8 Style Resolutions for the New Year
And just like that, it’s 2016. For most, the new year springs a need for self-improvement. While most guys strive to lose a few pounds or became an early riser in the beginning of January, as a stylish man, you have something different in mind: Bettering your fashion. With a quick look into your closet and cosmetic cabinets, you’ve realized that there’s a lot you can improve on, sartorially speaking. Here, we present eight style resolutions that you’ll actually want to keep.
1. Become a menswear nerd
As much as you love dressing to the nines, your knowledge of menswear designers essentially consists of the following: Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and Hugo Boss. Sure, you’ve always wanted to become a bonafide fashion snob, but you find yourself reading up on the latest football rivalry in your spare time instead of Hedi Slimane. But, with the men’s Autumn 2016 shows kicking off in January, there is truly no better time than the present to learn all about the menswear industry. Trust us, it’s easier than it sounds. Whether you buy an autobiography or subscribe to a few fashion-forward newsletters — such as GQ, Esquire, and of course The Cheat Sheet — there’s tons of reading material out there that’s readily accessible (and even free). Or, if you’re looking to get a crash course in some of the newest and hottest designers out there, check out our roundup.
2. Introduce more color into your ensemble
Black, white, and grey. Let’s face it, your closet isn’t the most colorful of the bunch. Yes, your stodgy neutrals are extremely versatile and chic; however, getting dressed in the morning should be fun instead of a chore. This new year, start to integrate more colors into your wardrobe. For any neutral-loving guy, the thought of introducing cherry red polos and salmon pink shorts into an outfit is extremely intimidating. But luckily, you don’t have to. Adding color into your closet is a process, so start off slow with darker shades: A navy cardigan, army green trousers, and a crimson pullover, for example. Now that you have the pieces, how do you style them? Sport only one color with an otherwise neutral ensemble for a look that’ll keep you in your clothing comfort zone — for example, that navy cardigan would look great with a white T-shirt and black jeans.
3. Learn how to layer up
The plummeting temperature makes you think a lot about your style. For starters, you need a heavier jacket. And when it comes to coordinating a perfectly layered outfit, you’ve realized that you’re at a complete loss. And since it’s not going to get any warmer until, like, May, consider New Year’s the perfect time to start piling on the apparel. But as always, we are here to help with your biggest fashion woes. The trick to layering like a pro is sporting the lighter pieces — like that tissue-thin T-shirt — at the base and then adding slightly heavier pieces to each level. In others words, toss on a grandpa sweater over that tee, leather jacket over that, and then top it off with a neutral overcoat. And luckily, shedding a few layers will not sacrifice a good outfit.
4. Experiment with different textures
As many menswear experts know, the key to a great outfit is integrating several different textures into your ensemble. After all, donning poly-cotton blend head-to-toe veers into costume territory. Not only is investing in some rich textures a great way to prevent your getup from looking like a pair of doctor’s scrubs, it’s an excellent method for adding some much-need depth to your outfit. While those wool sports jackets and trousers are exemplary options for the work week, a chunky fisherman sweater and corduroy pants are perfect for off hours. The best part about investing in tactile pieces? You can wear a totally black outfit without being boring. And that, dear reader, is ideal.
5. Learn how to prep your clothes for yourself
You love your clothes, but maintaining them? You’re completely clueless when anything more complicated than “doing laundry” is required. Ironing your shirts? No. Reattaching a button? As if. But luckily, taking care of your own threads isn’t brain surgery. In fact, there are a slew of hacks that are so easy, you can preform them while you’re binge watching Jessica Jones. You could go down the virtual rabbit hole and Google your biggest clothing maintenance questions, or you can save time and clicks by checking out our comprehensive guide.
6. Expand your daily ensemble beyond the world of dress shirts
Do us a favor and look in your closet. Is it filled with all dress shirts? Yeah, we thought so. While button-down tops are an easy way to look polished and professional, the sad truth is that guys wear them far too much. This year, stray away from this wardrobe staple by picking up some shirts that don’t have a pristine collar and buttons. Our personal favorite? A simple pullover sweater in a cozy cashmere — it’s easy to wear, doesn’t require any ironing, and is perfect for the chillier season. But if you’re not willing to completely abandon your dress shirt ways just yet, ease out of this habit with a casual chambray shirt. Made of a light, denim-esque weave, this shirt is a less ho-hum option and, depending on your career trajectory, is even appropriate for the nine to five grind.
7. Up your skincare game
Improving your look is far more than switching up your attire. For many, that also includes your grooming habits. Whether you’re experiencing seasonal dryness or acne all year round, exercising an all-encompassing skincare regime is mandatory. After all, nobody’s going to think twice about your outfit when you’re boasting irritated skin. With a bevy of products for hair and beards, what are the things you actually need for you face? Just three: A cleanser to wipe away those impurities, a moisturizer to keep your scaly surface hydrated, and a toner to say good-bye to those pesky flakes. Or is acne your problem? If so, check out our easy ways t0 score a cleaner face.
8. Invest in different types of footwear
Most guys have three pairs of shoes: Leather brogues for office hours, sneakers for the gym, and flip-flops for the summer. Can we say boring? Yes, it is possible to live a semi-stylish life on a three-shoe rotation; however, we can’t imagine that you’re living up to your full, fashion-forward potential. So why not add some shoes to your footwear repertoire in 2016? And before you lament about how much some new kicks will cost, they don’t have to be the flashiest, most luxurious, hand-stitched loafers money can buy. For example, kicks that are equal parts cool and affordable are a pair of white sneakers. Sported by everyone from actors to editors, this pair goes with anything and will instantly add a nonchalant, off-duty element to your ensemble, all while remaining undeniably stylish.
Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KMulvs