A Fresh Start for Style in 2012

Don't let the January blues get you down. Perk up your sense of style with these fresh and fun tips for the new year.

Credit: H&M

Don’t let the gloomy winter weather put a damper on your 2012 style

2012 calls for the latest in fashion, makeup and personal health

It’s rainy, rainy January. The winter coat that had such sharp creases in October is starting to look a little fuzzy and rumpled. My figure, which was admirably cocktail-dress ready just one short month ago, is now wobbly around the edges like a Monet thanks to making holiday treats a basic food group.

I’m so bored by my “look” that I’d swear I’ve been wearing the same uniform – I mean outfit – for the last two weeks.

The January blues can get a girl down, but I’ve got an escape plan. Here are five handy ways to boot the winter style doldrums out of your apartment. 

Five Steps for Fresh Style

A fitted sweater paired with a bright skirt, or a fresh pink shade of lipstick can really help shake things up (Images: J. Crew, Revlon)

  1. Clean: Clean out your closet. Cull the misfits, the Halloween-y, the fringe, the polyester. It’s not exciting, but sometimes discipline is the only way forward. If you don’t get rid of unwearable items, how are you going to add key pieces for spring? If an item can go two winters without seeing use, it’s a bad purchase. The ultimate goal here is to reduce superfluous buys so you can grow a quality wardrobe. Don’t forget to get a tax receipt when they pick up your stuff!
  2. Cleanse: Cleanse your system. I recommend cleanses for the simple feel-good element, not for weight loss. Whether you’re gung-ho, like Gwyneth Paltrow who emphasizes Dr. Alejandro Junger’s clean diet (a 21-day detox that focuses on nutrient-rich foods and two liquid meals a day), or simply planning to cut out sugar for a week, it all counts. Sometimes even one hot yoga session a week to release pent up toxins can do the trick. It’s all about changing your patterns.  
  3. Start: Start integrating spring trends now. Put aside the short-lived 2011 autumn pieces (faux fur vests) and start working looks like fitted pastel blazers and sweaters (spearmint green, glacier blue, petal pink) with a sharply tailored blouse underneath. While it’s still a tad early for the tropical prints that were all over the runway, you can start rocking spring 2012’s blush monotone and Great Gatsby-inspired art deco looks in black, cream and gold.
  4. Switch: Switch reds to pinks in your beauty regime. Reds are heavy and sultry. Pinks are fresh, light and fun – like a blossoming cherry tree in downtown Van. Banish ruby, scarlet, tomato and flamenco to the bottom drawer. Choose Princess Grace pink, bubble gum,  and petal instead. For lips, opt for sheer balm-and-colour combos like Revlon’s new Colorburst Lip Butter, a moisturizing mix of shea butter and colour, rather than heavy, matte lipstick. For nail polish, expand on the pastel pink theme with lavender and sea foam green.
  5. Plan: Plan your spring buys by making a budget and listi ngyour priorities. When you invest in the good stuff (organic/natural materials, fine tailoring, double stitching) you’ll find you buy less overall. What’s your big wardrobe item for the spring season? A colourful purse? A spring frock? I’m holding out for the J. Crew’s Robson opening when I’ll nab the slim toothpick jeans that come in shades like citron and festival green. Yes, the future looks bright.