Back to cool: At a party

Kristen Schmidt, Columbus Alive

Dressing for a house party or a night out is a tightrope walk: You want to look casual, but deliberately, thoughtfully so. Jeans and a T-shirt are a classic pair that, worn right, will win you more than a few glances from the ladies. But stray too far toward the ordinary and you'll have great conversation with your bros all night. Showing up with the right things in tow will get you everywhere.

Zanerobe leather jacket, $360

Milk Bar

This smelled as incredible as it looked, and Milk Bar co-owner Eric Hayes assured us it will patina beautifully with age. The jacket is relaxed, but it's not sloppy. It has structure and nice details, but it's perfectly comfortable next to jeans and a T-shirt.

Cheap Monday T-shirt, $33

Milk Bar

This soft T just saw your Hanes and raised it a bunch of cool points. The V-neck is enough to reveal a little collarbone without looking sleazy, and the asymmetrical seam down the front adds just enough visual appeal.

Nudie Grim Tim jeans, $226

Milk Bar

These boys are skinny! The denim has a fantastic heft and texture, soft and rich. Pair them with anything you've got: Retro high-tops and penny loafers would both get along (in different rooms, of course) with these jeans.

Homage college T-shirt, $28

What's cooler than representing your school with a T-shirt? Representing it in a sweet vintage design. Homage's new college line features old-school graphics and super-soft shirts. The fabric feels broken in from the start, so you won't have to wait 10 years for this shirt to become a favorite.

Six-pack of a seasonal local beer, price varies

Classy men show up to a party with something above the average keg beer. If it's not a wine kind of party, bring a six-pack of a local or regional brewery's seasonal offering. Two suggestions widely available in local grocery stores: Columbus Brewing Company Festbier and Great Lakes Oktoberfest.

Izola guest toothbrush set, $12


Because, well, it could happen. And your, ahem, guest will appreciate the thoughtful gesture.

Photo by Jodi Miller