A Guide To Style And Fashion For Men
What is your “look”? Your look can be defined as how you regularly choose to present yourself visually to the world. These choices are based upon how you feel about yourself, what environment(s) you expect to inhabit that day, and what you think will give you an advantage in achieving what you want.
Subconsciously, we notice how others present themselves, and form impressions on their personality. By making a conscious effort to create and build an empowering look, you help others see you as a successful, confident and attractive person. This is very important in creating lasting, positive, first impressions.
Ever notice a rock star on stage? He has a certain look. Like Steven Tyler, or Mick Jagger. These guys look like rock stars. Their clothing is outrageous and grabs your attention. This suits their personality, as well as assists them in doing what they do entertain. What about the conservative, polished look of a politician, or corporate executive? This look helps them achieve their goals by giving them a powerful, serious presence and a smooth, sophisticated image that commands respect.
Part of our one-on-one programs is learning about who you are, and then understanding what your current look is. Many guys have a very average, mainstream look, which doesn’t get them noticed. This is a direct reflection of how they see themselves internally. Their self-image is of a guy who is “part of the crowd”. I was recently visiting some friends on a college campus, and was shocked at how similar everyone looked. There was very little originality of expression. The emphasis was geared toward “fitting-in”.
An important aspect of understanding your look is in knowing how you see yourself. When I work with a client, I focus externally, in helping him find a visual presentation that is strong and empowering. But I also spend a lot of time helping him to improve his internal self-image so that he walks away feeling more confident and empowered. It is not enough to throw cool clothes on a guy. He also has to see himself in his own mind as cool and powerful.
Recently, I was out with a client, and we went to some great stores in New York City. First, I asked him to peruse the store and pick out the items he would like to wear. This is an effective way to see inside the mind of someone I am working with. By asking him to go around the store and select things that he felt he would look good in, reveals a lot to me about how he sees himself.
He returned about 10 minutes later with some average jeans, a couple of long sleeve button down shirts with wild patterns on them, some snakeskin shoes, and a couple of black belts oh yeah, and a belt buckle that said “PLAYER”. He smiled, thinking he had just found the coolest stuff in the store. I hated to deliver the bad news.
This guy, like so many others, lacks the imagination, confidence and self awareness which is critical when selecting clothes for our wardrobe. You might be one of those guys out there saying “Hey man, clothes are meaningless, gimme a break, I am here to become a man, and get the ladies with what I say, not how I look”. Well, to a degree, you are right. But why not maximize your advantage by both learning powerful communication skills and by getting a “look” that radiates power and success?
Genetically Attractive vs. Physically Attractive
Let me say this looks don’t matter, but, your “look” does. Looks are what our genetics have given us, which we have very little control over. Guys who are blessed with good looks are “genetically attractive”. The fact is though, there are many good-looking guys who struggle with women. I have also met others not so genetically fortunate who have massive success because they understand what looks good on them, and how to present themselves in an attractive way. These guys are said to be “physically attractive”.
If you had to choose one over the other, it is far better to be physically attractive. These are the guys who understand that they have power over their image and look, and choose to exercise that on a daily basis. By taking care of their look, they communicate class and self-esteem to those they come in contact with. Also, there are plenty of guys out there blessed genetically who go unnoticed because they are totally clueless when it comes to looking cool.
Time and time again, I meet guys who have great personalities, and have a lot to offer women, but they simply have no idea how to present themselves in a powerful, attractive way. Owning this skill would automatically help them feel better about themselves, filling them with confidence and dramatically increasing their likelihood of success instantly!
So, back to my story. I told this client to put the items he selected away, and I went around with him, and started asking questions. His answers led me to believe that he saw himself as “just an average guy”. I have heard this all too often when working with men needing help with their image. They have lost a sense of uniqueness and purpose causing them to accept fitting-in as a way of life. Part of what I love to do with guys is to help them live beyond the small box they have created entitled “my world”.
If you want great relationships with quality women you must get your life in order. One of the critical things to do is to think outside of this “box” and build a look that works for you. Leave behind the “average guy” image which only helps you fade into the scenery. By the time the afternoon was over, this guy was shocked, surprised and thrilled. He instantly felt more confident in knowing he looked good, and felt good. His look was coming together!
There are three principles to guide your choices when building your look and enhancing your image:
1) Does it help me feel more powerful and confident?
2) Will it help me achieve the aims I strive for in life?
3) Does it work for my body-type and personality?
Exercise To Help You With Style And Fashion
What follows are a series of eight questions designed to help you begin to cultivate an empowering and attractive look. I want you to write down the answers to each as you go through this post. As you work through these, keep these three principles in mind. Also, as you brainstorm, try to let go of negativity and judgment allowing your imagination to operate freely.
1) Go to a mirror and notice your body language. What does it communicate about you?
2) What body type are you? Thin? Medium build? Muscular? Overweight? Phrase this as a one or two word answer.
3) Thumb through a men’s magazine, which fashion ads grab your attention? Why? What about the look of the men in the pictures grabs your attention?
4) Imagine a scenario where you are successful in the workplace, or in your career. What are you wearing, how is your posture, and what is your “vibe”? Confident & assured? Meek & timid? Be honest.
5) Imagine a scenario where you are going out on the town with the woman of your dreams. You are arm in arm headed to a concert perhaps, or a show. You are both very comfortable and happy with each other. What are you wearing, how is your posture, and what is your “vibe”? Again, confident & assured? Meek & timid? Something in between?
6) Use your imagination and determine what type of look you picture yourself in. Is it casual? Dressed up in suits? Preppy? Dressed down in the latest streetwear? Consider your day-to-day life, and what image you need to project to fulfill your aims. See yourself successfully achieving these goals, and notice the look you embody.
7) Consider the roles you play daily that impact your style. Are you an executive? A student? A DJ? A Prince? Use your common sense. If you are stuck, think of someone whose clothes you like, someone that you think dresses stylishly and conveys the right things with their look. At the same time look at yourself and be honest. Will it work for you? Let’s use our examples from before. I love the way Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler dress, but realistically, I would not look good prancing around in scarves and leather pants! However, if that is your style, great, then go for it. The key here guys, is to know what you want and what will work for you.
8) Last, who do you look like? Do you look like Mick Jagger? Do you look like Tom Cruise? When considering your style, an obvious thing to do is to simply consider who you look like, and work with that. (PS – pick people who also look good, and who fit your body type) A friend of mine has people running up to him left and right telling him he looks like Pierce Brosnan. He wears very sharply made suits and he looks great. Notice that he doesn’t wear loose-fitting, street styles as that wouldn’t necessarily go well with his genetic appearance and vibe.
These eight questions are both an overview of the essential matters to building your look and an effective means in pointing you in the right direction as you begin. They provide the necessary balance of imagination and reality. With this information in mind, you can begin to get a sense of what look you want to cultivate. You may want to enlist some help with this process, by asking friends about your body language or for feedback on how certain styles look on you.