It’s not essential to create a list of style goals, but they can serve as a helpful frame of reference as you edit and review your closet, shop for new items, create outfits, and evolve your style. Having FLEXIBLE goals will make your style journey more effective and enjoyable. 

If you have a good handle on your style direction, setting style goals is an intuitive and incremental process of fine-tuning the sartorial fabness that you accomplished last year. On the other hand, if you’ve experienced dramatic changes in your life, or if you’re in a style rut, setting style goals requires time, patience, some soul searching, and an in-depth analysis of the internal and external factors that affect your style.

I prefer the formal approach of writing or typing out style goals because it crystalizes my thoughts and keeps me accountable to attaining them. It’s handy when I want to check in on my goals regularly to asses progress throughout the year, or share them with others. If this sounds overwhelming, just take a moment to reflect on 2018, and think about how you’d like to improve your fashion and style in 2019. 

Anything that relates to your style can go on the list. Style goals can be general or specific, seasonal or annual, abstract or quantified. Remember that style goals can be changed at any time, so don’t overthink the process. You can set as few as one goal.

I changed my style Moniker to “Urban Polish” last year, and am keeping it for 2019. I live in grungy, outdoorsy, hipster and casual cities, and travel a lot. Yet it’s important to me to create daily outfits that are refined, pretty, structured, polished, comfortable, and dressier than the norm because that feels authentic to my style. And when your style feels authentic to you, it’s easy to manage, maintain and feel happy about it.

I’m repeating many of the same goals because I’m in an extremely happy place with my style, and I love my wardrobe. At the moment, what I’m doing is working so there’s no need to fix it! It’s more a question of repeating and fine-tuning my style strategies, and focussing on some specific purchases.

Here are my goals. This year I am structuring them into my style adjectives, general goals, and specific goals.

Style Adjectives

  1. Wear outfits that are Modern, Crisp, Retro, Soft and Dressy. I’ve chosen the same five adjectives to describe my ideal style. They’ll serve as a benchmark for assessing outfits and purchases on this leg of my style journey. I won’t achieve all five adjectives for every outfit, but three or four are close enough.
  • MODERN because I enjoy injecting a few carefully chosen hot-off-the-press trends into my seasonal look. That’s part of why fashion is fun.
  • CRISP because I love wearing shades of white, and have a strong need to create a polished, professional and tidy appearance.
  • RETRO because of my fondness for fashion from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, but remixing their sensibilities with a good dose of current.
  • SOFT because I do not like wearing hard-edged looks.
  • DRESSY because super casual does not make me happy.

General Goals

  1. Prioritize quality. My commitment to wearing beautifully constructed and finished items made of gorgeous fabrics that launder well is higher than ever. That means prioritizing the following brands because they keep on impressing me, go the distance in my wardrobe, and generally fit well: Boden, Scotch & Soda, COS, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Sylver, Derek Lam, Theory, Furla, Madewell, Karen Millen, Simkhai, Club Monaco, Helene Berman, Pilcro, GRLFRND, Expresso, Franco Sarto, Naturalizer, Hispanitas, Paul Green, Elie Tahari, Stella McCartney, Soia & Kyo, Kate Spade, Peter Kaiser, Bella Freud, Reiss, L.K. Bennett, Manfield and Levis.
  2. Express my style through colour and my favourite patterns. For colours, that means adding a few more new-to-me non-neutrals to my mix of sour brights, pastels, earth tones, and favourite neutrals. To continue remixing the colours in my wardrobe in bold, new and tonal combinations. For patterns that means sticking to the classics like stripes, dots, plaids, some florals and a smattering of animal print because I don’t tire of them.
  3. Continue adding elegant touches to my style. My custom-made pearl jewellery, watch and scarves make me feel more elegant and polished, as does wearing midi dresses, midi skirts, Furla handbags, structured looks with ease and movement, refined footwear, pointy-toe ballet flats, and doing my hair and make-up each day.
  4. Sport my signature style despite the trends. That means blonde pixie, statement eyewear and handbag, natural make-up, white pearls, white shoes, white jeans, structured outfits, lots of colour, light neutrals, dark blue, flat footwear, and no nail polish.

Specific Goals

  1. Add a pair of red pants, orange bottoms or dress, and a red Winter coat.
  2. Wear black in small doses.
  3. Wear skirts and dresses more frequently year round.
  4. Wear casual and dressy trousers more frequently, and blue jeans less frequently.
  5. Mix high-end and low-end items in one outfit.
  6. Find wardrobe gems on my travels because they are unique and sentimental.

The Most Important Goal of All

  1. Have even MORE fun with fashion.

Over to you. Have you thought about your style goals for 2018? Many of the YLF forum members have thought about theirs, and their posts have been a pleasure to read over the last few weeks. Please share your style goals in the comments section. Begin with just two goals if that’s easier, and take it from there. Or simply jot down some rough thoughts about your current and aspirational style direction.