One of the more popular posts last year went over a ‘To-Do’ list that I had written and then promptly forgotten about. I won’t dig up too much of the old details, but the conclusion was that it can be really helpful to have a few well-defined goals, even if they are just lurking in the back of your head, to make sure that you keep yourself moving forward, always progressing, never going idle. I was going through the archives the other day and happened across that post again, and decided it was time to update a list, especially for the spring.
- Wear chinos casually (instead of jeans) - Don’t get me wrong, I love jeans, but that might be the problem. I have maybe two pairs that I rotate through, and don’t see a need for a whole lot more. However, I end up wearing those two pairs of jeans almost every day that my office doesn’t require business-casual. It’s an easy move when you want to dress down, but I know there are other options. This summer I’d like to try to start wearing chinos and trousers casually. The challenge will be dressing down the rest of my outfit to keep from looking too stuffy in a casual environment, but I’m up to the task.
- Wear a blazer more often, casually - Last year a big goal of mine was to wear a blazer as more than just a light jacket - i.e. something you wear during your commute or while you're outside and then take off for the rest of the day. I’ve really latched onto that one, and now wear a blazer all day long almost every day. This summer, I’d like to extend my blazer use to cover my casual wear a bit more. I already like to dress down the shirt and tie (rocking an OCBD, knit tie, jeans and a blazer is my go-to), but I’d like to go even further and start wearing blazers regularly with wholly casual items like T-shirts, polos and Henleys.
- Incorporate more hot-weather formal wear - When it gets hot, my formal game tends to wilt a bit. I end up going out in shirt and tie but no jacket (sheesh, I know a lot of fellas say this is a big no-no, and while I’m not a stickler for the rule, I do try to avoid it), or wearing boat shoes any chance I can get. This year, I’d like to learn how to combat the heat with my clothes, rather than just by shedding them. A lightweight suit is definitely on the horizon, as well as some linen trousers and shirts to accompany the lighter blazers I already own.
- Step up my summer footwear game - Last year I was a Sperry’s ADDICT - and all summer long it was either my dress shoes for work, or my Topsiders. Still absolutely love my boat shoes, but this year, I’d like to add a few options so I can have variety (spice of life, and all). I’m thinking a pair of white canvas shoes and a pair of lightweight suede loafers will round out the rotation quite well, but I’m thinking about something in black too for those days I’m not feeling quite so bright and cheery.
- Pare down my wardrobe - My closet is stuffed to the gills right now, and it’s driving me (and more importantly, my girlfriend) crazy. Unfortunately, I’ve already gone through and gotten rid of the things I straight up don’t wear. Now, I’m left with my workhorse clothing that I need to keep, and then a large smattering of slightly misfitting items. Most of these I’ve held on to with the plan of getting in to a tailor to fix, but then could never decide if it was actually worth it. My (late) spring cleaning goal is to take all of those items out of my closet, and only return them if they’ve been tailored. Anything that hasn’t made it to the tailor by the end of the month is hitting eBay.
So, once again, I’m jotting this list down and tucking it away somewhere. In a big part, I’ll most likely let this slip my mind for the next few months, but just the fact that I did write it down will keep it semi-on-my-mind all the while, and hopefully by the time fall hits I’ll be able to look back at this and be satisfied with my progress.
What are your current style goals? What are your methods for long-term improvement?