In thinking through what to change for better photos, I was caught up in finding something that I could actually sustain (rather than put a lot of effort one day and return to old ways the next).
My main struggle with taking pics in the winter is the light. I've been in the habit of snapping a quick pic right after breakfast. As you can see (in pic #2), this results in pretty harsh lighting, and I have to lighten the pics. Rather than find a new place, I decided to try a new time of day - right after lunch. At that time, the sun is overhead, and direct light isn't shining in the windows. I think it worked!
Neither pic was adjusted for brightness - just cropped.
(And WIW: pic #1 black and white buffalo check under a black swingy cardigan with dark gray skinny jeans and red plaid shoes. Pic #2 black shirt under blush sweater with black bootcuts)