It’s the end of the year. It’s the cliched period where people make new year resolutions and start planning on how to achieve them. Where people start wanting to hit ‘refresh’ for their lives.
“I want to be more fit!” Or “I want to be more knowledgeable!” And some of “I want to make the perfect Aglio Olio!”.
(OK, maybe the last one isn’t so new-year-worthy.)
But even if it’s cliche, I LOVE IT. I love this period of self-reflection, optimism and planning. #alltheplans
This past year, I’ve focused a lot on my career. And in line with that, I started focusing more on what I wear. I wanted to be more well-dressed…
Being well-dressed doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m not the neatest, most fashionable person on the block, but I’ve been trying really hard. And all my efforts have paid off, without spending alllll my money on new clothes!
So in this blog post, I wanted to share with you the 4 easy ways to refresh your wardrobe for the new year, WITHOUT going on a shopping spree. If your new year resolution is to be more well-dressed, then you’ll love these tips!
1. Alter your clothes so that they fit perfectly
A well-dressed woman isn’t someone who wears expensive clothes all the time. Not necessarily. You don’t need all those luxury brands to dress well.
What makes a woman well-dressed is that her clothes fit perfectly on her body. By ‘fit’, I mean not overly baggy and not overly skin-tight.
Let’s get real. The average woman can’t afford to wear tailor-made clothes ALL the time. Tailor-made clothes are usually reserved for special occasions like weddings or Hari Raya. Those are usually the ONLY times we call up our favourite tailor and have them make clothes that fit us just right.
So for clothes like shirts, skirts and pants, we usually buy them off-the-rack. Right? But that shouldn’t stop us from making sure that our off-the-rack clothes fit right too!
So, this is the tip: Put on all your clothes, one at a time, and see if each item needs to be altered to make it fit right.
- Are your sleeves too long? Makes us look untidy and unpolished. Ideally, sleeves should end just at the wrist.
- Are your pants too long and touching the floor? Gets dirty and will get frayed easier. Same goes for skirts.
- Is your shirt too baggy and formless? Makes us look puffy and messy.
So you see, to refresh your wardrobe, it’s less about the quantity and more about the quality. If it feels right, you’ll feel good too.
Something I’m personally guilty of is wearing baju kurung where the kain is extra long. (I’m a bit short) Instead of sending it for alteration, I’ve been rolling the kain up at the waist.
Roll, roll, roll. Mostly up to 3 rolls. (Don’t be like me)
Let me tell you something: It’s hard to feel polished and sophisticated when there are 3 rolls of kain around your tummy!
So spend some time with your clothes before new year. It may cost a little bit of money to alter them, but why let them go to waste?
If they’re still good clothes, a little snip and trim will refresh them and refresh your wardrobe too.
2. Invest in prints for your statement pieces
I have a lot of solid-coloured clothes. And I usually wear them with solid-coloured scarves.
But this year, I’m planning to invest in a few printed scarves that will become part of my statement pieces (a.k.a. Pieces that will make me feel like I could win over Neelofa.)
I’m investing in prints because I have so few of them compared to solid-coloured scarves! It’s not a really a refresh-your-wardrobe if I buy the same kind of things, right?
The prints that I’ve been eyeing are right here on Olá! They’re the upcoming line of Marble Prints that will be releasing early 2019.
If you’re not a floral kind of girl, and you’ve been looking for a print that’s one-of-a-kind, never-done-before, seriously, look no further.
(Scroll down to the bottom of the post to add them to your cart…. RM10 off when you preorder before 2 Jan 2019!)
I looooove marble prints. They look sophisticated and edgy at the same time. And because Olá’s new line are coloured marble prints rather than just the usual white, grey or black marble prints, they’re going to STAND OUT.
They’re gonna look amazing with neutrals.
3. Reorganize your wardrobe and set up your ‘personal boutique’
I used to have the messiest wardrobe ever. My clothes were arranged without any order at all. In fact, I shouldn’t say ‘arranged’ at all. They’re all jumbled up.
And my wardrobe was packed FULL. Clothes were hidden between each other. I couldn’t actually see what I have in my wardrobe.
And since I couldn’t see my clothes > I think I have no clothes > I go out to buy new clothes.
But ever since I stumbled upon a quote, I’ve begun to devote a reasonable chunk of every week to making my wardrobe look nice. And maintaining that niceness.
What’s this life-changing quote you ask?
“When our closets are set up like a well-curated boutique, we start the day with the message that WE MATTER and that our own self-care matters.” – Shira Gill
Putting aside the quality of your clothes for a moment, ask yourself: Is your wardrobe a well-curated boutique? Would you ‘shop’ at your own wardrobe?
My answers were no and no. And that’s why I kept buying stuff while still feeling unhappy.
This tip is about actually refreshing your wardrobe itself by re-organizing it. Do you have the right set-up for your own personal boutique?
Now before you start surveying contractors for a walk-in closet, I have a few basic criteria for a good wardrobe:
- Enough hanging space for all tops, where you can actually see individual items
- Enough hanging space for all bottoms, if possible
- Display/storage shelves for accessories like handbags
- Display space for scarves
You may have different wants and needs, but this is a good place to start. And you don’t need to build a walk-in closet for it!
One ‘extra’ thing I did to refresh my wardrobe was to arrange my scarves by colour. Took a bit of time, but it felt sooooooooooo goooood. I used a few of this KOMPLEMENT hanger from IKEA.
Not only did I treasure my clothes more, it’s much easier now to mix and match them and experiment more with what I’m wearing.
Time for a end-of-the-year spring cleaning!
4. Shake things up with new colour combinations
One of the things I loooove to do lately is to go on Pinterest and search COLOUR COMBINATIONS.
I don’t know about you, but I usually have a few “uniforms” that I choose to wear over and over again. Every week in fact. This shirt with that skirt. This top with that scarf.
These combinations that were honestly starting to get boring! Rationally, I knew that I have a VARIETY of clothes. But I just got lazy and I just didn’t know how to put them together any other way. So after Pinterest-ing those things, at least I knew what to try to refresh my wardrobe!
Here’s a few boards that I love:
One of the things I discovered was that when you use new colours with your regular colours, what you’re wearing will look new!
Case in point: I’ve been wearing a geometric-patterned baju kurung to work this past year. The pattern has dark blue, light blue, grey and light peach in it. And I’ve been wearing it with dark blue scarf without fail.
But sometime last month, I wore it with a light pink scarf and it was awesome! It didn’t match exactly but it fits the whole look. And a few people from my department complimented the baju kurung when I’ve been wearing it almost every week.
It’s amazing how using a new colour combination can instantly refresh your wardrobe. Pinterest definitely helped here because it allows me to picture what the combination would look like.
So that’s it for the tips that have worked well for me.
All of the tips focus on this: Treasuring what you have and buying only what you love. It doesn’t have to be “new year, new wardrobe”, even if you want to refresh your wardrobe.
What matters is your ability to see the past year with a critical eye and make actual improvements to your wardrobe to be the best, well-dressed version of yourself in 2019. 🙂