THIS YEAR, RESOLVE TO GET YOUR CHIC TOGETHER
As the clock chimes midnight on December 31st, a million women or more across the country will resolve to give up smoking or lose 10 pounds. Some will swear to renew their yoga memberships. Others will resolve to find a better relationship or a different job.
But how many will vow to stop wearing low rider jeans for good? Not nearly enough.
New Year’s Chic resolutions may not be commonplace, but they are just as critical to personal growth. Years come, years go, and we wear the same haircut, the same coral blush, the same kitten heel sling backs, no matter that their styles have moved on to fashion’s past. Stars have stylists to tell them when to retire the ice blue eyeliner or the side part, but we have only ourselves.
So, this year, embrace your own fashion-forward self! Open a baby bottle of Moet, plop down in your favorite armchair and write up your New Year’s Chic resolutions. The immediate upshot will be a tidier bathroom: goodbye metallic nail polish, purple glimmer shadow and that gooey hair gel you never used.
The following list of chic resolutions is based on critical but fair reflections upon a lifetime of personal habits calcified from sloth, sentimentality and rose-colored dressing room mirrors.
Resolution No. 1: Dress the shape I have, rather than the body I want
Pants don’t suit me. Unless they are made of Lycra and cut by Yves Saint Laurent, they make me look like the Smurf of Willendorf. Accepting 37.5-inch hips and a bottom that looks like two melons on the run has taken 37 years. I give. No more Capri pants, hipsters or stretch cords. Let Liz Hurley live on V8 and Vodka tonics. I will wear nothing but A-line skirts. Amen.
Resolution No. 2: Get thee to a makeup artist
Failing to improve my face with the eyeliner skills I learned at age 13, I will now seek professional help in the cosmetics hall at Henri Bendel. I am ready to admit that any skill at oil crayon drawing does not help contour a human face. All those cosmetic brushes exist for a reason, and I will happily “blend” flattering neutral shades without laughing out loud.
Resolution No. 3: Do not wear push-up bras 24/7
Addiction to underwire is a common trait among recovering rock chicks. I will invest in an array of cotton comfort bras in shades other than black and fire engine red.
Resolution No. 4: Drink more water
The simplest beauty rule in the book is to hydrate from within. I will carry a 2-liter bottle of water like a cherished newborn at all times. (This promise doubles as weight training.)
Resolution No. 5: Break habits of past decades
Among the fashions I will forget are: flares, boob tubes, fringe, and glitter from the 70s; 80s bobs, pale pink lip gloss, ruched leather; and 90s fashions that persist despite a new century, including all black, skinny eyebrows, spike heels, poker straight hair.
Resolution No. 6: Dress from books instead of mags
This year my best fashion inspirations will come from novels: the gloves worn by Emma Bovary, the red velvet handbag carried by Anna Karenina, the fresh flowers worn by Frida Kahlo in her illustrated diary. Fiction filters its way into fashion — just look at the vintage clothes that influence big name designers — but this year I intend to be a step ahead of them. A little straw hat a la Henry James’s lovely Daisy Miller will be the first item on my spring list.
Resolution No. 7: Retire beloved ‘signature’ looks
My love affair with 1940s print dresses must end. Come 2003 I will look less like Lisa Bonet in “Angel Heart” and more like Joan Crawford in “Mildred Pierce.” Certain vintage items (satin house coats, lacy aprons, gray flannel suits) can look more matronly than hip. (This often occurs when you approach the age of the original wearer.)
Resolution No. 8: Wear more white
Women save white for summer. What a waste! Chanel wore white lacy collars and cuffs in all seasons and circumstances. And how they softened her savage little face. Gwyneth Paltrow wears a white raincoat about Manhattan as if the streets were made of strawberry nougat and white gold. Lauren Hutton is forever sporting a man’s starched tux shirt. What a fresh alternative after years of wearing black. I shall go out and find a little white dress, stick a lace collar over my black one and dip everything in vanilla. Everything, that is, except my shoes. White shoes are for children and nurses.
Resolution No. 9: Wear something outrageous
As the clock strikes 12, I will request all eyes on my satin ruffle-bedecked cleavage. Holding court in a magenta corset, this could be the last party for my kept waistline, the last time I give a thought to suffering for fashion. Alas, this year, let nature and pasta have their way with my maternal metabolism. I can always go back to Resolution No. 1.