From shopping more mindfully to finding your sartorial confidence, Contributing Fashion & Lifestyle Editor Astrid Carter talks us through some of the fashion resolutions to consider making this 2023.
Christian Dior once said, “don’t buy much but make sure that what you buy is good.” That, along with the iconic Coco quote about taking something off before you leave the house, is a fashion mantra to live by. But for 2023, I’m vowing to dig a little deeper to create my own fashion rules that will help curate a more streamlined, wearable wardrobe, one that is both financially and sustainably responsible, and make 2023 my most confident style year yet.
Read on for some of the rules I’ll be implementing this year.
1. If it doesn’t make you feel great, don’t buy it
So simple but so effective in ensuring you don’t shop product that will sit in the depths of the wardrobe for years to come. Simply ask yourself “does this make me feel great right now?” If the answer is no, it’s not destined for you, so don’t think you might fall in love with a piece if you lose an inch of Christmas weight or book that holiday.
2. Never buy an outfit for a one-off occasion
In my late teens / early twenties it was the norm to buy a dress Topshop dress for a Saturday night. These days that just seems kind of vulgar, but so many woman are still buying pieces or full looks for one standalone occasion.
Work towards building a wardrobe of a few select evening pieces that can be changed up with different accessories, a fun bag or great heels. The same can be done for holiday wardrobes – shop brands and items that will take you through holidays for years to come. Pieces that are flattering, timeless and well made.
And if you really have your eye on that Vampire’s Wife dress for your best friend’s wedding consider the myriad rental platforms that now offer a chance to play dress up for a few days in someone else’s wardrobe.
3. Look after your clothes
Whether it's storing your shoes in their original boxes or making repairs to much-loved knitwear, look after your pieces well and they will stand you well.
4. Find a good tailor
Even a high street pair of tailored trousers or an old dress that doesn’t quite feel ‘now’ can be transformed by a good seamstress. Look up your local tailors and dry cleaners, read the reviews and make the investment to tweak pieces that have the potential to be loved.
5. Follow the trends, but only if they feel right
There’s nothing wrong with buying into a trend as long as it feels like you. Try to have boundaries, however, to avoid waste and over-purchasing. Will this trend suit my body shape? Does this trend have longevity? And will it make me feel confident?
6. Approach the sale with caution
Some of my best, most worn purchases have been made in the sale or at sample sales – a much-loved Bella Freud 1970 jumper, a Burberry wool coat and the best Anine Bing jeans but the common thread holding them together is that they are all timeless, classic pieces that fit seamlessly into my existing wardrobe.
Make considered sale choices and avoid adding to basket just because there’s 50% off.
7. Don’t overlook the basics
A great white shirt, the perfect slouchy tee and jeans that fit like a glove are the foundations of so many looks. I’m definitely a bit of a magpie but as I get older I’m trying to make bigger priced purchases on basics rather than another statement dress or sparkly shoe.
8. Be inspired
Find great vintage stores, refine your Instagram feed, create a vision board - look outside of the box to find inspiration for your own style.
9. Shop your own wardrobe
Do you really know your wardrobe inside out? Put time aside this January to give your wardrobe an MOT. Try everything on and mix and match outfit combinations you’ve not tried before. Save Instagram or Pinterest shots of outfits you love and see if you can recreate them using your existing wardrobe – you’ll be surprised what gems might be lurking at the back.
10. Follow the One In, One Out Rule
If you long to own a wardrobe that is a capsule and works perfectly with each piece, subscribe to the One In One Out rule. In short, when you buy a new item, get rid of one. This will ensure you never shop and only buy pieces that you truly love and need. It works particularly well with investment designer pieces as you can sell the old item on a pre-loved site and put the money towards the new love.
If you don’t resell your old gems ensure you give the preloved pieces to charity or a local recycling donation bin. Many stores, such as Zara and H&M, have facilities that will recycle unwanted fabrics. No excuses.
11. Rewear full outfits… always
This is a rule I’ve naturally followed for years. I get obsessed with a piece or a full look and wear it on repeat, especially when it comes to going-out or evening looks. Who cares if you’ve worn it before? If it looks good and feels good, that’s enough.
12. Define your own style
Finally, think about what your style is, what speaks to you and how you would describe it. Narrowing it down to three words or a phrase – that can be anything from tailored, polished, feminine to a nod to the ’70s with a contemporary twist – will help you make shopping choices that don’t feel empty but will add weight and relevance to a curated, considered wardrobe.
The products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however, The Handbook may make a small commission on some of the products purchased through affiliate links.