Looking smart is only half the battle on New Year’s. Keeping your head can be tough, especially since most of the world seems to lose theirs while celebrating the calendar’s new digit. These three suggestions should help you look the smart part as we flip from 2011 to 2012. Ordered as if they came with an octane rating. Top Photo Credit: S.Tanner
Unleaded: Shirt by Ratio, Sweater by BR, Chinos by Old Navy, Loafers by Ted Baker
So you’re stuck at home. Or, you’re choosing to be at home. Drunks, biting cold, and prix fixe menus aren’t everyone’s cup of annual tea. Just because you aren’t out doesn’t mean you should mail it in via your alma matter hoodie. Throw on pants other than denim like 5-pocket style chinos, put on a well fitting sweater over a favorite shirt, and skip sneakers in favor of loafers. If you’ve got someone at your side, make dinner together, and don’t forget a bottle of champagne that you can break out at midnight. (Watch by Swiss Army, Strap by Target)
Mid Grade: Blazer by INC, Shoes by M. Fiorentini, Shirt by Target, Pocket Square by 5th&B
You’re out, but where you’re headed, most guys will be in jeans and one of those “going out shirts.” Wear a sportcoat and dark denim, but make sure your combination is razor sharp. No rumpled chino this time. Instead go with a well-tailored, rich, corduroy blazer. Black is just fine, but a deep navy is even better. Wear a trim fitting bright white poplin shirt under, throw a medium blue and white gingham pocket square in the mix, and finish it off with some lighter brown can’t-ignore-them shoes like monk straps. A white dial watch, casual money clip, and card case seals it. (Money clip by J. Crew Factory, Card case by Red Envelope)
Premium: Suits – Indochino & L.L. Bean, Shirts – B.R. & JACS, Shoes – DSW & Gordon Rush
99.9% of us won’t be attending a black tie affair. If you’re headed somewhere nice and there’s no real dress code, remember… this is New Year’s, not a sales call. Now’s the time to take some risks. A three-piece suit without the tie has some swagger but still looks plenty clean. Strict traditionalists hate this look. Let em’. It’s equal parts laid back and dressed up. If you don’t have a three piece, try a more textured suit (like flannel) with a contrasting sweater vest underneath. You’ll need a shirt with a substantial collar too. No tiny spread collars here. Wurkin Stiffs are almost must. Also, stay away from dark, somber, and mobbish looking suits. Instead, stick with trim cut, lighter grey tones.