5 Stylish Women On Their 2021 Fashion Resolutions

Georgia Murray
·14-min read

What did 2020 teach you about your personal style? Did you happily embrace comfy and cosy loungewear or did you mourn the lack of opportunities to dig out your best evening looks? Did you make a sustainability commitment, or do a charity shop-ready spring clean? Maybe you realised you’d never carry an impractical micro bag again or perhaps you’re chomping at the bit to slip on your fanciest heels.

After a year during which our wardrobe stayed mostly packed away, unworn on dance floors, sunny beaches or at board meetings, many of us will be looking differently at the clothes we own. Life certainly won’t be returning to the old ways any time soon, meaning that our clothes must adapt to our new normal. Whether you’re embracing a pared back capsule wardrobe or using every opportunity to play with colour and print, there’s a freedom that comes with taking the time to reassess the clothes you wear and the way you express yourself.

To inspire us, we asked five of our Instagram feed’s most stylish women to tell us what they learned about their style in 2020, what they’re leaving behind and what they’ll be taking forward with them into the new year.

Abisola Omole

How did your personal style change, evolve and adapt to 2020?

“Ironically, even though I wasn’t going out regularly, I feel like I really came to understand my personal style better than ever before. I was experimenting more and became more open to trying new things and evidently feel like I’m in a place where I dress with a lot more ease. In terms of specifics, the main aspect is that I’m the most comfortable and confident I’ve ever been. I’m not second guessing my looks as much and I’m remaining open to trying new things.”

What are you taking with you into 2021?

“Celebrating the everyday. It’s the ethos that my brand arva runs on but it’s also one that I adopted in my style in 2020 and I hope I continue that into 2021. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be wearing a ballgown every day, just that even when no one sees me or I’m not going anywhere, ensure my outfit brings me happiness, no matter how over the top it may feel in contrast to my schedule.”

And leaving behind?

“Tight-fitting jeans or trousers. I’ve slowly phased them out already but in 2021 it’s unlikely you’ll be seeing me in any skinny fitting jeans…”

Which item or outfit can’t you wait to wear in 2021?

“To be honest, in 2020 I wore more of my wardrobe than ever before. I suppose in 2021 I’m more looking forward to wearing a few recent wardrobe additions in situ, rather than just at home. A few recent additions to my wardrobe include Georgia Hardinge’s Mila dress, which I’ll wear to an evening or red carpet event, and Faithfull the Brand’s Dallia mini, which I plan on wearing while walking along a beach somewhere…”

Which three items are you wishing for this year?

“I’m obsessed with these Nike trousers. I have them in grey and black but I’m hoping they release them in all kinds of cool colours, including beige, sage green, dusty pink, pale blue — I could go on. Secondly, a few dresses from Adoore that went out of stock in my size. Also, anything on the ‘new in’ page of 11 Honore – whether it be a piece from Brandon Maxwell, Sachin & Babi or Carolina Herrera, its edit of plus-size designer items is incredible.”

Michelle Li

How did your personal style change, evolve and adapt to 2020?

“I think 2020 was the year I learned how to edit (in all aspects of my life but especially with fashion). I got rid of a lot and became more okay with paring things down and making outfits more simple. I’m no longer wearing the outfits that are the loudest but instead gravitating towards the outfits that make me feel like a different iteration of me! I started 2020 off really rocky; I felt this mounting pressure to make every outfit awesome and ended up feeling really disappointed in myself when I just had the urge to wear something simple like jeans and a blazer. There was so much going on that I didn’t want to expend the mental energy worrying about wearing something that felt very ‘me’ and I wasn’t feeling inspired by anything. I was just trying to get through the days and that indifference to what I was wearing – compounded with everything else going on – made me feel even worse. I felt like I had lost this special part of myself that I loved and I would never get it back. As the year evolved, though, I told myself it’s okay if not every outfit you wear is amazing, it doesn’t diminish your self-worth and make you less of who you are. I let myself follow my intuition more and wear what I wanted to wear. When I was feeling inspired, I would push myself more and run with it but on days where I felt already overwhelmed, I’d tell myself that it’s okay to just wear what I wore yesterday or nothing at all.”

What are you taking with you into 2021?

