How to look like a style icon in the New Year.

I don’t know about you, but getting organized in ’08 sounds just about as exciting as a lobotomy in ’09. Been there, done that, thanks.

While I’m all for making like Eminem and cleaning out my closet — to make room for new chic fabulosities — and am happy to donate my fashion faux pas to the poor (i.e. my friend’s younger college-aged sister and her friends), I’d rather focus on my Obsessive Consumption Disorder. By buying more, naturally.

But not just for the sake of buying, but for the cause of buying what I love (diamonds, cashmere, cupcakes) and, in the words of Oprah, trying to live my best (most stylish) life.

Which brings me to my point: the secret to looking fabulous.

There are tons of so-called style rules by so-called fashion experts, but when it comes down to it, the key to looking like a style icon instead of a fashion victim comes down to just two very simple questions. Drum roll, please…

When shopping, always ask yourself:

1. Do I love it?
2. Does it love me?

That’s it. You must absolutely answer in the affirmative to both of the above questions. That’s the secret. Eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative (yes! yes!) and don’t mess with mediocre in between.

Do I love it? It seems obvious, but it’s so easy to get wooed by something simply because it’s on sale or because you saw Lindsay wear it. Be ruthless. Only select things YOU absolutely love. Why? Because when you wear something you only kinda like, you tend to feel just kinda okay. Who wants to go through life like that? Think fabulous, not mediocre.

Does it love me? This may sound a smidge tricky or dreadfully new agey, but when you try something on, you know instantly if it makes you look great or not. If you don’t get the huge Julia Roberts grin and don’t do the supermodel fierce face in the mirror (we know you do it, ANTM), then fuggetaboutit. Just because something looks great on a model, mannequin or rack (or your BFF), doesn’t mean it will look great on you. It’s not your fault, but it is your fault if you buy it anyway. You deserve to look and feel great, to sparkle and shine day and night, so don’t settle for anything less.

Some examples.

Exhibit one: I loved all of the J. Crew preppy primary colors this season, especially an adorable punchy green coat. But green is mean (to me) and doesn’t love me back (perhaps it’s my pasty white Vitamin D-lacking complexion?). But that’s okay. Because white, ironically, does love me and I love it too and will happily prance about town in my new white coat instead. Or, I can buy a fab green bag or pair of shoes, because in small doses, green is not my mortal enemy.

Exhibit two: Love all of those ’60s-inspired babydoll dresses, but try them on look like a preggers Spears sister? Put the dress down. It doesn’t love you as much as that Nickelodeon exec loved Jamie Lynn, but something else will. Something perhaps like these very grown-up and delicately sexy frocks for spring at Shopbop. Go on, bring sexy back in 2008.

To meet my obsessive consumption goals for the new year, I’ll be resolving to keep the above two questions in mind and focusing on the chic as I scope out what’s new and what’s on sale at my favorite Haute Shops: Shopbop, Bluefly, Zappos, Pink Mascara, to name a few. {See more Haute Shops here.}

I hope you’ll be doing the same and wish you a healthy, vibrant, adventurous and chic New Year!

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