Happy New Year! Let’s Make it Skint and Stylish

Happy New Year! After a night of excess and a day of recovery, I’m ready to face 2011. Now, we all know this year’s going to be a bit of a skintfest. VAT hikes, fewer job opportunities and an economy less mobile than Carrie Bradshaw wearing seven inch heels.

But luckily Skint in the City is used to finding ways to make a titchy wage go a long way. It’s all about being creative, about valuing originality over designer labels and about finding ways to make the most of what you’ve got.

Here are Skint’s style resolutions for 2011:

  • Make the most of what I’ve got. Whether that’s customising clothes I’ve grown tired of, keeping on top of repairs or simply organising my wardrobe so I can actually find stuff. After all, how can it be that a wardrobe crammed so full I can hardly rifle through it can simultaneously hold so little of interest? Probably because dresses which used to make me all giggly and excited are now lying tangled up with shoes at the bottom of my wardrobe. It’s time to reassess what I’ve got and how to make it work for me, so I’ll be diving into the dusty recesses of every drawer, wardrobe and cupboard and working out what to keep, fix and ditch. I’ll report back as soon as I surface for air.

    Stitching and bitching has always been a ton of fun

  • Learn to sew properly: for those of us who fancy ourselves as style queens but don’t have the readies to live the dream, there learning to sew is the way to go. These days, classes are springing up in some of the hippest design studios in the country – think Stitch and Bitch rather than Women’s Institute. My days of paying someone else to take up a hem are over. I’m signing up for a dressmaking class and will let you know how I get on. If you don’t fancy a classroom setting there are plenty of online sites that give tutorials –www.startsewing.co.uk is a good place to start.
  • Buy only what I love: Key to looking great is feeling great, which means no more agonising in front of sales rails thinking ‘well maybe if I jazzed it up with a belt it would look okay’, or ‘I don’t really like it but I need a dress like this in case I’m ever invited for cocktails /to a funeral /to a Burns Supper.’ Life – and money – is too short. This year I’m buying only what I love, and ditching the rest if I can’t make it work.
  • Don’t save stuff for best: You know the scene: you splash out £200 on a new dress then feel so guilty that you resolve to take better care of it than you would a baby. You keep it under cellophane, to be admired from afar and brought out only on special occasions. How many times a year do you wear it? Twice? Three times? How many outfits like this do you have? I’m ashamed to admit, I’ve got a few. If we judge an item’s worth on the amount of times it gets worn, those purchases have bombed. This year I resolve to wear them often, with pride. After all, what’s the point in keeping things for best? The best is here, honey: this really might be as good as it gets.

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