Follow the fashion commandments for a stylish new year and beyond
Thirteen may be considered unlucky for some, but 2013 is the year to break that superstition. Lisa Haynes issues some timely fashion commandments for the new year and beyond ...
Before you go making those life-changing resolutions, slow down – and think "mini makeover" instead.
More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of people who give up on their resolutions are doomed to fail because they try to make overambitious changes, according to research by the University of Hertfordshire.
But if you plan smaller, specific changes to say, your closet, you are likely to achieve a much higher success rate.
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Undo the damage of a festive fashion hangover and tick off some of these commandments for a stylish 2013.
THOU SHALT NOT ... Covet too many clothes
Give the January sales a wide berth if you have a penchant for false economy wardrobe "bargains". Calculate potential cost-per-wear when you are about to splurge on yet another fashion fad with a limited shelf life.
Dressipi stylist Natalie Theo says: "It's all about versatility and making that hard-earned cash go further at this time of the year.
"A little black dress, particularly a shift, is both a wardrobe investment piece and a great fashion blank canvas. It can easily be restyled to create completely different looks."
THOU SHALT NOT ... Ignore your body shape
Love handles, muffin tops and bingo wings ... all wobbly bits that can be minimised with clever styling. Do away with unflattering fashions for 2013 by paying special attention to your reflection.
"We all come in different shapes and sizes so it's about finding clothes to flatter your physique and accentuate your assets," says Julie Donnelly, head of womenswear buying for Isme.com.
"Something as simple as the right cut and fit can give women that ultimate body confidence."
THOU SHALT NOT ... Be a wallflower
Special occasions sometimes call for a statement dress that you can just throw on and go. Seek out a one-piece wonder for 2013; something that does not require lashings of accessories or fuss so you can be ready in record time.
Bobbie Malpass, editor of MyCelebrityFashion.co.uk, says: "Our fashion advice is don't start the New Year without a LRD – that's Little Red Dress.
"It's a stand-out colour and one that will get you noticed with minimum effort."
THOU SHALT NOT... Overspend on seasonal trends
Catwalk fads come and go but staples just keep delivering, no matter what the season. Seek out timeless classics that will enhance your wardrobe for years to come.
"The high street will be stocking vertical striped blazers, which are flattering and just scream spring/summer 2013, however, it's a classic that will see you through," suggests Mark Heyes, stylist on ITV's Lorraine.
"You can be wearing an old T-shirt and weekend jeans and instantly look smart with one of these. If you're a cardigan wearer, replace it with a striped blazer and it can take ten years off."
THOU SHALT NOT... Overpack
When it comes to holiday packing, two thirds (67 per cent) of UK women not only fill up their own suitcases but hog a third of their partner's too, according to research by Sunshine.co.uk. Don't succumb to another year of panic at the excess baggage counter.
"Check the weather forecast before you go to minimise all those 'just in case' items," advises Emily O'Brien, editor of Styloko.com. "Wear your bulkiest items to the airport – if you are taking a jumper and jacket, this is the time to wear them."
THOU SHALT NOT... Hoard a redundant wardrobe
No excuses for keeping clothes that are collecting mothballs in the back of your wardrobe. A clearout could even boost your bank balance for a new purchase.
Mark Pearson, chairman of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, says: "Selling items online can be a great way of getting rid of unsuitable clothes, particularly if you've nabbed yourself an item that's in high demand – often a bidding war will mean you get a higher return than you paid in the first place."
THOU SHALT NOT... Be stuck in a style rut
Almost half of women (46 per cent) admit they have never tried changing their appearance, according to Groupon research. It is easy to go on autopilot and throw on the same clothes and make-up, so ensure you bring your 2013 look up to date.
"New Year is a great opportunity to think about what's in our wardrobe and make-up bag," says Seven Suphi, life coach and behavioural change specialist.
"Think about the image you want to portray and whether your style matches that – or ask someone else if you want an honest opinion."