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Year-In-Review 2021 – What Happened, How My Style Shifted, & My Favorite Purchases

2021 Year End Reflections Putting Me Together Favorite Purchases

2021 PMT Favorite Purchases and Reflections on the Year

The year 2021 is finally coming to a close, and I’m taking some time to look back. I recently recapped PMT’s 2021 Best Sellers & Top Blog Posts, which you should definitely catch if you haven’t yet. It has a bunch of blog posts that will be SUPER helpful!

Today I’m reflecting a bit more on a personal level by recapping what happened this year both on PMT and behind the scenes, talking a bit about how my style shifted this year, and sharing my PERSONAL favorite purchases of 2021. Let’s go!

 

Summary of 2021

It’s always crazy to look back over a year and see just how much happened, isn’t it? I almost always have a sense of awe of all that took place and all that we did, and this year was no different. Here are a few of the major things from 2021!

PMT 2021 Year in Review Personal Reflections

Simply Put Together Additions
Since creating Simply Put Together, I’ve added more and more lessons, and I spent a lot of time behind the scenes doing that at the beginning of 2021. I have a bit more I’d like to add to (spoiler alert if you’re a student in SPT!), so I’ll spend some time in 2022 updating it again. If you’re an SPT student, I’m so glad you’ve joined! It’s been really motivating to hear how much more you love your wardrobe now that it feels like you and functions better for your lifestyle, how much better you feel about your body after learning to find clothes that fit, the 🤯 moments you have when style clicks and finally makes sense, and most of all, how confident you feel about style and your ability to put yourself together now.

(If you’re interested in learning what SPT is all about, check out my free class 6 Common Style Mistakes + 3 Keys to Fix Them. Not only will you learn a lot about what it takes to make style feel effortless, you’ll also learn the details of what’s inside SPT and how it can help you. Sign up for the class HERE.)

The Wardrobe Staples Styler
We also came out with the Wardrobe Staples Styler which is the resource I WISH I had when I was first learning to remix and build a better, more cohesive, more versatile wardrobe. It seriously would have saved me a lot of years and a lot of wasted money on the wrong clothes, haha! The Wardrobe Staples Styler helps you take what’s already in your closet—yes, all those “random” beloved pieces you may have—and combine them with a few select wardrobe staples to create endless outfits. It provides you with easy-to-follow templates to insert your own clothes to put together outfits. Lots of them! You can learn more about it HERE.

More Behind-the-Scenes Updates
We did a WHOLE LOTTA other stuff behind the scenes that’s incredibly important but not that interesting to talk about. 😆 It might not have seemed like it on the surface, but it was a very full first half of the year regarding PMT stuff!

10-Year Anniversary of PMT
In June, PMT hit the 10-YEAR MILESTONE! Crazy! You can read all about the journey HERE, from how it started, why I started it, how “influencers” weren’t even a thing back then, my favorite part about running PMT, what I’d do for PMT if I had unlimited time, and more. 

We Moved!
This was obviously huge! In August we moved from San Diego to the Bay Area to be closer to our moms and extended family. (You can read all about it HERE.) We had been making plans since the beginning of the year, and of course, there were tons of logistics to figure out. From trying to find a house from 500 miles away (while our part of the country wasn’t very opened up yet and before vaccinations were widely available), to coordinating logistics of packing and moving, to finding new daycares for our younger kids (that was a lot more difficult than I thought it’d be!), to coordinating some work to be done on our new house before we moved in, to preparing our kids for the move, to saying goodbye to our friends—there were lots of pieces to navigate.

So far the move has been pretty smooth, all things considered! The first few weeks were a little nuts as we were only able to live in about 1/3 of our house, since work was being done in some places. We couldn’t really move in for the first several weeks—we couldn’t use the bedrooms or the kitchen! But, that is behind us now, and while we still have lots more things to do on the house (it’s veryyyyyy old and many things are original and don’t even really function properly, haha!), it is totally livable and already feels like home.

