When and wear

With a decade closing recently, the white of winter fading to grey, the flecks of our skin washing out way past pale, it’s fair to say our fresh-start attitudes and maybe fresh-start fasting, are starting to feel more like foolish thinking.

If you’re feeling like everything you were told about “less” is never amounting to more, or that your closet is as empty as your carb-cutting promises, and that surely broke is the new black, young things, you’re not alone. When days are feeling longer than Johnny Depp’s hair, and you’re seeing insufficient funds more often than Ugg boots trucking around campus, there is no need to fret (too much). After all, it’s tiring being us. The making of outfits for school, the making of lunches, the making of plans, the making of outlines, the making of deadlines, the making of conversations, or something like a career path, CV and life for ourselves, when our only retreat is 10 minutes at Tan FX, or 15 on our unpaid breaks.

The end of a decade marks the beginning of the new, which should call for a celebration, a party or at least a treat to ourselves (in the form of shirts, tops and shoes). There are a few simple ways to renew your boudoir and keep your funds from just high-fiving your account goodbye. So here’s some quick fixes for the light-headed and light-walleted, that I hope are more refreshing than an $8 non-fat sugar free solo venti chai tea latte.

I can’t tell if you just genuinely don’t give a shit or if you just don’t want to look like you do — if it’s the latter, read on. Fitted plain T-shirts and dark washed jeans — we like it, we love it, you could get some more of it. No, it’s no graphic-tee-conversation-piece, but I promise you won’t have to think about mismatching, and few will notice if you wear it consecutively. Crew neck (regular neck), V neck, whatever you choose, it will be in your neck of the woods, pricewise (check out Shout on Osborne for cheaper AA Ts than American Apparel, but you didn’t hear it from me).


We’ve been telling you for years. They should be clean, they should be tied, and if they’re for running, they should be kept quietly in your gym bag. Shoes tell us something about your personal taste and general self respect, much the same way a girl chooses to show her skin. A way to skimp on price but make up for in style and comfort is the timeless “Chuck Taylor” Converse runner. If you fear they are becoming more common than the aforementioned Ugg, I promise you, they’re not.


As hard as it is to believe, it’s actually easier and faster than ever before for girls to renovate the look of an outfit and get ready to go out than for our counterparts, and no you really don’t have to rummage Value Village, wash, steam and boil, and then tell everyone it’s vintage. The most effortless and economical way to edge up an outfit is to accessorize with statement pieces. As one fashion blogger says it, it’s really “all in the wrist.” Google Kate Lanphear’s (wrist) — I do it biweekly. Many have been influenced by the fashion editor of Elle’s heavy metal style, which in fact plays up her pretty-factor, and the easiest way to emulate it is to adorn the shit of your wrists; bracelets, bangles, beads, spikes, cuffs, braids and watches (yes, plural!). For a different look, you can shift your wrist action around your neck. Short chunky neck ornaments (necklace is too delicate of a descriptor) will easily amp up an old t-shirt. If you’re really in a crunch fund- or time-wise, the most tried and true way to update your outsides is to invest in a statement lipstick. Underground lipstick wearers, be freed. In the age of gloss, glass, balms, stains, roll-ons and rollups, the cosmetic aisle at Shoppers has never been more strenuous, but lipstick, the kind your mom and her mom and her mom wore is really what you’re looking for. Dark matte lip dye will bold a basic outfit. Red pouts can be hard to pull off so style sovereigns are eating up plum this winter. “Electric plum” by Rimmel ($7) has been a popular pick.

At the end of the day, the week and the night, when you’re tired of this, that, your clothing or yourself, thank god it’s not February yet.

See the next instalment of When and Wear to find out why February is to be dreaded.