This is, traditionally, the time for listing those pieces that will instantly update your wardrobe. Quick! Now! The building blocks that will set you up for spring!
Maybe that would be inspiring, but my heart isn’t in it. The last thing I’m in the mood for right now is buying lots of new-season clothes, and who is?
We’re all broke from Christmas, fully expecting to shed a few pounds and not at all sure what the new year will bring.
I vote we forget — at least for a week — about mapping out our spring looks and focus on boosting what we’ve already got with some wardrobe fixers.
These are the pieces that work with everything and make everything work.
They repurpose old favourites, they make clothes you wouldn’t normally wear at this time of year suddenly wearable, bump day clothes into evening — whatever it is you need to get the clothes you own earning their keep, your wardrobe fixer can help
You may need to buy it — in the sales, with any luck — but that could unlock several outfits in your wardrobe. And wouldn’t that be nice?
Here are a few candidates:
Amanda Holden combines a silky satin blouse in a purple colour with her lilac midi-length pin skirt and matching padded shoulder jacket
A low to mid-height block-heeled knee boot, nothing too fancy, is what makes a somewhat dressy dress or skirt more everyday wearable; cropped jeans look instantly smarter; a denim skirt or summery trousers suddenly make sense. These boots say ‘well aware of the season’ but allow you to wear things you wouldn’t otherwise.
That dark pink bias-cut slip skirt you last wore with sandals in the summer, why not wear it at the weekend with a mulberry funnel-neck sweater and boots?
Try Duoboots for flat styles (£175, duoboots.com) or John Lewis Partners and Erica Davies for a high-heeled slouch boot (£145, johnlewis.com). Hush does a popular boot but with a conical heel, so it’s a bit less timeless (£155, hush-uk.com).
You may be bored of hearing about the benefits of extra- special knits, but the minimal, tailored sweater is now — in our just-smart-enough world — the easiest way to perk up old skirts and trousers.
The smoothest come with a funnel neck and wide sleeves, or no sleeves and maybe a belt. But anything goes, so long as it’s not sloppy. Try Cos for sleeveless knitted sweaters (£69, cosstores.com).
Another smartening sort of sweater is the cashmere T-shirt. Though not for everyone (I don’t want to see my arms until May), these work well under jackets and for evening. Me+Em have one in the sale (£175, meandem.com).
Erin O’Connor wearing a smooth Cos sleeveless sweater at the Cos fashion show in September
These won’t be in the sale since everyone has wised up to the instant 20 per cent glamour upgrade a great earring provides. Dinny Hall’s freshwater pearl and gold earrings are worth the investment (£150, dinnyhall.com), or go bigger and bolder with Uterque’s oversize costume ones (£36, uterque.com).
Abba turquoise. Canary yellow. Bougainvillea red and pink or plain oyster.
It doesn’t matter so long as it suits your complexion and you wear it to inject warmth and French fashion editor style into your old blazer. You’ll find all those at Uterque from £100.
A black suede block-heel platform sandal parked on the bottom of your wide-legged trousers or long skirt is an instant upgrade. The best (not too high) are by Me+Em (£295, menandem.com).
Julia Roberts wearing a fuchsia pink silky blouse to match her high-waisted wide-legged trousers at the Homecoming TV show premiere in October 2018
Just because one of these over a shirt makes it automatically neater and a contained top half is the key to wearing wider-leg trousers and midi skirts. If you haven’t already tried a tank, you’ll be amazed at how shape-giving they are.
Go for V-necks (£25, 2.hm.com) with jeans and nippy round necks (£59, arket.com) under jackets. Or try a tailored waistcoat (£24.99, 2.hm.com).
You hardly need to use it as a bag — its main purpose is to attract the eye and give your outfit kerching.
Jigsaw has a zebra-print clutch (£55, jigsaw-online.com), or if you can’t get Anya Hindmarch’s Sainsbury’s bag in maroon and orange, the Waitrose edition launches instore late January.
Every little helps.