2018 Looking Stylish Year in Review & Survey Feedback

Here is my last post of 2018 and the 119th of the year phew! So it seems fitting to do a bit of a roundup with a Looking Stylish Year in review. As I recently asked you to fill in a survey, I am also including your feedback which, thank you, has given me lots of ideas and inspiration for where to take Looking Stylish next year! A few of you expressed concern about whether LS would be continuing because of the suspension of the services and changes to the Style Club. I can reassure you that I am not going anywhere, but I needed to make some changes for a couple of reasons. Firstly, that I just can’t continue at the pace I have been going in the last few months of this year and something had to change. Secondly, as LS is now 7 years old I want to give it a refresh, keep the things that work well, lose some of those that are either too time consuming or not so popular and add a few that you have been asking for.

Maria Sadler, stylist and fashion blogger wearing Whistles blue print shirt, Ted Baker wrap and capsule accessories handbag

JANUARY

There were a few themes that came across in the survey and that many of you have mentioned in the past. Creating a capsule wardrobe and understanding colour and how to wear it are, and have always been, the two most popular topics. This is proven by the popularity of the Weekly Wardrobe, Seasonal capsules and the Colour Dossier service. So although these won’t be going anywhere, I do think I can make some improvements. I have already started this by updating the Colour Dossier service to make it much more comprehensive and to offer you your own personalised set of additional colours.

FEBRUARY

I am going to be rethinking the Seasonal Capsules too before the Spring one is out. Many of you mentioned body shape tips and wanting more budget friendly options, so I will be working out how I can include these in the Seasonal Capsules.

JANUARY

MARCH

Free Content

These are of course all paid for services/products. As far as the free content on the blog is concerned I will also be taking these requests on board. Other suggestions which I will be looking to include:

  • The occasional business wear post and how to cross pieces over from work to weekend to get more cost per wear from your wardrobe.
  • Mixing colours in your wardrobe and how each Dominant type uses colours to best suit them
  • The ever elusive smart/casual formula, what it is and how to create one that works for you
  • More on personalities and how to find and wear pieces to suit your personal style

RSthecon white Eileen Fisher trousers and top, floral necklace

APRIL

Many of you also mentioned that you like to see outfits on a real person, so my outfit posts and videos were really useful for you. As I am past 50 and a long way past a size 10, you can see what things look like on someone you can relate to. However, for those of you who are a different size or shape to me, I think I can improve further. I rarely mention Petites or those on the taller side and of course the outfits I wear suit my lifestyle and personal style. So I thought some posts which take my wardrobe and outfits as a starting point and adapt them for different shapes and personalities would be useful.

Maria Sadler stylist and fashion blogger, floral top and cream cardigan, create a wardrobe you love

MAY

Wearing one piece multiple ways and getting cost per wear from your wardrobe is something we all need at the moment. There was also the suggestion of having a monthly featured wardrobe basic and how you could wear that multiple ways. I really liked this idea, it is something like the feature I started to do in the last few Style Club magazines. For example taking a wardrobe classic like a shift dress or biker jacket and showing it several times in the month worn different ways.

Maria Sadler, stylist and fashion blogger, Sophie Sadler, Cambridge Maths Graduate

JUNE – My proudest moment this year!

Another suggestion was about a “Going Out” wardrobe. Having pieces that can be dressed up and down so that when you have an invitation out to dinner for example, you have pieces that you know will work. An addition to this was knowing what to wear when you are invited to an event with people you don’t know.

styling secrets, Maria Sadler stylist wearing 3 pairs slim leg trousers with long shirts

JULY

Posts about my own capsule wardrobe have also been popular as you say they give you inspiration in creating your own. One person asked about my thought process at the beginning of the season and how I shop and decide what I will be including. I think this is a really good suggestion for a series of posts and/or video at the beginning of each of the 4 seasons.

AUGUST

Services

I have been thinking long and hard about the variety of services I offer. I realise that if you visit my site for the first time it is hard to know where to start and to find what you are looking for. As my biggest traffic generator, many of you first find me via Pinterest and will land on a specific blog post or on one of the services pages. I also think that because there is such a variety in the capsule wardrobe services, it can be hard to decide what is right for you. I don’t have any definite answers yet, I am sure that over the Christmas period while my mind is resting, inspiration will strike.

