What To Wear Now: Dollop Some Palette-cleansing Fashion Piccalilli On Those Wardrobe Leftovers

In the bleak midwinter, frosty Phoebe made moan...

Jan 3, 2013 at 5:00pm | Leave a comment

The Christmas and New Year festivities are over and suddenly wearing novelty jumpers, sequins, velvet, satin and jewel shades feels plain wrongwrongWRONG, like eating yet another roast dinner with bread sauce, ergh, too rich and decadent.

However, there's still a LOT of winter left to get through so what the hell are you supposed to wear? The shops will soon be filling with comically impractical spring/summer stuff (as if the world is going to see my legs before June) and anyway nobody has any money, so I would suggest you ignore them and try this approach instead.

Yes, I am advising you to ‘shop your wardrobe’ (sorry) and put together things you already own in a lighter way. Think of it as the clothing equivalent of leftovers: how do you breathe new life into boring cold turkey and roast potatoes? By dolloping some zingy piccalilli on them, right? My favourites are the day-glo-pink turnip pickles that you get in Arabic supermarkets, mmm my mouth is watering just thinking about them. Soooo (work with me here) why not throw some neon pink or fluoro yellow into your outfit?

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Lipstick (OCC Lip Tar) = pickles, see?!

During the short, dark days I find myself being drawn to the gloomier end of my wardrobe but I tried the opposite – putting on lighter-coloured clothes instead – and it actually lifted my mood. A white shirt with light grey jeans, white Converse and a camel coat and scarf, with pale grey hat and mittens (yes, the neon-pink-trimmed M&S ones) felt fresh yet still cosy enough for winter.

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Fuchsia Lip Tar by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics is the equivalent of a palette-tingling pink pickle in this look

Oh and can I just say the grey beanie in this photo cos £1.50 from Sainsbury's (it was half price down from THREE QUID!!)

I also tried it with accessories – painting my nails a pretty shade of pale lilac and sticking on my trusty Tatty Devine cameo ring and a pearl bracelet that was a Christmas present.

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Now obviously I am advocating not shopping in this piece, but if I were to be, say, given a gift voucher that I had to spend immediately here are some things that I might buy to perk up the stuff I already own (note: if you’re throwing neon or candy-pastels into the mix, keep the rest of the outfit fairly neutral – I love camel, pale grey, white, and always always beloved navy.)

Nowhere is better at knitwear than Uniqlo. I can't resist those stacks of paintbox-bright cardigans which are incredibly reasonable and last for years and years. Try one of these beauties with comfy jeans and boots and you'll shine like a chic, knitted beacon in the darkness.

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Uniqlo merino wool polo necks £14.90 (in sale, not many sizes left) and cotton blended v-neck cardigan, £29.90, uniqlo.com

No, I'm not suggesting you step out wearing all the lime green, just add a little bit into a plain outfit. Navy trousers with just a peep of fluoro at the ankle? Win.

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COS metal tube bracelet, £12 and ankle socks, £5, cosstores.com, Topshop skater beanie, £10, topshop.com

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Topshop Nails in Keepin’ It Sweet, £5 and mint baby cord skater skirt, £34, topshop.com, Tatty Devine initial necklace, £15, tattydevine.com

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H&M jacket, £24,99, hm.com

So whether you go down the neon road or opt for pastel accents, try throwing some unexpected shades into your wintry wardrobe and see if they don’t get you feeling a little more spring-like.

Now tell me, what do you wear to make yourself feel better when the big January hangover hits? And have I stretched my ridiculous food-fashion analogy too far? (Never!)