Stuck in the fashion past? Ditch wardrobe downers for a fresh start in 2015

November 24, 2014

Ugg-style winter boots are one unflattering fashion to ditch in the new year.

Our new year, 2015, has an elegant look that 2014 just didnít. Let it inspire a fresh start for your wardrobe so you look stylish and modern. Youíll feel good when you look good.

Start in your closet. Weed out the clothes that are keeping you stuck in the fashion past, and replace them with something fresher.

Ditch those downers for sleek substitutes.

Yoga pants: Thereís an unfortunate epidemic of yoga pants being worn as dress pants, but no one is fooled. The legs give it away: The fabric is too flimsy to look dressy. Quality wool, twill or polyester slacks look better, wear longer and do justice to a dressy top.

Old-man sneakers: Nothing dates your look faster than frumpy shoes. Lumpy sneakers that look like baked potatoes have to go. Athletic shoes have gone high-fashion for every age and budget, and nowadays are being worn fashionably with dressy clothes. Choose colorful kicks with an elegant shape. Give sneakers with neon, metallic or patterned accents a try.

Fuzzy boots: In Ugg boots and all the imitators, every woman looks as if sheís standing in a bucket. They make legs look shorter and thighs squatter. Instead, wear knee-high or mid-calf boots that flatter the feminine leg shape and give a sleek profile.

Ratty sweaters: Itís tempting to keep sweaters forever because theyíre functional, but please donít. If itís extra bulky, full of moth holes or if itís so short it rides up, a sweater is past its prime. Choose body-flattering thin knits and layer to add interest. Guys, make sure the shoulder seam sits on your shoulder so you donít look sloppy.

Extreme platforms: Leave 6-inch platforms to the "Housewives" on TV. Towering stilettos are better seen than worn because they punish your feet (the phrase "fashion victim" comes to mind). And they donít look elegant kicked off mid-event. Bring back comfortable single-sole pumps that flatter girlish gams.

Humdrum jeans: Well-cut jeans are your wardrobeís fountain of youth. The higher price of designer jeans pays for engineering that makes them flattering. Try, try again until you find your brand. Ditch low-rise jeans, which create a muffin top and constantly shimmy down off your butt. Your best bet: high-rise or mid-rise jeans in dark denim.

Polo and khakis: Guys, this boring uniform can go horribly wrong, especially if the pants are pleated and the shirt is baggy. Done wrong, it renders you invisible, fashionwise. Try a well-cut shirt with buttons and flat-front trousers that flatter your frame.

Leggings: If youíre an adult woman wearing leggings, you canít help but look as if you forgot your pants, or gave up on the bottom half of your outfit. Instead, wear slim pants or jeans with stretch; they comfortably skim over your figure without showing every flaw ó and youíll look more dignified.


(Sheon Wilson (@SheonWilson) is a personal stylist and writer who lives in Durham, N.C.


Hereís a cheat sheet for upgrading your style.

Audit: Go to your closet and group together all the clothes you wear at least once a month. Those are keepers. Anything else is questionable and probably needs to go.

Purge: Trust that if you havenít worn it in a while, you wonít. Either it doesnít fit, the colorís wrong, or itís just not for you. Pay it forward by giving it away. Or sell it.

Tailor: Set aside at least $20 to tailor new clothes. It saves money in the long run. Hemming and darting transform clothes so they are tailor-made for you and youíll actually wear them. A $10 top you donít wear is a waste of money, but with an alteration itíll look like a million.

Fit: Style demands fit. Pants that dig into your waist donít fit; go up a size or two. Frayed hems look sloppy. A top you keep tucking in or pulling down isnít your size either. The size tag is a starting point, but let your eyes tell you what fits.

Staff: Assemble your own style team. Find a tailor (every dry cleaner has one), a skilled bra fitter, a reliable cobbler, a fashion adviser and a store whose clothes you like. Theyíll guide you.



Associated Press