Maria Sadler, stylist and fashion blogger wearing Whistles burgundy culottes, Aspinal bag, Boden top

SEPTEMBER

I think the full 36 Item wardrobe in its current form has probably had its day – let me know if you think not – because the cost of the service and buying all of the items is prohibitive to many of you. The wardrobe builder is still popular and although I have closed the capsule services for now, I still have clients I am working with in this service. I think what might be more useful to you is more of a bespoke service, where you tell me what you need. Whether that be a number of new items to make outfits with pieces you already have, a virtual wardrobe clear out of things that aren’t right for you, personal shopping or a special occasion outfit. I just need to figure out how this would work and how to price it.

Maria Sadler, Stylist and Fashion blogger, wearing yellow jacket, brown jeans, Eileen Fisher scarf

OCTOBER

Being 50+

One thing that did become very clear as I read through the survey results was an underlying theme of being 50+ and how that has affected your confidence. It seems that my thinking about creating content for those of you, who like me, have entered that tricky period is on the right lines. I know what it is like have confidence dips, struggle to dress a changing shape, decide whether to keep the grey at bay or embrace it and to be in that sandwich generation looking after young adults, but letting them go it alone and ageing parents who need more of our time. Sometimes the juggling becomes all too much (as it has for me, more than once this year). At 50 and beyond, we have had a lot of life experiences and deserve some time to think about ourselves. Sadly, as I have said before, we aren’t considered or catered for very much and I intend to change that by providing much more in the way of help, advice and sometimes support for those of you like me trying to navigate this time.

the coats you need in your winter wardrobe, Maria sale stylist wearing faux fur coat, capsule accessories teal bag, print scarf

NOVEMBER

What I have taken from the survey results and from those of you who email me, is that it isn’t necessarily what you wear that is the underlying reason for reading my blog or watching my videos. More it is how to feel confident in what you are wearing and how that can affect all areas of your life. I don’t believe thinking about what you wear is in any way “fluffy”, I think it is far more important than that. What I have learned from all of the women I have worked with over the years, is that we want to feel good about ourselves and once we do everyone around us benefits too. So next time someone criticises you for “spending too much time or money” on the way you look rise above it and know that you deserve to feel good about yourself.

Maria Sadler stylist and fashion blogger wearing Eileen Fisher yellow silk top Capsule accessories necklace

DECEMBER

If you have any comments or suggestions about any of the above, please do leave me a comment below.

Thank you as always for your support, kind emails, reading my blog posts and newsletters, watching my videos and just generally being a really fantastic community!

I wish you and your families a fabulous Christmas and a Stylish New Year. Here’s to 2019 and being fabulous and stylish!

Much Love, Maria xx

PS Someone mentioned about my phone always being present in pictures and I just wanted to explain that it isn’t that I can’t drag myself away from it 🙂 I don’t have a photographer as you can probably tell (!) so my phone acts as my remote control for my camera. I try to hide it as much as I can but it doesn’t always work.

PPS Which was your favourite outfit of the year?

21 Comments

  1. Michelle Honey
    December 19, 2018 / 8:38 pm

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts this year and look forward to seeing them and your videos each week.
    They are so informative and have helped me overhaul my wardrobe and renew my love of colour ( my whole wardrobe was practically all navy!!!)

    Can’t wait to see your new ideas for next year, particularly suggestions for petites with different body shapes!

    Have a lovely Christmas and New Year.

    • Maria
      Author
      December 20, 2018 / 1:01 pm

      Thank you Michelle for your comment. I am so pleased that I have been able to help you overhaul your wardrobe. Have a lovely Christmas. Very best wishes, Maria

    • Elaine Dunlop
      December 20, 2018 / 8:05 pm

      Maria thank you for the time and effort you put into creating content for all of us. Moving away from black and grey towards a wardrobe full of colours that suit me has transformed how I feel about my clothes. I now find it much easier to pull outfits together that actually mix and match. I love the July Eileen Fisher red outfit. It’s a standout colour, comfortable but the type of outfit that can take you anywhere. I also love the October picture for its overall colour content.

      Enjoy your family time, take a well deserved break and have a wonderful festive season. My request for next year will be a refresh of your cruise outfits as I will be going on my first ever Med cruise in August.

      • Maria
        Author
        December 22, 2018 / 12:31 pm

        Thank you Elaine and for all your support. How exciting That would be a really good idea for a post, a cruise holiday capsule Have a lovely Christmas too and enjoy a well earned break xx

  2. Sue
    December 20, 2018 / 1:20 am

    December. Fantastic skin, a gorgeous smile and the colour makes you glow. Looking forward to all your new ideas. Happy Christmas Maria.

