Style Bee - Closet Mission 2016

Closet Mission 2016


Style Bee - Closet Mission 2016


Before I dig into my new closet mission let’s take a moment to review last years mission and assess whether or not it was successful (spoiler alert: it was!). Flash back to 1 year ago, when I was feeling really bummed out about my style and fashion blogging in general and I decided to make some changes. I began by setting a few clear objectives, my ‘closet mission’ if you will, which were:

  1. Spend less time, effort and money on clothes.
  2. Define my personal style.
  3. Feel good about every addition to my wardrobe. 
  4. Live better with less.
  5. Save money and spend more time enjoying the moments that matter.

So did I achieve those objectives? For the most part I definitely did, but I was also really invested in the mission itself and doing research, creating workbooks and building blog posts surrounding the topic. This meant I ended up spending a lot more time thinking about my style and my closet than I had before. So in that regard I failed to meet the objective, but I also realized that the process of defining personal style (both in general and my own) and being creative with the clothes I have was something I truly enjoyed. Much more than the act of shopping itself. I managed to get rid of over 50% of my clothing, accessories and shoes, which feels amazing. Every item I’ve added since has been carefully considered and a welcome, unique addition to my closet and style. I spent much less on clothes in 2015 than in 2014 and I feel as though I’ve actually invested in pieces that I’ll have forever, instead of just buying something because it’s on sale or on trend. So the long answer short is yes! 

Style Bee - Closet Mission 2016

What was the most difficult to change? It was really tough to just stay in my own lane. With social media being such a big part of daily life it’s so easy to be influenced by other people, which is something I both love and resent at times. I felt pangs of jealousy here and there and felt like I should be buying certain items or that I’d made a mistake choosing one thing over something more trendy. I’ve since felt these internal jabs subside because I realized that I don’t want to be like anyone else, even if they have great style and all the Mansur Gavriel bags you could dream of. No, I want to be me, and be awesome in my own way.

What was the easiest to change? To be fair I found each step if the process a bit challenging. But now that I’ve purged my closet, endured shopping fasts, identified my triggers, defined my style and actually managed to help other women do the same I feel so empowered. The easiest thing now is to say no to the things I don’t really need.

What was the biggest takeaway? When I boil it all down the biggest takeaway from the mission was the realization that while I am very passionate about the art of style, I don’t need anything materialistic to make me truly happy, I have wonderful friends and family, a hunky fella and furry babes for that! Sure I can appreciate the delight that comes from a new, beautifully made item but really, I learned that if I’m honest with myself, trust my instincts and believe in my own abilities, the rest will fall into place. That realization has me feeling so liberated and more stylish than ever!

So with that I’ll move on to this year’s mission! Feel free to check out the Closet Mission Page for all the posts, workbooks and capsules I tested throughout 2015.

Style Bee - Closet Mission 2016


So that brings me to my 2016 Closet Mission, which I’ve spent a lot of time (probably too much) thinking about. I debated whether or not I should do something drastic, like not shop all year (I really thought about that), or reduce my closet to a 40 piece capsule or commit to shopping from ethical brands exclusively (still thinking about that one). But in the end they all felt a little bit gimmicky for me and I wanted to be 100% genuinely excited about it. So instead I decided that it doesn’t have to be so drastic or cut and dry but that my objectives could be both open-ended and specific. So here goes!

  1. Reduce. Whether it comes to my personal style, how much I spend, how much stuff I have or how much I waste, I want to focus on reduction and simplification.
  2. Create. Whether it’s my own clothing, home goods, stationary, beauty products or food, I want to take more ownership of the things that are part of my life. I want to get away from the screen and use my hands!
  3. Connect. I absolutely LOVE connecting with unique brands and makers who are creating outstanding goods. I’m excited to share more insights about the people behind great products and hopefully introduce readers to new brands and promote the importance of supporting quality craftsmanship.
  4. Empower. The best part of my mission last year was discovering how many women are just like me and looking to shop smarter and embrace their best self through style and personal discovery. My plan is to streamline the process even more and create a proper toolkit for any woman who’s ready to embark on their own closet mission!
  5. Live better with less. This objective carried over from last year and it’s something I want to explore further in all aspects of my life.
Style Bee - Closet Mission 2016


It’s far too easy to throw some words out into the blogosphere and then forget about them, so I’ve plotted out a little game plan to help me keep focused. It goes like so:


I’ll be taking the month of January off from shopping. I’ve also decided to forego a Winter Capsule as there are so many great capsule closets out there already and I’m more interested in other aspects of style blogging right now. Not to mention I totally missed the boat and it’s almost mid January, what!?


I’ll be re-evaluating my style definition, seeking out some new inspiration and welcoming some changes.


