New Year’s resolutions – do you love them or hate them? You may be taking this opportunity as we say welcome to the new year (and good riddance to the last one) to take stock of things that you want to start doing differently. And one of those things may be your wardrobe.
I know last year wasn’t a stellar style year for anyone. You may have explored the depths of loungewear like never before. Day pajamas may be your new best friend. You may have ignored the majority of what’s in your closet. And you even may have forgotten what it was like to wear real shoes. But you can also look at this coming year as an opportunity to re-establish priorities with your clothes and your style.
So, if you’re ready to evolve how you’re dealing with what’s in your closet as we start the new year, check out my 5 simple style resolutions for the coming year.
FOCUS ON FIT
Fit is the most important consideration when you’re buying clothes, deciding what to keep in your closet or just getting dressed in the morning. And if your body has changed over the past year, it’s even more important. Here are a few simple steps to address fit in your wardrobe:
If you’re not sure if something fits, try it on. I know that sounds painfully simple. But setting aside time to try on questionable items will avoid the stress of putting on a top 5 minutes before your first Zoom call just to discover that it’s a bit too tight (even for Zoom). My best advice is to bite the bullet and schedule a half hour to try on all your pants (or shirts or sweaters) to discover what’s working and what’s not.
Place what fits right in front of you. When you open your closet doors, what currently fits should be readily accessible, just to make getting dressed easier. And anything that doesn’t currently fit? You can let it go – but if you feel like your current size is temporary, just place it somewhere out of sight for now (like a deep corner of your closet or under-bed boxes). And check this out for a few more tips to love your closet more.
Allow yourself to have clothes that fit. If trying on clothes exposes a big gap in your wardrobe, it’s okay to buy a few new things. I have gained weight during the pandemic. I needed to buy a handful of new pants so that I can feel good about how I look. And you can, too.
INVEST IN WHAT YOU WEAR MOST
A basic principle of developing a modern, functional wardrobe is the cost per wear. Instead of always focusing on the price of an item, look at the price in reference to how much you’ll use it. Here’s how you get to the cost per wear:
The cost of an item ÷ how many times you wear it = the cost per wear
But there are many times when you’ve probably completely ignored cost per wear. Like those expensive high heels that only come out of the closet once or twice a year. And the pricey leather skirt that you have no idea how to wear. Or conversely (and this is quite typical right now), you spend very little on clothes that you’re wearing all the time. But if you’re at home most every day, it’s okay to indulge in a cashmere sweater that you grab twice a week. And feel free to invest in super cute sneakers that make you feel good when you’re outside chasing the kids. Because investing in what you wear most generally means that it will last longer – which is a great way to end the cycle of buy and purge that you may accidentally fall into.
GET DRESSED FOR YOU
Guess what happens when you’re working from home? You don’t need to abide by office dress codes. You don’t need to worry about wearing something that may get a questionable reaction from your peers. You can wear what you like, when you like – period.
But this is where many people flounder. Without occasions to dress for, you may feel like it’s not really worth getting dressed. I definitely think it is – and no, I’m not saying to wear a suit blazer and heels in your home office. But I am saying to wear what you like, even when no one else will see you that day (outside of shoulders up on Zoom). So, if athleisure is your thing, go for it. If a silk blouse makes you feel good and work-appropriate, wear one Monday-Friday. If you feel more pulled together in a cute cardigan and loafers, be my guest.
Another amazing thing about being at home is that you can experiment with your wardrobe. You can try new combinations or wear something that you weren’t sure about and see how you feel in it, check out how you look in it, and decide if it’s something you want to wear again in the future. Click here to see a bunch of outfits I created for clients in an unexpected way.
CARE FOR YOUR CLOTHES
This one is the simplest. Take care of your clothes and your clothes will take care of you. Here are 3 quick tips:
Read the washing instructions. Every garment has guidelines and you’ll rarely go wrong by following them.
Deal with issues as they arise. Treat a stain when it happens, not a week after it’s been in the hamper. Fix a hanging thread before it becomes a torn seam. Reinforce a loose button before you lose the button.
Be kind to your shoes. Shoe trees and weather/waterproof shoe sprays are two of the best ways to get maximum wear out of your shoe wardrobe. Also – it pays to rotate through pairs, so that you’re not always wearing the same shoes two days in a row (leather/suede shoes need a day of rest in between wearings to recover).
And another benefit of caring for your clothes is that it’s a step toward a more sustainable wardrobe. Read this for tips on incorporating sustainability into your style.
CULTIVATE YOUR STYLE
I saved this for last because this is a little less simple – but it pays off in droves. I think of cultivating your style as having a clear of idea of what makes you feel good both when you wear it and when you look in the mirror. As being very deliberate with what you bring into your closet (and what stays there). As dressing with intention on a daily basis. And this is in direct contrast to collecting a bunch of clothes in your closet that you’re wearing by default. A few things to think about:
Can you wear each item in your closet 3 different ways? Everything in your wardrobe should easily be part of 3 distinct outfits. If it’s not, it might not deserve space in your closet.
75% of your wardrobe is ‘basics’. And by basics, I don’t mean boring. I mean that the majority of your wardrobe should be comprised of versatile, multi-functional pieces that transcend occasions and seasons – and that you can wear on a regular basis. What these are will vary dramatically based on your lifestyle and preferences, but the key words are versatility and dependability.
25% of your wardrobe is ‘special’. The fun, unique items with loads of personality that you can build outfits (and a style) around.
If you’re not confident in your personal style, click here to read about my newest virtual service, Style Portfolio. Style Portfolio gives you clarity on your style, teaches you how to dress your body shape and how to express your unique personal style every day.
Which of these resolutions is your priority for this year? Drop a comment below to let me know!