New Year's resolutions come and go. Most go by the wayside. But a few years ago, I started taking a different approach to the yearly guilt trip: Why not just improve on what has worked in the past? And I started keeping a list — thanks to Oprah — of "Aha!" fashion tips that are easy to stick to.
—You can't go wrong with black. My No. 1 go-to, this has always worked for me — ever since I started working in retail years ago and couldn't afford high-priced designer clothes. Less costly brands always seem to look more expensive in black. I collected black velvet coats, black faux fur coats, black capes, etc. that I have worn for decades — literally. Black suits always get you through an interview, and, of course, you can never have enough little black dresses.
—Color can brighten your mood. So, I rely on my black basics, but a little splash of bold color goes a long way in lifting my spirits. I don't always follow the dictates of the color authority, Pantone, who now issues "color of the year" edicts. The 2019 "it" color coral is not one of my favorites, and neither was last year's ultraviolet, but I enjoy my burgundies and wear teal blues all year long. We all tend to gravitate toward certain colors in our wardrobes and home interiors. And it's just simpler to stick to a few color palettes that can mix and match with ease.
—Shoes can change your life. This is another one of my "Aha!" moments. I'm not quite in the Imelda Marcos category, but I do tend to stalk the shoe sales online and at my favorite stores. There's nothing like changing up a whole outfit with a pair of new shoes. I've had several pairs of black cowboy boots over the years, and my pointy-toe Donald Pliner embroidered mules have long been jewelry for my feet. With so many heel heights to choose from now — and comfort technology in chic styles — there's an unending array of footwear to invest in ... and the start of a new year is the perfect time to take advantage of sale prices! You can't go wrong with animal prints — the new classic.
—Accessories are worth the splurge. Shoes are just one way to go the extra style mile, but think about collecting handbags, jewelry and scarves. They can transform those basic outfits and quadruple the looks in your wardrobe. That black turtleneck and black trousers can go from boring to fabulous just with the addition of a vintage handbag, dangling earrings and an oversized faux-fur shawl. New Year's Eve here you come! The accessories I'm into this winter are fuzzy fur cuffs, which instantly change the look of sweaters and jackets.
—Think about the "wow" factor. If you've got a "uniform" that you wear day in and day out, then adding a statement top or jacket will act just like the accessories mentioned above. I jazz up my basic black pieces with embroidered jackets, faux fur vests or textured sweater coats. This is also the perfect place to add that extra splash of color. The same basics can transcend all seasons with this formula. I try to scout out at least one "wow" piece every year. This year it was a shaggy fur cape — and I have worn it with everything from jeans to velvet skirts.
—Focus on your best assets. The biggest "Aha!" moment I ever have had was this one. Instead of always thinking about the pounds I haven't lost in the past year, I focus on making the best of a body that isn't perfect. Fashion designers have made it possible to play up our best features and downplay the ones that don't work for us. With advances in shapewear and extended sizes, we can create our best personal style and have fun updating it every year. Have an attitude of gratitude and resolve to have a great fashion year. Now get out there and find a great pair of shoes!
To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.