I’m not suggesting you go GQ or hipster—although if you can master the gray area in between, I’ll commend you by updating this post with your photo. I’m suggesting you add some distinct and timeless pieces, in any color or steeze, to your look. So, take these suggestions and make them your own.

1. Levi’s

Man and woman alike, and blind to race, this denim is made for our bodies. Practice makes perfect and Levi’s has been doing it longer than anyone in the industry, when in 1853 they made the very first pair of jeans. Pick a wash that matches your t-shirt, buy a cut that feels and looks good. There’s no wrong way to wear that little red tag.

2. A wallet

I know you already have a wallet, don’t think you can skip over this, because that’s not the point. The point is to upgrade your wallet. I know yours is broken in, has a perfect home in your back pocket and feels smooth on your fingertips… But to many women and elders, your wallet will look bigger if it’s in noticeably good shape, if not new. Your velcro Volcom from four years ago? It’s got to go. Your upgrade doesn’t have to be haughty leather with Burberry embossed; it can be another Volcom if that’s your style. Upgrade the Volcom is all I’m saying. Believe me.

3. Boots

More distinct [read: trendy], than a timeless piece… Boots are all the rage right now, especially in our Northwest climate, but make them your own. If you want something preppy and practical, go with a white-soled Sorel. If you’re a diehard True Religion and MEK guy, give Mark Nason a try. And if you only own black t-shirts and ripped denim held together by Misfits iron-on patches, go with a traditional, black combat boot. (For the combat boots only, I’d try a secondhand store. Pristine just won’t cut it.)

4. A new jacket

My old man always said, “If you can only buy one thing for your wardrobe, make it a good jacket or pair of shoes,” and it’s worth spending the extra dollar on these pieces. “They” might not remember your shirt, but your jacket is the first and last thing people see of you. Make it memorable.

5. A leather belt

I know your pleather belt has the perfect notch…your studded belt, although missing a few studs, makes you feel instantly cool…and that ‘free gift with purchase’ belt was the right price…but it’s time to grow up. Invest in a simple, but quality belt that matches your dress shoes (please tell me you own dress shoes). Remember, you get what you pay for—a thick leather belt with a traditional buckle is timeless and will last.

6. Kiehl’s products

If you want your looks to keep up with your personality, you are going to need to start taking care of your skin. I doubt Hugh Hefner would disagree: You can’t undo the years you spent partying, but by giving your skin a little T.L.C. you can bribe it into staying youthful. So, head to a Nordstrom Kiehl’s counter and ask for free samples, or purchase a Starter Kit, so you can try out a few products. You won’t notice a change over night, in fact, you won’t notice a change for a few months to a year, but long-term…? You can thank me later.

7. Undershirts

This is not open to discussion. You have body hair. You get cold. You sweat. You need to wear an undershirt any time you wear a dress shirt.

8. Cologne

So what if your bros think you smell like a sorority and unbeknownst to you, film you in gay Axe commercial walking down 23rd and Burnside? Cologne is for the ladies.

9. Boxer briefs

Also for the ladies, and I cannot emphasize this enough: Don’t be someone you’re not. Confidence in a burlap sack is sexier than any pair of reserved boxer briefs. However, if you think you can pull ‘em off, I suggest you do. Oppositely, if you only wear boxer briefs, try something else. The goal here is surprise. Something new. Something different. Something out of your comfort zone, that challenges your confidence, and therefore emphasizes it. Reverse the roles. If your girlfriend mixed up her go-to black bra with something, say leopard print or lacey, you’d notice.

10. A haircut

The final (or first?) aspect to updating your look—a haircut. Like a sharp jacket, if you want it to, a haircut can be the first thing people notice when you enter a room. Even if it’s just a trim to your long locks, the just-mowed look is eye-catching. A cut every six weeks will keep it healthy. Every four weeks will keep it sexy.


BONUS: If you were hoping for more specific style guidelines try: horizontal-striped shirts, a casual blazer made of an untraditional material (corduroy, leather, tweed), a blazer with elbow pads, rolled up chinos (any color flies Spring 2012), bright colored sneakers, and back to loose fitting gear. You’re welcome.