“I’m going to take more time on the process of putting together an outfit and not let myself get lazy, or settle, or give up. If I have a moment of inspiration I want to push myself a little bit to get an outfit to where I want it to be. In 2020, I would let my outfits marinate. I would start with something on Monday and try all different types of iterations throughout the week. By Sunday, I would have found three to four versions that I can wear again and again! Being at home all the time, I had the opportunity to always be switching things up, a different sweater to go and get coffee or a better shoe for my evening walk. It’s a fun, more patient, more forgiving process.”

And leaving behind?

“The pressure of standing out with what I wear. The fear of having my personality be judged based on what I wear. Seeing myself through the lens of boys and dressing based on that (I used to let boys’ comments on my outfits echo in my head when I was getting dressed but tbh they don’t know what they’re talking about and idk why I ever gave them that power).”

Which item or outfit can’t you wait to wear in 2021?

“I finally bought a Charlotte Knowles bustier during the SSENSE sale and it has really reignited and re-inspired me! I’m having so much fun building all different types of outfits around it. I’m a huge fan of how Georgia Pendlebury styles the collection and love to reference it and try to recreate it with the pieces in my closet. I’ve been doing a lot of knit pants and big layers on top styling.”

Which three items are you wishing for this year?

Nanushka will always be my #1 brand that I look at when I’m trying to bring something classic but unique into my wardrobe. I love this new light pink leather that they’re doing and am already brainstorming the different colour combos. The amazing quality of their clothing is just the cherry on top.

I always felt like it was inconsistent for me to wear something ‘sexy’ but this year I’m not putting myself in boxes anymore! Tank Air does a truly beautiful job creating pieces that make you feel so, so good. It’s special and I look forward to embracing the different sides of myself.

I think 2021 is the year that I really get into knits. I’ve always had an affinity for them but now I want to learn more about the different yarns and stitches and understand all the facets of knitwear. I’m also picking up knitting so I’m going all in! I love Carcel‘s mission and their clothing is so soft. This pencil skirt lets me be laid-back on the days I’m feeling it.”

Harmony Youngs

How did your personal style change, evolve and adapt to 2020?

“My style really came into its own in 2020 – I felt more confident than ever before, dressing purely how I wanted to. There are so many beautiful pieces that I’ve been collecting that have just sat in my wardrobe, waiting for an occasion to come along that I can wear them to, as they’ve always felt a little ‘too much’ for daily wear. But with the pandemic – having to stay at home, gradually being able to venture outside more as summer arrived – I began to appreciate the art of dressing up more, and doing so for myself more than anything or anyone else.

What’s the point in buying these pieces if I’m consistently making excuses to not wear them? In my head I’m like, Okay I’m going to save this for a warm holiday in the south of France, that’s when I should wear it, I’ll hold out for then. But in these times we’re living in I could be waiting years for that to happen so I let go of this mentality and found myself dressing up more. It felt so nice to wear ’70s prairie dresses for picnics in the park and having done that it’s helped me to care less and stop putting restrictions on what I truly like to wear.”

What are you taking with you into 2021?

“I’ll continue my focus on buying vintage, secondhand and from smaller and more niche brands. I cut out high street purchases massively last year and found that by doing so it’s helped me form a more authentic personal style. Supporting smaller businesses and brands also feels like a more rewardable shopping experience.”

And leaving behind?

“Impulse buying. Granted, it temporarily makes you feel good and can fill a void – but for how long and at what cost? I’ve been guilty of indulging in impulse buys countless times, spending money unnecessarily on clothes I haven’t truly wanted or, more importantly, needed. It’s wasteful, and it’s contributing to the climate crisis that the fashion industry fuels. I keep browser tabs open and Instagram posts saved of items I like, and give it a lot of consideration before I take the plunge in buying. That way you give yourself the time to think the purchase through: have you got items in your wardrobe you can wear it with? Can you wear it in multiple seasons? Am I really going to get the cost’s worth out of this?”

Which item or outfit can’t you wait to wear in 2021?

