The clock strikes midnight. 2021 arrives. Oh, the places you'll go: restaurants, festivals, concerts, the theatre - you even look forward to spending time in the office. But wait. Our lockdown style was fine at home. 2021 needs a shift in mindset. You don't want to feel awkward and out of place. We have to recapture our style from before sweatpants and a t-shirt became appropriate everyday attire.
You want to look good and feel good when you're out and about.
A beat-up cardigan and ripped jeans won't make a good impression in the office. Sweatpants and an old crewneck sweater make you look defeated at a restaurant. 2020 hasn't been easy. But it hasn't beaten you. Don't dress like it did.
Press the reset button when the ball drops. Take your style back to where it was and make it even better. You're gonna go out and see your friends. And you’ll do it while looking better than the guy next to you with these 21 style resolutions in 2021.
1. Dress Up Like it Matters Again
We all enjoyed the days working in pyjamas. But let's rejoice in getting dressed up, looking our best, and walking out the door with the lightness of someone with the confidence to take on the world.
Dress your best and remind yourself of the elements that make sophistication easy.
2. Wear Dress Shirts that Fit the Right Way
You can pass in loose-fitting shirts for video conferences. For 2021, wear dress shirts that aren't too baggy and not too tight. Read more about how clothes should fit you in Pillars of Style. Get access to the Library and read our Elements of Sophistication and detailed Pillars of Style on Fit.
3. Buy Higher Quality Shirts
You're dressing up again. Don't undermine your sophistication by wearing shirts made of poor quality materials. Spend a little more to look amazing wherever you go in 2021.
4. Think Higher Quality for All of Your Clothing Purchases
Commit to higher-quality clothes and accessories in general. Collect high-quality foundational pieces in neutrals for a versatile and masculine wardrobe that lasts longer.
5. Wear Trousers Again
Save the sweatpants for the days you can lounge at home. Wear trousers again. And remember to get them hemmed, so they don't bunch up over your shoes.
6. Combat Wrinkles with Your Iron Will
Wrinkled clothes aren't just distracting. They say that you don't care. That was 2020. In 2021, send the right message and press to impress.
7. Ditch the Cargo Pants
Your cargo pants came in handy during the socially distant walks outside. You'll want to dress up a little more for your social events in 2021. Reach for well-fitting chinos, trousers or the next item on our list.
8. Dust Off the Slim Fit Dark Wash Jeans
The rugged light wash relaxed fit jeans were great for doing chores around the house. You'll want a slim silhouette and a nice pair of slim-fitting dark wash jeans for the nights out with your friends.
9. Stop Wearing Worn Out Socks
Give your house socks a Viking funeral and get a new pair made of merino wool. They look great and feel comfortable.
10. Spend a Few Minutes to Clean Your Shoes
You remember wearing leather shoes right? Take care and protect them. Invest in a polishing kit and a shoe tree.
11. Wear a Tie, So it Works for You, Not Against You
Look elegant and sophisticated in your tie again. Keep it tight and create a dimple with your knot.
Read more about making a tie your ultimate accessory: How to Wear a Tie: 5 Rules to Follow to Look the Part.
12. Learn the Four-in-Hand Knot
People should notice you and not your tie. Create timeless and classic looks with your ties using the simple yet elegant Four-in-Hand Knot.
Don't know how to tie the Four-in-Hand? Learn here.
13. Avoid Wearing Accessories for Your Accessories
We want to dress up in 2021, but we don’t want to do too much. Layering accessories on accessories like a tie bar or tie clip with your tie looks gaudy and, worse, they can damage your investment.
14. Only Wear a Self-Tie Bow Tie
That black-tie event in 2021 is gonna be amazing. Show class and an eye for style. Jettison the clip-on bow tie. Unleash your inner James Bond and wear a sleek self-tie bow tie.
More: Subtle Swagger: The Essential Guide to Wearing a Bow Tie
15. Get Noticed by Wearing Subtle Patterns
Bring some fun patterns to your outfits in 2021. Choose alluring but subtle patterns to look like the most visually interesting guy in the room.
16. Wear Colour to Add Excitement to Your Outfit
Pull great outfits together every day with a wardrobe of neutral colours. But bring some heat in 2021 and add a splash of colour to your outfits. Read more about using colour in your wardrobe this year:
Better Than Okay: Ways to Make a Sky Blue Tie Part of a Dynamite Outfit
Becoming Agent Orange: How to Wear the Bold Colour
17. Refine Your Accessories
Polish your overall appearance. Remove unnecessary items from your wallet to avoid the unattractive bulk.
While you're at it, invest in a messenger bag or soft briefcase. Save the backpack for weekend hikes.
18. Groom Regularly
You can't hide your unruly facial hair behind a malfunctioning webcam anymore. Go back to your regular routine for a clean and polished appearance.
19. Be More Active
Take the stairs. Go for more walks. Clothes fit better when you're fit.
20. Keep it Simple
Just because you're interacting with the outside world again doesn't mean it has to be complicated. Continue to keep your outfits simple and make yourself immune to fads. Things have changed in the last year, but a timeless aesthetic never fades away.
21. Aim High in 2021
Don't set your goals too low. Aim to always look better than the guy next to you in the new year. It won't be easy. But it won't be as hard as keeping your distance from friends and family.
You'll see them in person again!
You'll eat dinner at restaurants with a dozen friends. You'll have drinks with colleagues at a busy bar for happy hour. You'll gather with your family for a big dinner.
It's going to be great. You'll feel great. Make these resolutions, so you look great.
Read more ways that make sophistication easy in our Journal.