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. Over the years, more and more of our forum members are finding it effective to set realistic style goals and are reaping the rewards. You can too. 

If you’re in a really good place with your style and wardrobe, setting style goals is an intuitive and incremental process of fine-tuning the sartorial fabness that you accomplished the previous year. On the other hand, if you’ve experienced dramatic changes in your life, are in a style rut, or are simply rethinking your priorities, 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 formally set style goals by typing them out each year. I find the process extremely helpful because it crystalizes my thoughts and keeps me accountable to attaining them. It’s handy when I want to check in on my goals and assess progress throughout the year, or share them with others.

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

I’m keeping “Urban Polish” as my style moniker. 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, bold, 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 in an extremely happy place with my style and wardrobe. What I’m doing is working so there’s no need to fix things at this point. I LOVE my wardrobe and I’m grateful for daily outfits that spark joy. So this year it is about fine-tuning my style strategies and focussing on some specific purchases.

On to the goals.

Top Goals

  • Have even MORE fun with fashion because I’m celebrating the fifth decade of my life.
  • Be more adventurous. I’m not completely clear on what this means for my style yet, but in 2020 I’m going to be fearless.

General Goals

  • Be true to my style aspirations. I want to wear outfits that are Modern, Crisp, Retro, Soft and Dressy. I’ve chosen the same five adjectives to describe my ideal style for the fourth year in a row. It works, so why not! 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. Three or four are close enough.
    • Modern because I enjoy injecting a few very carefully chosen hot-off-the-press trends into my seasonal look. That’s part of why fashion is fun, and it works well with my line of work.
    • 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.
  • Prioritize quality. My commitment to wearing beautifully constructed and finished items made of gorgeous fabrics that launder well is higher than ever. I am old school in this regard, and do not want to rent my wardrobe. I believe in buying fewer well made things, wearing them frequently, and looking after them. That’s why I have ten-year-old wool coats and jackets that look new. I did a good job of achieving this last year and want to maintain the momentum.
  • Express my style through colour and my favourite patterns. My style was more colourful and pattern-rich than ever last year, and it positively affects my mood. I could barely wear a head-to-toe neutral outfit without adding back in the colour, it was that extreme. I want to continue wearing my signature sour brights, blush pink, my shades of blue, and some earth tones. I also want to continue remixing the colours in my wardrobe in bold, new and tonal combinations. For patterns I’m sticking to the classics like stripes, dots, plaids, and some florals because I don’t tire of them. I might have to say goodbye to animal print.
  • Continue adding elegant-to-me touches to my style. My custom-made pearl jewellery makes me feel more elegant and polished, as does wearing midi dresses, midi skirts, Furla handbags, structured silhouettes with ease and movement, refined footwear, pointy-toe ballet flats, well-groomed hands and feet, maintaining healthy skin, and doing my hair and make-up each day. No more sheath dresses or pencil skirts because they do not make me feel fab.
  • Sport my signature style, despite the trends. That means edgy short blonde hair, equal parts classic and trendy, an emphasis on the “soft and pretty”, statement eyewear and handbag, natural make-up, white pearls, white footwear, white jeans, structured outfits, lots of colour, classic patterns, hectic colour combinations, light neutrals, dark blue, flat footwear, fashion sneakers, and no nail polish.

Specific Goals

  • Have a new pearl and gold wedding ring custom-made (it’s actually ready, and I’m excited to pick it up).
  • Refresh wardrobe basics like bras, knickers and camisoles.
  • Refresh my white jeans capsule with wider silhouettes.
  • Embellish my Summer pants capsule.
  • Add a new navy, turquoise or light blue wool coat.
  • Embellish my beach & pool capsule for our Summer holiday in Greece, and I’m thinking along the lines of a bandeau bikini.
  • Maybe get a new pair of specs if I see another fabulous pair.

Over to you. Have you thought about your style goals for 2020? 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, even if you’ve already shared them on the forum. 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.