There’s nothing more fashionable than a new year’s resolution

The Independent's Fashion Editor has been compiling his own list since July

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Indy Lifestyle Online

I am an incorrigible, inexhaustible fan of a new year’s resolution, for two major reasons. On the one hand, I’m an inveterate list-maker; on the other, I love the intention of self-improvement. Even if, generally, my idea of a “health drive” consists of purchasing still-pristine sportswear and replacing the regular biscuits that make up three-quarters of my diet with Jaffa Cakes (I’m sure I read somewhere that they were healthier, right?). Therefore, a pointless to-do list with a 12-month time frame is irresistible: I’ve been compiling mine since July.

Fashion, generally, loves new year’s resolutions. The implication of binning the old and ringing in the new has obvious parallels with a business founded on built-in obsolescence. Ironically, then, fashionable resolutions tend to be the same, new year in, new year out. Generally, they involve throwing away garments that you never wear, only buying clothes that fit, focusing on what you need rather than what you want. The usual gumpf.

 

You get equal numbers advising to stick to a “signature” style, and tossing it all out in favour of “experimentation;” likewise as many people tell you to invest in classics as extol the virtues of “having fun” with next season’s trends.

I don’t support any of the above. My resolutions, then? First, and foremost, keep every garment. I have racks of clothes that I have never worn – I would never, ever consider getting rid of them. I feel clothes are often talismans, impregnated with memories of events that are more evocative than images. That sounds like claptrap, but it’s often true.

However, make sure that they’re not impregnated with anything more… organic. I resolved one year to keep everything in plastic with lilac, mothballs and cedar rings to ward off moths. I urge you to do the same. So yes, ball them all. And learn to live with the smell.

As for fitting – buy clothes for who you want to be. I heard a wonderful – possibly apocryphal – story about a leading haute couture house’s vendeuse (posh sales girl) who informed clients of the plastic surgeons able to tailor their bodies to fit the clothes. Getting a tailor – non-surgical – is also a great resolution. It sounds decadent and old-fashioned, but the idea of tweaking your clothes to fit right – by your opinion, rather than a designer’s – is just clever. It’ll make you wear them more, and look better.

Finally, spend as much as you can. I’m not advocating profligacy in Prada, rather the idea of buying less, but buying wisely. It’s about making clever choices – buy a vintage coat rather than a high street one, for instance. If it has lasted five decades already, then chances are it is in it for the long haul.

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