Rise Breathe Joggers – size S
These joggers are comfy, and I personally love their fit! They are a medium thickness, and made of that soft, smooth material. They’re a great option that is fairly inexpensive. HOWEVER, I will say that for a while I thought they were amazing and didn’t lose shape, but they’ve started to show their inexpensiveness. I’d been wearing them for months with lots of washes, and they were doing great. But just recently I noticed some pilling along the seams on the side. Nothing a sweater shaver can’t fix. But I also noticed they started losing their shape around the knees. Soooooo, yeah. Boo. I still like them a lot for comfort and initial wear. They just aren’t AS great as a more expensive pair of Zella joggers that I just started wearing, which brings me to…
Zella Joggers – size S
These are the pricey joggers I mentioned in the intro of this section. I don’t know how to explain why they’re so great. It’s really in just a lot of subtle ways that I don’t even know if I can articulate. The material is just better. It’s the soft, smooth, stretchy type much like the Old Navy pair above, but it just feels so much better. And, the fit is awesome. The only thing I don’t love is that the rise is a tad too high for me, but it doesn’t bother me like other higher rise pants do. Still really comfy. I’ve only washed them two times so far, but they look perfect out of the wash so far. I’ll know in a month or two if they break down like the Old Navy pair started to. Luckily if they do, I will likely be able to return them thanks to Nordstrom’s fantastic return policy!
Zella Restore Leggings – size S
This was another awesome Nordstrom Anniversary Sale discovery. These are unlike any other leggings I’ve tried. They’re soooooooo soft! Can’t even explain what they are, but they’re awesome! They have enormous pockets, in addition to a sporty look with ribbed cuffs and a ribbed waistband. Same comfy, flattering high waisted silhouette as Zella’s standard leggings.
Zella Workout Tank – size S
Love this too! It’s super soft and breathes better than some cheaper tanks I used to buy at Old Navy. I was worried about the cropped length, but it’s a tad longer than I expected it to be and works perfectly with the high waisted Zella leggings–at least on my shorter torso. It’s ___” long, so you can measure yourself to see how it’d be for you.
Zella Sweatshirt – size S
This is the expensive sweatshirt I mentioned in the intro of this section. When I first put this on, I appreciated the relaxed, sporty style and worn-in feel for sure. But it wasn’t until I wore it more and more that I started to truly notice the difference. While I still like my Old Navy sweatshirts for what they are, they just don’t move or drape as well as this Zella sweatshirt. That said, these are on the thinner side, and remember, they’re sporty. So they’re not the fuzzy, cozy, curl up in a ball type of sweatshirts. Love them for athleisure, though!!
Old Navy Leopard Print Tee – size M
I’ve worn this tee so much this year! Part of working on my casual style was getting a few printed tees to have more options than basic, solid ones. This one has been clutch! And it’s only $8-10 when it’s on sale!
Nickel & Suede Marigold – size M
Wooooo I love these! Nickel & Suede is the brand of earrings I ALWAYS wear. The ONLY earring brand I’ve worn since 2017. They are statement earrings that are extremely lightweight, so they are comfy and never weigh heavily on your ear. I can nap in these–they are that comfy! They’re expensive, but they are fantastic quality. This Marigold color is one of my newer pairs, and gosh I love them! You know I love a pop of yellow, and these are great! Haven’t worn them much yet, as they go better with my spring colors and I got them after the spring. But, they are beautiful!
Nickel & Suede Cranberry – size M
These are gorgeous! Suchhhh a good color for this time of year, too! I haven’t worn them in many of my pics on the blog, but I have worn these the most lately in my daily outfits, in addition to my leopard print teardrops and blank canvas teardrops.
Those are the main ones I can think of for the year! Lots of sneakers and comfy casual clothes, and they’ve made me so happy, haha!
I hope you have a great new year as we finally get to say goodbye to 2020. Here’s to (hopefully) a MUCH better year in 2021!