I’m going to continue my quarterly edits and embracing my minimalist tendencies. I also look forward to trying out another 10 x 10 challenge in the Spring, exploring new designers, flexing my interior design skills and pushing both my personal style and creativity!


This is the super fun part where I get to add some new gems, which I’ll be sure to share, to the collection and establish a true core closet. More on that later!


I spent a lot of last year being overly pragmatic about my style, all the damn time, so I’m looking forward to having some fun and just enjoying life and fashion even more. I’ll be working on some great collaborations, home refinements and taking some time to hone in on a few craft projects. I can’t wait!

Style Bee - Closet Mission 2016
So there you have it! My 2016 Closet Mission. Now, I say ‘my’ but really I’d love to call it ‘our’ Closet Mission because it’s way more rewarding to do it with you! So please share your thoughts for your 2016 wardrobe and style. What are some of the things you’re planning to incorporate or eliminate? Do you have any major closet goals for the year? Let’s hear ’em!

Style Bee - Shop


And last but definitely not least! I’ve finally been able to curate a proper Shop here on the blog, which consists of a collection of all my most loved items all in one place. Hurrah!! I know a lot of people were bummed to see the old one go with the redesign so I’m happy to announce that it’s back and better than ever. Take a peek at the Style Bee Shop.

Thanks for making it through this monster of a post and thank you for being my biggest motivator throughout these Closet Missions. I honestly love connecting with all of you! Please don’t hesitate to shoot me a note or leave a comment with anything that’s on your mind (style related or not!). Here’s to a stylish and empowering 2016!!

Leave me a comment here!

  1. Elysia says:

    I’ve just recently discovered your blog, and it’s quickly become one of my favorites. I’ve never been quite ready to take the plunge and try the capsule closet or a full-on shopping fast, but I’ve certainly grown more conscious about my purchases. Thank you so much for continuing to inspire and I look forward to reading more from you!

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Hi Elysia, I’m so glad you discovered my blog and that you’re finding it useful! Knowing that totally makes my day! Thanks for the words of encouragement lovely. xoxo

  2. Jill says:

    I totally agree with you that it is quite a bit of time to invest to figure out your own style, but then the rewards flow. So instead of focusing on time, I focus on the fact that I am gaining clarity. Once I have clarity, it’s all easy!

    I love all of your plans for the year!! Please keep believing in yourself and doing what you are doing — you are offering something out that is truly helpful and useful. You have helped me do all the things that you are doing and I am so happy!

    Please keep posting your “looks” and links to purchasing from the designers you find. It is the easiest way for me to shop and get inspiration to discover my own style. I, too, am making careful purchases, and those purchases give me more joy in that they are quality, unique pieces from which I can create a new outfit every day. Getting dressed is such a pleasure! 🙂

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Jill, you are so right! The clarity really is the ultimate reward. So glad you said that. I also really appreciate your kind words and encouragement, more than you know! There will be lots of looks coming soon and lots of new and upcoming designers that I’m excited to share. In the meantime it sounds like you’re doing awesome! Thanks so much xoxo

  3. Mun says:

    It’s nice to see someone listing down their closet mission. I’ve never really formally thought about what I want to achieve with my wardrobe but subconsciously I know that I want to be contented with what I have and dress better quality wise. It really is difficult sometimes when those beautiful people on instagram seem to have both quality and quantity but really everything in life is about gaining the right perspectives and making do with what we have. I started purging before the end of last year and boy that felt good! Likewise this year I plan to continue my quest in creating, not just anything but in a thoughtful manner. My overall shopping goal of the year? Consume but in a mindful manner.

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Mun, that sounds wonderful! I know it’s really hard to maintain a reasonable perspective when there is a constant barrage of awesome stuff dangling in our faces. My whole mission started out with a goal to find closet contentment and I feel like I’m always going to ‘want’ for something but I’m in a place now where I really don’t ‘need’ anything. It’s definitely a good place. Feels so good to break the cycle of buying more, wanting more! Good luck and keep me posted! xox

  4. Nicola says:

    I’m happy to see create on the list! That is definitely one of my goals in 2016. I have a pile of fabric that I hope to make into dresses, a long vest, and a cocoon coat (before the weather warms up). I’m also really curious to try sewing a tee shirt (perhaps with this pattern: I just love that I can make something that is a custom fit and great quality for less than something purchased of a similar quality.

    I’m excited to see what you end up creating!!

