If you are looking to elevate your personal style in the new year, then you should start by analyzing your current closet before going on that shopping spree. (Courtesy photos)

By Tonaé Lee
Special to the AFRO

Happy new year Style Fanatic readers! 

We’re heading into another year of great health, wealth and of course, better fashion. Let’s kick off the new year by discussing ways to elevate your style. Use the beginning of the year as a time to develop and work on your personal style habits. It’s also a time to find ways of maximizing your wardrobe to its fullest potential. “Out with the drab, in the fab,” is what I always say.

Here are some ways that you can give your wardrobe a boost in the new year:

Edit your current closet – Start by creating a moodboard or lookbook for inspiration on how you see your style for the new year. Think of colors you want to explore, textures you want to match and prints you want to mix. Then, assess your current closet. Know what you have. Know what you need. Before adding to your wardrobe you must first subtract what is no longer working for you to prevent unnecessary clutter. Factors such as size and shape are important when editing your closet. Also, think of your current style aesthetic and make changes based on that. Sustainability is key, so keep in mind, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Create “donation” piles for gently worn, unwanted pieces to be dropped off at your local thrift shops.

Start with the basics – With any project you must start with a strong foundation. Your wardrobe is no different. Having quality pieces to build around makes getting dressed less of a hassle and more fun. Basic pieces can range from color palettes, such as black and brown, to staple pieces like sweaters and jackets. Tank tops and graphic tees are also great pieces for layering. Start with your basics, use your moodboard for inspiration, and have fun creating your look!

Pay attention to details – Investing in quality goes a long way. Spending a little more on pieces you wear daily, such as work bags, shoes and pants are important. Taking care of your pieces is just as important. Proper cleaning and storage will show a difference in wearability. Longevity in your items means longevity in your wardrobe. Less buying, less spending. Sustainable and economical. 

Invest in a tailor – Nothing says “elevated” like custom fit. Investing in a tailor for your key pieces is an investment well worth it. Clothes sit on your body better when tailored. This is also a perfect tool for when shopping at thrift stores and vintage shops, if it doesn’t fit off the rack, take it to the tailor and make necessary adjustments. Tailors can easily be found via social media, and checking your local boutiques and showrooms. 

Avoid trends – Chasing trends will have you in a whirlwind of trouble and clutter. Experimenting with your style is always great, but so is knowing what works for you versus what is just a hot fad. Elevating your style involves being confident, but comfortable. “You wear the clothes, don’t let the clothes wear you.” 

Shop resell – The best gems you will find are at your local thrift and consignment shops. Some stores will even pay you for your gently worn clothing, in the form of cash or store credit. Explore old trends while creating new ones. During your resell journey, this is the perfect time to look for statement pieces such as vintage coats and jackets. The motto for the new year is “Reuse. Reduce. Resell.”

Follow Tonaé Lee, the beauty behind the brand, on Instagram @stylefanaticstylings, Facebook – www.facebook.com/misstonaelee and connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/style-fanatic-stylings.

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