Six Style Resolutions Guaranteed to Improve Your Image

Whether you call them New Year’s resolutions or not, chances are your body and your personal image are on your To Do list for 2009. While you’re making plans to improve the raw material with trips to the gym and healthier eating, don’t forget to take stock of your wardrobe and commit to enhancing your personal style with these fashion resolutions.

Think big picture.

Are you eclectic? Glamorous? Conservative? How do you want to be seen? Take a moment (or an hour) and give some thought to the image you most want to project. Does your wardrobe do a spectacular job of communicating that ideal image? One of the biggest lies many of us tell ourselves is that we have to wear a smaller size before we can be seen as we imagine. In reality, there are steps you can take right now, with the body you’ve got today, to better communicate your ideal style. The first step is to envision that style.

Let go of the past.

Old habits can be deceptively hard to break. If they don’t serve you, break them anyway. Just because you’ve always worn jeans to work or sweats to run errands doesn’t mean you need to take frumpy into the future. If you want to be seen as professional and polished, wear those jeans (with a crisp white shirt and blazer) as your Saturday errands outfit and invest in something a bit more professional for the office.

Letting go of the past and giving yourself permission to adopt the self-image of your dreams is an extremely powerful act. It may not even require shopping.

Clear out your closet.

We’ve seen this repeatedly on the many style-based reality shows because it’s a critical step in moving your personal style forward. It’s time to say goodbye to anything that is too small, too large, irreparably stained, absolutely out of date or otherwise not wearable now.

Unlike the reality shows, I wouldn’t suggest throwing it ALL away, but do get it all out of your field of vision. Keep only the clothes you can and will wear now. These are now the base of your wardrobe.

Make a list.

What’s missing from your current wardrobe? Make a list of the basics you need to achieve your desired style. If you’re not sure what to put on your list, here’s mine.
Although my taste is eclectic I always keep well-fitting classic trousers, an a-line skirt (mid-calf), a long skirt (bias cut, a-line or full work best for my pear-shaped southern hemisphere), crisp white blouse, tees in black, white and grey, cashmere cardigans in several colors, suit jacket(s), basic black dress and good ole blue jeans. With these pieces I can get dressed for any occasion.  Add a few (inexpensive) trendy or vintage finds and the options are nearly endless.

Shop as needed.

If one of these beautifully basic items wears out, ceases to fit or otherwise becomes unavailable, it goes on my list and I start shopping. Make sure your closet is stocked with those pieces that enable you to express yourself visually. Since budget is an issue for most of us these days, here’s an easy way to keep yourself focused on high-impact, high-value purchases: don’t buy another piece of clothing until you’ve got your basic wardrobe in good working order.

Plan ahead.

If you’re out to enhance your image this year, don’t leave getting dressed to chance. Put outfits together and try them on in advance so there’s no scrambling at the last minute. Cuz truly, that kind of style stress doesn’t look good on anybody.

Happy New Year and Happy Dressing!

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