2018 has finally arrived! For a great majority of us, it’s brought with it a substantial New-Year-hangover, and a chance to reflect on our lives and how we live them. Any flaws revealed can then be corrected with New Year’s resolutions!
Before we get started, let’s think about why New Year’s resolutions are good. We might have heard some clever person use the occasion of New Year’s Eve to harp on about how arbitrary and insignificant the change of date is. ‘It’s just some numbers on the calendar’, they might ruefully observe.
But if we’re serious about making changes, then we should account for human psychology. Ritualising the adoption of new habits and the discarding of old ones can be helpful, and provide a structure to our efforts at self-improvement. Going without meat on a particular day of the week is a good example – you’re more likely to stick to this pledge than you are to go without meat on whatever random day of the week you feel like. Their ability to provide a bit of order to the post-Christmas chaos is a large part of why we make New Year’s resolutions!
Keeping New Year’s resolutions, however, is a great deal more difficult than making them in the first place, and so most of them are abandoned before the end of the month. When we’re making our style resolutions for 2018, it’s important that we’re realistic about what’s achievable. Unpleasant, awkward or tedious pledges won’t change your behaviour in the long-term. More realistic ones, with observable consequences, often prove the better bet.
With that in mind, let’s consider some candidates for New Year’s style resolutions for 2018!
Organise your Wardrobe
January is traditionally a time for thrift and restraint – and this should probably apply to the clothes we wear. In fact, it should apply especially to the clothes and shoes we don’t wear, but still insist upon keeping in our homes in the vain hope that their time might eventually come.
Rid yourself of this problem with a wardrobe clear-out. Go through each item, one by one, and ask yourself whether you’ve worn it in the last year. If you haven’t, remove it and toss it onto a pile, which you can later dump on the counter of your local charity shop. A little bit of extra space in your wardrobe can improve your state of mind every time you use it!
Plan Your Outfits in Advance
Throwing on any old thing each morning is not a particularly efficient way to dress. You’ll spend more time dawdling in front of your wardrobe than you spend putting clothes on – particularly if you struggle for inspiration. If you’ve a sizeable wardrobe, then you might easily spend hours toing-and-froing between two virtually-identical pairs of jeans. But you might not have hours to spend each morning!
Save yourself the bother and get everything organised and hung up in order each Sunday afternoon. This will allow you to fine-tune your particular style, and ensure that everything you’re planning on wearing is in good condition. Adopt this strategy, and never again will you go into the office in an un-ironed blouse.
Try Something New
Since we’ve arrived in an entirely new year, it seems as good a time as any to refresh our wardrobes with a few new items. If you’ve taken the previous ideas we’ve mentioned seriously, then you’ll have cleared ample space already! Now comes the fun part: filling those gaps with interesting and wonderful dresses, jeans and shoes! If you’re like most of us, then your budget might be a little on the lean side following the festive period – but it’s still possible to branch out into unfamiliar territory without spending a packet in the process.
Take Maintenance More Seriously
It’s all very well assembling a wardrobe filled with splendid shoes and delightful dresses – but if you are going to wear them, then the chances are that they’ll break down over time. This is particularly cruel, as it’ll mean the items you most enjoy wearing will deteriorate more quickly. But fortunately, there are myriad ways to reverse the damage.
Some of these steps you’ll be able to perform yourself; others will require you to pay an expert. A great example of the former is shoe polishing. Cover a pair of leather shoes in a layer of polish and buff them until they gleam. In doing so you’ll ensure that they look fantastic, and that they’re protected against the elements.
For things you can’t do yourself, track down a few choice professionals, on whom you’ll be able to rely when your favourite shoes need an emergency stitching. Being on first-name terms with the local dry-cleaner and tailor is sure to save you time and money, too!
Refresh Your Accessories
Is there something missing from your wardrobe that you can’t quite place? A few extra decorative flourishes might be all that’s required. These needn’t be enormously expensive – a bracelet here or a change of earrings there can help to really transform an outfit. Subtle changes often yield big results!
Make Luggage Part of Your Outfit, Too!
If you’re always carting around a laptop bag or a briefcase, then it’ll contribute just as much to your overall look as the clothes you’re wearing. Why opt for function at the expense of style when there are so many great items that offer both in abundance? A high-quality bag will make a great investment, and it’ll draw the eye just as surely as any accessory. You might opt for a small one for nights out, or a larger one for weekend breaks.
Take Comfort More Seriously
If you’re going to wear something every day, then ensuring a proper fit is crucial. This is particularly so in the case of shoes, which tend to be less flexible, and which must bear the weight of your entire body, and absorb all the accompanying friction.
If you’re ordering online, then be sure to take advantage of any free returns policy, and send something back if it doesn’t precisely match your requirements. You can perform small adjustments using devices designed to sit within the shoes, like insoles and heel cushions. The latter are fantastic for office shoes that are forced to take on high mileages – they’ll prevent the rear of the shoe from digging into your heel.
Tailor Your Shoes to Your Steps
On a related note, it’s worth observing the amount of walking you do in your shoes, and then shopping accordingly. If you have ten pairs of heels and just one pair of flats, which you wear during a daily two-mile walk, then there’s clearly an imbalance to be addressed. Divide your shoes according to the time you spend walking in them, ensuring that you’ve enough pairs of flat ones to get your feet to the end of the week in the best possible shape. You’ll get more done if you’re able to easily glide from meeting to meeting, and errand to errand – and you’ll feel a great deal better as you do it!
Don’t Wear Things You Don’t Like
Just because you’ve read somewhere that a particular style is ‘in’ doesn’t mean that you should unthinkingly adopt it. If you’re uncomfortable wearing something, then the chances are that you won’t be able to model it convincingly. You’ll wear such items a few times before relegating them to the deepest recesses of your wardrobe, where they’ll contribute to a vague sense of clutter over the course of the next decade. It’s these sorts of decisions that you end up correcting when you eventually perform a clear-out. Save yourself the time and money, and don’t bother!
Diversify Your Colour Choice
While some of us might sniff at the notion, we all really have a favourite colour. It’s the one we instinctively gravitate to whenever we’re confronted with a clothes-rail. We know that we look good in it, and so it seems a safe choice whenever a choice must be made. But if we’ve too conservative we might easily end up with a wardrobe that’s a little – well, monochrome. Eliminate this problem by making a conscious decision to branch out. If everything in your possession is black or blue, then why not inject a little bit of red in there? This sort of thing is sure to be noticed – and hopefully, noticed in the best possible way!
We’ve run through just a few of the fashion errors that many of us are guilty of – and which can be corrected with just a little bit of dedication and effort. Adopt just a few (or even just one) of these suggested resolutions and you’re sure to spend 2018 looking and feeling far better than you otherwise might. Why not give it a go?