How to Drastically Improve Your Personal Style

The Inner and Outer Game of Fashion

FW 09 TrovataIf you have spent any amount of time trying to revamp your personal style and sense of fashion… then you probably realize that there are things you need to do both externally and internally.

Often the first problem guys run into when they try to make a fashion change is that they only work on the external.   They will get a new haircut.  They’ll buy some new clothing.   They will find some new accessories to highlight their new outfits.

But what they will often find is that they haven’t changed enough on the inside.  And they have a “disconnect” every time they look in the mirror.

It’s almost as if someone else is looking back at them.  And this totally kills the self confidence that was supposed to come along with the upgraded personal style.

This is why it is important to always be working simultaneously on your inner identity and outer identity.

If you are going for a drastic image overhaul, the first thing you will want to do is figure out what “inner identity” you want to begin to develop.  This will be the “inner core” that you put on display to the world.

It is always more effective to match your wardrobe to your “inner identity” than the other way around.  This means first figuring which of the common male archetypes do you best identify with?  Dr. Paul has claimed that you are a King, Lover, Magician, or Warrior.

The core concept is that every man has varying amounts of King (representing the ability to bring order out of chaos, and a sort of benevolent use of power), Warrior (the ability to marshal resources, have courage, bear pain, make clear choices based on facts not emotions), Magician (or “alchemist” – concerned with knowledge and skill, and how to use it), and Lover (emotionally connected to others, having empathy).

Although you will likely identify yourself with one more than the others… in order to become an emotionally mature man you really should work at integrating all of the different archetypes into your personality.

As you do this “inner work” you will come to see your “truer” identity rise to the surface.  Maybe you will come to find that although you always saw yourself as a Lover… you are a natural Warrior.  They key thing is to not force your identity… as you do the “self work” it will display itself.

When your inner identity begins to display itself you can then begin to create an outer identity around it.

If you are unsure of how to create an outer identity, you might want to take the brilliant advice Brad P gives in his highly recommended book, The Fashion Bible, and choose one of the “sexy stereotypes” that already exist and build your “outer image” around one of them.

Brad has identified about 12 of these sexy stereotypes to choose from. A few examples of these “sexy stereotypes” that Brad talks about are “rocker guys,” “gothic guys,” “Latin lovers,” and “mafia guys.”

I think one of the mistakes that men make when choosing their stereotype is that they haven’t already done the inner work.  And if you choose a stereotype like “mafia guy” but at heart you have determined that you are a “Lover” than there will be incongruence that will be apparent to everyone around you.

There is no clear cut rules as to what stereotype matches what archetype, but it would seem that some of them go more naturally together than others.  Maybe a Magician will be drawn to the “gothic” stereotype.  Maybe a Warrior will be drawn to the “athlete” stereotype.  Maybe a King will be drawn to the “Wall Street” guy stereotype.

The key is to always evolve both internally and externally.  This means that as your “inner game” grows you reflect it in your “outer game.”

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.