Who says you need to spend a million bucks to look like a million bucks? One of the easiest ways to update a look is by including a few new additions to the outfit. Save money (and your sanity) by trying these seven easy upgrades, which will take your suit game to a level you haven’t yet reached. You never know, a promotion may be in order after trying these upgrades because you’re going to look like a boss afterwards.
1. Waist extension tab
A waist extension tab is exactly what it sounds like: Instead of just a normal pair of pants that button in the middle, the waist extension tab simply allows you to forgo a belt because it forces you to button your pants further off to the side. Suit expert Jon Tietz for GQ offers this easy upgrade suggestion. As mentioned, there’s no belt required and it doesn’t cost anything. It’s just a little tailored detail when you’re buying a new suit that ups its “looks more expensive” factor. Lucky for you gents, stores like Topman and J.Crew make pants with the waist extension tab for a price that won’t break the bank. You’re well on your way, sir.
2. The pant cuff
Tietz suggests another brilliant suit upgrade that will leave you looking like an expert Italian dresser: the pant cuff. Sounds simple? Because it is. By simply adding a tailored cuff to your pants, you’re upping the value and style of your suit tenfold. Take your suit pants to the tailor and have them put a 1.5 inch cuff on them to crank up your suit style. This should cost no more than $15 to $20. Not to mention, this style also exposes your ankles for a little sock action, which brings us to …
3. Up your sock game
If you’re a man who goes with the same boring neutral color palette for your socks, sans any kind of pattern, it’s time to change, especially since your new pant cuff is going to allow for a little sock-show. While stripes are always great, irreverent dots are a newer move that’s really going to add interest to your suit. Opt for some color with them, but don’t go overboard — you’re not there yet.
4. A nice watch
No one is telling you to go out and buy a Rolex — that would be ridiculous. If you do have a nice timepiece in your arsenal and aren’t wearing it, then please go ahead and do so. Getting back to you gents that don’t have one: All you really need is one that functions and looks like it closely resembles an expensive one like a gold chronograph or a stainless steel beauty. It’s one of those items that can really up your suit game a couple of notches, too. “Men really only need one item of jewelry — the wristwatch,” says stylist Barron Cuadro to Fashion Beans. “Everything else is non-essential.”
Generally speaking, to get this upgrade right, if the watch is functional (meaning if you’re actually using it to tell time) you can afford to steer slightly toward something that makes more of a statement, like a gold chronograph, which downplays its ostentatious nature by proving it’s on your wrist to do a job. As a rule: The less useful the piece, the more subdued it should be.
5. Try a new hairdo
Getting a different haircut can change the entire personality of any and every suit you own. As GQ so beautifully instructs: Go to your barber and simply tell them that you “want to try something different today.” The right haircut can pull together any look. They recommend opting for a side part, which means you need to ask your barber to keep it a little longer, about three and a half inches, on the top with a natural clipper fade on the side. Request extra texturizing to pump up your natural volume.
6. The matching tie
We love this upgrade because it’s just so easy that any man can master it. The new style is having your tie match your suit jacket, but be careful, this means match colors, not patterns, and add a little contrast. For example, if you’re going for a gray suit go for a darker gray tie (and don’t forget to throw on a tie bar). Easy, simple, and you’ve just upgraded your look in under a minute.
7. Add a foulard pattern pocket square
If you’re not already into the pocket square, you’re going to want to get into it now. Adding a pocket square is like giving an old suit a little CPR. Although it’s by no means a sartorial innovation, adding a retro foulard pocket square will maximize your suit potential. It exudes the right “hey, look at me, I know how to dress” attitude and allows you to fearlessly add a pop of color to your suit with little to no effort. Fear color no more.