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Fashion Maven: Make a fashionable New Year’s resolution

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By Alexandra Hehlen

I don’t know about all of you, but every time the New Year comes around, I like to make a few resolutions. Maybe some of you have decided that this year you will forfeit meat altogether, strive to get an “A” in your hardest class or learn to drive a car without ever denting it.
These pledges are all fine and dandy, but how often do you hear someone making a resolution in relation to fashion?
Style may not be as important as your eating habits, your report card or your car, but it still accompanies you through every single day of the year.
I believe making a resolution in relation to fashion is of the utmost importance. What fun would your personal style be if you didn’t take it up a notch with every New Year?
I applaud those of you who have already made a fashion-conscious commitment, such as learning to walk in high heels, vowing never to step into a pair of mom jeans again or deciding that future purchases will be only those that flatter your figure.
While these goals may be fashion-focused, they are very individual. We need a New Year’s resolution that everyone can adopt and undertake.
The best fit is what I have dubbed wearable individualism — which is a fancy way of saying that you must use your style to reflect your personality uniquely.
Let’s make this our resolution for this year. Keep it in mind whenever you put together an outfit or go shopping.
If you reflect your personality in an ensemble, uniqueness automatically follows suit, because everyone is different.
That’s easier said than done. The tricky part is channeling your inner-self to an outward form — an outfit. Let’s take a look at a few guidelines that can help you get started. You may want to jot down some notes that you can refer to when shopping.
Write down all the colors you love and find out how many pieces you have in those shades.
If you love jewel tones but have a multitude of black shirts instead, try throwing out the dark shirts you never wear so that you have room to buy some new tops in your favorite hues.
Think of your preferred patterns. They can be as subtle as a gray pinstripe or as bold as a leopard print.
Find out how many items of clothing and accessories you have in these patterns and search your closet for any other patterned pieces you have.
Even if you have a patterned shirt that does not have your favorite design, a printed top can make a playful statement with a solid-colored jacket.
Pull out your favorite accessories and note any commonalities. Are they all colorful? Is every necklace long? Do most of your earrings contain crystals?
Notice that every guideline refers to a statement-making entity: color, pattern and accessories. These three things are what always add pop to your outfit.
When you find out what specifics you love within each entity — for example the polka dot pattern — and integrate those specifics into your outfits, you are automatically reflecting what you personally love.
Since these are statement pieces, you will simultaneously create a unique look.
Keep adding new favorites to your list as you shop throughout the year.
Watch for pieces in your favorite colors that you can wear with many items in your wardrobe.
Remember however, that too much of a good thing is a bad thing.
Wearing too many patterns or colors at once can cause sensory overload and owning everything leopard-print does not make for a diverse closet, either.
Keep diversity in mind. If you find that, in addition to feather accessories you also love golden jewelry, add that to your list of favorites.
Think of it as a giant Monopoly game. I give you $200 worth of wearable individualism guidelines and you get more money in the form of increased individualism as the year progresses and you find new favorite statement pieces.
Before you know it, you’ll be passing Go and strutting uniquely into 2014.