If the average man spent half the money on their backs as they do on audio equipment, the world would be a much more stylish place. Try these undercover tips to lift your man’s personal style - without him catching on.

1. Begin with a good watch. It’s the single most important accessory a man will have to make him look good (aside from you of course) and a purchase you or he only ever needs to make once. For our wedding, I gave my husband a real Rolex to which he compared with delight the extreme likeness to his fake. After telling him to take them both swimming, the real Rolex has never left his wrist once since.

2. Update the basics. There’s a reason mothers give their sons socks and underwear for Christmas - it’s called insurance. To ‘insure’ that these basics get updated in what is an acceptable timeframe in modern society. Like toothbrushes, most men hold onto their socks, underwear and shirts well beyond their use by date. Sound familiar? Then feel safe in the knowledge that you have complete permission to rotate these out as part the general family household maintenance.

3. Encourage him into a good quality leather jacket. It will see him through all year round and just make him look cooler (regardless of his age). It’s also one of the only pieces of clothing of his that will look better with age. Another plus!

4. Replace the denim. Denim jeans are not an investment, rather an operating expense that wear out over time. Tell-tale signs are holes and worn patches (in the wrong places) and general thinning of the denim. At the first sign of these, hit the shops. And unless he is a musician or Brad Pitt on a motorbike, ripped jeans on men over 40 are, well…enough said.

5. Double down. If you have been lucky enough to get your man into a shop with moderate success, encourage him to buy two of everything that looks sharp – especially in the pants and shirts department. It’s your one chance to get him into a store for a very long time – so take advantage!

6. Buy him a hat. An authentic hand made panama hat (made in Ecuador) sits around the $200 mark. And the average man would rather walk through a busy ski field naked before forking out such a princely sum for a hat.

BUT, they will accept one gladly as a gift and wear it with pride to every race day, BBQ, wedding and summer party – as long as they don’t ever know how much it cost. Some things are just better left unsaid and a smart panama will catapult your man forward in the fashion stakes despite what the rest of his outfit might be doing on the day.

Pictured below: Sarah. J Curtis Mens Panama hat, $195.

Sarah. J Curtis Mens Panama Hat $195

First published in Metropol Magazine.