I know I’m fundamentally an optimistic person because I am a sucker for New Year resolutions. Fresh starts, renewed hope, a whole new year: I fall for the whole New Year racket every time.
But I don’t really think you need to have them nailed down by the first of the year — we’re all coming off the holidays, a bit tired, worn out and in need of some white space in our lives. I always think it’s better to ease into everything, and so I now know that my resolutions (or whatever you want to call them) don’t really get going until February or so.
This year I did something a little different — a little capsule wardrobe challenge for 10 days — kind of like a fashion cleanse, I guess! And it gave me some “lived experience” from which to figure out where I’m feeling in terms of style and what I’d like to bring forth from here on out.
I think now I’m ready to put a stake into the ground and give some resolutions a go. I already have a nice little slate of intentions, goals and new habits I want to integrate into my life in 2017. Some of them are pretty basic: get stronger, publish a short story or two, finish a novel, snack smarter, go on more weekly family and creative adventures.
My fashion-y ones are the most fun, mostly because they are entirely for me, really. (I might write out my parenting-related ones next week for the blog.) Some of these are higher-minded; some are specific and even a bit silly. Some are pretty vague and non-concrete, but function more as a ‘guiding light’ for the year. Hopefully all of them come together to make life a bit more vibrant, fun and meaningful — which is the point of all this resolution/intention/goal business, right?
Take more risks and have fun.
One of the general intentions of this year — an ‘umbrella’ theme that applies to many areas of my life — is the idea of ‘detoxing’ from perfectionism. I’m someone who always has an ideal in my head — hey, I’m a INFJ! — but sometimes it’s hard for me to let go of that. (And on my bad depressive days, the gulf between real life and the ideals in my head can really torment me, despite all logic and evidence to the contrary.)
Unchaining myself from perfectionism is a high-minded idea, but I’ve broken it down into a few concrete actions or goals, like ‘Rack up 100 rejections in a submissions process’ or ‘Try out a new sport I’ve never done before — or in years.’ For fashion, I simply want to take more risks. I realized lately that the whole French girl/American tomboy look — which I totally embraced in the year after giving birth, and think looks great and dependable in general — feels really conservative to me lately. As much as I’ll always adore the sisters Gainsbourg/Doillon and other classic lauded fashion plates, I’m much more inspired now by stylish but distinctive people like Julia Sarr-Jamois, Lykke Li and New York female gallery owners like Louise Neri and Amalia Dayan.
I personally have been feeling hemmed in by hewing too closely to a specific aesthetic, and just want to experiment more. I feel more drawn into the creative aspect of clothes now, and want to explore, be eccentric in my own quiet subtle way and just have fun.
Of course, this means looking a little silly and wearing a dud outfit more often — but honestly, I get bored of looking ‘tasteful’ and ‘stylish’ and ‘effortless’ and a million other cliches. I’ve been feeing rebellious for awhile, and that’s only going to continue into 2017.
Explore mindful shopping as an idea.
Last year I tried to go without shopping, which was a bit silly. But lately the idea of mindfulness, as trendy as it is, has been applied to other activities, like shopping — so I’m going to explore this, since it combines both my Buddhist side and my clothes-lover side!
Declutter my mental fashion landscape.
I look at my overflowing bookmarks in my web browser and the fashion section is just a mishmash of blogs I don’t relate to anymore. A lot of it is eye candy, but lately I prize a kind of ‘realness’ — I’m more interested in fashion on non-fashion-typical bodies, for instance, or fashion that works with the spatial, time and budget limitations that moms face. I’m not that interested in ‘aspirational’ and I’ve grown impatient with ‘personal brands’ that put the emphasis on brand over personal. Time to prune my bookmarks, and expand my own general field of imagination — I’m in search of new, interesting inspiration that isn’t typical of the blogosphere now.
Find the ultimate day-to-night dress.
This is a total practicality quest, but I am hunting for one. I’ll likely pick up one for warm-weather and one for cold weather as well. Any suggestions?
Buy a pair of grown-up shoes
. So for Christmas, I got a pair of Vans high-tops and a pair of Toms slip-ons, which are perfect tomboy options. (Not French tomboy, New York/Cali streetwise tomboy!) But I also am looking for a pair of super-high-quality grownup shoes. Not sure if they’ll be heels, loafers, or whatever, but this is something I’m sure I’ll chronicle here.
Gussy myself up every day, even in a small way
It’s funny how as a mama of a very young child, adornment can just escape you. But if I take just a few extra minutes in the day to put on lippie, eyeliner or mascara and just a bit of fragrance, I feel just a bit better and take a little more joy and wit in the day’s peccadilloes. So I’m aiming to glam it up — in my own lazy way, of course! — every day.
(To that end, I got a recommendation that Katy Perry’s semi-matte lipsticks for Cover Girl were a non budget-busting yet good-performing product, so I bought a little mini-stable of them to help me out in this. And, well, I can say that they are very nice lipsticks, for sure! The colors are really saturated and true, and the formula isn’t drying at all.)
So yes, it’s the end of January, but it’s never too late to make a resolution, start a project or go for a goal. Let’s do this!