The rest of the year has been all about getting used to living in a new area, developing new life rhythms, finding new spots to eat, and that kind of thing. Most of the time, it feels pretty “normal” to be living here, which I think is helped by the fact that we have a few friends nearby and that one of our kids goes to the same daycare as two of our family friends. And, Addie has made friends at her new school, which I am sooooo grateful for. But sometimes I’ll have brief moments of disbelief that we just picked up everything and moved, that we’re not just on a really long vacation in the Bay Area! It’s not bad or good, rather it just feels surreal sometimes.

Overall, there is plenty to be grateful for!

Gratitude for You All
And that brings me to saying that I am also grateful for YOU as part of the PMT community! Thank you for reading and commenting, for being encouraging and supportive, and for taking the time to email and comment with how your style journey has been going! I love hearing your stories and root for you so hard when you find clothes you love, feel more confident, are able to build a wardrobe that’s easier to use, or get compliments on your outfits! Also, thank you for shopping through the links on this blog, liking posts on social media, pinning outfits and capsule wardrobes, sharing PMT with your friends, buying guides in the PMT Shop, taking the leap to join Simply Put Together, and any of the other ways you engage with and support what happens here. Honestly, this would not be fun or motivating to do if it weren’t for you, so thanks for all the ways you engage with what happens here!

 

How My Personal Wardrobe Shifted

In my 2020 wardrobe reflections, I said that I deepened my casual wardrobe, not actually because of the pandemic but more because I had my third kid, haha! I both expanded my casual wardrobe to make it more robust and also I became willing to spend more on casual clothes because they feel so comfortable. That hasn’t changed in 2021.

Cold Weather Wardrobe
Now that I live in a colder area, I’ve had to refine my wardrobe choices to accommodate. I actually handled colder weather fine when I was traveling to the Midwest often, but that was a long time ago and my style has become wayyyy more casual since then. So, I’ve had to make sure I have what I need for my super casual style, adding items like the Gap Sherpa Pullover and Z by Zella Shearling Zip Up.

I’m also currently working on identifying the holes in my coat wardrobe as winter is here and it’s not only colder here than where I moved from, but it also rains way more.

To Skinny Jean or Not to Skinny Jean? (The answer is yes. 😆)
Just being silly with that question above—it doesn’t need to be an either/or thing! It’s “any” for me—whatever you feel like wearing as best works for your style. Always! For me, I regularly still wear skinny jeans, especially in colder months for the reasons I talked about in How to Style Straight Leg Jeans – Tips for Shoes, Tops, and Silhouettes. But of course as you’ve seen, I have added quite a few straight leg jeans, largely in part to finally finding ones that fit the way I like! I’ll talk about my favorites below in the clothing section.

Those are the major shifts I felt. Just mostly trying to make sure I’m not freezing and that I have what I need, haha!

 

My Personal Favorite Purchases of 2021

PMT 2021 Year in Review Favorite Purchases

Ohmigosh, I have SO MANY favorites from this year and had a really hard time narrowing it down! 😆 A lot of my favorites were also on the the PMT 2021 Best Sellers as some of this community’s most purchased items, too. (And the ones that aren’t on this list are still some of my favorite pieces ever—I just didn’t buy them in 2021, so they aren’t on this list. 😊)

But there are plenty that became my personal favorites that didn’t make the PMT 2021 Best Sellers list. A lot of them are still available while others aren’t at all, but I’m mentioning them regardless, because I always like when fellow bloggers talk about how they think about their wardrobes and why they liked certain clothes.

Most of these are for casual style, since that’s basically all my lifestyle is. However, there are some workwear pieces that would have totally become my favorites if I actually needed them regularly, so I included those at the bottom, too.

SIZING INFO: I’m 5’6″ and usually S/M or 6 in clothes and 8.5 to 9 in shoes.

 

My Favorites That Are Also On the PMT 2021 Best Sellers List

Skip this part if you already caught these from the PMT 2021 Best Sellers! I won’t comment on them since I wrote about them at length in the previous post. Catch the details HERE.

