A new look for a brand new year

From Dr Martens to sustainable fashion, Annmarie O’Connor checks out the style resolutions made by Ireland’s most fashionable.

What’s unrealistic, vague, overcomplicated, and statistically bound to fail.

Brexit? Perhaps but consider something closer to home like that new year’s resolution you made.

You know, the one to detox your overfed wardrobe or that vow to impulse shop less. As poetic as our stylish pinky swears may be, their ability to go the distance is slightly more prosaic. In short, they rarely work.

When it comes to self-improvement, sartorial or otherwise, it’s with the best intentions that the worst proverbial work is done.

Making like a monk once the January sales kick off simply isn’t enough; nor is relying on willpower to help transform your closet from a unicorn’s hen party into a considered capsule.

Willpower, you see, is more of a muscle than a virtue, one that is put through its paces when faced with the looming schism between resolution and execution.

The result? Our mental energy drains like an iPhone battery when faced with the very thought of doing what needs to be done and, so, we jack it all in before the month ends (or, in many cases, begins).

So, what’s a gal to do? In order to create real change, not the flimsy kind that is rationalised away by the prospect of a pseudo-need, it’s a question of picking the right resolution – a goal that’s both doable and meaningful.

Let’s break it down. When choosing your fashion resolution, it’s best to start small: a promise to clear out your closet starts with your sock drawer; anything more will result in an acute case of procrastination and/or a self-serving bias that a clothing avalanche or not being able to see the carpet really isn’t such a big deal.

Once you’ve broken down what you’re looking to fix, ask yourself ‘why’?

Write a list of the perceived benefits of keeping your personal promise before assessing the smartest way for you to see it through.

Is it really feasible to enforce a year-long shopping moratorium to save for your wedding or would you be better off keeping a clothing budget for a year? How would you spend that allocated coin?

Would you buy what you need once a season or drip feed it monthly to stop you from betting the farm on a pair of Prada boots?

When a speed wobble occurs and you find yourself in a changing room on January 1st with an armful of cut-price swag and the proverbial knickers around your ankles, knowing your ‘why’ will pre-empt any ‘Why not?’ moments, which brings me to my next point.

For your resolution to succeed, you need to believe, however remotely, that it’s achievable.

In other words, it should provide the right amount of tension without making you tense and the right amount of drive without driving you to distraction.

If you were reaching for the remote control from the sofa, would you prefer it a) slightly out of arm’s reach on the coffee table or b) in the dog’s mouth on the other side of the room.

One builds a sense of agency and an all-important pat on the back moment; the other builds rage, a litany of expletives and much in the way of cursing one’s fate - or poodle.

Less, in matters of mental mettle, is most definitely more. If Coco Chanel advised women to remove one accessory before leaving the house, then foreswear yourself sartorially with equal parts restraint.

Need some inspiration? Check out how Ireland’s savviest stylephiles plan on re-dressing 2019.

Annmarie O'Connor Irish Examiner fashion editor

2018 was a year of change. In my case, I moved house and city (hello, Cork!) which involved much in the way of comfy drawstring trousers and trainers by way of apparel.

Now, settled in my new abode, I’m vowing to dust off my lesser-worn vintage regalia and get out and about in the Rebel City.

It might take a bit of convincing to part with my trusty Vans given I now live in Maryborough Hill but, with small steps, that may well change!

Clodagh Shorten –Samui boutique owner

I don’t usually make resolutions with regards fashion, but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about sustainability and getting the most out of clothes and accessories.

So, this year, I’m resolving to make the clothes that I already own work harder for me, like this black Dries Van Noten dress, which is trimmed with a band of light green feathers.

I bought it specifically for evening wear and have worn it with heels, but I’m now pairing it with trainers or sometimes knee-high boots, knits and winter coats - it looks great layered up.

Come springtime, I see myself wearing it with cool slides. It’s just about adapting the piece to make it more useful.

Aoibhín Garrihy – actor & co-founder of BEO Events

My New Year’s fashion resolution is to scrap the tight jam-packed wardrobe and invest in some good solid clothes rails in the middle of my dressing room so that I can see everything clearly and realise what I actually have in my possession so that I don’t keep buying duplicates and triplicates of things.

The key is to ultimately cut back and save money and space.

Natasha Crowley –Opera Lane personal shopper and stylist

For 2019, I’d like to breathe new life into the pieces I already own.

I recently invested in a pair of black Dr. Martens boots from Office so they are going to give a totally different look to plenty of dresses that I have.

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