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5 STYLE RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR

02.01.16

As if alerted to the error of our ways by one overindulgence too many, December's last days go hand in hand with a determination to leave all of our personal failings - however small - firmly behind. That means exercise equipment is dusted off, calories are given the cold shoulder and chain watching the latest blockbuster TV series is no longer a viable way to spend a Saturday afternoon. While fitness, diet and productivity are consistently high up on 'must improve' lists, less thought is given to shaping up our wardrobes. We've compiled a list of 5 style resolutions that all men who want to look their best should stick to in 2016. They may not all be big changes, but they're certainly all clever and require much less willpower than policing life's pleasures.

1.TAKE CARE

Before you even think about which items need adding to your lineup for 2016, first think about how to get the best out of what you already have and how to keep future additions in optimum condition.

That's to say that your very best shoes should be kept in shoe trees, cashmere should be regularly combed and suede (which looks to be a menswear mainstay for 2016) should be lightly sprayed from time to time to prevent staining.

It goes without saying that suits should always be hung, but similarly shirts should be treated with the same level of love; hung when they're not being worn and washed inside out and folded - not crumpled into a ball.

As for cleaning your clothes, pay due attention to washing instructions (you'd be surprised at how much extra longevity the correct cycle will yield) and if it says dry clean treat it as such, the coldest wash cycle isn't a risk worth taking.

2. WEAR MORE COLOUR

If you've slavishly spent a lifetime decked out in navy and black you're not alone. It's certainly true to say that colour avoidance is a successful strategy for keeping disastrous dressing at bay, however a little colour here and there is necessary for truly great style.

Already cringing at the prospect of brightening up your clothing collection? Don't confuse colour with a kaleidoscope of bold brights. A deep green jacket will make a more interesting alternative to a navy design and can be worn safely with blacks, greys and navies. Similarly those who swear by blue would do well to add cobalt to their clothing collection for a more intense hit of colour.

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules for wearing colours together correctly (which adds to the pay off when they work in harmony) although sticking to one striking colour per outfit would be a good place to start for the uninitiated.

3. OUT WITH THE OLD

Just as there are trophies in a man's wardrobe which offer instant confidence each time they're worn, so too are there regret purchases which languish forgotten and unworn month after month.

Seasonal staples aside - coats, swim shorts - if you haven't worn something for a few months, it's likely that you've permanently fallen out love with it. Unfortunately, no amount of reasoning and fretting about its price will muster up enthusiasm, so if you can't rely on it ,take the new year as an opportunity to purge it from your wardrobe. The best thing about giving your wardrobe a merciless culling? It leaves plenty of room for new additions.

4. CONSIDER A HAT

Is there a man alive who hasn't at some point questioned his ability to don a hat, frustratedly resigning himself to the fact that he's 'just not a hat person'. We doubt it. Despite this hats continue to be successfully worn by plenty of men, so there's clearly a knack to getting this right, and we don't believe that it's all in the head shape.

Carrying off wearing a hat is a process of trial and error. Tried a trilby and looked ridiculous? Then try a beanie hat. That sports luxe baseball cap just a little off-kilter? Make sure you've tried every size. Luckily, there are plenty of different styles on offer at present so there's never been a better time to head up your outfit with a hat.

5. IDENTIFY WHAT'S MISSING

There's a lot to be said for style staples. Granted, they're won't make the most ground breaking additions to your sartorial arsenal and you're unlikely to receive many compliments on that pair of black jeans that go with everything. The pay off? They're near guaranteed to make everything that you're wearing look better.

Make a list of all of the things that you really should have, identify what you don't have and use this to inform what you add to your wardrobe during the course of the year. Not sure what constitutes as a style staple? If it's 'timeless' (read: a white Oxford shirt, indigo jeans, tan brogues, a denim shirt etc etc) then it will make a canny addition to your clothing collection.