Smart Fashion Habits to Embrace (and a Few to Erase)

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The new year is all about new beginnings. It’s a chance to wipe the proverbial slate clean and start again fresh in any aspect of your life. This is why it’s the perfect time to do a little reflecting on the state of your wardrobe and figure out where you’d like to take your look in 2019.

You see, your wardrobe is something that should be constantly evolving as you go through life. Your clothes wear out and need to be replaced periodically, you dress differently depending on your current age and stage of life, and your fashion tastes may shift as you grow older. Therefore, even if you usually feel on top of your fashion game, you can almost certainly benefit from taking stock of your current style and wardrobe, to determine what—if anything—you would like to change moving forward into the new year.

If you’re wondering how to get started, take a look at this checklist of smart fashion habits you can embrace (or erase) to help you look and feel like your best-dressed self in 2019.

Make time for a closet cleanout. At least once a season, it’s a good idea to take a look at your clothes and decide what stays and what you no longer need taking up space in your closet. Maybe you’ve been eyeing that faded tee shirt that isn’t standing the test of time, or those slacks that feel wildly out of fashion. Take the leap and get rid of those items that just don’t seem to belong anymore. Donate them to make room for your new treasures.

Stop the mindless shopping. There’s nothing wrong with a little retail therapy, but anytime you go out shopping, have at least an idea of what kind of items you need to buy. This helps you avoid coming home with your 19th pair of jeans when you really need some new work dresses. Be sure to keep your mental list in mind when you spot a sale sign as well. Even if you find a great deal, make sure you can actually use that item you’re considering buying for 70 percent off. 

Figure out your signature style. Some women feel most comfortable in neutral, classic pieces; while others feel most like themselves in bold prints and bright colors; while others still prefer a feminine, romantic look. Many women dress in a mixture of different styles, but if you take a careful look at the clothes you wear most often, you might notice a pattern emerging. Once you know which fashion style you gravitate toward, it can help you figure out which looks truly resonate and ensure that you are buying the clothing that best reflects who you are today.

Don’t dress a certain way just because you think you should. Women receive all kinds of messages about the way they should dress and how they should look in their clothes. But the number-one rule of fashion is to wear what you love. Period. Dress for yourself first and foremost and don’t worry about what other people think so much.

Wear the clothing that you own! Most women have really nice clothes but don’t regularly wear them all. Often this happens (or rather, doesn’t happen!) because you’re not sure how to construct great outfits from the various pieces you own. So, when you open the closet to get dressed, you usually pull from a small collection of standbys and call it a day. The best way to combat this limiting habit is to keep track of your great outfits when you create them. So the next time you’re heading out the door in an expertly crafted outfit, snap a photo of your look and keep it on your phone. The next time you feel like pulling out that great pencil skirt, you can remember exactly which blouse and heels to pair with it!

Stop holding on to clothes that don’t fit. If your closet is full of clothes that are two sizes too small or large, it’s best to move those pieces on so you can fully embrace who you are right now. If you go back to your former size someday, then you can shop for new clothing at that time. But for now, live in the moment and wholeheartedly love yourself at your current size.

Treat yourself to a few great outfits during periods of weight loss. When you’re slimming down to reach a weight loss goal, it’s important not to deny yourself of nice clothing for your current “in-between” size. So many women say, “I am not shopping until I lose ___ pounds.” The message is that you are not okay or worthy of looking your best or feeling good about yourself at your current weight. So even if you have another 15 pounds to lose before you reach your ideal size, do treat yourself to one or two new outfits in the meantime. Besides, your clothing can always be altered to a smaller size when you lose the weight, so it’s a win-win for you and your wardrobe!

Dress up a little more often (who needs a reason?!). It’s fine if you prefer a relaxed look most of the time, but it can be a fun change of pace to dress up for no reason on a regular day. If you normally live in jeans and a fitted tee, switch things up by swapping in a nice blouse and a statement necklace. It’s a great way to boost your confidence and ensure that you wear the nicer pieces inside your closet.

Start tailoring your clothes. Want to instantly look trimmer and more put together? Start getting your clothes altered by a tailor. You’d be amazed at the difference you’ll see when you have your pants hemmed to the perfect length or your dresses taken in, so they hug your curves perfectly. When you do this, your clothing will look more expensive, and you will look longer and leaner.

Organize your accessories. Having lots of beautiful accessories is great until they wind up in a tangled, jumbled mess. Do yourself a favor and clean out your jewelry box or accessory drawer every now and then. Match all your earrings to ensure you have complete pairs, untangle any chains that have become knotted together, reorganize your bangles, bracelets, and watches, and separate any scuffed or tarnished jewelry that needs polishing. Now arrange everything so you can clearly see it all and can reach it easily. Voilà! You just spared yourself a little time and energy accessorizing your outfits in the new year.

Embracing good fashion habits and letting go of those that are not-so-good are great personal resolutions for 2019. Overall they will help you feel more in control of the style you present to the world and much more organized when you get dressed every day. There’s no better way to feel like you’re in style and in control in the new year.


  • Marla Tomazin

    Marla Tomazin, Certified Image Consultant, established her image consulting business in 1990 with the goal of helping clients identify an authentic image and develop its effective expression. Marla utilizes her abilities in evaluating body shape, movement, and coloring as well as synthesizing optimal cuts, lines, colors, and textures. This results in balance and proportion that accentuate attributes and conceal flaws. Marla has appeared on numerous TV and radio stations and programs. Visit

2 Responses

  1. This is a great article Marla! It’s clearly written and I’m quite certain people will understand it. You keep shining brightly!

  2. Beth Martin says:

    Marla is so wise and practical. She makes dressing well much easier. I’ve shared this column with my mother and 4 friends. All of us are following her smart fashion habits especially stopping mindless shopping and dressing up more often.

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