1. Try new trends.
When you’re past a certain age (cough, twenty-five, cough), you might associate “trends” with “things dumb teenagers wear.” This is normal, but trends aren’t just things like Twilight books, slap bracelets, and adopting little purse dogs. Bold prints, skinny jeans, and color-blocking are all trends that don’t discriminate by age. Everyone can look good in polka-dots or graphic florals. Everyone can look good in skinny jeans. Don’t be afraid to join in on fashion movements that speak to you, regardless of your age or your size. When you indulge in of-the-moment pieces, you feel like a participant in fashion and not just an observer of it.
2. Wear that cute outfit you usually pass up.
Go to your closet. Pull out something adorable you bought a year ago that you rarely wear. Wear it. Repeat daily (or at least weekly.)
3. Don't be afraid to be fierce during the day.
Why wait until evening to wear sequins? Sparkly collars, belts, and accessories are totally hot right now. And there’s no need to wear your killer heels only on date night. Wear them to work and watch how much more empowered you feel. Don’t wait for special occasions to wear the outfits that make you feel amazing; wear them any time, just because.
4. Take off your comfort Snuggie.
Wearing what’s comfortable—baggy jeans, sweatshirts, sneakers, flip-flops—day in and day out is like staying cocooned in a soft Snuggie. Sure, it’s cozy and comfortable, but there’s not a lot of self respect in it. It may take more energy to put on your well-tailored, trendy clothes, but you'll feel a lot better about yourself. This year, resolve to toss out your grimy flip-flops and get a pair of cute sandals. Replace anything worn or threadbare. Get dressed like you got dressed on purpose.
5. Think outside the box.
Tired of your old clothing habits? Everyone else is too. The color that you’ve always considered “your” color, the cut that you always default to, the style you always embrace. This year, shake it up and incorporate pieces that feel a bit challenging or alien to you. Spreading your fashion wings is addictive. The more you do it, the better it feels.
6. Remember that “useful” doesn't equal “ugly.”
It’s okay to demand a certain amount of utility from your clothes and accessories. If you carry a lot of stuff and need a shoulder bag with tons of pockets, that’s fine. Just don’t think that in order to find something utilitarian that you have to settle for something that’s boring or unattractive. There are utilitarian bags that also happen to be super-cute, you know. Even when you’re shopping for pajamas, backpacks, sneakers, phone cases, and snow boots, don’t underestimate the mood boost that comes with wearing something really, really cute.