The festive season might be over but, when it comes to January, ‘tis definitely the season for something – and that something is getting one’s crap in order. And when I say crap, I mean clothes. Though September is regarded as the fashion new year, January is the perfect time to sort out, refocus and set some good wardrobe intentions for the months ahead. To get yours started, here are mine:
Stop wearing manky socks and knickers
I make this resolution every year and it’s one I intend on keeping for years to come. Life is too short to spend it wearing holey socks and greige pants so, if you didn’t get any new ones for Christmas, now’s the time to treat yourself.
When it comes to socks, my preference is an identical array of black and ankle-length, reasoning that, if all my socks are the same, I won’t spend ages repairing them after they’ve been washed. This pack of merino socks from John Lewis does the trick. If you like a jolly sock, then you might be interested to know that these are currently Amazon’s top sellers and I will also point you in the direction of Catherine Tough’s lobster style. If the new year has seen you sign up to a gym class, then get yourself a pair of Sweaty Betty’s non-slip trainer socks. Or, if you want to get all fashion about it, then Cos’ Lurex style is what you want peeking out of your ankle boots.
As for knickers, I could write an essay of recommendations; however, I will spare you and instead do a top five: Hanky Panky for comfy lace thongs and shorts; M&S’ pretty Brazilian briefs; Uniqlo’s totally seamless pants (you’ll forget you’re wearing them); Lara Intimates for something special; and Triumph for pants so large you could sail the Atlantic in them (perfect, I’ve found, for PMT days). It’s also worth keeping an eye out for the new lingerie collection from John Lewis & Partners, which launches in March. I’ve had a preview and can tell you it’s wonderfully pretty, well priced and size-inclusive. Hurrah.
Achieve wardrobe-storage zen
If you are one of the zillions who have tuned in to Marie Kondo’s new Netflix series, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, chances are you’ve already vertically folded your jeans and alphabetised your scarf collection. However, if you are still looking for some organisation inspo, then I will share with you the three things that have honestly revolutionised my wardrobe-storage game:
- Hang all of your clothes on space-saving hangers. You can pick these up for a reasonable price from Amazon and they will quite honestly give you 30% more space in your wardrobe. Buy the ones with a bottom bar so that you can hang trousers and make sure they’re velvet – non-slip.
- Buy a set of vacuum storage bags. Split your clothes into summer, winter and in between. Keep everything winter and in between in your wardrobe, and pack all your summer dresses/shorts/swimming costumes etc into the vac bags. Stick these in the loft/under the bed, then switch seasonally. Hardly revolutionary, I know, but I did this for the first time and it’s given me immense wardrobe clarity.
- Colour-coordinate your coats. An interiors stylist told me to do this after she saw the immense stash of coats I have hanging next to my stairs. By grouping the coats into colours (black, navy, beige etc) and hanging them together, your stash looks more like a considered design feature and less like a mess.
Get things repaired
I think it’s fair to say that, by now, most of us are aware of the huge amount of clothing that ends up in landfill. No one wants to feel guilty about shopping, but currently we are in a dangerous mindset of “wear once, then throw away”. One way to help break this cycle is to get things repaired when they’re looking tired, rather than resigning them to the bin. Last year, I discovered The Restory, a brilliant London-based bag- and shoe-repair service. Sending off a tatty handbag, it returned weeks later looking as good as new. I’ve also found a local cobbler to carry out the numerous repairs that kitten-heel boots require and, inspired by a fellow Pooler, have vowed to send my winter coats off to the dry cleaner’s to get them cleaned and mended once spring hits. I’m not yet at the stage of buying my own sewing kit – maybe next year.
LESS GREY, MORE COLOUR
The other day, during my commute to work, I saw a woman on the Tube wearing a red teddy coat, pink roll neck and checked trousers. A symphony of colour, she was the best-dressed in the carriage by a mile and inspired a real sense of cheer. The first few months of the year are grey enough, so I’m planning on mixing things up with a splash of colour. I’ve got a few bits in my wardrobe already that I will be wearing more regularly, including a dark green tea dress from Ghost. If you’re in need of a new colour pop, then snap up Boden’s ochre midi skirt, which is currently in the sale.
Wear the same clothes twice
This year, I resolve to embrace my inner Caroline de Maigret and wear the same thing several times over. (In fact, I started this over Christmas when I wore the same jumper and leggings combo for no less than five days in a row. I have no regrets.) For all the reasons outlined in the above point, I will be taking inspiration from Livia Firth’s 30 Wears Challenge and making sure I wear the heck out of my clothes and really enjoy what I already have in my wardrobe. To that end, I will also endeavour to not save anything “for best” (aka left in the dusty crevices of my wardrobe), including these velvet sandals, which I will wear with aforementioned glitzy socks and ankle-grazing blue jeans.
Tackle the hallway shoe avalanche
Having filled up all of my existing shoe storage (consisting of three wicker hampers), I am currently living in a sea of ankle boots, which is in imminent danger of overflowing down the stairs. Obviously, I need to do a cull (does any one person need five pairs of white trainers?), but after that some genius storage is required. These, from Ikea, might look naff, but I’ve just screwed three side by side to the landing wall and put some candles and pretty pots on the top. It hides several pairs of shoes, takes up hardly any space and, thanks to the decoration, looks rather lovely.
Finally buy suede protector
An easy one to resolve but one that, thus far, I have refused to do for some mysterious reason. Punch Instant Protector comes with glowing Amazon reviews and costs less than £4, which is significantly cheaper than replacing rain-ruined suede boots. Also worth buying is Jason Markk's suede rubber, which buffs off stains and marks. (For more tips on looking after suede, read this.) While I’m at it, I will also be buying some moth-busting cedar balls to hang in the wardrobe, after I discovered that my cashmere dressing gown now has a sieve-like appearance.
Jump on the resale bandwagon
Last year saw the resale market boom, with websites such as The Resolution Store, My Wardrobe Mistakes, Vestiaire Collective and Depop offering stylish ways to flog your cast-offs and bag a pre-loved bargain. By 2027, second-hand clothes are predicted to make up 11% of our wardrobes, so now seems like a great time to get on board. Ebay is great for selling high-street bits, while Vestiaire Collective is good for labels and both have easy-to-use apps. List your items and watch the pennies roll in.
In terms of shopping pre-loved, it’s worth signing up to The Resolution store’s mailing list to get first dibs on new-in pieces, which are always in excellent condition and often at a fraction of the original price.
Channel my inner Carmen Miranda
Scarves, brooches, belts, earrings – I have them all and yet, for the life of me, I can’t remember to put them on. I admire ornaments and add-ons on others and full recognise the outfit-enhancing benefits of a few choice accessories, but never manage to do it myself. This year, I am determined to bedeck myself in all manner of claptrap, starting with hairbands. I fancy Anthropologie’s leopard-print style, or perhaps ASOS’ yellow number and plan on wearing them with a dishevelled bun. They will be just the thing to camouflage greasy roots.