Orange is the colour for Spring and Summer 2012, which is why this bright argyle jumper is the backdrop for this month’s cover. It is also the national colour of the Netherlands, and runs through my Dutch veins. I love orange! But unfortunately it doesn’t love me back in the same way. So I stick to wearing a very dark orange that’s almost more of a red, or a pink-orange like coral. I can also wear a crisp mid-tone peach, but don’t because I’m not in love with that specific hue. 

The current leg of my style journey started in March last year, when I decided that I wanted to keep things clean, simple, modern and bold. This direction still feels completely right and it won’t be changing in the New Year. I strive to strip my outfits down to attractive minimal elements, while still keeping things interesting. 

I am increasingly interested in wearing classic pieces. I think that’s because their design lines are simple and clean. Also, when you buy a simple classic piece in better-end fabrications, it brings out the strength of the design. I still absolutely love to wear trendy items, but they only feel right for my style when they are grounded by crisp classic pieces in the same ensemble. 

This New Year’s Day outfit is a good example because it’s a mixture of classic pieces and fun trends. A tailored crisp white button shirt is about as classic as it gets. To many women button downs are an uncomfortable, staid basic. Well, call me boring, but I love my white non-iron tailored Brooks Brothers shirts, wear them all the time, and find them comfy. They bring a necessary crisp element to my outfits, acting more like an accessory than a statement piece. 

In true preppy fashion I layered my shirt under another classic piece — an argyle jumper. I look dreadful in camel, but when it’s mixed with dark orange it’s more flattering. I seldom button the cuffs of my shirts. Instead I leave them to do their own thing unless I’ve deliberately scrunched them up my arm. 

You’ve seen my trendy, high-waisted, pleated and tapered glen plaid trousers before. I so enjoy wearing them now that I’m a “trouser girl”. They are warm because they are wool and I like how they slouch. I sometimes wear the waistband a few inches below my waistline to make them look even baggier, as I’ve done here. In order to showcase the slouch, I have tucked in my tops. I wear a belt because I don’t like the look of empty belt loops. I move my belt buckle off centre to prevent the end of the belt from flapping in the air. 

I finished off the outfit with some more trendy elements: two toned flat oxfords, an old cracked patent doctors bag, and my favourite black jacket (which, coincidentally, I wore for 2011’s New Year post). The outfit definitely looks more girly, dressy and elongated with heels. But I couldn’t resist the heavenly comfort and unexpected integrity of my flats. I prefer to wear my flat oxfords with bare legs or hose because to my eye they look prettier that way. So I’m wearing a pair of nude hose under my trousers to create the same effect. That way, as my trousers pull up when I sit down, you can see “bare” ankles. 

This is a tomboyish look that is an acquired taste, and I’ll understand if it’s not your cup of tea. Baggy plaid trousers, button down shirt, V-neck jumper, flat oxfords and a plain belt are manly items for sure. And my super short hair, specs, oversized watch and lack of jewelry add to the masculine vibe. Truth is, I feel feminine in this ensemble and I think that’s because no matter what I wear, no one can take away my ladylike persona. You don’t always need to wear dresses, skirts and skinnies that show off your curves to feel attractive and womanly. Sure, I frequently wear form fitting clothing and I love my dresses and skinnies, but I like my androgynous ensembles just as much.

We at YLF wish you a very Happy New Year!