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ALPHA MALE: 3 Wardrobe Changes For the New Year

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Take advantage of the New Year to upgrade your look with 3 smart wardrobe change-ups. Photo: GANT Rugger.

Last week, we started discussing small changes to your grooming routine that are basic lifestyle tips to help you approach the bigger issues in your life that you want to change.  We are

creatures of habit, but eventually we want to affect the greatest level of change (your big resolutions) so you feel better, look better, and can truly BE better. We started with grooming; It seems logical to continue with small changes to your daily routine, so let us look at the next stop in your routine- your wardrobe.

Resolve to clean up and clean out your closet

It is difficult to say goodbye to old garments- especially after the holidays when we probably packed on a few pounds and like the comfort of those items in our closet that hide our extracurricular dining transgressions. The old and broken in pair of jeans, the oversized sweater, or even (gasp!) the sweatpants of last resort. But these ill-fitting crutches are just holding you back from the improved you. Worse still, they are making you look like a disheveled, less self-respecting individual. Clinging to these items does not suggest a person truly prepared to tackle self-improvement.

Three easy steps can help put you in better position (and spirits) to tackle your lifestyle while simply just tackling your wardrobe.

1. Trim the fat (in your wardrobe)

Bulky, ill-fitting clothes are just that. They are sloppy and, I find, make you feel worse about yourself rather than better. Donate oversized (and gently used) clothing. Get it out of your closet and off to the donation bins where it can not return. When you are forced to dress with less, you will either: a) dress with what you have that fits well, b) be forced to make some changes to your Winter hibernation habits or c) both. These are good things. But they can be slightly harder to accomplish than a mere grooming change. Great! The next step should be harder. But to lessen the pains of change, you should also...

2. Buy 1 outfit that fits the current you

Sure, you may not be where you want to be, but sometimes, part of self assessment and change is literally looking into a mirror. Go to your local clothing store. Do not buy online. The goal here is to try things on and see how you really look- what your fit is now, your body type. It is a simple way to get an honest opinion of your current state. The mirror does not lie. Bring a friend with you who you know will be honest and supportive. And buying 1 outfit is not so much a splurge as it is a reward for taking the brave step of admitting you want to treat yourself better. And the best part is most stores are having end of season sales. You can get more for your dollars right now than any other time of the year with a still-solid selection from which to pick.

3. Hit the tailor

Hit the tailor. Look, we cannot get rid of everything in our closet. The cost of replacing everything in your wardrobe would be insane, not to mention you may have certain garments you simply cannot part with or are in perfect condition. All off-the-rack clothing (that which you buy in a retail or department store) typically needs to be tailored. But now, even reverse the tailoring. Let out your favorite navy blazer just a tad. Have your tailor move the button. Same with a pair of trousers. The private label WHARF trousers I sell, for example, are designed with a split back waist seam for easy alteration. And there is a bit excess fabric to let out up to an inch if necessary. The point is, you spent hard-earned money on your wardrobe. Spend a few extra bucks and the longevity will be apparent. And when you have made it to a goal weight or look, you can always tailor it again.

Like each of us, your wardrobe is a constant work in progress. But keeping it lean and mean- just like the new you will be- is another small step toward the bigger life changes you are aiming to make. And with a comfortable and fitted wardrobe, those are changes which you will eventually be comfortably and confidently making.

Robert Babigian is owner of WHARF Clothing & Wares, a menswear retail boutique located at 212 Westminster Street in Providence, RI. A native Rhode Islander, Rob started WHARF after 2 decades in marketing and sales to fulfill his desire to combine his loves of consumer branding, small business and style that would fulfill a niche for desirable men's clothing in the Providence market. The apparel and accessories found at WHARF reflect Rob's own personal aesthetic—a combination of traditional New England staples mixed with modern fits, construction and fabrics blended together with a touch of European style. For more tips or to shop the store, stop in and see Rob and his staff or reach them online at shopwharf.com.


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