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. Some people do well setting two sets of goals because their styles differ greatly in hot and cold weather. 

Some people set rigid goals, while others prefer a looser approach. For some, setting style goals is an intuitive and incremental process of fine-tuning the sartorial fabness that they accomplished the previous year. For others, it requires time, patience, some soul-searching, and an in-depth analysis of the internal and external factors that affect their style.

I like to set style goals in January because they serve as a helpful frame of reference as I edit and review my closet, add new items, create outfits, and evolve my look. I do a pretty good job of remembering what they are but glance over them from time to time too. I hold myself accountable by sharing my progress mid year and at the end of the year.

Reflecting on my style at the end of 2021 crystalized my thoughts and set me up for effective goal setting right around now. My approach to style and wardrobe management is working so there’s no need to fix anything specific. I love my wardrobe, and I’m grateful for daily outfits that spark joy, energize me, and keep me optimistic. So this year is about continuation, fine-tuning my style strategies, and focussing on some specific purchases.

I’m in a goal setting mood this year so there are more goals on my list than usual. We’ll see how it goes.

1. Amp Up Authenticity

I live in a city where casual, neutral clothing is the norm, yet it is inauthentic for me to dress this way. I am dressy, more preppy than grungy, love bright colours, and I’m not athletic. My style moniker is “Urban Polish” and I’m keeping it that way. It’s important to me to create daily outfits that are refined, pretty, bold, fluidly tailored, polished, comfortable, dressy, practical, and more colourful than the norm. That feels authentic to my style so that’s what I am sticking with. And when your style feels authentic-to-you, it’s easy to manage, maintain and enjoy.

2. Stay True to My Style Aspirations

I want to wear outfits that are Modern, Crisp, Retro, Playful and Dressy. There is no need to achieve all five adjectives for every outfit. 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, keeps things fresh, and it works well with my line of work.

Crisp, because I love wearing shades of white and clear brights, and have a strong need to create a fresh, professional and tidy appearance.

Retro, because of my fondness for fashion from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, but remixing retro sensibilities with a good dose of current.

Playful, because it’s become important to me to wear outfits that are or have soft, amusing, sentimental, nostalgic and fun elements. This also reminds me to not take the fashion and style world too seriously, and to do my own thing.

Dressy, because super casual does not make me happy.

3. Prioritize brands that work

I tend to do best with certain brands, so unless things change, it’s wise to keep purchasing from them. Furthermore, I successfully rekindled my affection with some old brands that I had great success with in the past, but that fell off my radar. They are back on my ‘brands that work for me’ list. Purchasing from these brands means that there is a good chance that the fit, fabric, colour, silhouette, price point, and quality is right for my style. This keeps my style focussed and creates easier wardrobe additions. It’s worth remembering that trying new-to-me brands is not necessarily a good thing, especially when I’m having a good run with tried-and-tested brands.

3. Make manageable, sustainable and ethical wardrobe decisions

I am committed to making the most sustainable and ethical wardrobe decisions that I can manage. There are compromises, but wardrobe items have to be right to work over time, which is a sustainability goal in itself. As far as possible, I will continue to refresh my style from designers and retailers that are committed to sustainable and ethical practices, and my intention is to keep wardrobe items for as long as I can. Luckily, most of the brands that I am prioritizing in goal #3 are producing more sustainably and ethically over time.

4. Express my style through my favourite colours and patterns

My style is colour-rich with a good dose of neutral blue and white. I want to continue wearing my signature sour brights, blush pink, my shades of blue, lots of white, and a very careful sprinkling of earth tones. I want to continue remixing the colours in my wardrobe in bold and new ways, but I also want to wear monochromatic and tonal outfits in non-neutrals more frequently.

For patterns I’m sticking to the classics like stripes, dots, plaids, checks, horse prints, and some florals because I don’t tire of them. That said, I need to tame my gung-ho pattern gene because there is a LOT of pattern in my wardrobe. I will be focussing on solids for a while, but patterned dresses and skirts are fine.

5. Continue exploring the world of fun and practical pants

I LOVE wearing dressy and casual pants in solids and patterns. I enjoy wearing them as much as trendy blue and white jeans. Pants in checks and plaids have become signature to my style and I reach for them as much as solid pants. Going forward though, I want to flesh out my solid capsule of non-denim bottoms and give patterns a break.

6. Continue adding elegant-to-me touches to my style

My custom-made pearl jewellery makes me feel more elegant, as does wearing midi dresses, midi skirts, dressy pants, structured handbags, fluidly tailored silhouettes with ease and movement, refined footwear (even when they’re fashion sneakers!), well-groomed hands and feet, maintaining healthy skin, and doing my hair and make-up each day.

My very short COVID pixie made me feel more elegant, edgy, and polished than its longer versions. Exposing my ears makes me feel alluring. That said, I’m growing out my hair because I miss my longer waves and want a little extra to play with. My hair will be short, but not as short. I might darken the blonde a bit too. I’m not sure how I’ll feel when my hair project is complete. But I’m persevering with the growing-out stage because I’m curious about how I’ll feel with longer hair. I’m enjoying the adventure, and am looking forward to the change.

7. Milk my signature style

That means short hair, equal parts classic and trendy, an emphasis on the “soft, playful and pretty”, tailored fluidity, statement eyewear and dressy handbag, natural make-up, white pearls, white footwear, white jeans, red pants, lots of colour, classic patterns, hectic colour combinations, monochromatic bright from head-to-toe, some pattern mixing, light neutrals, dark blue, flat footwear, fashion sneakers, and no nail polish.

8. Specific Goals

Here are some very specific things I’d like to do this year:

  • Refresh my capsule of solid separates
  • No more olive. Although olive matches my eyes, it doesn’t make me happy
  • Add crisp white Summer tops
  • Add light blue wardrobe items to match new light blue specs
  • Re-evaluate tired knitwear and replace as needed
  • Embellish my new horsey capsule
  • Find comfortable Summer shoes that go the distance, but are neither sneakers nor sandals
  • Add another dressy pants suit
  • Put new prescriptive lenses into old sunnies, or commit to new frames for my sunglasses.
  • Replenish basics like bras and panties
  • Replace my very old navy military coat
  • Build onto my blush pink complement
  • Embellish my high Summer capsule, because Seattle Summers are getting hotter
  • Fill a Spring and Summer jacket wardrobe hole
  • Add more flowing, fun midi skirts to my skirt capsule
  • Summer dress additions are always welcome!

Over to you. Have you thought about your style goals for 2022? 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. They will be and interesting and aspirational to others, and I look forward to hearing them.