  1. Amazon Printed Skirt (I wear size M) – Miiiight be my favorite purchase of the whole year!
  2. Wit & Wisdom CoolMax Raw Hem Straight Jeans (I wear size 4)
  3. Etsy Leopard Print Tee (I wear size S)
  4. Etsy Thankful Tee (I wear size S) 
  5. Amazon Tiered Dress (I wear size S) 
  6. Amazon Ruffle Sleeve Top (I wear size S) 
  7. Caslon Open Front Cardigan (I wear size XS—runs large)
  8. Treasure & Bond Hi Low Crewneck Sweater (I wear size S) 

 

My Favorites That *Weren’t* On the PMT 2021 Best Sellers List

My Favorites That Weren't On the PMT 2021 Best Sellers List

Gap Softest Sweat Joggers (I wear size S, shown bottom row, third pic) – I only showed these once in a try-on session and didn’t really mention them besides that but these are totally a fave from the year! Soft and comfy loungewear joggers—YES! These were the perfect replacement for my pajama joggers. 😊 They come in 4 colors and in regular, tall, and petite lengths. Definitely wait for a SALE to get them, though!

Gap Raw Edge Sweatshirt (I wear size S, shown top row, third pic) – This silhouette of being slightly cropped and the sleeves having some volume plus the raw hem upgrade this sweatshirt from “boring old sweatshirt” to cute and stylish! This totally fits my easygoing, relaxed, casual vibe, and I wore the grey one and the leopard print ones on repeat. I just threw them together with skinny jeans, white sneakers, and a pair of Nickel & Suede earrings whenever I wanted to get dressed super fast for my super casual lifestyle but still look put together. This comes in 4 colors/prints and in regular, tall, and petite. Also wait for a sale to get these!

Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution Raw Hem Straight Black Jeans (I wear size 6, shown top row, second pic) – Also from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, these are sooooooooooo comfy. Extremely soft and stretchy—and I feel like they got softer with more wears. This is one of the (many) pairs of Wit & Wisdom jeans that I often mistake for wearing leggings!

Wit & Wisdom Raw Hem Skinny Crop Jeans (I wear size 6, shown top row, first pic) – Don’t overlook these jeans! They are soooooooooo comfortable! Another pair I often mistake for leggings because of how soft and stretchy they are! These are a great transition from skinny jeans to straight leg jeans, and technically they are skinny, because of how they’re cut up top, but the leg opening makes them look like straight leg jeans, so they still accentuate a little curve around the hips, thighs, and even the calves (for me) like skinny jeans do, but they look like straight leg jeans at the bottom. I wore these primarily during the spring, but I didn’t show them much on the blog. They were also very limited in sizes during the spring and much of the year but eventually came back!

Wit & Wisdom Girlfriend Jeans (I wear size 6, shown top row, fourth pic) – The other pair of jeans that I primarily wore in the spring. So dang comfy, soft, and stretchy and have the stretchy waistband! There are still some sizes left, and while I know it’s not quite the season for girlfriend jeans, if you’ll want some in your wardrobe in the spring and summer, check them out now while they’re available!

Madewell Striped Ringer Tee (I wear size S, shown top row, second pic) – One of my favorite tees! I’ve always loved striped tees but have felt my style trend away from the super classic style, which includes crisp stripes. I like this tee a lot because of the vintage vibe, which feels more relaxed and more in line with my style as of late. This was out of stock at some point earlier this year, but it’s well stocked now! Find it in straight sizes HERE and plus sizes HERE.

Crocs Tulum Sandals (I wear size 8, shown top row, second pic) – I know it’s a weird season to be thinking about sandals, but I LOVED these in 2021! They’re made of rubber, so they are waterproof and great for the beach or the pool. They are squishy, so they’re very comfortable but don’t get matted down. They’re also very flexible! I bought them in several colors because they’re super affordable and they’re comfy! Find them HERE.

MTV Tee (I wear size M, shown bottom row, first pic) – Another tee I got on my quest for more printed tees, and I freaking love it! This is $12 from Target (sometimes less during a sale)! It’s thick and not see-through, but it has a good drape so it works well in a loose front tuck. It’s now available in lots of colors, HERE. I wear size M for a looser fit.

