What are your fashion New Year’s resolutions? Not sure? Then take inspiration from these six women
Even Jane Austen worried about the state of her wardrobe on the cusp of a new year. On Christmas Day in 1798, she wrote to her sister Cassandra, “I am determined to buy a handsome [muslin gown] whenever I can, and am so tired and ashamed of half of my present stock that I even blush at the sight of the wardrobe that contains them.” Despite all of this “September is the new January” talk that abounds every August, almost all of us feel compelled to ring in each new year with some sort of meaningful change to our lives, be it professional, familial, social or personal – December is such a strange, mixed-up month, swinging swiftly from uninhibited celebration to stark self-reflection.
For me, January begins with a sartorial shake-up; a detached appraisal of the shoes, coats, bags and skirts I’ve amassed over the year, and those items that have been with me for far, far longer. I understand that general thinking dictates we should “work” on ourselves from the inside out, but never underestimate the power of a closet clear out to focus the mind on exactly who and what you want for 2018.
Below, several women of different ages and varying professions reveal their own sartorial New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. For some, it’s a promise of self-belief in their own style choices, for others, it’s a simple (but no less important) assault on their sock drawer.
Joanne Hynes, fashion designer
I’ve been glancing sideways at my sock drawer (and my underwear drawer, come to think of it) for months now – everything piled and thrown into deep drawers that my children like to empty, fill, empty, fill… you understand? So recently, I committed to organising both drawers. This I did, and then I counted my socks; 43 pairs of Lurex socks collected since 2002 (ankle length and over-the-knee). I rolled each one individually and thanked them for their glittery service and for the conversations with random people that they have ignited over the years. (I’ve actually been known to darn a good Lurex sock many a time in order to save it.) I counted 123 pairs of hosiery, in all colours and textures, including fishnets, 1940s backseam and polka dots (it reminded me of why I hardly ever wear black hosiery – because frankly, they are so pedestrian and life’s path is so short). And the moral of this story?
1 I will be wearing more socks with a bare, beautifully waxed leg (Angela Scanlon-style).
2 I will be re-wearing my collection of hosiery in all its glorious colours. (I even have vintage hosiery from charity shops, unopened.)
3 I will be paying more attention to my foundation garments, which need some imagination this year, as I usually throw them in a supermarket trolley while buying nappies and bread.
4 I will keep my wardrobe neat and tidy like a good grown-up woman.
5 I will purchase underwear from a hosiery store and become that grown-up woman.
Anna Taylor, director of Fatale Events
Fatale Events is a love letter to classic movies and musicals, and our audience and performers are the embodiment of that. The trouble is, large-scale events can be gruelling, and quite often I have to choose comfort over glamour. My 2019 fashion resolution is to let my favourite dresses out of the closet and immerse myself fully in the experience of each show. I’ll also continue my long-standing resolve of buying timeless pieces that I love and mending them rather than giving way to fast fashion.
Pippa O’Connor, entrepreneur
The older I get the more comfortable I am in my own skin, which in turn fosters my own unique sense of style. I adore fashion, and I buy a lot – maybe too much (I should have shares in Zara!). But I really believe if you love something wear it. When you feel confident in what you’re wearing, you’ll always look well. To me, that’s all that matters. This New Year, I’m going to continue dressing for me, but I’d like to buy fewer pieces and focus on good quality items instead.
Kate Beaufoy, author
I predict that in 201p we will celebrate a joyous explosion of feminism by kicking off high heels as workwear and embracing the comfort of flats. The suffragettes cast off their corsets, the women’s libbers unclasped their conical bras; isn’t it time we freed ourselves from another fetishistic constraint? As I’m currently living by the Indian Ocean, it will be no hardship for me to substitute flip-flops for stilettos: the ones I have my eyes on are the Rolls-Royce of casual footwear: Havaianas Slim Crystal, in rose gold.
Bláithín Ennis, jewellery designer
My days are so varied. I spend a lot of time in my studio, where ease of movement is essential when creating handmade jewels. Afterwards, I often have meetings for which I have to look more glamorous and business-like. I always find it diffiult to transition from casual wear to a more sophisticated afternoon look. So in 2019, I plan to source a really nice briefcase bag, some smart casuals, including gorgeous flats, and a wardrobe staple like a classic blazer, which I can use to dress up anything. All I need to add to this classic, simple look are my jewels.
Mary-Ellen Derby, make-up artist
I’m going to banish passing trends and embrace simple, effortless chic for spring. I say this every year… but for 2019 I would really love to edit my wardrobe down to just ten key pieces that I know will work well on me. I’m guilty of buying trends that don’t really suit me, so I hope this resolution will stop me buying pieces that I might wear once, but which will never see the light of day a second time! I’ll begin by choosing good quality items in greys, whites and black (I love a neutral palette), then I can dress them up and down with accessories.