For most, Valentine’s Day is very similar to opening one’s closet doors every morning: a bitter disappointment.
Some are lucky in love, while others struggle every step of the way. Serial monogamists like me tend to adore the classic comfort and security that comes with the territory, while others hop, skip and jump from one relationship or hook-up to the next, not quite sure where (or whether) to plant their feet.
Parallels can surely be drawn between our approach to relationships and fashion. Do you know what you want in an outfit and stick to it regardless, finding comfort in predictability OR do you buy random trend items in the vain hope they’ll magically fit together cohesively?
Either way, it’s time to revitalise your relationship with your wardrobe and find a bit of style clarity.
Have a style theme every day
Earlier this year I read Man Repeller’s article All the People We Want to Be in 2016. This included both people the team follow on social media (Instastyle celebs if you will) and (actual) celebrities like Solange Knowles, who lives and dies by a monochrome theme. Personally, I want to be Leandra Medine from Man Repeller. Her theme is undeniably La Dolce Vita: Mediterranean romance with pops of colour, tassels and raffia.
So how do you go about picking a style theme? As with love, one should see what’s out there before settling for the expected. Browse Instagram for themes (this won’t necessarily translate to dating) and find a few looks you love (e.g. Greek goddess, Tuscan-village fruit seller or even Wall Street banker – whatever floats your boat) and start to mimic their style.
At first, this might see you accessorising a bit more than usual, trying new shapes and silhouettes, perhaps even doing a bold pink lip with a red dress (if it can get Maria the Tuscan fruit seller a date with Luigi then it might just work for you too) - sooner or later you’ll find your groove. You’ll see what works and what doesn’t work for your body shape and particular taste.
Escaping in fashion can be very therapeutic. As we all know, sometimes, we need a bit of a break from ourselves.
Be a romantic
Similar to the ‘80s sartorial trend known as the New Romantics, celeb muses Kate Bosworth and Alexa Chung are rehashing this idea by inspiring everyone to dress elegantly flamboyant.
Soft, sheer, ruffles, floral and embellished pieces and flushes cheeks are making a comeback – I can already see Victorians everywhere doing a curtsey.
Up your shoe game
Fall in love with shoes – but not in the way you might think.
Try to find a pair of shoes every season that sees you jumping out of bed in the morning elated to slip your feet into them. Make sure they are a) as pretty as the most beautiful person you’ve ever kissed (if not more so) and b) make you walk tall (even if it be down a cobblestoned road the morning after wearing nothing but smudged makeup and horrendously wrinkled chiffon trousers).
Buy shoes you truly love and wear them every day instead of getting 10 pairs of meh ones you end up calling ‘home shoes’.
Have an Iris Apfel moment
This 94-year-old woman is a fashion icon. She stacks jewellery (on her arms/neck) like a sturdy-handed Jenga-master. Now, I’m not recommending you ‘apply all’ to every outfit, just make sure accessories always factor into your outfit planning.
Like any good relationship, we need add-ons: also known as best friends, hobbies and other distractions (often wine).
Most of the time an outfit can be improved by accessorising it.
Toss your fall-back
Having a fall-back outfit is too safe. You know the one, that little black dress you always pull out at the last minute or trusty floral number a cute boy once (once) complemented you on. Yes that one. It’s like going back to that ex-boyfriend you know still smaaks you, but really, all you want is for him to shut up and snog you.
Stop playing it safe.
Whether this mean swiping right on Tinder or trying a new outfit every day for 2 weeks. It’s time to go beyond your comfort zone.