Editor-in-Chic

It’s almost absurd how easy it is for a man to look put-together. Sure, I could suggest things regarding proportions and tailoring, but I’d rather focus on eight pieces you can throw together for almost any event. 

Leather shoes: Dark brown leather shoes will get you a long way — from job interviews to dates. Brown leather is more casual than black, so you can get away with wearing them during the day. You can pick up options for $50 or less at Urban Outfitters and H&M, but be warned — fake leather will start to wear after a while, leaving holes and tears, and you’ll have to toss them. You’re better off saving for genuine leather shoes, which will simply fade and even become softer over time. 

A flattering T-shirt: I’m not advocating that you wear a tuxedo all the time. You would look absurd and be known as “that dude who wears a tuxedo all the time.” You’re a jeans and T-shirt kind of guy and I respect that, which is why I’m going to encourage you to invest in some well-made solid tees. J.Crew sells impossibly soft “broken-in tees” for about $15. 

A casual button-down: If you hear the words “button-down” and think of blindingly white shirts picked out for you by your mother when you were 13, then think again. I’m not talking about a plaid flannel here — go for a striped or gingham print button-down. Select two-ply cotton for a look that is crisp and tailored. 

A leather jacket: What if there was one item in your closet that you could throw over anything and instantly make an outfit look better? There is — it’s called a leather jacket. A black jacket is a bit too “Grease Lightning” — o nly a 34-year-old-pretending-to-be-an-18-year-old John Travolta can pull that off. Instead, go for a brown leather jacket. A hooded style is casual, but the material gives it a James Dean vibe. 

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Casual pants that are not jeans: No, cargo pants don’t count. What could you possibly be hoarding in 17 different pockets? Corduroy is casual, but dressier than denim. It’s equally (if not more) comfortable than denim. Tricking people into thinking you’re fashionable when you’re wearing something that is the comfort equivalent to sweatpants? Perfect. 

Aviator sunglasses: In a survey I conducted, 100 percent of females agreed that 100 percent of guys are more attractive when wearing aviators (Note: I was the only person polled in the aforementioned survey). You don’t have to shell out the cash that a pair of Ray-Bans cost — everywhere from Zara to Target sells aviator sunglasses. Ladies, this is an option you can steal from the man in your life. If he confronts you, put on your sunglasses and say something vague, a la CSI: Miami. 

A great watch: No, I don’t mean a Rolex. You can get one for $12 at Urban Outfitters. Go for a large leather or silver watch. Girls, take note  — a chunky men’s watch is always chic. 

Chuck Taylors: A great choice for when you’re not wearing your leather shoes. Yes, you wore them in 7th-grade. The difference is, this time around, you won’t be scribbling Taking Back Sunday lyrics on them. Keep them clean for a look that is laid back. These are glorified slippers, and I’m telling you they are fashionable. Why aren’t you wearing them already?