It's slightly disconcerting when you're visited by a woman dressed in colonial clothing in the middle of the night. Why do ghosts always look like they've just walked off a cattle station in 1901? Anyway... In true Dickensian style, this ghost was purpose-driven. She wanted me up, out of bed and ready to take a trip back to the beginning of 2012. No time to change, no need for shoes because we were going to walk through walls, down runways and onto the red carpet as we reviewed the year in fashion. Flying through the days, over the months, nestled in amongst clothes both good and bad, she showed me style lessons that were as much about life as they were about clothes.
If all the party frocks, colleagues in a Santa hats and Wham! music in the elevator is making you feel like Scrooge, turn your "bah, humbug!" around with this bumper sticker wisdom from my night with the thoroughly fabulous Ghost of Fashion Past.
Dress for the job you want
Barack Obama dressed like a leader every single day this year. He was never out of a suit. Sometimes he wore no jacket, occasionally he rolled up his sleeves, but he always dressed like a leader. His wardrobe consistency served as a subliminal reminder that he was in absolute control, getting the job done - a man committed to keeping his job. Obama highlights the power of clothes - what they say about who you are and what you want. Clothes allow you to say so much without needing to utter a single word.
In 2013, make like Barack and dress for dreaming.
You know that thing your mother used to say about ambulances and accidents and underwear? It was sage advice. Exhibit Anne Hathaway: alighting from her limousine at the New York premiere of Les Miserables, her gorgeous Tom Ford gown opened to reveal... her naked va-jay-jay. Apparently Anne doesn't wear underwear and now we all know that. A night that should have been about Oscar buzz turned into a night of No Panties buzz and now she's sitting next to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in the Google cache.
In 2013 it will be the little things that count.
Style is an onion
There is a big difference between developing a signature style and getting stuck in a fashion rut. Madonna's in a rut, Britney is in a rut, so is Cameron Diaz. Looking back at their collective 2012, it was a jumble sale of leotards, ill-fitting bandage dresses, Ugg boots, triangle bikinis, cut-off jeans and cheerleader dresses. Ageing is a truism from which none of us can escape and managing it with grace is all about adaptation. Just because something suited you in 1991 doesn't mean it suits you anymore. Style is like an onion - you need to keep peeling back the layers to keep it fresh.
Make 2013 the year of not wearing a leotard to dinner.
Think outside the square
I wish I'd worn pink on my wedding day. I didn't because I thought I shouldn't - brides wear white, right? It's all too often about what's in and what's out, what's appropriate, what's not and we lose our nerve when it comes to trying new things. Jessica Biel's beautiful pale pink Giambattista Valli bridal gown was a pastel reminder that when it comes to fashion, you should to do things your own way.
In 2013, follow Mrs Timberlake's groove and write your own rules.
Leggings Are Stockings With The Feet Cut Off Them.
Christina, Christina, Christina... Write it on a post-it, tattoo it on your arm - whatever it takes - but seriously, for the love of Chanel jackets, stop kidding yourself that leggings are a substitute for pants. Or can be worn under a dress. They cannot.
Make 2013 the year of burning every pair you own.
Use your good things
Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian (never thought I'd put those three women together in a sentence) led by example in 2012, wearing their favourite outfits over and over again. Watching them recycle everything from ball gowns to blazers is every reason you've ever needed to start using your good things. Don't leave a dress you love hanging in the closet forlornly, waiting for a special occasion. Wear it to a barbeque or around the house - life is short and fabulous clothes should not be saved for rainy days.
Make 2013 the year of counting blessings and using them before they expire.
- Sydney Morning Herald
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