Sunday, January 11, 2009

Time for W.A.R.

Another year has gone. Time to come to our senses and get rid of things we thought made us look cool and fashionable but did just the opposite. And, time to start investing our hard-earned money on things that are timeless and classically stylish.

It's a new year and it's time once again for W.A.R. -- my annual What to Acquire and Retire list.


1. French Cuffed Dress Shirts – These shirts, for me, are the ultimate in gentleman style. It’s the easiest way to get an instant upgrade. Not a lot of guys realize that this seemingly formal dress shirt can also be worn as smart or business casual with no tie and, yes, even paired you’re your favorite pair of jeans.

2. Cufflinks – When you stock up on French Cuff Shirts, you will obviously need at least a couple of cufflinks to match. Men have very few accessory options and cufflinks are one of them. It’s a nice detail to accentuate a crisp shirt paired with tailored flat front pants. Whether you’re conservative or edgy, there’s a pair of cufflinks that suits your personality.

3. Dress Watch – Another must-have accessory for the discriminating achiever is a good dress watch. Your watch is probably the best indicator of your status in life. As you become more successful and have a little more extra cash to spare, upgrade your timepiece to something you can actually pawn to bail you out when you find yourself in debt later on in life.

4. Tailored Shirts – For those of you who haven’t realized it yet, the era of wearing loose and frumpy shirts went away with pleated pants (which were the only types of pants that could tuck them in). You don’t have to be skinny to get tailored shirts. All you need is, well, a tailor. What sets tailored shirts apart from off-the-rack versions is that way it conforms to your specific body type, giving you the right silhouette and fit. Tailored shirts tuck in perfectly, without the blousy effect.

5. Corduroy Jacket – Celebrate the New Year and kick up your style a notch by adding another layer to your party wardrobe – a corduroy jacket. It’s a versatile piece that’s best worn with jeans or khakis. Choose a chocolate or dark brown color with fine to medium cords.

6. Dress Socks – Beef up your inventory of dress socks so you won’t ever have to wear sports socks with your slacks. If you’re still one of those who wear white sports socks with your office attire, get used to your salary, you’re not moving up for a while.


1. Tie bar – I know, I know all the foreign men’s magazines are showing people wearing tie bars or tie clips with their slim ties, but honestly, have you ever seen anyone where this and not think, “What government office does he work at?” Sorry, this just doesn’t work the way they used to back in the 60’s. Peace!

2. Baller I.D.s – Enough of Lance Armstrong wannabes already. We have to bid goodbye to baller I.D.s the way we successfully snipped those pesky friendship bracelets off our wrists (and ankles). Besides, have you smelled your baller I.D. at the end of a long day? Nasty!

3. Fedoras – And pretty much all types head gear that’s not worn for sports, environmental protection reasons (i.e. extremely cold or hot weather) or as part of a period costume. Again, just because you see it being worn by your Hollywood idol or on the pages of foreign magazines, doesn’t mean you can pull it off. In the case of fedoras, it’s just plain T.H. (trying hard)!

4. Gold Buckle Belts – Nothing says “I’m old and outdated” better than wearing a gold buckle belt. It doesn’t matter if it’s branded and cost you an equivalent of a pair of shoes, when you wear one, you might as well clip a pager on it. Platinum is the new gold. Even the credit card companies know this.

I hope you all had an enjoyable and meaningful long holiday. Heard in the news, there'll be more of those this 2009. Happy New Year!