Dry January With A Difference

Clare Edwards Personal Styling

I have had so many epic January shopping fails in the past that this year my New Year's resolution is not to buy anything. Not a thing. Not even a pair of socks. My reasons for this are firstly I just want to see if I can actually manage to go for a whole month without spending - a kind of dry January if you will - and secondly there is absolutely nothing to be gained by your wardrobe from shopping in the first month of the year.

January is a time when the retailers are throwing all their eggs in their 70% off baskets in a desperate attempt to rid their back rooms of the piles of dead wood that consist of autumn/winter 2015 stock. The new spring season is still a way off - while it may be mild outside and the first daff may have unbelievably broken the soil, we are some way off skipping through the tulips in our shirtsleeves - so the world of fashion is caught in a kind of sartorial limbo with brands and retailers saving their new season big guns for mid to end of February and early March. Therefore the shops are an odd mix of 'here's-the-stuff-we-couldn't-shift-last-year' and 'hey-let's-pretend-we-don't-need-our-coats-anymore'. Our ability to imagine feeling the spring sun on our faces is near impossible in the depths of January and most items you purchase in January will be a waste of money. No point spending on winter clothes as it's nearly over and no point investing in spring clothes as we fickle fashionistas may well not like them when spring actually emerges. And I'm not even going to talk about sale shopping. By now most sales are in full swing and some have been for a couple of weeks (not counting Gap which seems to be permanently discounted....) so the only stuff left will be dregs, bottom of the barrel stuff. Unless you happen upon a Gucci Soho Disco bag which by all means you should snap up immediately, do not pass Go, do not finish reading this sentence. But alas such sale bargains are what dreams are made of so put those sequin leggings down and WALK AWAY. You'll thank me later. Save up your January budget for a bumper February or, even better, an amazing March.

Now we all know that idle hands are the work of the devil so in order to stop yourself reaching for that mouse and ordering those paisley trousers, get sorting. Use January wisely and have a total wardrobe makeover. Out with the old and in with nothing-new-quite-yet should be your new year mantra. You never know you may discover something you bought last January that you haven't worn yet. Creating new outfits out of items you already have in your wardrobe is incredibly satisfying and can give some old favourites a new lease of life. Try adding a patterned shirt underneath a shirt dress, team a pencil skirt with a cropped sweatshirt, clash your prints and colours. There's a lot of fun to be had re-working your wardrobe and when 31st of January finally arrives you can toast your success with a trip to Zara. Cheers.