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12 Style Goals and How to Achieve Them

June 11, 2024

When we put together a great outfit, we might think to ourselves, “It checks all the boxes!” It’s always a good feeling to wear something that accomplishes everything you need it to. But the truth is that we all have different style goals on different days. That means “the boxes” change from day to day and from one occasion to another. Plus, some of us just always prioritize certain style goals more than others. Let’s break this concept down as we continue our Define Your Style…Refine Your Wardrobe style series today.

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Truthfully, rarely will you create an outfit that “checks all the boxes.” Why? Because some of those boxes simply contradict. We have different style goals for different outfits. And on any given day we have to prioritize one, two or maybe three of those above the others in order to create an outfit that works for us.

Dress for an Outdoor Event or Occasion
see original blog post

The way I see it, we have about 12 different style goals that clamor for priority on any given day or occasion. Wise is the woman who pays attention to which goals she needs to prioritize for that outfit and then focuses on those above the others.

wide-leg casual pants

The key to achieving your style goals and feeling great in the choices you’ve made is to prioritize them, create an outfit that accomplishes those top priorities and then choose to feel good about the outcome. I think you’ll see this principle more clearly as I work through the 12 different style goals. Let’s go!

Style Goal: Achieve optimal proportions.

Especially when you want to look your absolutely best, you may prioritize achieving optimal proportions. That simply means that you style your top and bottom pieces or your dress in a way that visually defines a one-third to two-thirds ratio.

White Jeans 2 Ways
see original blog post

For instance, in the outfit above I’ve tucked my shirt into my ankle length pants to achieve a 1/3 top and 2/3 bottom ratio. I’ve done the same thing below by wearing a dress with a defined waistband.

Can You Wear a Trending White Dress Over 50?
see original blog post

Of course, to achieve the ideal proportions, you need to first know your personal proportions. Check out my video below and/or this blog post to discover your personal proportions. Then you can use this blog post to help you work your outfits in a way that achieves your goal.

Before I move on, let’s go ahead an understand that it’s okay to sacrifice one style goal for others. I do believe that every woman looks her absolute best when she dresses in a way that achieves this “golden ratio.” But there are certainly times that we have other goals that trump this one. You will indeed see me put together outfits for myself occasionally in which I do not achieve these proportions. That’s okay…as long as I’m achieving other style goals that I’ve prioritized on that day. Let’s keep going!

Style Goal: Look as slender as possible.

Here’s another style goal that women often prioritize. And, especially in some cultures more than others, this is a desirable goal. We absolutely can all learn little styling tricks that help us to appear our most slender.

2 Ways to Wear Black Linen Pants this Spring and Summer
see original blog post

Most of us feel like black or at least dark colors are more slenderizing than lighter colors. And little tricks like wearing a body-skimming jacket over your outfit can certainly help achieve this goal. Also tucking your top and adding a belt to define the waist can be very visually slenderizing, especially if you add that jacket to conceal any…ahem…overhang. Hahaha!

Spartina 449 Vacation Dress
see original blog post

But again, looking our most slender is not always a priority. And it’s quite okay to not focus on this goal if you have others you are prioritizing. I do suggest always wearing clothes that fit your body. That way, even if you need to wear something less defining and slenderizing – in order to accomplish other goals – you will still not look larger than you really are.

Style Goal: Appear vibrant and healthy.

I’m currently recovering from a respiratory illness, so I understand the desire to dress in a way to appear vibrant and healthy. Not that you’re trying to deceive anyone, but sometimes you just need to prioritize vitality. Maybe you’re leading other ladies in a brisk morning walk, volunteering at your church’s Vacation Bible School or teaching a gardening class. All of those are good reasons to prioritize looking vibrant and healthy.

Lessons from a Favorite Outfit
see original blog post

Generally, most of us will look our most vibrant when we wear colors that suit our complexion, eye color and hair color. Once again there are several businesses offering coloring analysis, so it’s a good time to have your colors analyzed. These professional color analysts will show you the colors that make you look most rested, energetic and vibrant.

I don’t always choose to wear the colors that make me look my best. Sometimes my priorities are otherwise. But definitely take your colors into consideration when this is your main goal.