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Nicola, your project list sounds amazing! I’ve been thinking I might try to make a nice, sleek wool vest for next winter and that t-shirt pattern is awesome. I’m also so impressed with the crop sweater you made! Seriously reminiscent of Hackwith Design or Elizabeth Suzann and they are my faves. I might have to hit you up for pointers. Can’t wait to see what you make and will be sure to share what I manage to concoct 🙂 xo

  5. Alexandra Chua says:

    Wow, this post prompted me to do something I’ve never done before – to define my style and try to figure out my uniform. It seems like such an obvious thing to do, but I just never knew how to start. Thanks for giving me the tools to do that.
    Living better with less. Not minimalist. Not cheaply. Better and less. I love that so much. X

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Alexandra, you’re words are seriously music to my ears! I’m so happy you’re up for this personal challenge and I know you’ll find it really rewarding. Any questions at all, you know where to find me 😉 xo

  6. Robyn says:

    Always love seeing this! Didn’t even think about adding this as one of my missions for the year – hacking my spring/summer closet is next. Fall/winter were easy to do. There’s a strange fine line for professional and fun in the spring/summer capsule. Wish me luck and great job! Love this.


    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thanks so much Robyn! You’re totally right about spring and summer being trickier. Even though I don’t work in a conventional office I feel like there are so many more options in warmer months that it can be hard to keep my style lean. I think the trick is to find the silhouettes you feel most comfortable and pulled together in and then go from there. Good luck indeed! xoxo

  7. Jodie says:

    It’s finally here!
    Love your closet mission posts.
    I’am still not shopping too, for at least January and February. It feels really good.
    I agree about staying in your lane. For a long time I was too busy keeping up, shopping and now it feels good to just be me.
    Can’t wait to see all the outfits, and more of these posts!

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Ah, thanks lady! I knew you’d be happy to see this post and I’m so glad it didn’t disappoint! Good for you for keeping the shopping fasting going so long. That is a major feat, seriously. I feel the same way in that I’ve found it much easier to stay true to my personal style when I don’t worry about ‘keeping up’. Buying too much just ends up muddying the waters, right? Thanks so much Jodie xo

  8. Hi Lee! Loved your reflections on 2015 and goals for this year! I’ve felt the same when thinking about doing a capsule wardrobe or shopping fast. I unintentionally only bought secondhand items last year, which happened because I wanted to slow down and enjoy the clothing I have. There are a few items I would like to buy like your Elizabeth Suzann pants or Everlane boxy striped tee, so I may do that soon!

    I’ve read your natural beauty product post and you can even create your own, which is incredible for your skin and fulfills your create goal! Within the next couple of weeks, I’m going to send my subscribers the recipes I use for my face lotion, toothpaste and deodorant. I can’t even tell you how much money we’ve saved by making our own beauty and home products. Plus, no chemicals or packaging waste!

    My goal for 2016 is to continue eliminating and streamlining my closet. Since I work in an office, I feel like my closet is living a double life. I’d love to streamline and only have a few pieces that can be worn at work and home.


    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Hanna! I’ve been checking in on your blog and you’re such a great thrifter! You find so many gems. I love that you are able to set out with something in mind and work towards it. So many people warn that you can’t go ‘looking’ for anything in particular. You’re showing them! Those two items you mentioned are two of my favourites. Definitely worth a try!

      I’d love to know more about your secret home made potions and it sounds like a great closet goal you’ve set. Looking forward to seeing where this year takes you Hanna! xo

  9. Kat says:

    Hi Lee! Thank you for this post, it was lovely reading your thoughts on where you’re taking the closet mission this year. I love your objectives but especially Reduce, Empower and Live better with less – I can relate! I think I’m ready for a shopping fast too – actually, I haven’t purchased anything since before Christmas so even though I didn’t plan it, I’m already fasting. I didn’t get anything from the sales and I don’t even care. There’s not much I need and it’s such a great feeling. Yes, there are things I want but first I’d really like to work on my style before purchasing something I may regret. Which takes me to my goals for my 2016 wardrobe. Definitely keep defining my style! This is a big and a challenging one for me. My style keeps changing and I’m really hoping to nail down the uniforms or silhouettes that make me feel my best. I have a feeling I’m close! It’s hard to keep focused on me and not be led down the wrong route of adopting someone else’s style. The constant inspiration and visual stimuli everywhere is really dangerous while you’re trying to pin point what’s really you. I think that is my main goal. As well as purging more, curating more and shopping less. Still a lot of work to do, but reading posts such as this one helps.
    Have a lovely weekend!
    xo Kat

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your closet mission Kate! I love that you don’t care about shopping the sales. It’s all a marketing ploy really and I feel the same. Unless it’s something that’s been on my list forever, then I will occasionally pounce haha. I think you’re taking the right approach for sure though. Just take a breather, reassess, plan and then consider adding something. I found defining my style the trickiest part for sure. But my style has changed a bit from my definition last year and that’s ok too. Just as long as you feel like you’re moving towards the most authentic version of you. For some that might mean being able to take risks or have lots of options but usually I find once you’re onto it all the ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybe I’d wear that’s end up disappearing. Good luck and try not to rush it too much, it should be fun! xo