Looking Back & Looking Forward

NY Resolutions
It seems like very few people are neutral on New Year's Resolutions. You either love them or hate them. I'm in the "love them" camp. I set a few small, manageable ones every year and take them very seriously so I can pat myself on the back on December 31 for a job well done. Apparently I like that sense of accomplishment and achievement in my life, even if its in a trivial area.

In the final week of our Holiday Style Series I'm looking back on my 2013 fashion resolutions and sharing my 2014 edition as well. I know some of them might seem odd at first. But hopefully after reading my reasoning they'll make a little more sense and maybe even give you some ideas for refining your wardrobe or adjusting your spending habits to make the best of your budget.

2013 Review

1. No Cardigan Purchases

That's right, no cardigans. I know it sounds strange and probably impossible to many. This is not to say there's anything wrong with them. But I owned cardigans in nearly every color of the rainbow, yet I realized that when I browsed blogs and Pinterest, I was more drawn to looks with blazers or jackets of some kind. And since I owned very few blazers and jackets, I decided to put a ban on adding cardigans and put that money toward blazers and jackets instead.

Blue cardigan vs. Blue Blazer
Sources: Left, Right

Result: I will admit that I bought one cardigan in 2013. However, I only wear it around the house, so I consider it lounge wear. And my only criteria for lounge wear is that I can't be embarrassed to answer the door in what I'm wearing. Other than that, I definitely felt more polished and put together this year by increasing my collection of blazers and jackets and opting for those more often than cardigans.

2. No Impulse Target Apparel Purchases

Reason: I love Target as much as anyone else, and I am there 1-2 times per week for grocery and household items. It's so easy to browse the clothing section and throw in a couple of cute, affordable items each time. Eventually I found it quickly diminished my clothing budget, and I was left with a closet full of random items that didn't really go together or give me the refined style that I want.

Target Impulse vs. Planned Purchase
Sources: Left, Right

Result: I've been really pleased with the results of this resolution and will continue it into 2014. It doesn't mean I won't buy clothes from Target, but they are carefully planned and selected (like the set on the right, which is made entirely from Target items) in order to put together an outfit and not just, "hey this looks cute, let's bring it home and figure it out from there."


1. Arm-ageddon to Arm Accents

Reason: Some people have a knack for bracelet stacking, arm parties, etc. They can layer bracelets in a way that looks artistic and stylish. After reviewing some of my personal photos from 2013, I have come to accept that I am not one of those people. All of my arm party attempts look like Arm-ageddon. It's not pretty and it's time for me to accept defeat and change my ways.

Bracelets 2013 vs. 2014
Sources: Top L-R: One, Two, Three.  Bottom L-R: One, Two, Three, Four

Looking Forward: If you have the talent for bracelet stacking, then arm party-on! I'll be admiring your work from my laptop. But for myself, instead of looking for stacking pieces and sets, I'll be switching over to standalone pieces and a simpler aesthetic.

2. Camiso-long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Bye

Reason: In the past, if I came across a v neck or scoop neck t-shirt or sweater I liked that was just a little too low cut, no problem. Just throw on a camisole underneath. Problem solved! Well, not quite. Once again, reviewing personal photos has taught me that this look is doing me no favors. Most of the time it makes me look frumpy or dated, and that's definitely not a look I want.

Grey t shirt visual
Sources: Left, Right

Looking forward: I started 2014 with a good closet clean out and said sayonara to the offending tops. From here on out, if a v neck or scoop neck needs a camisole, then it doesn't need to find a home in my closet.

3. Nail It Down

Just like #2 in my 2013 resolutions, I've added way too much clutter to my life by way of impulse purchases in the nail polish department. In part, there was a process of trial and error throughout the last couple of years in finding what colors work best on me and trying some of the newer color trends (like greens and blues) to see if I could pull them off. Some worked, some didn't. Then I got in the habit of randomly picking up a pretty color here and there, and now I have a bunch of extra "meh" colors cluttering up my space.

