My Favorite Items From the Past Year & How My Style Changed

How My Style Changed This Past Year & My Favorite Items

Styles around us have majorly shifted, and I know based on the convos in the PMT Style Club, many of us felt the change in styles this year more than ever.

That’s true for me as well. I felt the shift in my style in a major way this year. Whereas for the last few years I was primarily wearing a combination of slimmer straight leg jeans and skinny jeans, this year I embraced flares and wide leg pants. It helped that there are so many more options out there these days, which meant I was finally able to find pairs that actually fit me!

But, that shift means I’ve had to rethink my tops and shoes, too. 😭 Tops AND shoes are connected to your pants, so when you have a major shift in pants, you have to rethink what goes both on the top and on the bottom. (And this is why I always, always recommend you build your wardrobe starting with bottoms!) Soooo yeah, basically a huge wardrobe overhaul.

I recently shared the most popular items (and there are some GREAT ones!) from the PMT community last year (HERE). But, I also said that they are pretty different from my personal favorites from the year. So today I want to share some of my very favorite items from the past year and how they helped me shift my style into this new era!

My Favorite Items From the Last Year

In no particular order, here are my favorites from the last year….

yellow cardigan sweater + white and yellow and brown graphic tee + light wash jeans + white sneakers + gold jewelry

1. Dolce Vita Sneakers β€” I’ve worn these pretty much every day that the weather has permitted since getting them during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in July. They did rub my toe a bit if I wore them for too long, but after many, many months, they conformed to my feet enough that I was able to wear them for 6-8 hours walking around Hong Kong with zero pain.

On a style note, I felt these were a major shifting point in updating my style this past year. Prior to them, I was wearing white Dr. Scholl’s slip-on sneakers (so comfy BTW!), which have a simpler and more classic design. (I still completely recommend the Dr. Scholl’s sneakers if you have a more Classic style.) But for me, the Dolce Vita sneakers added a strip of black, laces, a bit more visual interest overall, and a slightly more modern element to my outfits.


camel cardigan sweater + black and white striped tee + medium wash kick flare jeans + camel heeled boots + gold jewelry

2. Democracy Flare Jeans β€” These were probably my most-worn pair of jeans this past year. SO soft, stretchy, and comfy, complete with the stretchy elastic waistband. They aren’t available anymore, but there is a nearly-identical pair by Democracy’s sister company, Wit & Wisdom, HERE. The Wit & Wisdom pair is slightly thicker but equal in all other aspects. I wear the W&W pair in size 6.

These jeans got me wearing straight leg jeans less and having flares become more prominent.

3. Striped Long Sleeve Tee (shown above) β€” It’s a classic! That said, I had actually moved away from stripes for a while because the ones I owned had more of a Classic style, while my style has become more and more Relaxed/Natural and Edgy.* The style of this striped tee is more up my alley, and since getting it, I’ve worn it on repeat!

*If you are interested in figuring out your unique Style Type, join us in the PMT Style Club to access our Style Personality course! You’ll get clarity about your style which will help you shop for the right pieces and make your ideal style become a reality.Β 


black tee + olive wide leg pants + tan sandals + gold jewelry

4. Wide Leg Olive Green Pants β€” I believe these are primarily out of stock, but hopefully they will come back for the warmer months. I was pleasantly surprised by how stretchy and lightweight they were β€” and that they fit me! I wear size 4.

I used to wear wide leg pants a lot, 20+ years ago, but as they took a backseat in the style world, and there weren’t as many options in stores, it was harder for me to find pairs that fit me well. With them trending again, it means there are way more options in stores again. And, that means I have finally been able to find pairs that I like.

5. Madewell Northside Vintage Tee (shown above) β€” This is a timeless and classic tee, but I especially love that it’s on the thicker side and still drapes and hangs SO well. T-shirts are not all created equally. This one is expensive, but it looks so much better than cheaper tees that are flimsy, cling to bumps, and look cheap after a while. I wear size M.


yellow cardigan sweater + yellow and brown and white graphic tee + dark wash flare jeans + white sneakers + gold jewelry yellow sweater + dark wash jeans + camel boots + gold earrings + gold necklace

6. LC Flare Jeans β€” These full-length flares are super affordable during one of Kohl’s many sales, and they can be dressed up or dressed down and paired with sneakers and a t-shirt. They are lightweight with stretch. I wear size 6.

Wearing these jeans with sneakers was actually a huge step for me in embracing the era of style we are now in. This is definitely a style that reminded me of what I wore 20+ years ago, so it felt weird to wear–like I should save it for the 20 year olds. But, during one of the PMT Style Club challenges, I chose wearing flares with sneakers out of the house as my challenge goal. It sounds like such a small act, but I had to get over some big internal blocks to do it. And, it ended up totally opening a door for me to dive fully into wearing full-length flares and wide leg pants with sneakers!


black tee + girlfriend jeans + white and black sneakers + gold initial necklace + gold hoop earrings

7. Wit & Wisdom Girlfriend Jeans β€” I got these from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and love them for a non-skinny, non-straight leg, relaxed pair for casual outfits. They work well with the Caslon Miller Water-Resistant boots that I also really enjoy. I believe the girlfriend jeans are either sold out or low in stock, but you can check for them HERE. I wear size 6 but could also size down to size 4 for something more fitted but still relaxed.