    • Maria
      Author
      December 20, 2018 / 1:02 pm

      Thank you Sue! I love that top so much 🙂 I hope you have a lovely Christmas. Very best wishes, Maria

  3. Mandy Jewell
    December 20, 2018 / 10:23 am

    I have really enjoyed reading this post, and I’m so looking forward to Looking Stylish 2019! My favourite outfit is October, because it is my colours and style, but you look great in all the outfits Maria, and you are a fantastic ambassador for your business.

    • Maria
      Author
      December 20, 2018 / 1:04 pm

      Thank you Mandy and for all your continued support throughout the year. Have a lovely Christmas, I’m looking forward to seeing your Christmas outfits 🙂

  4. Jill Beddoes
    December 20, 2018 / 11:36 am

    I enjoy reading your blogs because it gives me ideas on how to use my wardrobe and what to add to it.

    My current lifestyle is including more occasions to go out rather than the casual wardrobe I generally use and your posts have encouraged me to think about more luxurious fabrics to make my wardrobe more feminine and suitable.

    Thank you for all your information and videos, I find the posts really interesting.

    • Maria
      Author
      December 20, 2018 / 1:05 pm

      Thank you for your comment Jill, I am so pleased I have been able to help. Have a lovely Christmas, very best wishes, Maria

  5. Pat
    December 20, 2018 / 1:28 pm

    Merry Christmas, Maria! Thank you for the gifts you give us, so generously, all year long.
    Have a very blessed holiday with your family and let’s all look forward to a colorful, coral, new year!

    a faithful fan,
    Pat

    • Maria
      Author
      December 22, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      Thank you Pat and a very happy Christmas to you too

  6. Christine Hughes
    December 22, 2018 / 9:33 am

    You always look wonderful. You obviously know what styles and colours suit you, as your clothes are so flattering – but your skin looks amazing too. Perhaps a post to let us in on your skincare secrets?
    Happy Christmas.

    • Maria
      Author
      December 22, 2018 / 12:29 pm

      Thank you Christine for your kind words. I will definitely be doing some posts on skincare and makeup in the New Year

  7. Julie
    December 22, 2018 / 5:52 pm

    I was amazed that you took your photos by yourself! You have fabulous photos, and I was convinced they were professionally done! I have enjoyed your color advice so much (being across the pond it’s not easy to use the clothing suggestions). At 73, I have still not gone gray — but will likely do so in the next few years. I’m buying colors that work now and will work when I do go gray. Of all the fashion/color services out there, yours are the best. Thank you for everything you have done. I look forward to your next posts. Have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Enjoy!

    • Maria
      Author
      December 28, 2018 / 12:04 pm

      Thank you so much Julie! I hope that you enjoyed Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year.

  8. Georgina
    December 22, 2018 / 6:10 pm

    I love the September outfit. You look lovely in berry colours and I like how your clothes and accessories go together.
    I’ve been reading your blog for at least the last three (or maybe four) years and I think it keeps getting better and better. I really look forward to the Friday Bulletin and your weekly video. I wonder if 2019 might be the year I take the plunge and go for a Colour Dossier.
    Hope the Christmas pudding is ready to be eaten on the 25th, along with a glass of something cheery!
    Have a lovely Christmas and enjoy your hard-earned rest

    • Maria
      Author
      December 28, 2018 / 12:05 pm

      Thank you Georgina!
      I did have a lovely restful Christmas and have some exciting new ideas to implement. Happy New Year.

  9. Georgina
    December 23, 2018 / 2:38 pm

    I love the September outfit as I think you look lovely in berry colours. December is a gorgeous outfit as well.

    I think 2019 might be the year when I take the plunge and go for a Colour Dossier.

    Enjoy your well-earned rest with your family over the holiday period – I hope the Christmas pudding turns out to be yummy.

    Happy Christmas!

  10. Andrea
    December 24, 2018 / 10:34 pm

    Maria, wishing you and your family a wonderful Xmas together. I hope you are feeling better for the big day.
    Thank-you for all your hard work and inspiration in 2018 and I look forwards to what you have in store for us in 2019. We are all very lucky to have you and your creativity on tap

    • Maria
      Author
      December 28, 2018 / 12:06 pm

      Thank you so much Andrea and for your continued support. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year.