The style resolutions you should be making for 2016
10 steps to becoming the smartest guy in the room this year
1. Invest In Pieces That Will Always Be In Style
Trends come and go, so on the whole it’s far more sensible, not to mention stylish, to invest in key items that transcend seasonal fashions. So this year, why not make yourself a vow to only spend your cash on classics like a solid pair of slim indigo jeans, a beautifully cut white Oxford shirt and an impeccably tailored navy wool blazer, which will always look sharp. You will notice the difference.
2. Make Shoes The Most Expensive Thing In Your Wardrobe
What’s the first thing you look at when you meet someone for the first time? That’s right, their shoes. Whatever else you might be wearing, scruffy or otherwise, a pair of beautifully made shoes will cover a multitude of sins.
3. Make Do And Mend
Keeping your clothes and shoes in good nick and getting them repaired when they start to fall apart is not only more sustainable for the planet, it will also give you an artfully worn-in look—a bit like Bill Nighy. What’s more, wearing shiny new clothes at every opportunity has the propensity to make you look a bit like a footballer, which nobody wants.
4. Find An Alterations Tailor And Put Them On Speed Dial
Unless you’re incredibly lucky, the majority of clothes you buy off the peg will not fit you immediately. Pretending that they do and wearing them anyway just isn't doing you justice. Instead, find yourself a good alterations tailor and take every significant purchase straight to him. That way you will always look sharp, however much, or little, you spend. You might be pleasantly surprised by how affordable it is.
5. Buy a Belt
That Fits You That flappy bit of leather that you've punched a few extra holes into with the kitchen scissors may not be bothering you, but you can rest assured it's upsetting everyone else. Buying a belt that fits your waist size will ensure that there's no excess material swinging about and will make you look slimmer in the process.
6. Learn To ‘Outfit’
Though it might sound like a bit of a faff, preparing your outfit the night before will prevent untold hassle the next morning. What’s more, it will guarantee that your get-up looks considered, rather than thrown together. Outfitting is also imperative when packing – not least to save you space in your suitcase.
7. Don’t Over-accessorise
The rule when accessorising is to opt for no more than two wearable accessories (at a push) and one carry-able accessory at a time. A knitted tie with a pocket square and a briefcase, for instance. Or a light scarf and cufflinks with a portfolio. Less is definitely more. And unless you know exactly what you're doing (and even then) avoid jewellery at all costs. A watch is great, but a pile of man bangles to compliment it is probably a step too far.
8. Spend Money On Good Underwear
Wearing good quality underwear will make you feel more confident. You wouldn’t wear a sweat-stained, drawer-crumpled shirt to the office would you? Treat your pants with the same care that you afford the rest of your wardrobe. You could even follow Tom Ford’s lead and ”throw away your old socks and underwear every six months”.
9. Get Your Hair Cut Every Six Weeks
Even if it’s only for a day or two, that fluffy-around-the-edges ‘Donald Trump on a bad hair day’ look will negate all the good hair days you’ve had beforehand. Block book your haircuts with a barber who you trust, well in advance. Every six weeks or so should do the trick.
10. Spray Sparingly
When wearing aftershave spray once on the wrist, dab against the other wrist and then dab behind each ear. If you're wearing an eau de parfum or eau de toilette this should more than suffice. If you're wearing a lighter cologne, splash on a little more as the fragrance won't last as long.
First publsihed in Esquire UK.