Nail polish before & after
Both images via AboutMyStyle.com

Looking Forward: First, I need to clean out my "meh" colors and find new homes for them. Second, I'm giving myself the same "No Impulse Purchases" rule for nail polish, whether it's at Target or the drugstore or the department store. It doesn't mean I won't buy any new colors this year, but they need to be carefully planned and selected so I limit my stash to just my favorite, most flattering shades.


Not that they're asking my opinion, but if I could make some 2014 resolutions for Express I would include the following:

1. Play Nice with Polyvore

Reason: For the love of blog, please take more product photos where the models hands and hair are not awkwardly placed on the product I want to use. I know it's possible because you do it sometimes for your own purposes. And the result is much more aesthetically pleasing, which makes people like your products more!

Express set before & after

2. Size Matters

Reason: When it comes to ordering earrings and handbags from Express, you might be quite surprised by the size of things when they show up at your door. The earrings on the left may end up looking like the ones on the right. If that's what you wanted, great, but sometimes it's not. Sure, they have product dimensions for earrings and handbags, but I don't want to have to track down my measuring tape, draw some dimensions on my notepad then compare it to current earrings or handbags I own. Considering nearly all other products are shown on a model, why not these? It would be extremely helpful to have a visual of these shown to scale.

Hoops to scale

So there you have it! My slightly strange but fairly simple fashion resolutions. If you have styles you're letting go of or adopting this year, let me know in the comments below so I know I'm not the only one who makes arbitrary fashion rules for herself.

Linkup Button

Link-up Guidelines:
1. Go to a HOST page (More Pieces of Me or On the Daily Express) and click "Add My Link" at the end of our first post. Make sure your link is for your actual post and not your blog's home page. Even though this is Holiday Style themed, we do welcome all fashion and holiday related posts as long as the participation guidelines are followed.

2) Be sure that your post links back to at least one host (preferably both!). You can use a button on your blog or the link-up language of your choosing in your post, but please find a way to inform your readers of your participation in the Holiday Style Link Up in order to benefit all participants. In the spirit of the holidays we want to help each other grow, find new friends and readers, and share our love for fashion and festivities.

3) Please follow More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express on Bloglovin'

4) After you post your link we hope you'll go check out other participants in the series and spread some holiday cheer with your comments and feedback!

Check out our favorites:

More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express collaborated  to choose our favorites from last week's New Year's Eve theme! Since this week marks the end of the Holiday Style Link-up, we decided to go ahead and highlight our top THREE favorites vs. the normal two. 

Keep on linking on…
In this final week of the Holiday Style Linkup Series, your hosts want to say a genuine THANK YOU to each of you who participated with us. Whether you linked up one time or all six times, whether you dressed to the theme or did your own thing, we truly enjoyed having you join us. Through each of you we found new holiday, fashion, and blogging inspiration, made new friendships, and had our otherwise manic Mondays brightened just a little bit (or a lot!).

Linkup Button

We hate to see the end of this series, so we've decided to give it a new spin for the new year. Every Monday starting January 13 we'll be hosting Manic Mondayand we'd love to have you continue linking up with us. For this link-up there is no particular theme, just link-up to your recent post and be sure to link back to your hosts. Then hopefully we can help each other combat that case of the Mondays with a traffic boost and friendly comments from fellow participants. 

Happy 2014 and we hope to see you linking back up next week for Manic Monday!

More Pieces of Me        

Linking up with Monday Must HavesFunday MondayMingle MondayStyle Elixir



  1. Awwwww I love your take on NY resolutions......nothing huge but absolutely doable. More power!


    1. Thanks Rebecca! I definitely try to keep it realistic.

  2. Perfecto! I'm on the same page with the Target and V & U-neck tees. I clean out my closet every season and this year, as I shop my closet, I will definitely be able to assess each item that just sat for each season, keep as a staple, and/or donate to Good Will. Have a lovely Monday!!

