If you’re a guy who made no resolutions for 2014, no problem. We’ve come up with one for you. It’s simple, really: Upgrade your wardrobe, one shirt at a time.
You don’t have to invest in all new clothes – although a little editing of your existing ones goes a long way. Take a look at what you own, and go from there.
“Give away old stuff and what you really shouldn’t wear. And don’t save clothes for ‘good.’ Wear what you have and enjoy it. If you have a nice pair of pants, wear them. Don’t say you’re saving them for something special,” said Alan Kurtzman, from the New York Store, 16 Central Ave., Lancaster.
January also is a good time to launder/shine/repair what you already own. Take a few moments to polish your shoes or hand over quality footwear in need of attention to a shoe repair shop. Wash or dry-clean your winter jacket or sweaters (read care labels first, naturally). Sew on missing buttons.
And vow to stop wearing clothes with stains or rips – even if you insist on keeping them to wear the next time you paint the living room.
Here are a few other suggestions to get your started. Good luck. Shall we check back with you in June?
• Buy pants that fit (or have ones you own altered). You want to avoid what previously has been referred to in this section as Trouser Trouble. Trousers that are too short. Too long. Too tight. Too baggy. Too dated. Too worn out.
As for proper length, the general rule of thumb is this: Trouser bottoms should touch the top of the shoe with a bit of a break.
“Eighty percent of our customers like a slight break on the shoe,” said John Huber, of O’Connell’s clothing, 3240 Main St.
Guys in their 20s often like them a little shorter.
Also a quick-and-easy update to consider: Why not try some plain-front trousers?
“So many guys are wedded to pleated-front trousers. If that’s what you’ve been wearing all the while, maybe give straight-front a try and see if you like what you see. I’m not saying it’s for everybody, but it’s certainly worth a try. It would certainly update your wardrobe immediately,” Huber said.
• For another updated look, invest in a sport coat that fits naturally across your shoulders. “If all of your suits and sport coats are falling off the shoulder – old style – try a sport coat with a natural-shoulder silhouette,” Huber said.
• Look into buying a “crossover” coat. These versatile coats, usually three-quarter length or so, fall between a dress coat and a casual jacket, Kurtzman said. It might be wool, leather or even a microfiber. It’s a great way to dress up jeans but goes with other clothes as well.
• Study your shirts. Stains, discolored whites, shabby collars or sleeves that are too short will get you noticed for the wrong reason. Another sign that it’s time to go shopping and rethink size: Shirts that pull across your middle.
• Match your necktie to the season: It keeps your neckwear wardrobe fresh. Or add a little color to your tie wardrobe with a traditional stripe but with a pop of orange or purple.
“It doesn’t have to be a flower-power tie. Just something with a little pizzazz,” Huber said.
Another instant update: Why not throw a pocket square into the equation?
“There are a lot of men who may not wear a tie every day, but they will throw a pocket square in just as a point of interest. Just because you don’t wear a tie doesn’t mean you can’t wear a pocket square. People point to you as a dresser when you do something like that,” Huber said.
• Buy proper footwear. This week, that means warm, reliable winter boots. At other times of the year and in other conditions, that may mean rubber overshoes to protect good shoes from rain and sloppy weather. Style-wise, it can mean well-shined loafers for the office or with jeans for nights on the town. Or, come summer, casual footwear such as boat shoes or moccasins to wear to backyard barbecues (rather than ratty sneakers unless a softball game is planned). The point is that beat-up footwear can bring down even the snappiest outfits.
So be sure to check out the great-looking shoes out there for men. “There are different-colored suedes and updated boat shoes for spring – shoes that are casual and have the same comfort as a sneaker but look a lot nicer,” Kurtzman said.