Wow, and just like that, 2018 comes to a close…This past year was HUGE for me, with everything ranging from incredible opportunities to travel, to big life “firsts”, to graduating high school, to finally starting college. But of course, the year wasn’t without its heartache either, and lots of it.
Something I’ve never really touched on here at Graceful Rags but that I’ve always marveled at is the sentimentality of clothing. For me, I can think of a memory and instantly recall the outfit I was wearing in that moment, whether that be sparkly shoes that glinted in the sunlight or uncomfortable jeans that kept crawling down my legs. Today, to reflect on the year, I wanted to share the outfits that hold the fondest memories for me in 2018. Every time I re-wear these items, I time travel, thinking, That’s right, I wore this on the black leather couch where I first kissed a boy, or, This is the shirt I was wearing when I broke down crying over my AP calculus homework. (Dark times.) This past year had so many special moments and some incredible outfits, so I’m beyond excited to relive them all here with you.
Wednesday, January 3 to Monday, January 8
maroon mock-neck top that I own in 3 colors // denim jacket // chiffon watercolor scarf from an old lady at a craft fair // black hand-me-down pants that always fall down // tennis shoes
The year started off with a bang when my family and I traveled to San Diego for the first time. I loved all of the photos and content shot here, and clearly so did all of you because 5 of my top 9 most popular Instagram posts from the year were taken in San Diego. I rocked this outfit to explore the tidepools at Point Loma!
blush lace-up tee that washes me out // green army jacket that I thought I would hate but ended up loving // jeans that are too big // blush quilted sneakers
I made plenty of egg-cellent egg puns and ordered a side of bacon called Jurassic Pork on this first day in San Diego. From the airport, to this delicious breakfast joint, to our hotel, and then to the USS Midway Museum, this outfit saw San Diego at its finest.
green stripe tee that fits like a glove // that denim jacket again // the same black pants // blush quilted sneakers
I channeled my inner Titanic by standing tall at the bow of my uncle’s boat and went on a magical misty ride beneath the Coronado Bridge. Yes, a seal or two were spotted.
I had such a great time exploring this awesome city and made the most of all the delicious food, beautiful sights, and the salty ocean air. To see more photos from the trip and more of these outfits, check out the posts below:
Finally Getting My License
Thursday, January 18
pink sweater that I wish I bought in more colors // grey floral jeans that somehow still fit // blush quilted sneakers
Yes, I was a very late bloomer when it came to getting my driver’s license, and you can rest assured I received a ton of crap for it for years. As you can imagine, finally sealing the deal was huge for both me and all my certified chauffeurs (you know who you are). I wore this pink sweater and these grey floral jeans the day I took the driving test with some old-ish man who looked forward to planting tulips in his garden.
black and white pinstripe dress that I wore to a May Crowning ceremony in 8th grade // maroon polka dot cardigan // beige sparkly flats
About a week later, on the day I took the written test and actually got my license, I wore this black and white pinstripe dress layered under this maroon polka dot cardigan. Unfortunately, my license photo did not turn out, but I guess it’s a right of passage.
To see more of these outfits, check out the old posts below:
My First Date
Sunday, February 18
white short sleeved sweater from my grandma’s closet // black pleather skirt from a boutique in Portland // a red scarf that I’ve had forever but hardly wear // an art deco purse that was a Valentine’s gift
This outfit is one of my absolute favorites from the year, and it’s tied to one of my fondest memories. My parents and I went to West Seattle to visit my brothers for their birthdays and enjoyed an incredible brunch at the Palisade Restaurant. We ate our body’s weight in indulgent and delicious foods, chatted, and enjoyed each other’s fabulous company while cultivating record-breaking food babies.
tight-fitting striped green tee // black pants I wore the night before // leopard rain booties
Later that night, the boy I liked and I arranged for a date—my first date ever. Needless to say, it went horribly (not because the kid but because everything we tried to do fell through). I was very nervous and the night was quite unfortunate, but it’s the kind of story I’ll tell my own kids when I’m older. Now we both just laugh at how wrong it went. At least I looked good in my favorite green striped tee!
These looks can be found in the following posts:
Seeing Dancing with the Stars with My Brother
Thursday, March 15
red fringe dress that you’re required to shimmy in // silver block heels I bought for prom junior year
If you know me, you know it is one day my dream to be a B-lister star so I can compete on the show Dancing with the Stars. For my birthday the previous November, my brother got the two of us tickets to see the DWTS Live Tour in my city, which is one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received. I waited so long for March to come, and the show did not disappoint! I had so much fun with my big bro and finally got to rock this fabulous flapper-style dress, which was also a birthday gift the November before.
