The biggest bar night of the year means meeting up with old school chums and revisiting some heavy awkward memories. With a stiff drink and a killer outfit you can erase braces, bad skin and botched perms.
1. Girls, a big statement necklace in a vibrant color with texture or sparkles can be spotted through beer goggles and bad lighting. It says "look at me" without trying too hard. It also says "I'm dripping in jewels." Mission: look rich or just faux-rich.
2. Be pulled onto the dance floor by your tie. Lee & Birch in Grand Haven has the based out of Chicago DIBI line of gentlemanly ties from a designer that's a one-man show. You could pull that label off too.
3. Maneuver icy sidewalks with some fun flats. Bows, studs, hot hues, metallic prints and pointy-toe varieties seem like luxury items among the tired black heels brigade. Break up cliques and clichés.
4. A watch can be a nice status piece for guys. It means you probably have a job and need to get there on time. Suit up with one that's got a little old-school charm.
5. The knit Ted Baker sweater at A.K. Rikk's is tight, warm and has a little cheerleader peplum flounce so you can revisit those rah-rah days. It's the perfect mix of coverage, comfort and detail that's smart, stylish and cultured—everything you want them to see in you.
6. A daring cocktail ring (or right hand ring) can't be ignored. Shaking hands, toasting cocktails and signaling the bartender—it's an instant conversation starter for those you want to reconnect with. Metal Art Studio might have just the thing.
7. Listen up dudes; girls pay attention to a guy's shoes. Ratty and salt-covered won't do. Look gallant. Practice chivalry. That too is alluring.
8. If you can top-knot it you should. The piled high bun is a little "princess-y," so if you never made Homecoming court, you get the idea. It adds height and some royalty to your look.
9. Hello Again is very apropos for the evening and operates as more of an outlet store with 80 percent brand-new duds. The owner lists wool and cashmere sweaters, corduroys, flannels and checks as fall favorites perfect for impressing. Flip through "several hundred brand-new dress shirts" to wear with a sport coat or alone.
10. The beard is getting way more play these days. You'll keep warm and look hipster, mysterious, rugged — or all three.