1. Take a haircut plunge
Been rockin’ the same coif since ’89 and haven’t mustered up the courage to change? Now’s the time to do it. Buzz it all off. Grow it long. Change up the product you’re putting in your hair or consider switching to a new barber/stylist if you’re really unhappy. If you’re losing your hair, now’s the perfect time to try the close cropped look.
2. Assemble three, go-to outfits you know you look terrific in.
The goal is to have a couple of looks you can turn to on short notice and put on with zero thinking. One should be dressed up (a suit/shirt/tie/shoes/watch combo), another dressed down, and the last one something in between. Don’t “save” these outfits but don’t get into a rut with them either. In the end, having a solid, dependable base, will only help you explore other options and combos. They’re the net under your high wire act.
3. Bust out of a rut
If you’re addicted to jeans, force yourself to try cords or chinos. If you’re always wearing the same colors, buy one shirt or sweater in another color and start layering it in with your usual shades. If you don’t get used to the change after a few spins, well at least you gave it a shot.
4. Create a weekly laundry/ironing/shoe shining day
Instead of sprinkling these clothing related chores throughout the week in small doses, set aside a weeknight or weekend morning and take the medicine all at once. Listen to some favorite podcasts. Stream a TV series over netflix. The laundry, ironing, and a pair or two of shoes will be shined and done for the week before you know it.
Try setting aside a time to tear that chore band-aid off all at once.
5. Drink Less
Alcohol abuse is serious business. But if you’re just looking to cut back on a vice you’ve got under control, consider this: 5% of the average American’s daily caloric intake comes from alcohol. Meanwhile, 20% of men drink down 300 calories or more of alcohol per day.
6. Get in the best shape you’ve ever been in.
Speaking of calories… Look, it’s the #1 New Year’s Resolution cliche. But it makes an enormous difference. You’ll not only look better, but more importantly you’ll feel better. Being fit is even a trump card in many ways. Some snob might scoff at your glued shoes, your fused suit, or your Target shirt, but if he can’t do 10 push-ups without risking a stroke, he doesn’t have much to strut about. The paint job might look great, but if it’s all rust and bondo underneath, then it doesn’t really matter.
7. Concentrate on improving your posture
Want to visually lose 10 pounds? Get your shirts tailored. Want to look like you’ve lost another 5 pounds and grown an inch in height? Stand up straight. All of us who are hunched over computers all day should take note.
8. Create a clothing & entertainment budget
All dressed up but too broke to go anywhere really stinks. Run some numbers if you’re coming up short.
9. Save up for, and purchase something extremely well made that you’ll use for years.
It’ll have to be versatile. Maybe even really simple. It’ll probably end up in one of those outfits from resolution #2. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something you can use most of the year and work into any level of dress. Think a nice, modern navy blazer, a three season coat, a briefcase, or a great pair of shoes.
10. Spend less time online talking about clothes, & more time out in the world wearing them
Hey. Wait a minute.
Your turn guys. Are you pursuing any resolutions for 2013? Did you stick to one last year and it’s worth passing along for someone else to try? Hit the comments section below with your suggestions.
A save worthy duo: The J. Crew Ludlow Navy Blazer in super 130s wool & the Allen Edmonds Kenilworth. Full retail for each is pretty expensive, so waiting for a 20 – 30% off code is a good idea. Very Top Photo Credit: Egil Nes