While Gucci sunglasses and a Birkin bag may get you pretty far, it's what's inside that will make the difference between you and the next gal. Or you and the next dude, if that's who you are. In that case, nix the bag.
Anyway, where is this going? You need to stay informed, or you'll have nothing to talk about at parties. Boring is the kiss of death. How do I suggest you do it? Well, first and foremost, read the New York Times Week in Review section on Saturdays. And if you can't muster the will to drag yourself out of bed and find a $5 newspaper on a Sunday morning, at least read Frank Rich's weekly column on the web.
Other good resources to make you sound smarter because you actually ARE smarter include: The Nation, Salon.com, Slate.com and The Washington Post online.