Kirstie Clements: Four new year resolutions to upgrade your style for 2024

Kirstie Clements' top shopping tip is to press 'buy' a lot less.

Kirstie Clements' top shopping tip is to press 'buy' a lot less. Photo: Getty

I write this column in that weird time period between Christmas Day and New Year, having reluctantly dragged myself to the shops in the CBD during the end-of-year sales.

I was returning a pair of jeans I bought online that, not only didn’t fit but looked truly horrible.

As the lovely, harassed shop assistant asked, “Exchange or return?” and I realised they were a completely unwanted purchase, it occurred to me that I could do a lot better in 2024, shopping-wise. So, here’s a few resolutions to kick off a new year …

1. Don’t buy without trying it on

I made too many mistakes this year when buying things haphazardly online, which were a disappointment when they arrived and a pain to return.

Fit is everything in a garment, and it’s impossible to assess even with size charts. Even buying accessories online is a risk that needs to be assessed – I managed to buy a jewelled evening bag that doesn’t quite fit my phone.

Make shopping special again: Put aside a day to visit some boutiques and try things on, stop for lunch, think about it overnight. It made me remember shopping with my mum, when it was a lovely outing, rather than a reflex.

2. Quality over quantity

The items I wore the most in 2023 were the things I spent more money on – a beautiful satin evening parka, and a pair of shiny gold-leather loafers.

They were special enough to update everything else that I already had in my wardrobe and they attracted the most amount of compliments.

To make the most of your more costly pieces, don’t keep them for best. Wear them all the time, day and night.

3. Don’t follow fashion ‘trends’, follow the runways

It’s easy to get lost in all the online content, the micro trends, red carpet celebrity looks, Met Gala madness and constant style updates featuring people who are supremely unstylish.

I mean Taylor Swift and her sports star boyfriend both have unique talents but, yeesh, don’t get your clues from their “celebrity couple style”. Neither is Beyonce’s tour wardrobe going to help.

You are probably going to look much more fashionable if you don’t follow celebrity “fashion” content, which is what most fashion mastheads are flogging now.

What are worth following are the runway shows, held in late February and September. This is where the really beautiful clothes are, where the ideas and creativity are, and where there is some truly stupendous styling.

4. Take the time to accessorise

You may not need any new clothes; you may just need an accessory update.

I had an epiphany recently, when I bought an inexpensive chunky gold-plated ring, which I now love to bits and wear every day.

It struck me that I haven’t really been wearing jewellery very much, because that tiny delicate jewellery trend is not so effective when you get older (skin tone, blah blah).

You need to pack some punch, with bigger pieces, stacks of bangles, big earrings and cuffs, solid statement pieces. So roll up the sleeves of your favourite well-worn shirt and get started.

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