For all the usual talk of “new year, new you,” a lot of what we’re experiencing so far in 2022 could be characterized as “same ol’, same ol’.”
We’re still mostly working from home. Even when restrictions are eased, there aren’t a lot of places to go, and certainly not much that requires a suit and tie.
I found myself coming close to falling into the same pit of all-athleisure-all-the-time as I did in March 2020. Then I decided I needed more colour in my life, and added some new hues to my stack of white soft washed T-shirts from Old Navy.
Next, I started paying more attention to the fashion ads I was getting served on social media, and actually clicking through to a few of them. I began buying stuff. Going to the occasional store.
Man, it felt good to care about what I wore again.
I’m keeping this list relatively short, but I’m hoping it may be enough inspiration to give you a similar jump-start to reboot your wardrobe a bit before Spring arrives. This may be a time we’ll have to hibernate more carefully than the bears, but that doesn’t mean we have to dress like we are still asleep.
1. Make A Statement With Your Sweatshirt
For much of the early days of the pandemic I kept it pretty basic: ring-collar sweatshirts and hoodies that were either a neutral like beige or a bolder colour like purple or cobalt blue. Two years later, I’m ready to make it more interesting.
This doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour either. Sites like FreshHoods have a wild variety of offbeat and even elegant styles. I purchased this one focused on math, and will wear it for my occasional interviews with software engineers, I think.
2. Find A Scarf That Will Sculpt Your Neck
When I was constantly running around downtown I wanted a pretty short scarf that would neatly tuck into my overcoat. Now that outings are rare, I want to be able to wrap myself in warmth, and have enough length that you can style it in multiple different ways. My wife bought my a great new scarf for Christmas that serves this purpose well. This is a similar one I’m interested in checking out from a brand called Fjall Raven. This is listed as Women’s but the strong colour blocking make it unisex as far as I’m concerned.
3. Turn A Forgotten Watch Into Vintage Wristwear
Even before COVID-19 kept many of us closer to our clocks, the rise of smartphones had put watchmakers into panic mode, with many men’s magazines filled with special features about super-expensive timepieces.
Meanwhile, a lot of us let our watches gather dust in a drawer. Instead of buying na new one, I recently put some money into restoring a longtime favourite — the Movado Edge designed by Yves Behar. You probably have at least one watch with sentimental value. Get it fixed and you’ll find the nostalgic boost you feel make it even more valuable.
4. Slip On Some Darker Denim
Salt stains and snow can make blue jeans look like garbage, especially after a heavy snowfall or once it begins to turn into slush. I decided I needed a good pair of black to walk into the new year. I found what I wanted with Bauhaus Denim Works, which offers denim with a casual fade but are buttery soft and incredibly comfortable. These look good without breaking the bank.
5. Be Prepared To Pull Over
Months after people started chirping about “sweater weather” in early Fall, it is now the season you actually need some good wool to change it up from the hoodies I talked about earlier.
Do a little closet check and make sure you have all of the following: one round-neck wool sweater, one V-neck wool sweater and one cardigan. These should all be dark blue or grey, and ideally cashmere if you can swing it. Then, have at least one lighter option. I recently bought this beige one at the Bay from Mango which is made out of Italian yarn (at least I think this is it — naturally I can’t find it on the Bay’s ridiculous web site). It’s a little more polished for the days I want to feel camera-ready.
As time goes on I hope to renew my interest in dress pants, button-up shirts and footwear beyond my Timberland. But these five things will probably be enough to get me through March.