newcolumn.jpgGemma Cartwright makes some ill-advised style predictions for the coming year...

Predicting trends is always a tough job and I usually steer clear of telling anyone what they will or won't be wearing in the next twelve months. Instead, I can only go with what stood out to me, and if my favourite catwalk shows are anything to go by, this year I'll be putting a belt around my waistcoat (Proenza Schouler), throwing a slouchy parka over a sparkly dress (Matthew Williamson), styling my hair in Veronica Lake waves (Dior), picking bold florals (Diane Von Furstenberg) and swapping last year's dark purple for lavender satin (Marc Jacobs). Who knows whether that'll actually happen as we head further into 2008... right now I'm more concerned with fitting into my jeans after too much Christmas excess...

There's always that feeling of change in the new year. Magazines are plastering 'New Year, New You' all over their covers and celebs are shoving out exercise DVDs left, right and centre. This can be brilliant - a new wardrobe, hairdo or fitness regime can boost your confidence and help you start the new year afresh...but it can also be the road to ruin. Don't forget you wore all that stuff last year because you liked it, and there might not be any need to change (just revamp a bit). Just because you made a resolution to be a bit more daring does not mean it's time to try high-waisted gold hotpants or floor length pistachio organza. Instead, I suggest you follow these simple rules for a stylish 2008.

1. Don't buy stuff that doesn't suit you just because it's fashionable
You will regret it when the photos are put on Facebook, trust me.

2. Don't buy stuff in the sales just because it's cheap
Particularly if it's a size too small for you and you're convinced you'll slim into it. This is the reason I've had the same pair of ill-fitting designer jeans rammed in the back of my wardrobe for 18 months.

3. Listen to others, but trust yourself more.
Friends quite often say you look nice in everything just because they love you. Then you look in the mirror at home and realise you look like a hooker / a tramp / your mother*

4. Don't listen to boys
They know nothing. Except maybe Tom Ford, I might trust him. A bit.

5. If in doubt, wear a dress
Then you don't have to worry about coordination.

* Sorry mom!