Two Ways to Style Off White Jeans Now
see original blog post

You may also find that having a fresh haircut, wearing a little makeup and wearing more youthful looking clothes contribute to looking more vibrant and healthy.

Style Goal: Suit your personality or mood.

Let’s face it, often, especially if we choose our outfit in the moment, we dress according to our mood. That can be a little risky, honestly. Especially if other style goals need to take priority. But there certainly are days when “expressing yourself” is very appropriate.

boyfriend shirt
see original blog post

Especially if you’re attending a party, prepping for a girls’ night out, rooting on the home team or celebrating a milestone, I think it’s definitely okay to prioritize expressing your mood or personality. But even on any given day it can be fun to give a nod to your personality by adding a signature piece or a little whimsy to your outfit.

Pleated Midi Skirt Styled for Fun

Likewise, there are days that my more contemplative or quiet mood beckons me to dress in a way that is more subtle and soft.

Easy on the Eyes
see original blog post

I think this is one of those style goals that we have to give a little thought to. Consider how you like to express your personality and/or mood through your clothing. Sometimes we may have to sacrifice this goal for some of the others further down my list. You’ll see what I mean.

Style Goal: Fit the occasion.

Obviously there are times when we absolutely must dress to fit the occasion. Maybe you even receive a dress code for the event, such as a wedding, conference or meet & greet.

What to wear to a Funeral or Memorial Service
See the original post for details.

Last year I wrote a post called What to Wear to a Funeral or Memorial Service, along with additional posts about appropriate attire for other occasions. And you might enjoy the video below about How to Dress Appropriately Over 50…Or Any Other Age.

I believe that dressing appropriately is a matter of being considerate of others. So there truly are times when this style goal has to trump others in our list.

Style Goal: Be comfortable.

This is “style goal” only in the loosest terms. Choosing to be comfortable definitely affects our style. But “comfortable” should not be considered a style. Comfort is a function we require of our clothes.

Wearing Frank and Eileen
see original blog post for more details

So while I encourage you to consider comfort for sure, I also suggest that you don’t shop with comfort at the top of your list. Instead, use comfort as a gatekeeper of sorts. Here’s how it works. You walk into the store looking for a new pair of black pants. Don’t immediately look for comfortable pants; look for stylish pants. Then try on all the stylish pants you find. From those stylish pants, choose the ones that look best on you and check all the other requirements you have for them. And then only buy them if they are also comfortable. Make sense?

2 Ways to Wear Black Linen Pants this Spring and Summer
see original blog post for details

I’m actually a firm believer in comfort being a priority. I don’t let anything in my closet that isn’t comfortable. But I try my best not to shop with that requirement in mind…at first.

Style Goal: Look modern and current.

I often encourage women to “stop trying to look younger and instead aim to look modern.” I believe that looking current is one of the ways we women over 50 can actually look more vibrant and youthful without looking like we’re trying to hard.

Similar to Maeve Colette Pants
see original blog post for more details

One of the easiest ways to look modern is to wear the current silhouettes of jeans or pants. Also wearing current shoe trends, an up-to-date hairstyle and some other modern styles will do the trick. I find that this style goal takes a little forethought and planning, otherwise we more mature ladies tend to default to classics every time. And there’s nothing wrong with wearing the classics. But if you want to look modern, make sure you stock your closet with a few well-chosen current silhouettes and styles.

Style Goal: Look polished and pulled together.

Especially when I’m attending a special occasion or I’m in a position of leadership, I think it’s important to look polished and pulled together.

white linen pants with blue tank and jacket
see original blog post for more details

But many of us want to look this way on any given day, too. Looking polished and pulled together doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be “dressed up.” You can achieve this style goal with casual clothes, too.

100% European Linen Pants from Quince
see blog post for details

The keys to looking polished and pulled together include styling your clothes (not just wearing them), adding some thoughtful accessories, wearing impactful jewelry, working the colors in your outfit carefully and taking time with your hair and makeup.

You’ll find more tips for achieving this goal in the video below.

Style Goal: Look stylish and fashionable.

I personally believe that there’s a difference between “looking nice” and looking stylish. You can achieve the style goal above of looking polished and pulled together, but still not look especially stylish. And that’s quite okay. In the recent video below I shared more about this concept.