“I bought a few special dresses from the ’40s at the beginning of autumn last year after spending all summer trying to find affordable ones and being unsuccessful. Obviously, the older a vintage piece is, the higher the value, so you’re looking at spending a fair amount when buying something from that era. I struck gold in a Lincolnshire antique store and found three utter beauties. My favourite one is made from blue silk chiffon, features a floral print and two tiny pink ribbon bow details above the chest. I can’t wait for the summer to arrive so I can just throw it on, styled with Castañers or a Mary Jane shoe along with a woven bag – it’s essentially an outfit that requires so little effort but looks and feels really feminine and chic.”

Which three items are you wishing for this year?

“I’ve had my eye on this two-piece from Scout – it comes in several different colours but I love it in navy. Their products are all made from upcycled deadstock materials; this two-piece is made from a soft and swishy Tencel. It would look great worn with a trainer, such as Novesta, for a simple and casual look, or with a blouse underneath the waistcoat and a heeled shoe for something a little dressier.

After lusting over a pair of the iconic Carel Kina Mary Janes for years, I think this year finally I’ll save and take the plunge. They’re definitely an investment piece that’ll work all year round and can be worn with almost anything. I’m still conflicted on which colour: burgundy, black, white or red?

Throughout the pandemic there has been a boom in independent brands, which is great! I discovered Chalsie Joan last year via Instagram: a one-woman, handmade to order clothing brand. The Anna blouse, inspired by Anna Karina in Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou and made from raw silk, is a beauty. It’d be the ultimate blouse for the ‘jeans and a nice top’ look.”

Eshita Kabra

How did your personal style change, evolve and adapt to 2020?

“I must admit, since I launched By Rotation, I was confused about my style while transitioning from investment banker to fashion tech founder. One day I’d wear a bright-coloured maxi dress for an event and another day I’d wear a monochrome suit for a headshot photo. Over lockdown, I spent time considering my existing wardrobe and what truly made me feel like my personality was reflected in my fashion choices. I have so many beautiful pieces I’m still in love with so I really don’t need anything new. That revelation brought me back to basics! I’m back to wearing high-waisted trousers, plain T-shirts, smart blouses and jumpers. For dressier days, I’ll be in tailored dresses and court heels.”

What are you taking with you into 2021?

“This year I’ll be buying even less (shocking from a Singaporean – the joke is that we’re all shopaholics) and rotating even more. I’m happy with my existing wardrobe – I have core pieces I’d love to keep wearing in the future stages of my life. For all the trend-led fashion urges I have, I’ll be renting from fellow Rotators from the By Rotation app.”

And leaving behind?

“Shopping the fashion sales. I’m just not interested in the hype or pressure anymore. I now only buy new fashion if I truly believe it elevates my style to the next level.”

Which item or outfit can’t you wait to wear in 2021?

“My Sommer Swim bikinis, which I wear on every holiday… Boy, it’s been too long.”

Which three items are you wishing for this year?

“A pair of high-waisted velvet flares. They’re easy to wear every season (except summer) and can be dressed up and down easily. This year I will buy myself a Chanel handbag (have been waiting on a particular occasion to own one) and I am on the lookout for a tweed one. If you see any unique ones on the secondhand market, please do share! Finally, a faux version of the Saks Potts Foxy sage green coat in my size, preferably secondhand too. Not sure this will ever happen, given the many requirements I have!”

Heather Gramston

How did your personal style change, evolve and adapt to 2020?

Comfort was definitely key and encouraged me to upgrade my essentials pieces and casualwear. I’ve also heavily invested in cashmere, which has been a much worn and welcome investment when you’re wearing day in and day out.

What are you taking with you into 2021?

I wore a lot less tailoring than ever before in 2020 and I’m very excited to introduce this back into my look in 2021.

And leaving behind?

I’ll be leaving behind my favourite cashmere track pants which have been a wardrobe stable and will hopefully only wear these now for travelling.

Which item or outfit can’t you wait to wear in 2021?

I can’t wait to wear this Khaite bodysuit when we’re able to go out for dinner and martinis again.

Which three items are you wishing for this year?

An HommeGirls menswear-inspired blue stripe shirt to liven up my WFH wardrobe, an Amina Muaddi croc print mini bag – I’m obsessed with this bag and can’t wait until I can go out and wear it! Finally, a Bottega wide-leg trouser. I’m really feeling a slouchy, wide-leg trouser shape with a high waist, which will be a welcome change from the cashmere tracksuit bottoms I’ve been wearing for most of lockdown.

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