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New Year's style resolutions

New Year's style resolutions

The New Year is not the best time for New Year’s resolutions. No one can be expected to stick to a new exercise regime, or a punitive diet, when it’s freezing, the gyms are full and your bank balance has been drained by Christmas. But there are certain lifestyle changes that are easier to maintain. And levelling up your style actually makes most sense when the year is at its toughest point.

January is when most people’s wardrobe is at their dullest, which means that your little changes will have an immediate impact. You’ll also have be able to pick from both last season’s sales and the new things that have arrived for spring, which means more options at prices that make risk-taking easier. And most importantly, you’ll brighten yourself – and your mood – during the darkest days of the year.

Check your measurements

Get yourself measured

Photographed: MVP jumper (£38); Esprit shirt (£29)

After all that December indulgence, January is a good time to double-check your vital statistics. Nothing makes clothes look better than perfect fit and odds are your measurements have changed since you last checked. It also makes shopping online easier, as there’s less chance of something turning up and not looking right. The key things are your waist and chest, but there’s no harm confirming your inside leg as well.

Once you’ve checked your sizes, you should get some pieces tailored. “You look and feel your best when garments are cut to your size,” says Thread stylist Luke McDonald. “It's relatively cheap and can turn a garment from being not quite right to a new favourite.” Blazers and trousers will respond best to a needle and thread, but shirts and coats can also look much more premium if you spend a bit on the sleeves and waists.

Invest more in timeless pieces

Smarter, timeless pieces

Photographed: MVP overcoat (£110); John Smedley jumper (£135.75); MVP shirt (£22); Edwin jeans (£80); Oliver Sweeney shoes (£199)

The best wardrobes are built in a backbone of great staples. "A well-curated wardrobe takes up less space,” says Luke, “allows you to wear more things because they work with each other, and helps you to make quicker decisions in the morning.” There’s also the warm glow of sending less stuff to landfill.

Spending a bit more on the things you wear the worst is good financial sense – they’ll not only look better, but also be built better, which means they’ll last longer. “Anything leather, particularly shoes, is worth investing in as fake versions never look as good,” says Luke. “But also wools – things like blazers and overcoats – and denim, because if they’re made well you’ll be able to wear them for years.”

Add some colour


Colourful pieces

Photographed: Allsaints black leather jacket (£380); Folk jumper (£140 for similar)Aspesi blue shirt (£119); Grenson black boots (£425)

In January, most men dress in uniform shades of grey, black and navy. Which is why it’s the perfect time to add something brighter. “Colour is the easiest way to elevate an outfit from drab to outstanding,” says Luke. “It's a shortcut to getting noticed for the right reasons.”

The best approach is to pick some key shades in block colours. “Green is the easiest, and almost a neutral as it's so versatile,” says Luke, “but after that, jewel tones; mustard yellow, burgundy or cobalt blues look especially brilliant in winter light.” Just don’t be tempted to key head-to-toe. “Start with an neutral outfit with a single pop of colour, like a vibrant piece of knitwear.” If everything else is muted, then even subtle colours will catch the eye.