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February 18, 2015 at 7:51 PM

Style boost: Add punch to your wardrobe with a few new menswear pieces

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By Andrea Dashiell  / Special to Sunday Market

If you’re like most men, improving your style probably wasn’t a top resolution for 2015.

Updating just few pieces in your wardrobe, however, can push your whole look into a more modern era. Try swapping an old tee for a crisp chambray button-up, or your relaxed-fit jeans for a slimmer cut. Suddenly you’re ready to step through the year in style.

Here are a few pieces that can instantly elevate your look.

Casual

If you buy only one thing this season, make it striped. From nautical to sporty to geek-chic, stripes are a hot trend for men this year.

Todd Snyder’s Stripe Merino Wool Sweater ($275 at Nordstrom) is an investment piece, but one with enough versatility that you can wear different ways over several seasons. For winter, slip it on over Old Navy’s Slim-Fit Chambray Shirt (on sale for $27.50) for a laid-back yet upscale look.

Below the belt, update your denim with a slim or straight cut and a darker wash, such as Banana Republic’s Slim-Fit Distressed Indigo Jean ($89.50). If you have a little more to spend, AG’s Graduate Tailored Straight-Legged Jean ($168 at Nordstrom) will impress, whether you pair them with a T-shirt or a sport coat.

Dressy

Speaking of sport coats, when was the last time you invested in a new one? Paired with a nice pair of jeans, they work perfectly for casual Friday, drinks with clients or dinner out with your sweetie.

Try the look with H&M’s Wool Blazer ($129), a tweedy wool jacket with a decorative handkerchief that would look chic over a cool tee or a lightweight sweater. Or, pair something dressier, such as the navy, Italian-made Paul Smith Seersucker Two-Button Jacket ($1,195 at Neiman Marcus), with a pair of black pinstriped trousers for a modern look that will take you from day to night.

If you really want to impress, nothing beats a well-tailored suit. Today’s profile is slimmer, with no front pleats, and the range of colors, patterns and fabrics is broad. Find one that feels like you, and it will show.

If you’re shopping for your first suit, consider Calvin Klein’s Charcoal Pindot 100% Wool Slim-Fit Jacket ($210) and Pants ($90, both at Macy’s on sale through Monday), to create a sleek two-piece wool suit that has more of a custom fit.

Pair your suit or denim with Aldo’s Andrews Dress Lace Up Shoe ($120), a go-anywhere leather shoe that comes in brown or black. And finish your look with Citizen’s Eco-Drive Men’s Silver Tone and Brown Chronograph Watch BL5250-02L (on sale for $300 at jcpenney.com), a sporty and sophisticated timepiece that doesn’t need batteries.

Work out

Don’t lose track of your style goals while working on your fitness goals. Start by toting a grown-up Woolrich Wool Carry All (on sale for $159 at Hammer + Awl), which can do double duty as a stylish weekender bag.

Update your sneakers with something bright and bold, such as Nike’s FreeTrainer 3.0 V3 ($110 at nike.com), with a cool textured upper and low-profile shape.

Trade in your holey, paint-splattered sweats for something you can wear to coffee after the gym, such as The Rail’s Heathered Knit Jogger Sweatpants ($49.50 at Nordstrom). On top, Gap’s Waffle Pullover Hoodie (on sale for $38) will keep you cozy on your commute or out on the trail.

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