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New Year fashion resolutions

I cleaned out my wardrobe over the holiday break and gosh it was full-time work. I spent a solid day (OK, a couple of breaks for daytime television and playing with the cat) pulling everything off hangers and out of drawers, and throwing the contents of my closet onto the bed, where I ruthlessly weeded out what was no longer needed or required. It turned out that was quite a lot – four garbage bags full to be exact – so you can imagine how easily my thoughts turned to updating my new, spacious and somewhat spartan wardrobe for the year ahead. Here are the style resolutions I came up with for 2014:

I will clean out my closet

If you haven't worn it for three years or more, let it go. The obvious exceptions to this rule are your wedding dress, and that floor-length gown you wear every couple of years to an event with a black tie dress code, but in all other respects comply strictly with this commandment to reap maximum rewards. Give what you no longer need to friends or to charity, and store your winter coats or special-occasion clothing in vacuum pack packages or clear storage cubes. I know it sounds crazy to buy more stuff when you are purging, but trust me, a visit to Howard's Storage World will offer you a thrilling range of storage and packaging options for your new, streamlined wardrobe.

I will avoid tricky trends

Last year we witnessed a myriad of tricky trends, such as midriff tops, punk, overalls and over-the-knee boots.

If are aged over 25 and purchased any of these garments, chances are you wore them once at best before realising they were better relegated to your niece or daughter. Let 2014 be the year of buying intelligently rather than on impulse. Find out what suits you, and work within those realms instead. (See the next resolution).


I will take inspiration from my style crush

Not literally, as in those “get her look” sections in the weekly gossip magazines. Instead, think about the women whose looks you admire – it could be a co-worker, it could be a celebrity – and what it is about the way they dress that you admire. For example, if you think Olivia Palermo always looks good, you are a type A polished personality who should invest in highly feminine separates and the best shoes and bags you can afford to ensure your look is always pulled together with the panache that defines Palermo. My style crush is at the other end of the spectrum, and while there is nothing original about coveting the more relaxed style of Jane Birkin (yawn) I have used my admiration to amass a wardrobe based around Equipment silk shirts, cashmere V-necks, relaxed trousers and flat shoes that has changed little in the past ten years. That may sound boring, but I feel comfortable and confident and it sure makes getting dressed in the morning easy.

I will stop pretending exercise gear is real clothing

Outside Los Angeles, Sydney is arguably the most body-conscious city in the world but having a six-pack and buns of steel is still no excuse to spend an entire day out and about in nothing more than a sports bra and American Apparel shortie shorts. The same goes for yoga pants and that threadbare T-shirt you've had since the 90s. Keep your workout wear strictly for the gym or your morning jog.

I will buy new lingerie

Nothing lets an outfit down more than the exposure of a tattered, discoloured bra-strap. Go through your lingerie drawer and discard anything old and ill-fitting. Make an appointment for a professional bra-fitting at a department store or specialist lingerie boutique and you won't believe the results. Walk out of there with a couple of new T-shirt bras for under form-fitting clothing, an underwire black-lace bra or two for special occasions and a sports bra if you work out regularly. Pick up half a dozen pairs of invisible knickers in flesh and black and your intimates are set for the months ahead.

I will make do and mend

Shoes and bags are the obvious contenders here. Assess all your shoes and have flats re-soled and heels re-tipped.

Bag straps and buckles can be fixed or replaced by a specialist repairer, who can also re-dye the leather to another colour for a style update. Rejuvenate tired shirts and trousers by mending hems and replacing buttons, and consider investing in a steamer in addition to an iron to ensure even your most delicate outer garments always look fresh and crease-free.

I won't buy anything on sale (unless I really, really want it)

Self explanatory really, especially if you went to the recent stocktake sales and are now regretting a couple of those purchases.

I will clean out my make-up bag

Make-up has quite specific use-by dates, and hoarding mascara, liners and shadows in particular can lead to eye infections and other woes. Check the use-by dates of all your products and toss accordingly. Then make an appointment at a department store make-up counter for an update of your signature look. Make-up is an area where women are particular prone to getting stuck in a rut, so book in for a refreshing change for the new year.

I will have fun with fashion

Getting stuck in a rut also happens with the clothes we wear. I'm far too prone to pulling on something black, so this year I've resolved to embrace navy, cream and grey. Radical, I know. Try something new, even if it's as simple as a longer hemline or a cropped jacket, because after all fashion should be fun.