Up your style; attitude will follow suit

Justin Timberlake one of GQ's 2013 Men of the Year

The crooner joined Matthew McConaughey, Kendrick Lamar, Will Ferrell and James Gandolfini on GQ's illustrious list this year for good reason: Timberlake gracefully stepped into the foreground in 2013 after releasing his first album in seven years (jam-packed with singles), a whirlwind tour and lots of media attention. Seriously cool, but the 'N Sync alum doesn't think so. "Being cool is about keeping your blood pressure steady," he told GQ. "So no. Don't be cool. Be passionate. Be dedicated. Be tenacious. Be uncompromising. Be pissed. Be happy. Be sad." We get you JT, but perhaps your definition of the word differs a bit from ours. (Isaac Brekken / Getty Images / September 20, 2013)

A great poet once said, “Fresh dressed like a million bucks.” (I think it was either Slick Rick or Pablo Neruda.)

Here at RedEye, we just wrapped up the 4th annual November of Dressing Nicely project. If you missed it, the #NoDN (hashtags then, now and forever) is a campaign I started to spotlight the well-dressed denizens of the Second City. We had more support this year than we've had since the initial launch of the campaign. There were more than 300 posts on Instagram in addition to mentions on WGN Morning News, WCIU, and Fox. Photos came in from cities like New York, L.A. and Atlanta. 

In addition to that, we gave 32 of the most stylish Chicagoans a chance to shine in our Best Dressed Chicagoan contest. Congrats again to JP and Betsy, our winners. The most consistent thing I noticed? Enthusiasm. Can't help but think that the lesson here is to be enthusiastic about the person you are when you look your best.

I used to have delusions of grandeur about #NoDN, you know. My sincere belief was that if Chicagoans dressed better, then we would suddenly gain more national respect and all the societal issues we currently face out here would be solved. Can you imagine? “Guys! Did you see Hank's tie and pocket square? *pauses* You know what? I'm done being racist.” (Gotta love that mid-20's naivete, right?)

Still, the feeling you get when you're dressed nicely is that of pure confidence and relief. It’s second only to finally peeing after holding it in on the train ride home. You have better posture, you smile, you don't look like you're going to kill someone.

The goal of this entire campaign has been to provoke you to seek out that feeling you get when you're at your most stylish. It's harder than it sounds, especially on the days when you don't want to. That's the rub though. Those are the days you have to go hard. Still stumped? Here are three things I recommend to help you look your best.

- Diversity in your wardrobe helps. So does having a set of clothes that can be dressed up and down. Make sure you have the staples so you aren't tempted to settle for the same shirt every day so that jerk Kevin doesn't talk smack about you at work. Matter of fact, you should probably just avoid Kevin. He's a parasite with an inferiority complex. God, I hate that guy.

- Learn your actual size. Not the size you're going to be in five months. Not the size you were four months ago. Your actual size. You will feel so much better, I promise.

- Set your clothes out the night before. It's so much easier and you won't have to think about it.
So that's what I've got for you this year. Next time you're gussied up, remember how you feel. Try and bring that feeling to your everyday. You'll feel good and you'll look good. That's half the battle right there. See you next year!

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