Get more from your favourite clothes. Give them a new lease of life by adding a few choice new style staples
January is the time we re-evaluate our lives – and don’t leave your wardrobe out of the equation.
With some clever fashion mathematics you can multiply the amount of wear you can get out of your clothes.
The trick is to select key pieces that have maximum versatility, then find ways to make them work hard for you, especially during that tricky transition period from winter to spring.
Here’s our guide to the fashion foundations that just keep giving...
Forget outfit changes and make your frock work harder. They don’t call it ‘the shift’ for nothing – this tireless dress delivers both day and night.
Whether you prefer a statement print or block colour, choose a sleeveless shape so you can wear a fitted top underneath. Come the spring, when you’re ready to expose your arms, your dress will have a whole new lease of life.
Pare down your look with a cardigan or blazer in the morning and switch to chunky jewellery and statement heels for a night-time transformation.
Accessorize: Give your dress a new spin by adding a belt in a contrasting colour, or inject some texture and Forties-style glamour with a faux fur stole.
A statement blouse or shirt can really jazz up a dark, wintry wardrobe.
Its versatility makes it a winner too.
Wear it buttoned up to the neckline for a prim-and-proper look, sexily undone to the cleavage, or open and layered over a dress or top for a relaxed vibe.
Raid your wardrobe for trousers, skirts and shorts and try teaming them with your zingy blouse; you’ll be surprised by how many different looks you can create.
Accessorize: Button your blouse to the neck, then go to town with the bling. Or add a contrasting scarf around the collar for an instant pussybow look. Alternatively, try an eye-catching bib collar necklace.
Perfect pencil skirt
Tap into this spring’s ladylike trend with a wiggle-worthy pencil skirt.
This is one piece that goes with tights in winter and bare legs once the sun starts working overtime.
Wear your pencil skirt right now, teamed with a chunky jumper, or you could really prim things up with a granny chic two-piece knit.
As soon as spring officially lands, lighten up with a shirt or tee.
Accessorize: Hosiery will instantly change the look of your pencil skirt.
Go zany with statement print tights, formal with plain black, or clash-tastic with contrasting colours.
Suddenly, that Christmas jumper inspired by The Killing’s Sarah Lund looks a little passé.
Enter the spring-friendly sweater: it should be finer and cropped but, most importantly, lacking in full-length sleeves.
Think of it as a halfway house between a woolly and a T-shirt.
Accessorize: Crank up the glamour stakes; add a statement necklace, ensuring that it complements the neckline of your knit.
A pair of versatile ankle boots should be your footwear staple.
Dress, skirt, trousers or jeans – choose the perfect pair and they’ll accompany every item of your winter-to-spring stage wardrobe.
Opt for tan or beige to keep them looking fresher than winter black.
Accessorize: The bag you team with your ankle booties determines whether you’re channelling a dressed up or down look.
Think slouchy day bag for casual or sleek clutch for evening glamour.
Steer clear of...
Sugary shades: Pastels are a key trend for spring but we’re not quite there yet. If you want to work colour, opt for bold brights until it’s warm enough to stash away the winter coat.
Toe exposure: Frostbite is not an attractive look. If you can’t resist peep-toe shoes or sandals, don’t go without opaque tights.
Sport-inspired: Make no bones about it, the Olympics will have a bearing on summer fashion. But for now, save your athletic clobber for the gym.
Sheer chic: Step away from anything remotely see-through. Sheer fashions are best reserved for spring.
Bare legs: It’s not brave and it’s not clever. There’s a whole host of hosiery options out there, from 150 denier opaques to Kate Middleton-esque sheer.