Caslon Thermal Tee (I wear size S, shown bottom row, third pic) – I recently got this, and just as I wanted to add to my t-shirt options, I wanted to add to my long sleeve casual t-shirt options. This fit the bill and is super versatile. I’ve shown it with leggings, loungewear joggers, and jeans and booties. It’s thick and drapes well, and it’s really easy and comfy to wear.

Gap Sherpa Pullover (I wear size S, shown bottom row, fourth pic) – Sooo soft, fuzzy, cozy, warm, and lightweight. Great to throw on during chilly, dreary days and works with leggings, loungewear joggers, and jeans. (It’s a little longer in the back which provides a bit more coverage in leggings.)

Old Navy Rain Jacket (shown top row, fourth pic) – I found this shortly before it sold out and I don’t think it ever came back. 😭 I reviewed it once back in March. I love this thing! It’s a waterproof rain jacket that looks just like a utility jacket. If it’s raining, I can wear any outfit I would normally have worn with a utility jacket and it’s a seamless swap. Plus it has some great features like a hood, large pockets, and an adjustable drawstring at the waist. Ahhhh, I wish this would come back!

Tan Flats (I wear size 9) – These are also from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and they were my go-to shoes for any outfit that was too dressy for casual sneakers. The suede texture and sort of lighter, faded color work perfectly with my color palette as sometimes brighter cognacs or darker browns can feel too rich or heavy. This color is great and I’m really happy with this purchase! The tan suede sold out around the NSale, but I found this same shoe in a lot of colors and prints in leather. I have no idea how the leather versions feel, but I do like the tone of the “Chestnut” color! See all the prints/colors HERE.

One pair that I want to put on the favorites list but can’t yet because they’re still fairly new and I haven’t actually worn them enough to make it official are these cognac waterproof booties. They’re soooo pretty! I wear these in size 9.

 

Other Favorites for Work

Favorites for Work PMT 2021

Here are a few more workwear items that I tried in 2021 that are awesome!

Liverpool Kelsey Super Stretch Ponte Pants (I wear size 4) – I bought these prior to 2021 in maroon, but I bought the navy pair in 2021, so it counts. 😆 These pants are SO GOOD! They are extremely, EXTREMELY comfortable. They have a crazy amount of stretch, plus they are super smooth and SOFT. And they’re thick! I know they’re pricey for pants, but it’s totally worth being as comfortable as possible at work (while still looking totally professional)!

Old Navy Straight Leg Pixie Pants (I wear size 6) – These pants are more affordable and they’re very stretchy as well! The pockets are horizontal instead of slanted, and I find that horizontal pockets work better with my hips. Slanted pockets stick out awkwardly around my curvier hips sometimes.

Halogen Cap Sleeve Top (I wear size M) – I own this in several prints and have shown them a fair amount. They are GREAT for work, but you can also wear them with jeans and flats for an elevated casual outfit. This comes in different prints throughout the year, so I’d check back in the spring and fall for updated ones. See them HERE.

Ahhhh, so many good pieces! There are even more I wanted to talk about, but I had to cut it off, haha! So, that’s it for 2021. If you made it this far, you’re amazing! 😄

Again, I am so, so, soooo grateful that you are part of the PMT community. I hope PMT has helped you feel better in your clothes and has made style easier for you! As for 2022, I have a ton of wardrobe-building content planned that I can’t wait to share with you. Until then, have a GREAT New Year!

 


Wardrobe Staples Styler to Create Outfits With Wardrobe Staples

If you want to build a closet full of highly versatile wardrobe staples and know how to create lots of outfits with what’s in your closet, check out my newest guide, the Wardrobe Staples Styler!

The Wardrobe Staples Styler isn’t just about wardrobe staples. It’s actually about utilizing staples to make your WHOLE wardrobe better. Wardrobe staples are the secret sauce to a closet full of cute, put-together outfits, and this guide will help you feel cute and put together so easily!

Learn all about the Wardrobe Staples Styler HERE!

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