Looking stylish is about making “style choices.” Stylish women make some noticeable choices when they put together their outfits. Maybe they belt, tuck, partial tuck, don’t tuck, layer, pop a collar, etc. They also choose to stock their closet with items that are both classic and modern.

White Pants Worn Casually
see original blog post

Some days I specifically want to look stylish. Typically when I go to the mall, I want to look stylish. Go figure. That’s just my thing. I guess because people at my mall do know I’m a style blogger and I figure I have a reputation to keep. But I also like to look stylish when I attend professional meetings, speak to a women’s group or go out to dinner.

Limit Your Color Palette

I thinking desiring to look stylish is one of those goals that you can almost always incorporate, but the work has to be done ahead of time. Your closet needs to be stocked with a few stylish pieces and you need to have thought through style formulas and style hacks so you can automatically apply them on any given day.

Style Goal: Look timeless and classic.

I’ve come across many women who prioritize this style goal all the time. It’s part of their overall style aesthetic even. In this previous Define Your Style…Refine Your Wardrobe blog post I talked about How to Define Your Personal Style. There I encouraged having three style angles to help you stay in the parameters of your personal style when shopping and dressing.

How to Define Your Personal Style

Maybe one of your style angles is classic or timeless. When we desire to look timeless it generally means we want to not look especially trendy. But there’s more to it than that. I think that looking timeless means that if I were to take a photo of you today in that outfit, you’d be able to look back at that picture ten years later and duplicate the look and feel stylish. Make sense?

Another Way to Wear Black Linen Pants
see original blog post

The temptation is to wear only classics in order to achieve this goal. But I don’t think you have to look old-fashioned to look timeless. First, we have to be really careful about what we assume to be a classic. Just because we wore it ten or fifteen years ago doesn’t mean it’s a classic; it just means it’s old. Hahaha!

True classics tend to have simple lines. They are in colors that are easy to wear. Classic apparel would include fitted blazers, straight leg pants and jeans, wrap dresses, A-line skirts, pumps, basic button-up cotton and silk shirts, crewneck and v-neck sweaters in natural fibers and trucker style denim jackets. That’s not an exhaustive list, but enough to get you thinking along the lines of true classics.

Colette wrap midi dress
see original blog post for more details

But looking timeless goes beyond just wearing classic pieces. To look classic, keep your look a little basic, pared back. Don’t over-accessorize. And keep your hairstyle and makeup minimal and classy.

Style Goal: Appear career conscious.

Especially if you’re a working woman, appearing career conscious may be a pervasive style goal for you. Indeed, you do have an image to maintain, whether it be professional, competent, trustworthy, smart, decisive, or what have you.

Look Chic in Neutrals for Spring
see original blog post

Whether you have to wear a uniform or you create your own outfits, you’ll be smart to consider how you want to be perceived by your clients, students, customers, co-workers or patients. Then you can make thoughtful decisions about how you choose your wardrobe and put together outfits to achieve that goal.

Style Goal: Be prepared for the weather.

Whether you’re getting out for a hike or shopping in an outdoor mall, you may need to prioritize the weather when putting together your outfit for the day.

It's Time to Lighten Up for Spring
see original blog post for more details

But just because it’s rainy or cold or snowy, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all other style goals. Especially if you deal with a specific type of weather – be it extreme heat, humidity, snow or rain – on a regular basis, prepare your closet accordingly.

see original blog post here

For instance, if you live in a hot, humid climate, you may want to fill your closet with linen. But if you live where it is cooler, you’ll do well to keep cotton or cashmere sweaters in your wardrobe through the summer months.

Chic, Modern Style Hack
see original blog post for more details

And of course if you live in a rainy area, you’ll be smart to have the right footwear to accessorize your outfits without compromising on good style.

When we travel we also have to consider the weather. And sometimes this style goal does have to trump others. The best plan is to be prepared, have the right outerwear and shoes, don’t forget accessories like wraps, hats, umbrellas and gloves.

How to Prioritize Your Style Goals

So those are the eleven style goals. Notice I didn’t number them because on any given day we get to choose which ones we will prioritize. I find that it works best to have three top priorities. Maybe take some time to think about your three top priority style goals for a normal day. Then consider when you may prioritize other goals so that you can be prepared for them. Another fun exercise would be to rank all 11 goals in order for a few days, just to see what tends to be important to you.

