“Bang for the Buck” Fashion

We are well aware that “making a fashion statement” is probably not high up on your list of things to do.  BUT (you knew that was coming, right?) there is something positive to be said about purchasing (at a reasonable price) one or two articles of clothing or accessories that can really make a difference in how you feel about yourself.  And that’s probably the most important thing for us Suddenly Solo guys.  Here are some not overly-expensive items that can have a huge impact on your personal style and self-confidence:

Eyeglass Frames – Many of us (probably all of us!) wear glasses at some time or another.  After all, reading glasses are now likely a part of our lives even if we had 20/20 for 50 years!  Try a pair of Persol 2285V frames. These richly designed rectangular frames bring a sleek sophistication to almost any man’s face. With the smooth black polish of the rims, adorned with Persol’s signature supreme arrow at the hinges, any of us will feel instantly smarter and classier. The 2885V frames are less than $150 (try www.unitedshades.com). Any change in your current frames makes a big difference in your “look” so even if these don’t agree with you, try another new style!

Hats – A nice hat (or a sporty cap… NOT a baseball cap!) can really give you a great style without investing a lot of money.  There are many styles, colors and fabrics that work in any climate.  For us, Borsalino is the brand of choice. Available at some of the best boutiques and department stores in the world, including Barney’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrod’s, and Galeries Lafayette.  Borsalino blends premium materials with classic color combinations.  You should definitely go to a department store to try on several and, while there, ask a stranger what they think about a style. Strangers are more honest than salespeople or friends.  When you’ve decided on a chapeau, go home and shop the internet to beat the price. Figure on spending anywhere from $50 to $250.  BONUS: Hats keep you warm (or cool) and protect your scalp!

Pocket Squares - You can really dress up a blazer (or a suit) with a quality pocket square that is folded stylishly.  Silk ones in a variety of colors and patterns can be found for $20-$80 easily online.  You can play it safe with classic white, tan, blue, etc., or push the envelope with something a little wilder, depending on your own taste.  Take some time to research the best way to fold it for maximum (or minimum!) impact.  CAUTION: Nothing can rescue a ratty sports coat. Better to invest money in a quality jacket before trying to “put lipstick on a pig!”

Watch Bands – Although most of us have (and wear) watches with metal bracelets, they can be clunky when you go out “dressy.”  The dive-type watches (even the most expensive brands) don’t really fit well under shirt cuffs.  A nice leather-banded timepiece makes a statement. Any of the watches themselves are not necessarily expensive.  We are speaking fashion now, not chronometry!  Straps can be made from cowhide, horsehide, crocodile, lizard or even ostrich skin. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll call all of these “leather” straps. While thick leather straps with contrast stitching are often found on beefy sports watches, thinner, more exotic skins are still the choice for dress watches since they tend to complement leather shoes and a belt.

Women really notice these kinds of details but even more importantly, you will appreciate them noticing!


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