Looking for a New Year’s Resolution that doesn’t require cutting out an entire food group or spending even more time in the gym? We’ve got you covered, as we’re all about making 2018 your best dressed year to date.
Prepare to clear out your closet, secure some emergency shopping funds and get ready to embark on a true sartorial adventure. Whether you intend on making this the year you stop wearing head-to-toe black or the moment when you finally stop guilting yourself for buying a pair of rather impractical stilettos, there’s no reason not to get out of your comfort zone in 2018.
But before you drop a few grand on a new wardrobe of very trendy pieces, take some tips from fashion professionals, including Net-A-Porter’s Fashion Director Lisa Aiken, stylist-turned-jeweler Jennifer Fisher and milliner extraordinaire Gigi Burris O’Hara. Here, these industry insiders drop some knowledge on how to overhaul your closet, shop a bit smarter and look like you always sit front row at NYFW. Here’s to a chic and stylish New Year!
1. Go shopping solo.
“Trust your gut, because sometimes friends give you the worst advice. If you don’t think your friend has the exact same style as you do, don’t shop with them,” warned Jennifer Fisher. The jeweler to the stars can usually be found shopping alone—both in stores or online—so she can clearly focus on what really works with her wardrobe and what she actually wants to buy.
2. Before buying a statement piece, ask yourself one question.
“Does this accentuate the best version of who I am as a woman?” Brother Vellies designer Aurora James asks this, before buying a vibrant animal-print coat or an over-the-top dress. “For me, I love things that have a ‘wow factor,’ so if I’m going to splurge and buy something, I want it to be the clothing version of myself,” James explains. It’s a brilliant trick for making sure that your purchase is something you’ll actually wear; if you feel like yourself in a piece of clothing, you’re more likely to gravitate towards it when it’s hanging in your closet.
3. Opt for a trend that will stick around for a while.
Net-A-Porter’s fashion director Lisa Aiken has a haunch that tailored clothing—think sharp blazers, smart trousers and all the button-down shirts you could imagine—will be on the runways for a few seasons to come. “This trend has longevity and can be worn as a full pantsuit or off duty with just the blazer, a white tee, and denim,” she elaborated.
New Zealand-based designer Maggie Marilyn seconds that sentiment, mentioning how you can get a lot of wear out of a statement blazer. “It’s something you can really dress up or dress down,” she explained.
4. Consider even the most minute details.
Milliner Gigi Burris O’Hara is known for adding the most delicate details to her intricate hats, so she knows a thing or two about pulling together an outfit with panache. “Looking put together is very different than having it all together, it just takes a bit of mindfulness,” Burris O’Hara pointed out. “Make sure your shoes are shined and put on a hat—immediately you’ll look done.”
5. Flaunt it, because you’ve got it.
Designer Tanya Taylor, who recently expanded her range of elaborate floral frocks and smart blouses to include plus sizes, wants you to show your body off! “I believe in dressing for your body type, not hiding it,” she told Observer. That means going for a frock with a nipped-in waist or a skirt that emphasizes your curves. Concealing your frame under a billowing silhouette won’t do you any favors.
6. Ease into a more colorful wardrobe.
“Start small,” is Marilyn’s advice for adding a pop of color to your everyday looks. She suggests adding a neck scarf or a colorful pair of shoes to start and then building your way up to a totally color-filled wardrobe. She also thinks red is a great starting point. “Red is really so timeless; it’s bright and bold and goes with everything. It’s such a strong and empowering color,” she noted.
7. Push yourself with something new.
If you always wear jeans, try swapping them out for a dress one day per week; if you’re a fan of flats, slip into a pair of heels every Friday night. Getting out of your comfort zone is a good way to challenge yourself, in both the sartorial and self-confidence department. “I try to pick one silhouette each season that’s new to add to my wardrobe,” Fisher explained. She prefers wearing pants, so this year, she’s trying out more skirts and dresses—and has even learned a lesson from this experiment: “I find skirts and dresses much easier to put together at 6AM in the morning!”
8. Yes, you should buy something impractical.
Allow yourself to splurge on something special, one that probably wouldn’t withstand the daily commute, like a pair of open-toe mules with a plexiglass heel and a pouf of pink ostrich feathers. These are the type of fashion purchases that just make you happy!
“Everyone loves to dress up, even if it’s just at home. Why not throw on some Palms Pumps when you’re cooking dinner this evening,” said James, referring to the aforementioned feathered shoes from her Brother Vellies line. “You only live once, don’t take yourself so seriously.”
9. Use Instagram for everyday inspiration.
You check the app first thing after your alarm goes off in the morning, so why not let it influence your outfit for the day. “It shows me how a mix of women are dressing, from designers to stylists to influencers to my friends and which styles they’re actually wearing day to day,” said Taylor. Consider saving inspiring outfits into a “Collection” on your account, so you can easily access outfits you want to emulate.
10. Don’t forget to build a solid foundation of basics.
This advice is hardly new, but basics are the building blocks of every well-dressed woman’s wardrobe. “You can’t go wrong with white tees, vintage denim, masculine shirting, perfect tailoring and a pointed pump,” explained Aiken. Simply add a piece or three of gold jewelry et voilà, you have an easy and pulled together look, at any time.