We've written more than 11,000 posts this year, photographed and produced more original features than we can count, and grown our once-tiny team by a little more than double (including a slew of new local editors — we love you Shani, Katie, Annie, Holly, Brenna, and Nikki!). This year was our most promising yet, and we've decided to take this opportunity to revel in all the features that made headlines, online and in our very own offices. Click through for behind-the-scenes stories, features you might have missed, and, well, our proudest moments from the past year.
Who Needs Target? We've Got DIY Missoni Shoes — Hopping aboard the Missoni buzz, our Photo Editor (and in-house crafting expert) Christy Kurtz turned to her fabric markers for a little DIY.
Connie Tries Out Super-Long Stiletto Nails — Secret's out: Connie only managed to last a few hours with those nails before they were cut short. Hey, she was in the middle of an apartment move (though, the nails might have come in handy while opening boxes…).
NYC's Hottest Subway Routes: 36 Saucy Snaps — Our intrepid photographer Angela risked unsettling glares for a month to document the hottest subway riders in NYC.
Coachella Fashion! 60+ Rockin' Style Snaps — Festival fashion might have been one of the biggest trends of the summer, and this was the slideshow that rounded up the crème de la crème.
Inside Three A+ Ivy League Dorm Rooms! — Seriously, wow. These aren't your average dorm rooms. And you definitely don't need to be working on your Bachelor's to love them.
2011's 6 Coolest Nail Polish Trends — It seems like you all really loved these nail polish trends. We're actually still wearing a lot of the same shades that we reported on, nearly a year ago.
A Gap Guru's Gorgeous Brooklyn Pad — It seemed like Brooklynite Jane Herman's apartment was as inspiring to you all as it was to us. Who remembers that juggling shot?
3 Braided Hairstyles That You Can Actually Do
We kept spotting that underbraid while we were out for months afterward. Seems all you lovely readers mastered the behind-the-head, upside-down move!
4 Cool Women Making 40 Fantastic — This was one of our very favorite features of the year. Get to know four inspiring women in their 40s who gave all the young'uns a run for their money!
Cheap Challenge: 4 Awesome Outfits Under $50 — This was so much harder than it seemed, but Christene and Connie both clocked in under $50 (for a head-to-toe outfit). Stay tuned for more cheapy-chic editions in 2012!
Google's Most Stylish Gals Give us An awe-inspiring Campus Tour! — Thought Google was made up of just computers and men in suits? NO, YOU'RE WRONG!
200+ Bracelets: Who Has The Best-Dressed Wrists in NYC? — We called in our best-bedecked friends for a little wrist-off at Refinery29. This was the arm party to be at, this year!
Why Twilight Is Screwing Up The Next Generation, By A Former Teen Mag Editor — Our Deputy Editor Neha Gandhi used to work at a teen magazine, and developed a kinda sour taste for Twilight, which she expounded on in one of our most controversial stories of the year.
Try Out These 3 Easy Nail-Art Designs — Our first nail art triad was such a hit, and we had so much fun looking at the submissions of your own versions.
Month of Hair — Thanks to our Creative Director Piera Gelardi and photographer Dan McMahon, we photographed and interviewed 31 stunning gals with magical manes we'd like to steal right off of their heads.
The Lazy Girl's Guide To Gorgeous — We hear you. We're a bunch of lazy girls in this office, so it's not hard to imagine that our readers would appreciate these tricks to get the most beauty bang from the bare minimum of effort.
30 Summer Wardrobe Essentials We Love — The summer season kicked off our quarterly Wardrobe Essentials column, which we've run (and you've read!) every year around the time of year when the weather starts to turn. Now… who's ready for spring 2012?
Chicago's Hottest 30 Under 30 — No living in their parents' basements for this crop of 20-somethings. Check out the Chicago up-and-comers who were (and are!) making it big.
The Mystery's Over: How To Navigate A Bathroom While Wearing A Romper — Ask and ye shall receive. Finally debunking the questions of "How am I going to hit the bathroom in that?", our editors clarified one confounding style question.