I’m wearing these jeans above with the Dolce Vita sneakers and the black Madewell Northside Vintage Tee, hoop earrings, and the short pendant necklace. An outfit FULL of favorites from this year!

NOTE: These jeans do stretch out a bit, so be sure to do the stretch test with them.


black sherpa lined coat + tan sweater + jeans + black boots + gold jewelry

8. Amazon Essentials Sherpa Lined Water Resistant Jacket β€” I’ve had this for a couple of years, and it’s my go-to jacket for everyday wear. It’s lined with sherpa, making it warm and cozy! And, it’s water-resistant, so I don’t have to worry about whether or not it works for the weather. (Thankfully I live in an area that only has rain and not snow.) I even brought it on our recent trip to Hong Kong! I wear size M or L β€” choose based on how much room you want for bulky sweaters and sweatshirts.


floral tank top + denim skirt + gold hoop earrings

9. Hoop Earrings β€” As much as I still LOVE my Nickel & Suede earrings, I primarily wore these small hoops throughout last year. Their simplicity is SO simple and easy to wear every day. They add a small touch that polishes things up, without making a statement. I wear size 30mm.


red sweater + cuffed blue jeans + tan boots + gold jewelry

10. BP Sweater β€” This is a very recent purchase, but I have worn it so much since getting it. And, I decided to keep it in 3 colors. πŸ˜† Often, I find keeping items in multiple colors β€” especially more than two colors β€” is a mistake as I often reach for one over the other. But, not this time! I have worn all three colors equally. Its stock is now limited, but you can try to catch it HERE. I wear size M.

The reasons I like this sweater so much, besides the texture and simple style, are because it’s short enough to pair with flares and wide leg pants without having to tuck it. (Like I mentioned, changing the silhouettes of your jeans requires you to have tops that pair well with them, too!) Any sweater that doesn’t need to be tucked is a friend of mine! It’s soooo easy to wear β€” very unfussy! And, it’s a medium weight but isn’t super heavy. It’s not the type of sweater that is super soft, but it is does soften up quite a bit over time, AND it washes well without pilling.

11. Initial Pendant β€” I’ve had this for several years and continued to wear it daily throughout last year. The one I own is from Nordstrom (I got it during one of the NSales), but its regular price might be steep for some. There is an identical dupe on Amazon HERE for $12.99. The only difference is that the chain on the Amazon version is thicker.


tan cardigan sweater + black graphic tee + light wash straight leg jeans + white sneakers + statement earrings

12. Gratitude Tee β€” This is my favorite tee! I’ve had it for several years, and it continues to be a favorite. Besides the style perfectly matching my Relaxed/Natural with Edgy preference, this tee is SO COMFY. It drapes impeccably well. And, the graphic print adds much more visual interest to outfits compared to a plain tee.

Runner Up #1 (shown above): NYDJ Jeans
These were probably my second most-worn pair of jeans last year (in a different but similar colorway that is no longer available). They are SO comfy and stretchy, and I loved the slightly looser straight leg cut and the lighter wash. They worked so well with the colors I wore in the spring, summer, and fall! However, they are only a runner up because they stretch out in a big way after a bit β€” but they take so long to stretch out that I didn’t notice it, even after doing my usual stretch test. And, it’s more of a misshapen look rather than sagging out and falling off. If you don’t mind the extremely relaxed look, it’s not a problem and can still work. But, if you are expecting them to give you a neat and clean line, the way they do when you first wear them, then they will be annoying! They are VERYYYYY comfortable, though. And the color of the wash is hard to find!


olive cropped jacket + black and white striped tee + black jeans + white and black sneakers + gold hoops + gold necklace + cognac purse

Runner Up #2: Olive Green Shrunken Jacket
If wearing the standard utility jacket makes you feel shapeless with flares and wide leg pants, this shrunken jacket is the perfect alternative, and that’s why I love it!

Those are some of my favorite and most-worn pieces from last year along with a bit of the journey of how my style changed. I know it’s TOUGH to adapt your style to this current era β€” the shift is MACRO and not micro, so it requires a lot more of an update and so much more work! But, because it’s a macro shift, your efforts will be worth it β€” it’s not just going to be a blip in the timeline that goes away next season.

Personally, I still second-guess some of the things I wear because they are almost exact replicas of what I wore in my teens and early 20s. It truly feels like a blast from the past, (for me personally, flares and wide leg pants with sneakers), and sometimes it feels “wrong” to do now that I’m 40 and very much NOT in my 20s. πŸ˜… But I LOVED my previous eras of flares, sneakers, and wide leg pants, so I quit my second-guessing and am just trying to enjoy it all again…except this time with comfier jeans that have stretchy waistbands. πŸ˜„

I’d love to hear how you’ve been embracing the current era of style! (And BTW, skinny jeans can still be included in it all, but just worn with updated tops and shoes to keep it all updated!)

Shop My Favorites From the Past Year

If you’re looking for a place to help you figure out and update your style, where you can get style coaching and advice from expert stylists and a knowledgable community, and learn to put yourself together in a way that reflects YOUR personal style, join us inside the PMT Style Club!

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