This outfit was featured in my post Fringe!
My First Kiss
Friday, April 6
purple sparkly sweater that’s my favorite hand-me-down // grey bedazzled jeans I got on a college tour visit
More than a month after my date from hell (hehe), I finally had my first kiss, and I’ll never forget the outfit I wore. Thankfully, this date went a lot better, and I was more than pleased that I could now sing Ed Sheeran’s lyric, “My first kiss on a Friday night, I don’t reckon that I did it right,” and actually have lived it myself.
Check out the origin posts of these photos below:
The First Gown I Ever Wore
Saturday, April 7
mauve dress that was worn by Lady Gaga // $5 silver clutch purchased the day of prom // silver block heels to catch up to my 6’4” date
April 7th was special because I finally got to wear a full-length gown to my senior prom. This mauve tulle dress was a little treasure found in a high-end consignment store in Vegas during my spring break the week before, and we purchased it from the cutest old ladies decked out in vintage Chanel and speaking with the most darling Scandinavian accents. And can we just admire my hair for a second?! I was so proud of myself (I did it all on my own). Bet you I could never recreate that look…hehe.
This gorgeous outfit is featured in my post Mauve.
Prom 2: The Revenge
Friday, May 4
black beaded hand-me-down gown // trusty silver block heels // stunning pearl hairpiece from my aunt
A month later, I attended my then-boyfriend’s prom in Seattle. While the night was something I could forget, I could never let go of this beautiful outfit. This photo was one of my absolute favorites from the year!
Check out the post My First Tailoring Experience for more.
My Brother’s College Graduation
Saturday, May 12
striped teal blouse I got in the 8th grade // polka dot trousers // more of those silver block heels
I was so proud and excited to watch my oldest brother graduate from college (while in this pattern-mixing outfit). My family met in Uniontown, Washington, where we stayed at an old convent-turned-bed and breakfast. I’ve found that as my siblings and I get older, it gets harder and harder to find that quality family time. This weekend was such a blast and so special because we were all together!
This post is called, New Year, Still New Year? Perfect for January and NYE…
High School Graduation
Saturday, May 26
vintage polka dot dress from my cousin after spending the entire day before looking for a spring dress in the mall // the comfiest white heeled sandals
And then at the end of the month, I graduated myself! I never realized how exciting and important a high school graduation is until I walked across that stage in my comfy white heels. The whole day was unforgettable and one of the best of my life! I was so blessed to be able to celebrate with all my family and friends.
My graduation outfit is featured in the post Let the Diva Die, a very popular one from the year!
Toronto and Niagara Falls, Canada
Tuesday, May 29 to Saturday, June 2
brown patterned dress from Charming Charlie // black stud sandals that I wore to death
I began the summer with an amazing family vacation, starting in Toronto, Canada. I wore this brown patterned dress to explore the coolest neighborhood, with a Fleuvog shoe store and plenty of scary bodyguards outside the Chanel boutique.
teal mock-neck tank // striped skirt from Cabi // those same black sandals
In teal and stripes I explored the CN Tower and the Ripley’s Aquarium down below. No year is complete without some sort of shark encounter.
black boho top // jeans that are too big // magenta TOMS // a sexy red plastic cloak
We finished our Canada trip with a bucket list item at Niagara Falls. Of course, there were more Titanic renditions, and being soaked by the Falls’ water on a rocky Hornblower Cruise was one of my favorite memories of 2018.
All my posts from Canada are listed below:
New York City
Saturday, June 2 to Wednesday, June 6
same white sweater from my grandma’s closet // houndstooth pants that scrunch weird sometimes // the coolest printed sunglasses that I call my “cow shades”
From Canada we flew to the Big Apple for the first time, and while I was a little apprehensive at first, the Empire State of Mind hit me hard—I loved this incredible city. I wore this outfit to explore the Highline walkway and do some window shopping, and this photo was another all time favorite.
hand-me-down hoodie // black pleather jacket // jeans that don’t fit right (a theme, perhaps?)
I kept it casual for a day of walking through Central Park and riding the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building. What a view. Oh, and I used these photos to publish one of my favorite blog posts ever, That Was Nothing Like High School Musical.
black dress with feathers I bought because it reminded me of a flapper girl // blue flats that dig into my heels // $12 statement necklace
And I crossed off another bucket list item by attending a Broadway Play! It wasn’t a musical, rather, a super depressing three-woman show. It was great though, which I decided after drying my tears. So many incredible moments.
