We’re approaching the halfway mark for 2014 so it’s a good time to check in on the style goals you set for yourself at the start of the year. Check back in the comments section of that post to compare what you wrote with how things are going. Or take an intuitive stab at your progress if you made more of a mental note at the time.
I’ll start the ball rolling by reporting on my own progress for 2014:
1. To wear simple outfits that are modern, bold, clean and dressy.
Check. I’m still content with the set of adjectives that I use to assess my own outfits each day. They also come in handy when I’m considering an item for purchase. For the most part I feel I’m achieving the aesthetic I aspire to given my climate and lifestyle. Depending on my audience, some days are dressier than others. And even my casual days are relatively dressy, which suits me just fine.
2. To continue adding a soft and refined element to my style while I marry my favourite style personas, Modern Classic, Punk, Trendy Fashionista and Androgynous, into a cohesive style that is age appropriate and attractive.
Check. As I mentioned in yesterday’s outfits post, I’m staying away from hard edge by wearing lots of light and bright colours with shades of white. Some looks are tonal while others are high contrast. I’m using black as an accent colour, piling on the white, and wearing lots of ink blue. I’ve added a good assortment of trendy tops, continue to ground my outfits with modern classics, and strive to create proportions that are just flattering enough instead of conventionally flattering. My outfits get a small dose of built-in punk with my ‘do. I surprised myself by how much I like the sporty trend, and you’ll see more of that vibe in future outfit posts. I LOVE our bumper knitwear trend, the return to fluid and oversized fits, and that comfortable footwear has become very fashionable.
Sometimes I wear outfits with a masculine integrity. Other times I go to the opposite extreme with ladylike looks. Although these vibes are polar opposites, both feel right for my style as long as they are refined and polished. Baggy tucked tuxedo shirt with boyfriend jeans and high vamped loafers or flat oxfords one day. Retro flared midi skirt with pullover and dainty heeled ankle strap pumps the next.
3. To update my specs because they are my most important accessory.
Check. I updated my eyewear five months ago with a pair of apple green specs. They are my favourite specs ever. At this point I can’t bear to wear my other specs, apart from my prescription Wayfarers which are my only pair of sunnies. My green specs have been a game changer for me, and make me so, so happy.
4. To NOT over purchase in Spring because that’s my shopping weakness.
Uh oh. Well, I probably didn’t stick as well to this goal as I should have because we’ve had the best Spring shopping season since I moved to the US more than ten years ago. I love where fashion is at the moment and it shows. As a result, I’ve bought a lot more Spring stuff than I usually do. Luckily though, we’ve had a warmer and sunnier Spring than usual, and I’ve been able to wear my new goodies more frequently. Plus I did buy Spring cashmere, booties, jackets and jeans at the start of Spring when it was much colder. AND I haven’t bought any lightweight flimsy blouses because I run too cold to wear them. The most Summery item I’ve bought is a linen shirt, which is still pretty covered. So I didn’t fall completely off the wagon here.
5. To NOT purchase items with too much design detail because I tire of the aesthetic.
Check. I’m allowing the fabric and workmanship of items to shine more brightly through their simple designs. I’ve added one pattern and a few neutral high-contrast striped pieces to my wardrobe this year and the rest are solid. Clean lines, a crisp look, and no extra bells and whistles.
6. To NOT purchase too many black and grey wardrobe items.
Check. I have been the most strict about this goal. I purchased a pair of pointy toe barely black booties and a very simple boxy black clutch with subtle silver hardware. And nothing grey at all. I am off black as a statement colour at the moment, and this has come through quite strongly in my style.
7. To NOT purchase any more body hugging pieces. As far as possible, tailored is as tight as I want to go this year, although I will continue to wear the tight pieces in my wardrobe that tickle my fancy.
Check. Not one piece. I sized up in my new organza citron skirt so that it would not look body con. Everything else that I’ve purchased this year has been tailored, fluid or oversized.
8. To add more ink blue to my wardrobe.
Check. I’ve added a few pullovers and a blazer. I will continue adding ink blue to my Autumn and Winter wardrobe.
9. To continue purchasing warm knitwear while it’s trending because it’s extremely practical for my lifestyle and climate. And because I love knitwear.
Check. I bought Spring cashmere in blush and neon green. I also added sleeved slubby cotton knitwear from Boden, which has kept me warm and cozy from April onwards. My lightweight blush Zara asymmetrical piece, and yellow Kate Spade silk front pullover have come out to play over the last month as the weather warmed up. All pieces are sleeved and insulating.
10. To continue mixing high-end and low-end pieces in one outfit.
Check. High-low style is not represented in every outfit I wear, but it makes a strong statement in my wardrobe. I vary my shopping sources by purchasing from mainstream retailers, designer labels, and throwing in those budget-friendly Zara pieces. This assortment really helps me to achieve the high-low style goal.
11. To continue exploring the world of trousers and looser fit jeans because they’re better suited to my climate than skirts and dresses when you run as cold as I do.
This is one area where my style in practice has turned out differently to the goal I set in January. Skirts are playing a bigger role in my style than I thought they would and my excitement about trousers is tapering off a little. That said, I did recently purchase a pair of dressy high-waisted blush trousers that I haven’t worn yet, and I still do enjoy wearing my old black ankle pants with black ankle strap pumps. I also got a pair of casual chinos at the beginning of the year that will come out to play with rolled hems and sneakers now that the weather has warmed up.
As far as looser fit jeans go, I did purchase another pair of white boyfriend jeans, a pair of relaxed skinnies and a pair of flared jeans. I’ve been feeling my jeans more than trousers this year, perhaps because dressier white jeans are sometimes taking the place of trousers in my outfits.
12. To make my own style journey and those of my clients a fun and rewarding experience.
Triple check. I’m having more fun than ever with my style this year, probably because I’m loving 2014 fashion, and my style preferences are very focused. My clients are also thoroughly enjoying this season’s vast assortment of colour and style, comfortable footwear, and forgiving silhouettes.
There are some items I would have loved to find for Spring and Summer, like a jumpsuit, a pair of culottes and a pink suit, but no luck so far and I think that ship has sailed. It’s end of season and our Summers are very short. But I have a few dresses on order so hopefully I’ll be able to sport some unlayered frock looks before our cold weather returns.
Over to you. Have you achieved most of your style goals this year? I’d love to hear all about your progress and challenges.