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You look good, you live better

OPINION

(Chicago Tribune file photo )
November 29, 2012|By Ernest Wilkins, @ernestwilkins | RedEye

Another year of the Wingman's traditional November of Dressing Nicely comes to an end, and just like the past two, I learned a lot about clothes and how they play into our social interactions.

Seriously, it's weird to observe how a slight upgrade in your wardrobe changes how people treat you. (To the girl who grabbed my butt at the bar three weeks ago: I see you, boo. Also, who taught you that? It's very disrespectful!)

When the month started, my good friend Max (the guy knows his stuff) hit me with three basic tips: know your size, be careful with the colors, and keep it simple, stupid. If it's all good with you folks, I'd like to add one more tip that will not only help you dress amazing, it might also change your entire life: Give a damn.

That's the sole difference between the schlubby and the sexy. It's the big gap between "Oh, Jermichael? He's a nice guy" and "Between you and me, girl? I would have no problem letting Jermichael hit me with the Tombstone Piledriver two or three times."

It's not like I'm making some grand revelation here! My mom has been telling me to show effort since I was 8. Like her advice about not putting Icy Hot on your junk (true story), this one rings true. The only thing you need to know about winning in life: Effort.

Chicago, we raise hell whenever some random travel magazine we find in the dentist's office ranks us the seventh-best city to find "a lover who's exactly like your last three boyfriends" or something stupid like that. But when it comes to getting up in the morning and dressing our best, we make excuses. We whine. That ain't the Chicago I was raised in.

Look at it this way: You've heard of "The Secret," right? Effort is like that, except it pays off almost immediately.

Let's start with taking the effort to put your clothes out the night before. You do that, then you aren't super frantic in the morning getting ready. Then you aren't super stressed on your commute (and don't breeze over super-important things like this column).

Then you get to work and crush your daily stuff with the fury of a cougar at a Wanted concert. Your boss sees you looking good and dominating your work and walks over and invites you to the big business lunch. You go, and because you aren't stressed, the client loves you and his/her smoking hot assistant totally slides you his/her number. Your boss recommends you for a promotion and gives you the company Bulls tickets. You are now the happiest living Chicagoan. All because of a little effort!

And clothing is just the beginning. Apply it to everything! Stop making excuses because you're too lazy to go get what you want from this world. Do juuuuuust one more task on that to-do list.

See? You're already on the way to owning everything! I'm totally going to introduce you to my co-worker who likes all the same things you like.

Ernest Wilkins is Chicago's wingman. erwilkins@tribune.com

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