    ~xx Skye

    1. Thanks Skye! Good luck with your closet clean out. :)

  3. I couldn't agree more with your 2013 review. And I second your Express resolution #1. Btw, love that faux fur scarf. I hope they have more left because I'm planning to purchase one.


    1. I hope you get one! I love how glam they make everything look.

  4. This was awesome! I loved it! And giggled and your Express resolutions! I love that they're small little tweaks, but with big impacts! I inadvertently jumped on the no cardigans train this year. I believe the only one I bought is that zip up peplum from Express, but is that really a cardigan? I completely agree with jackets and blazers looking more polished!

    1. "Zip up peplum sweatshirt." Definitely NOT a cardigan. Glad I wasn't the only one with a cardigan ban!

  5. This was a great list of resolutions! I did the same thing with cardigans this last year. I have so many from over the years but I hardly wear them anymore. I rarely let myself purchase them now! And I probably need to adopt the same mindset with nail polish. Whenever I'm at Ulta and need to spend a little bit more to use a coupon I add on a clearance nailpolish. Not a horrible thing to do, but I'm definitely getting a lot of similar colors, or colors I hardly even use!

    1. That's where I ended up, too. Too many nail polish colors that are almost the same. I'm definitely reducing my collection this year and trying NOT to add to it.

  6. Ha Ha...you are hilarious! I also have a string of wish list ideas for my favorite stores :) You should totally tweet that to Express. I love your resolutions too...my closet also overflows with cardigans and if target sold petites in store then I probably wouldn't wear anything else...you are so funny...good luck with the resolutions.
    BTW...so happy to see that you and Cary will be continuing the linkups!

    1. Thanks Merrie! I'm always glad when someone gets my humor. :)

  7. Lol, I loved reading this! I think your resolutions all sound very realistic, which is half the battle! Thank you again for hosting this series Gina. I loved it!

    1. Thanks Noelle! I've absolutely loved having you participate.

  8. Love your resolutions!! I need to step away from nail polishes too..maybe just visit the new colors, Lol. I am all for trivial goals, so much more doable and fun - good luck with all of them :)


    1. Thanks Tracy!! Yeah, I'm not saying I won't add ANY new colors but maybe 1 per season. Carefully selected, of course!

  9. So many awesome resolutions that I need to keep in mind, specially the nail polish and the "oh this top looks so pretty" even if I don't have anything to wear it with. Super helpful, definitely copying some of them.


    1. Glad I could inspire you, Natalia! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  10. Great post.



  11. Those are some great fashion resolutions, I think I will need to use one or two of them as my own! :)


    1. Thanks Chelsey! Good luck if you do! :) I think I'm going to have the most trouble with nail polish but now that I've made this public information I have more motivation to stick to it.

  12. Love your resolutions, doll- and how funny is that about the cardigans, I said the SAME thing. I had literally a rainbow cardigan collection, but rarely wore 'em because I'd always reach for jackets/blazers. :)


    1. Thanks Ashley! I love how many people have coincidentally joined me in stepping away from the cardigan lately!

  13. What a great post! I love your fashion resolutions! I am definitely guilty of at least 90% of your 2013 side! And I cannot agree more about your Polyvore comment. There's so many stores that I love but can't feature in my sets because of the way their clothing looks in the photo.

    The Closet by Christie


    1. So glad I'm not alone Christie, and thanks for commiserating about Polyvore. (But sorry you're in the guilty impulse shopping boat with me!) Here's to hoping we do better in 2014!

  14. Love your resolutions - and also how you looked back and assessed how you did with last year's resolutions :-)

    Fully agree with your recommendation for Express to model the size of their jewelry - I think a LOT of retailers could benefit from that suggestion! I've been stung in the past...once I ordered what I thought was a delicate leaf pendant from Forever21, and ended up with a giant medallion comparable to something Mr T would wear LOL!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I sincerely appreciate each and every one and always do my best to answer questions promptly!