What is your big plan for 2014? For your life, your style and your wardrobe? How do you want your personal style to progress? What components of your wardrobe do you want to upgrade, define or overhaul completely? What skills to you want to acquire, improve or refine?
This month's wardrobe challenge is all about .... your wardrobe and style goals for 2014.
For all newbies: Here’s a quick recap of what the monthly Wardrobe Challenge is all about and how you can participate:
"The basic idea of the Wardrobe Challenges series is to use the annual cycle of events and seasons, from the beginning of fall to the summer, as an opportunity to examine our wardrobe from one particular angle each month. Each monthly wardrobe challenge will consist of one theme, a set of questions to think about and a few small assignments that you can casually do throughout the month. The challenges won’t require a structured, hands-on approach – instead, the idea is to really get you thinking in-depth about a certain overarching aspect of your personal style or your wardrobe and help you prepare for yearly events, like the holiday season or the beginning of summer. If you want to participate, I recommend you read through the questions and assignments at the beginning of each month, but don’t try to answer them straight away. Print them out or carry them in a note on your phone and then gradually, throughout the month, add your own ideas and notes."
The few quiet days just before New Year’s are my favourite time to take stock, reflect, make plans and decide on an overarching direction for the upcoming twelve months. I usually spend a good hour just staring at the window mulling ideas over in my head, before I write them down, toss them over and rewrite them again. I cover everything from work, personal development and creative projects to relationships, health and - my wardrobe and personal style. It's an almost therapeutic process, super motivating and, above all, it helps me stay focused throughout the year, ignore the little things that don't really matter and direct my energy towards my real priorities.
Even if you are a habitual goal setter yourself, the idea of planning for or quantifying something so abstract/visual like personal style might seem a little strange and even counterintuitive at first. Developing a personal style should be a natural, creative process, right? Sure. But refining your own style and building an expressive, functional wardrobe is also a skill. And just like any other skill, something you can train and improve - with the right techniques and a clear idea about your own strengths and weaknesses.
This month's questions and assignments were designed to help you explore the current status of your style and your wardrobe and select a few components to focus on during 2014. The most important thing to remember when setting goals for your wardrobe/style or really any other area of your life is to be super clear and concise, both about your actual goals and your motivation behind them. A simple "Refine my style and improve my wardrobe" is not enough. Really dig deep and figure out exactly what components of your wardrobe you want to work on and why.
Do you want to approach fashion and personal style in a more conscious way, stop spending money on impulse buys and instead aim for a small, but well-curated, high-quality wardrobe? Do you want to escape the fast fashion framework and focus on ethical sources when building up your wardrobe? Do you want to truly get behind your own aesthetic ideals and create a coherent style concept? Are you generally happy with your current set of clothes but want to add some structure to your wardrobe? Whatever your plans are, make sure you really understand why you want to implement them and how they would affect your overall sense of style and your day-to-day routines.
Ready? Ok, go:
On a scale of one to ten, how happy were you on average with your style and your wardrobe in 2013?
What was the biggest style- and wardrobe-related improvement you made in 2013?
What aspect of wardrobe building and refining your style do you enjoy the most and why?
How well do your outfits express your own unique personal style? What factor(s) are preventing you from dressing 100% according to your style? Money, confidence or an undefined style concept?
If you had to sum up your look of 2013 in one outfit, what would it be?
What is your main motivation for wanting to refine your personal style? Do you use fashion as a creative outlet or an expression of your values/personality? Does dressing well give you confidence? Are you motivated by the practical benefits of a refined wardrobe, e.g. to simplify your daily routine?
How happy are you with your overall shopping strategy? Does your budget tend to get eaten up by impulse buys and bargains? What is your spending philosophy for 2014?
To what extent do you rely on make up and clothes to give you confidence? Is a lack of confidence preventing you from fully expressing your style concept or trying out new things?
On a scale of one to ten, how expressive, coherent and defined is your style concept?
On a scale of one to ten, how well-structured, versatile and functional is your wardrobe?
On a scale of one to ten, how good are you at creating outfits that express your style concept and maximising your wardrobe’s potential?
Top three: Which three components of your style and your wardrobe are you the most confident about and which three components need the most work?
Out of the three that need work, which component, when improved, would have the biggest positive impact on your wardrobe and your style?
Write a short review of your style and the progress you made in 2013. How did your style, lifestyle and aesthetic preferences evolve?
Write about one or two paragraphs about your style and wardrobe plans for 2014. Which aspects about your style and your wardrobe do you want to improve, why and how?
Express your five most important goals in a short, motivating sentence each and then start sketching out how you want to achieve or implement them.
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