New Year, New Look!

We don’t usually like to quote Paris Hilton, but we’ll make an exception here: “The only rule is don’t be boring, and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in.”

OK, so nothing extremely profound here, but she’s got a point! That’s not to say you need the wardrobe of an heiress or that you should keep up with follow-the-pack fads. But fashion is an awesome way to express your authentic self. And since it’s a brand-new year, we say it’s the perfect time to ditch the little-girl look or break out of the same ol’ jeans-and-tee routine and embrace a whole new you.

“Clothes” in on Your Style
Gather up all those gift certificates you got for the holidays and go shopping! But instead of buying basic items, develop and build on your own style. Sure, celebs and fashion mags might give you some good ideas, but don’t limit yourself to what’s trendy. When it comes to fit, it’s not just about your physical body; rock a look that perfectly fits your personality!

Be Wise and Accessorize!
Even if you’re comfy sticking with your favorite T-shirts and denim, add a signature flair with smart accessories. If you’re athletic, pull on a cute baseball cap or have fun with wrist warmers. If earthy is more your thing, invest in some handcrafted jewelry. Or step it up with awesome shoes! To make a simple outfit pop, go with sequined sneakers. You can also dress up your jeans -- say, for a Saturday night -- by cuffing them and wearing a nice pair of wedges or pumps.

Ring in the New ’Do
Feeling really brave? Got the chops for a radical new haircut? If you don’t want anything drastic, just try bangs or layers. The cool thing about hair is that it grows, so you can always start over. Even if you’re adamantly against anything but a trim, you can still play around with different hairstyles, such as braids, buns and updos. Come up with something more sophisticated than your usual pony or headband.

Kiss and Makeup
We’re not huge fans of piling on a ton of cosmetics, because we know how pretty girls are without it. But we do think it’s fun to play around with stuff that enhances your natural beauty. If your eyelashes are really light, for example, you can make them stand out more with a swipe of brown (or even clear) mascara. Also try swapping your clear lip gloss for one that’s tinted in a pretty color that complements your skin tone. Smooch!

Dressing Room Crashers

Got a school dance coming up? Or do you just need to pad your holiday wardrobe? Ugh. Dressing room dread has set in. ...

Well, we did a little eavesdropping in the dressing room, and we didn’t love the body-bashing we heard! That’s why we’re here to give you a body image makeover.

Slam: “Ouch, this zipper is digging into my skin!”

Going Glam: Why, oh, why are you trying to squeeze into a piece of clothing that’s too small? Is it because of a number on a tag? The only person who’s going to see that tag with the size on it is you, so get over it. Cuts and styles are different from one brand to the next and from one piece of clothing to another, so if you’re usually a size 7 and have to go with a 9, who cares? It’s just a number! Besides, wearing clothes that are too tight is not flattering.

Try this on for size: Comfort trumps fashion every time! If it’s too tight, too short or too anything, then it’s not for you.

Slam: “I hate my [insert body part here]”

Going Glam: Why battle with your body type? Instead, work with what you’ve got. Girls come in all different shapes and sizes, and they’re all beautiful! So take care of yourself by being physically active (hey, walking around the mall is exercise!), and strut your stuff confidently. Nothing is more attractive than a girl who is comfortable in her own skin, no matter what.

Try this on for size: Focus on your strengths and play them up: “I love my smile. And, wow, I’m having a really good hair day.” Look in the mirror every day and compliment yourself on whatever you love!

Slam: “I look hideous in this outfit. Selena Gomez wears it so well!”

Going Glam: Girls are all built differently, remember? In fact, no two bodies are exactly alike. What fun would that be? Besides, Selena Gomez and other teen celebs have crews that work on their style, image and looks. So stop comparing yourself. Find the cuts and styles that work for you, and don’t take it so seriously. Fashion is supposed to be fun!

Try this on for size: Play around with accessories, such as belts and scarves, to give an outfit your own personal touch. When all else fails, go shoe shopping!