I found it extremely helpful last year to have a forum post on my style goals for the year. It was easy to find and refer to throughout the year. I have a better grasp on my goals this year and the list was faster to write. It's still long.

1. To remain The Duchess Next Door. My outfits are Detailed, Retro, Colorful, Graceful, and Smart. (I have a very strong sense of my own style; coming up with words to describe it has been difficult.)

  • Detailed: There must be several interesting elements in an outfit. Color, cut, design, accessories - several things.
  • Retro: 1940s and 1950s influence in predominance of dresses, the defined waist, and natural proportions.
  • Colorful: Absolutely essential. All neutrals, especially darks, bore and depress me.
  • Graceful: Many of my outfits look best in motion. When still, I want graceful lines and proportions.
  • Smart: An old word meaning neat and trim, implying impeccable taste. Neither ordinary nor flamboyant.
2. To stick with the silhouettes that work. Experiment only with absolutely stellar pieces that also fit into my real life. I lost weight last year and more styles look good; that still doesn’t mean they will make me as happy to wear them. Be choosy.

3. To be very careful with buying pointy toe shoes and higher heels. Pointy toes in general are a poor fit for my toes, and heels are getting more painful for my high-arched feet.

4. To be picky and willing to return. I’m not wardrobe building anymore. I need to get out of the habit of buying placeholders.

5. To not buy or waste time shopping for a handbag when I don’t really want one. They’re beautiful and tempting and all over the forum. But in reality I don’t want to change and I don’t like to change. I will know when I need to switch or buy a new one, and that’s fine.

6. To get clothes tailored, and mentally include the cost with new purchases. I had several pairs of jeans fitted at the waist this year and it was amazing. I’ve never had jeans fit so well, and I was definitely encouraged to reach for them in intermediate weather.

7. To continue to buy dresses. I always wear dresses more than any other silhouette, year round, and never feel like I have enough.

8. To search for winter-appropriate pastels and whites. Rich colors and jewel tones are lovely for a short time in the fall, but they quickly become too somber for me. Especially with a black support act.

9. To continue to build a Hot Autumn capsule. Opposite of winter styling, this needs rich, dark colors in lightweight materials and short sleeves. I found very little for this capsule last year.

10. To use some of my fabric stash and make summer dresses. I’ve had this intention for the last four years…

11. To grow out my hair, maintaining a neat cut and styling routine. I’m a long hair girl at heart, though I’ve experimented and learned so many techniques while it was shorter. It is currently almost to the bra strap, and does grow faster than average, which is 6” a year. My goal is hip length. It is never straight and will not look that long.

12. To stick to the budget. I am no longer wardrobe-building and am transitioning into maintenance. I’ve spent a lot less over the entire winter shopping season than last year.

13. To save for good rose gold jewelry. Meaning the real thing. Sooner or later it will go out of fashion; I need to get some good stuff that will last when cheaper and medium-quality versions are no longer available.