Go for more color. After years of wearing the ubiquitous head-to-toe black uniform, I have finally brightened up my wardrobe with color. Yes, this was one of my "resolutions" last year, but it wasn't until I found some great jeans did it really happen. I used to just play it safe and stick to colorful tops and handbags — but now I am wearing a variety of colored jeans — from red to teal to purple.
I do find that I usually pair these fun jeans with black jackets and tops, but I have also enjoyed pairing more "monochromatic" pieces with these colored bottoms. One of my favorite outfits now is a pair of dark emerald green jeans teamed with a turquoise turtleneck and long teal green sweater coat. I love the fresh look of combining several different hues in one look. And who knew emerald green would be the new color of 2013?
Layer it up. Another style trick that has really given my "old" clothes a boost is layering. Believe me, you can get some great new combinations just by mixing up some of your old favorites. I particularly like teaming longer shirts and sweaters with shorter jackets and vests this year. I've bought a few new vests this year — a sweater vest trimmed with faux fur and a puffy reversible vest — and paired them with slim pants and boots for both dressy occasions and more casual "grocery store" outings. Look for a variety of vests when you browse the sales this winter.
Shine on. I love the trend of wearing sparkle and shine during the daytime. A few sequins scattered on a tank top and layered under a cardigan sweater over jeans is a great way to put a little shimmer in your wardrobe this season. (Yes, you can wear sequins after the holidays!)
Get a leg up on leggings. One of my resolutions last year was to buy a dress, but alas, that didn't happen. I have to admit, I'm hooked on leggings. Thanks to Vera Wang and her collection of leggings at Kohl's, I am into the comfort mode this year. While I love my new colored jeans, I have to admit this winter, my new obsession is leggings, and not just the knit ones I wear to yoga class.
There are lots of new styles of leggings out there now — from jean-inspired ones to lush velvet ones to sexy leather ones — and when worn with longer sweaters, coats and jackets, they can be a great "go-to" wardrobe basic. I love to wear my twill leggings with a new pair of black cowboy ankle boots. And even though lots of fashion experts have proclaimed, "leggings are not pants," I say thank goodness.
"Meggings," or leggings for men, maybe not. But then, I think they may be better than putting men in skirts.
Mix prints and patterns. This is one of my fashion "goals" for 2013. I've just got the color thing down, and this year, I'm going to experiment with putting a few stripes and florals together. Yea, I know, it's a tricky thing to do, but supposedly if you stick with the same color palette, you'll have more success. I'll get back to you on that one!
Step out. I'm also going to work on ridding myself of my addiction to flip-flops in the spring and summer. I still have to find the perfect blend of casual flat and sport shoe. The tuxedo flat has been my favorite go-to shoe this past fall and winter. Ahh, now there's a trend you can really slip right into in the new year.
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.