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Buy Yourself Happy

Seven ways to brighten up the gloomiest month of the year

Blue Monday. Not only is it an uplifting floor filler by New Order, perhaps their best ever, but in recent years it has referred to the third Monday in January, thought to be the biggest downer of the year. (For the record, we’re talking about the blues here and not clinical depression.) The new year kicks off in a blaze of promise and commitment, but it soon trails off once two weekends of Dry January are under your belt, leaving you bored, uninspired and feeling sorry for yourself. Rather than choose to wallow in self-pity, here at MR PORTER, we’ve got another solution. January means the arrival of the new-season collections, plus there’s plenty of fitness gear and feel-good items to put a spring in your step. Here are seven ideas to do just that. 

Buy a feel-good tee

Sometimes all it takes to kickstart your day is a positive affirmation, a few words of optimism to remind you to forget your troubles and look on the bright side. If you’re the sort of guy who wants your T-shirt to say more, the sort of guy who likes to exude positivity, then Rag & Bone’s cotton tee will be right up your boulevard. Allow the cheerful slogan to do the talking by pairing it with your darkest denim, or smarten it up by wearing it under this unstructured wool blazer from Takahiromiyashita TheSoloist and a pair of clean white kicks.

Try a fly pair of sneakers

What is more happy making than meeting your fitness goals? In January, not much. You’re monitoring your calorie intake on Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal app, you’ve measured yourself with calipers. The only thing missing is a new pair of shoes to help you reach peak performance. These NikeLab Air Vapormax Flyknit sneakers are lightweight and have a flexible forefoot to provide perfect cushioning for sprinting. You need more than cardio if you want to transform your body, however. The dual-density midsoles give a firm and flat heel for steady lifting. No excuse, then, for skipping those dead lifts.

Road test the colour purple

Brace yourself. We’re in for a new kind of purple reign after the self-proclaimed spectrum chiefs at Pantone declared Ultra Violet the colour of 2018. And although this psychedelic shade has been wholeheartedly embraced by pop stars and popes from Prince to John Paul II, it should come with a handle-with-care label. Try weaving it into your daily get-up with this sweater from Anderson & Sheppard. The classic British tailor – known for dressing royals – specialises in timeless classics, and offers particularly good knitwear. The deep berry tone of this Shetland wool sweater is ideal for adding some soft colour to your outfit. Layer it over a tee and dark jeans for an off-duty look or wear over a crisp white shirt to dress it up.

Indulge in some wrist candy

For many of us, work-appropriate shades of charcoal and navy often make it difficult to stand out in the office. Investing in some playful but discreet jewellery is a good way of injecting some personality into a smart outfit and letting people know that yes, you may be a manager with a bit of a reputation, but you do have a life outside the office. Nobody understands this more than Brazilian-born, Miami-based jeweller Luis Morais, which specialises in crafting simple, sophisticated bracelets from fine materials that add character and hint to your bohemian side. These beads are elasticated (easy to slip on and off) and can be worn on their own, or layered with other bracelets, such as these by Mikia.

Splash out on swim shorts

If, like us, you live in the northern hemisphere, planning a summer holiday can help get you through the colder months. It is no surprise, then, that the end of January is a peak period for travel bookings. Whether it’s a beach hut in Tulum or a villa in Stromboli you’ve got your eye on, why not snap up some new swim shorts as extra motivation to get your body into demi-god shape by June? For some of the quirkiest beachwear around, take a look at French label Vilebrequin. Its Moorea mid-length shorts are patterned with the brand’s turtle mascot.

Brighten up in colourful knits

If you’re taking on the 744 hours of January without raising a single glass, then you’ll no doubt be spending a lot more time at home pursuing the more wholesome things in life, such as practising mindfulness, learning Spanish and catching up on Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s back catalogue on Netflix. When you do head out, it’s worth reminding everyone else that you remembered to bring your personality with you, or at least that you have one, and a vibrantly coloured knit (such as this retro-styled geometric one by London label Joseph) is a good place to start. All you need worry about then is ensuring the rest of your outfit is low-key and subdued so no one knows this was a calculated move. Best worn with a pair of indigo denim jeans and box-fresh white sneakers.

Slip on some PJs

Is there anything better after a long, hard day than kicking off your Cheaney shoes, hanging up your Kingsman blazer, throwing your Charvet shirt in the laundry basket and slipping into a crisply ironed pair of pyjamas? Sweatpants and a treasured T-shirt from your university days have their place, but save them for hangovers. Pyjamas are perfect for an evening in watching The Crown. This botanical-print shirt by Desmond & Dempsey is made from lightweight cotton, which feels great on the skin and is ideal when the heating is cranked up. When the brand launched before Christmas, a certain MR PORTER team member remarked that he’d be wearing his jewel-toned pyjama top to a new year party.