#1. Decide what you’re wearing, each day, the night before – Bonus points for setting it out and sticking to the plan when you wake up.
#2. Stop buying stuff you KNOW doesn’t “work” for you – Maybe it’s gingham button downs. Or a certain wash of jeans. Or brown cords. Whatever. We all do this. We KNOW a certain color, style, fit, or brand doesn’t work for us. Yet we still for some reason buy new versions thinking “this time it’ll be different.” It won’t be.
#3. (try to) Repair instead of immediately Replace – How many guys have a nice collection of Goodyear welted (or other stitched-sole) shoes, yet have never had them recrafted when the time came? What about a suit or a pair of pants that doesn’t fit anymore? Tailors can work magic. My personal, favorite suit has been let out and now taken in twice by my tailor (the pandemic wreaked havoc on some of our bodies). Buying new is convenient, but if a recession is on the way in 2023, there’s no time like right now to get in the habit of defaulting to good maintenance and then eventual repair, instead of immediately buying something new.
The Goodyear welted sole on a pair of AEs. Which means like the tires on your car,
you get to replace the tires when the time comes. Not the whole car.
#4. Finally clean out and organize that closet/sock drawer – It’s time.
#5. Donate that shirt/shoes/suit you say you’ll wear but never do – It’ll happen, once you actually clean out and organize those drawers and/or closet.
#6. When dressed to the nines, try to leave your phone alone – It’s hard to look like a million bucks when your phone is turning your brain into a ten-cent flesh bucket. It just looks… bad. And cheap. It’s not very classy, this having your eyes glued to your phone non stop while out and about. Set your phone down. Look around. You/we might see something.
Use an app like StayFree to monitor and set limits on your screen time.
You might be surprised how much time you’re wasting on your phone. I was.
#7. Always ask: “Can I use what I already have?” before buying something new – If you’re reading this website, chances are you’re more creative than most. Before you click “buy…” take a look at what you already have on hand. Try stuff on. Does it work? Can it replicate the look you’d purchase? Try what you’ve got in your arsenal first before you buy something new.
#8. Look a little better when dressed way down/casually – All it takes is a little intention.
#9. Stop using social media as the standard for looks/fit/etc. – It’s not reality. It’ll mess with your head, specifically what looks “good” and what doesn’t. The more a lie (or fantasy) is repeated, the more we tend to believe it, even if we KNOW it’s nonsense. Clothes look imperfect when worn. That’s the deal. You have to be able to move and live your life in your clothes. “I’m so f-in’ sick and tired of the Photoshop” – Kendrick Lamar.
#10. Wear something unnecessarily nice once a week – A really nice pair of shoes. A favorite sweater. Your sharpest suit. You don’t need a reason other than you earned it, you have it, and using it will make you less afraid of it/intimidated by it when you really DO need to wear it one day.
A lot of us think we have to have a specific reason to dress well.
Not true. Just don’t alienate anyone. Be appropriate. But you don’t need a permission slip.
Editor’s Note: Please don’t think this is preaching. These are also very much resolutions for your friendly neighborhood affordable men’s style editor too.