Can you believe another year is over? It seems like only yesterday that I was getting excited about wearing Spring/Summer 2013 pieces, yet already it's time to start thinking ahead to next summer, and February will see the Autumn/Winter 2014 season trends being revealed.
In early 2013 I resolved to spend less in order to save for travelling, and I'm pleased to say that I (mostly) managed to achieve this. I've now come up with three resolutions for the next 12 months of style...
A buttercup yellow dress on sale at Czech Labels & Friends, Prague
1. Continue to explore fashion around the world
This year I brought you shop windows from Rome, a fleamarket photo essay from Reykjavik and notes on what to wear in Thailand and how to dress in Cuba. 2014 will begin in Peru, where I'll be on a guided tour until mid-January, then I'll be back to tell you all about Peruvian style in two very different climates, from the warm coastal weather in Lima to the chillier mountain conditions.
Also on the cards are trips to some of Brussels' best boutiques, and I'm hoping to visit India as well, which has been on my wish list for some time. Wherever I go, I always carry that fashion mindset with me (checking out what people are wearing, eyeing up window displays, etc.), and I'm drawn to markets and shops just as much as the official attractions of a destination.
[Image via WeHeartIt.com] Marilyn Monroe, curve ambassador
2. Embrace the curves with more confidence
I've always been a staunch defender of the curvy girl but when I started blogging I was admittedly at least one size smaller (ok, two at a push, depending on where I shop) than I am today. I've come to terms with the fact that I don't have the flat stomach that I did back in 2009, and consequently I can't wear the same clothes, but what has been difficult is finding really flattering pieces on the high street. Many of the items in my favourite shops are designed for women with a small chest, washboard abs and skinny thighs, whereas I'm the one trying to work around boobs that generate turbulence when I dance, not to mention a muffin top and the rest.
When I'm confronted with endless body-con dresses, high neck crop tops and unforgiving high-waisted pencil skirts in stretch fabrics, it can feel a bit demoralising; suddenly buying a last-minute outfit for a party becomes near impossible because the selection just isn't there. In 2014 I am going to try and look past this shortfall and really nail down the retailers that play to my strengths - the ones that don't mind a bit of cleavage or a skirt that's built to skim cleverly and not to cling. I'm looking for empowering pieces to add to my collection.
Keep it simple at Fashion Week and beyond
3. Be more minimalist - in outfits and in wardrobe volume
Every time I see Fashion Week street style photos, I always gravitate towards the minimalist dressers. They look so chilled out and mature compared to the fraught tension behind the eyes of the brand-clad hipster teens with their eyes rolled, and the girls with bunches and Harajuku dresses trying to look coy. Okay, so the minimal look might have taken just as long to put together in reality, but what makes it extra special is its effortless facade - simple shapes, one or two colours, happy to blend into the background at Somerset House and watch the performances of others. Next year I want to channel this look in my outfit choices, but also in the sense of culling the amount of clothes I currently own.
A spring clean of my wardrobe is very much overdue, taking the opportunity to get rid of all those pieces that no longer fit my shape or my lifestyle. I'm notoriously sentimental about the things I own, being something of a self-confessed hoarder who can always think of a not-so-plausible scenario when I might need to wear or use an item, and this means that it's hard to pass anything onto the charity shops. But 2014 feels like a turning point in many ways, as I'll be travelling and freelancing before seeking a permanent editorial role later in the year, by which point I will have also turned 25. Maybe all that change is the perfect opportunity to be a bit more ruthless and hold onto less of the past.
What are your fashion resolutions for the year ahead, and will you keep them? Let me know on Twitter (@misspallen).