I think it’s important to realize that every woman – among even the most stylish women – has unique style goals on any given day. While we all tend to judge a book by its cover, so to speak, let’s be careful not to judge other women’s style choices harshly. We don’t know what their priorities may be for that day.

Thanks so much for dropping in. I hope you enjoyed this post in our Define Your Style…Refine Your Wardrobe 2024 style series. You can find the other posts in the series HERE. I’d love to hear from you today. Just click on JOIN THE CONVERSATION. Have a great day!

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Blessed for My Day

What a friend we have in Jesus! Do you know that hymn? But it’s not just a sweet sentiment. Jesus truly desires to be our very best friend…if we let Him. Have you cultivated your friendship with Jesus?

I find that enjoy my friendship with Jesus more when I lean into Him more. He wants us to depend upon Him completely, to trust Him. Jesus also invites us to confide in Him, to spend time with Him and to share His joy. What could you do today to nurture your friend-relationship with Jesus?

 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, because all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. ~ John 15:15

xoxo, Kay
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13 thoughts on “12 Style Goals and How to Achieve Them

  1. You are very beautiful and slender. I enjoy your blog. Your tip “look as slender as possible” struck me, as many women, myself included, will never look or be slender. I am so sad that you have to spend so much time working. You seem very burdened because you always have so much work to do. I hope that you are able to enjoy life and that you enjoy your work.

    1. Hi Rory. I am not burdened with my work at all. It is a blessing. That said, there are deadlines to meet and personal goals and challenges. But I’m so sorry if I’ve communicated that my work is burdensome. I must do better about that. Also, please understand that “look your most slender” was not a style tip. I was simply listing the goals that different women set for themselves on different days.

  2. Thanks again for such relevant content. I struggle so much in summer with footwear on rainy days. Both casual & elevated outfits. Can you help?

  3. Thanks Kay for separating out the many and sometimes competing priorities. Good insight for some contemplation and maybe yet another list!!! (I’m a dedicated list maker)

  4. Many thanks for your detailed and extensive post today! Wowza! It took me a few sittings to get through all the videos and tips, but I enjoyed my time spent with you and learned new things once again. I did click back and listen to older videos like the one regarding proportion and took time to get out my measuring tape – ha! The thoughts on being stylish made me think of how a small, simple effort makes an impactful, though subtle difference. So many great points and tips today. Take care and I hope you feel better every day. God bless.

  5. Great list! I think I do some of the goals all the time, and some of the goals I would only apply as needed.

    Goals I do all the time – optimal proportions, looking vibrant/healthy, being comfortable, being polished, and prepared for the weather. Those are all musts for me, every day.

    The other goals, yes, depend on the situation or event, like looking modern vs stylish vs classic, or dressing for a particular occasion vs career, etc. The only one I don’t think hits my list is looking slender. I’d prefer to see it as dressing flattering for one’s body type.

  6. Thank you so much for giving us this great Style Goals list to refer to. I’ll have to figure a way to print this out and keep it handy.
    Love your BFMD: Yes, depending on Jesus: I’m so glad I’ve had Him as my Best Friend and is always with me thru His Holy Spirit.
    When I was a younger believer I remember I was calling on Him so many times in my day, so that I realized how much I depended on Him then. I guess I figured that as I grew as a Christian that dependence would not be as needed very much….How wrong I was! As I’ve lived with Jesus for almost 55 years now, I find that I continually need Him to be close and to depend on Him constantly. If any thing I’ve grown more dependent since my elderly years are upon me. How glad I am that He is a faithful friend that will never leave me or forsake me.
    I am trusting Him to see me through even the final “Valley of the Shadow of Death” that I must travel one day. What a great Lord and Savior, who is with all of us who believe in Him. —Janie

  7. Thank you for this latest “Define Your Style” post. Very thought-provoking. But then I almost always learn from your posts! Even it is basically a nudge to be a little more open-minded. Heh. For example, I was certain that I did NOT favor the “twin set” look that is having a moment. I was wrong. Thanks.