My 2018 Style Goals

Photo by Jason Walker

It’s time for another batch of yearly style goals. I like to do these every year because they force me to do a few things a little differently and mix up my day-to-day outfits. They don’t have to be huge lofty goals. But before jumping into my 2018 goals, I’ll quickly recap on how I did for my 2017 goals

Grading 2017 Style Goals

Buy Less Clothing: I’ve been working on less impulse buying and more thoughtful, higher quality purchases. So I definitely dialed back the amount of clothes I bought last year.

Photo by Lesa Photography

Get more creative with my wardrobe: While I certainly bought less clothing last year, I don’t feel that I got too creative with what I already own.

Wear jeans less: This was tough. Jeans are my goto when I’m in a pinch, and they never disappoint. While I did wear chinos and non-denim pants a little bit more, it wasn’t a drastic change. I’d say I broke even on this goal.

Try a new accessory: This was my favorite goal from last year. I ended up opting for a hat as my new accessory, and I absolutely loved it. I wore it a bunch, especially over the summer. So I consider this a successful accomplishment.

Photo by Jason Walker

And now for 2018 goals…

Wear More Black
One of the most under represented colors in my wardrobe is black. I only have 2 black shirts that I occasionally wear. When I suit up I never wear black suits, and always wear brown dress shoes. All my casual loafers and boots are shades of brown. Generally, I don’t think I look good in black. But this year I’m going to challenge that notion, and attempt to add more black to my wardrobe.

Design a Leather Accessory
I’ve recently became very interested in leather craft. I’ve already dabbled in making a phone coaster, and now I have some ideas on other things I’d like to try and make. It’s pretty time consuming, but I’ve learned a lot already and think I can make a few cool things that suit a couple needs of mine. If I’m happy with the results, I might even sell a few, but that’s a stretch goal.

Wear a Sports Coat More
I don’t wear sports coat much at all unless I’m going to a client meeting. There are so many different creative ways to wear a sports coat and make it look less formal, so I’m setting a goal to try some of those ways.

Write More Here
2017, especially towards the end was one of the slower years of A Curated Style. And quite frankly, I think you readers deserve more stylish content than what I delivered last year. And I want to do something about that. I have a few interesting content ideas that I think you will like. While this isn’t directly related to a clothing item, it *does* force me to explore my style/wardrobe thoughts more, get them on paper, and delivered to your inbox.

Are you making style goals this year? If so I’d love to hear them. Shoot me and email and let me know:

Enjoy Your Clothes

I love talking about clothes. There’s so much to know, learn, and explore in the world of menswear. And even though many topics have been stressed here around proper fit, color matching, and sweating the details, the most important thing is to just enjoy yourself.

When you get dressed in the morning, you’re either putting on clothes based on a vibe you’re feeling, or based on a vibe you want to give off with your outfit. And that’s fine. But once you walk out of your front door, make sure that you’re actually liking and enjoying the clothes you’re putting on.

“This sort of rule-based approach to style – the idea that shopping for clothes is like shopping for electronics, and there are certain truths that govern aesthetics like physics – sucks all the joy out of clothing.”

– @dieworkwear on Dressing from Emotion (great read, by the way)

For all of us that don’t work in the fashion industry, this is a hobby. Clothes are nothing to stress out about for the sake of looking good. If you find an item that makes you feel a certain way, buy it. If you feel the need to jump on a certain trend, do it.

At the end of the day, these are just clothes. They don’t define you. So whatever outfits you’re choosing on a day-to-day, make sure you enjoy wearing them. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Here’s to a new year in style!

Designing a Phone Pad

I’ve gotten asked many times if I would ever get into designing clothes. While I’ve had ideas here and there, it’s never been an interest of mine. But what has seemed more appealing is accessories. As you know, I love accessories, so the thought of designing them has been on my mind for quite a while. I just didn’t have to motivation to make the jump and/or solve a need I have…until now.

Quick Backstory

I don’t like having cases on my phones. I admire the physical design of devices too much to want to have it covered up all the time. Normally I’m pretty careful with my phones, so dropping it was never a concern.

After getting the iPhone X, I realized a habit that I had been doing for about the past 10 years. I was always looking to put my phone on something instead of a hard desk/counter top. I was either putting it on a notebook, a soft coaster, or even some type of cloth next to my bed. While it got the job done, it wasn’t an elegant solution. And after a little searching online, I didn’t find a product that fit my style/need.

Scratching My Own Itch

In came the idea to just design my own. I had just two minor requirements for this thing; it had to be portable and easy to move around, and it had to look very stylish sitting on a surface. I had two materials in mind that I really liked which were felt and leather. Just going with felt would look good, but the material is fairly slippery on hard surfaces and I didn’t want it to slide around. So I thought that I’d use the felt for the top layer, and some quality leather as the base layer, which provided much more grip.

After a bit of initial research on leather craft (thanks /r/leathercraft) and idea gathering on Instagram, I bought a few basic tools, bought some felt, and ordered some quality Horween leather that felt good to the touch.

The Prototype

I made a prototype version from a piece of crappy leather just to test out the process and get used to the hand-stitching stitching. It turned out just ok, but as a first timer, I was into it.

I felt like I had a good grasp on making it better, and proceeded to make a few more for myself; to put in my home office, bedroom, and for work.

The Final Results

I have to say, I love these things. I know I’m biased, but they turned out close to exactly how I wanted. And they look really good and stylish sitting on various surfaces. They’re also something super easy to throw in your work bag and carry it around with you.


I still have a ton to learn about this kind of crafting, and working with leather, but I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. I enjoyed working on the different versions that I made. It’s also pretty fun pre-determining how it’s going to look; the color of the leather, color of felt, and stitching color. Going from a mere thought in my head, to holding the product after a few hours of work is satisfying.

What’s Next


So now what? I don’t feel like I should keep these to myself, so I’ve been considering selling a limited run of these. I’ve gotten some pretty positive initial feedback and thinking of an approach to being able to produce more of these. If you think you might be interested in one, have any questions, or just want to give me feedback, shoot me an email:

The 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year again. Either you’re looking for gift ideas for someone else, or someone else needs gift ideas from you. And as always, we have you covered. Like previous years, I like to give you a mix of ideas that are style related, but not necessarily clothes.

4 Tips For Great Fall/Winter Style

Fall leaves
Fall is in full swing here and the warmer climates are unfortunately behind us for a while. Long time readers know that fall is by far my favorite season for style. I love layering and that’s just what fall style is about. But leaving summer behind means it’s time to tune up your wardrobe for the upcoming months. Here are 4 key style tips for the fall/winter months.