Saturday, March 8, 2008

Finding your inner wolf in chic clothing

There are times when I'll want to kick back in a short-sleeved shirt and jeans, and some comfortable sneakers or sandals. It's a nondescript look, nothing to write home about. Probably par for the course for many guys who don't give a second thought about what they wear day to day.

But for those who are curious about what it's like to dare to be different (wearing an expletive-laced shirt would be too easy, so we won't go there), it can be shockingly simple. A well-chosen garment can easily transform the most average appearance into a surprisingly refreshing one. Your friends might be thinking, "I didn't know you had it in you." Ah, if only they knew ...

To prove this style point, I asked my friend and fellow blogmeister Mike McGuff to envision what he would look like if he were someone else. Mike is very much a denim-wearing guy from Houston, what you see is what you get:

Now, Mike, who grew up in Houston and has seen his share of rodeo events over the years, says he doesn't mind looking the part from time to time.

OK, dude, let's make it happen. Add an outerwear piece, like this serape.

Cue in the sound track from the classic Western "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly," and the Mike is ready to step in as one of those title characters. (You do your own stunts, Mike?) The look is enhanced even further by Mike's beard.

Now that Mike has been there and done that Clint Eastwood thing, he opts for something more upscale, but he doesn't want an elaborate change of clothes to achieve this goal.

No problem. Switch off to a blue blazer. All of a sudden, Mike is steppin' out to enjoy city life in the cool evening breeze.

And that's all it takes. Add a hat to either ensemble, and the look (not to mention confidence) goes to another level.

Fundamentally, changing your look starts with a simple thought, but don't force it. Otherwise, the look reflects a pretentiousness that can turn others off. Your clothing should reflect your mood and project a effortless sensibility.

Be it casual, cowboy or cool, the clothes can do the talking and make a clear statement. The reactions likely will generate an interesting conversation. And then, you're on your way.

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