All my NYC posts are below:
Tuesday, August 21
floral denim blouse I had to remove from a mannequin // green eyelet shorts I got during spring break // beige fringe booties
After a rough summer, I had a grand ole time exploring the cute city of Duvall, Washington. I hear they have the best mocha milkshake in the Pacific North West. Afterwards, I spent the weekend with my parents and some old friends, catching up, playing with horses, and watching my brother and dad show down against each other in a college alumni soccer match.
This outfit was seen in my post Taking the Bull By the Horns: Planning Your Weekly Outfits.
Donating My Hair
Tuesday, August 28
boho dress that I realized has a hole // sparkly leaf sandals that I accidentally bought in the wrong size
I ended the summer by shedding my locks (more than 10 inches) and donating them to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. I couldn’t wait for a new ‘do and a new attitude to transition into my exciting college life that awaited.
I talked all about my hair experience in my post Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: The Big Chop (And Why You Should Too). Gotta love those David Bowie references.
Beginning a New Adventure at College
Friday, August 31
floral dress for $5 from Francesca’s // beaded sandals that used to give me two matching scabs on my big toes
Bright and early in the morning, my parents and I started a road trip to my new home in Denver, Colorado. I had been planning my college experience since the 6th grade, and it was truly unbelievable that it was finally happening. It took many days to pack this car!
My outfit is in the post HAY There Monday (8 Ways to Beat the Monday Blues).
black and white boho top that also came in orange // khaki shorts // magenta TOMS that didn’t fit my aunt so I gratefully took them off her hands
I wanted to look cute but practical for move in day, so I rocked this boho top and a sassy head scarf that fell off throughout the afternoon. What a shame. I met my roommate, moved all my stuff with the help of buff sophomore boys, and clung to the remaining moments I had with my parents!
First Day of College
Monday, September 10
that favorite striped tee again // olive skirt that’s almost too long // brand new rose gold sandals that gave me blisters
I dressed to impress on my first day of college classes—no sweats here! My teachers were scary but I didn’t get lost. It’s possible I ate bacon. All in all, a good day.
Halloween as Audrey Hepburn
Wednesday, October 31
black frilly dress I wore on Broadway // the most fabulous coat that ever existed // a tiny tiara I’ve had for as long as I can remember but can only believe was meant for this moment
This Halloween resulted in my favorite costume to date, and possibly my favorite photoshoot ever. I only answer to Audrey now; see you at Tiffany’s.
I spent Halloween night with my roommate watching my first horror movie (The Conjuring) after moving our mattresses and bedding onto the floor. We didn’t let each other leave the other one’s sight the rest of the night, and we may or may not have left a light on…
You can see the whole creation of this costume in the post Hey Classy Lady: An Audrey Hepburn Halloween Costume.
Celebrating my Birthday at High Tea
Friday, November 2
fabulous red fringe dress // rose gold sandals that didn’t result in blisters this time
A week before my birthday, my aunt and grandma took me to the most amazing high tea at the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver. I wrote about the whole experience in my post High Five for High Tea, but it was truly a gift I’ll never forget. Later that day, I went shopping with my roommate and her parents, ate a delicious steak dinner, and finished the night at a hockey game, where my roommate and I collected not one, but THREE hockey pucks. One of the best college days so far.
More Birthday Celebrations
Friday, November 9
polka dot blouse I wish I had bought in multiple colors // blue peacoat that was the first thing I ever purchased from Francesca’s (and so the love affair began) // a polka dot skirt that snagged on my purse
The next weekend, my parents surprised me for my birthday. I hadn’t seen them since the beginning of September and it was so special being able to celebrate with them! We had a great time playing tourists in Denver, and the food was even better. I, of course, was donned in head-to-toe polka dots!
You can see more of this outfit in 10 Ways to Style Polka Dots.
Thursday, December 20 to Sunday, December 23
red patterned top I call my Shakespeare shirt because of the sleeves // black pants // blue booties that I hunted a woman in DSW to get
My family finished this incredible year with a quick trip to Las Vegas to visit extended family. This Christmas season was particularly special, doing everything from seeing The Polar Express in theaters, to going ice skating, to seeing the Clydesdale horses, to viewing the Christmas lights, to making an insane gingerbread house, to having the most fun white elephant gift exchange with all my cousins.
I know this post is going up way late, but I just HAD to get it done before the new year. No matter what kind of year you had in 2018, 2019 is a completely fresh start: let’s live boldly, love deeply, and make the most of every outfit. 3-2-1… Happy NEW YEAR!!
Miles of smiles,