The Vital 5 Dress for Success Men’s Fashion Laws
Originally I wanted to title this week’s article, “How to Get Rejected before You Even Open Your Mouth” and then list the various male fashion faux pas I see every night I go out. I like that title because it describes exactly what happens when you dress like you’re just trying to cover up your nakedness rather than express your personality: you fail. (Although, I opted in favor of optimism and so dropped the sarcastic chiding…)
It’s unfortunate that fashion, for some guys, is a word that elicits grumbling and eye rolls; although, it’s even more unfortunate that even more guys truly believe they’re dressing well—even though they’re not. Ask yourself, do you believe you dress well…or at least decently?
Well…I’ll be the one to tell you that… you probably don’t.
Sorry, but most guys could at least benefit from one—if not all—of the simple tips I’m going to outline below. Keep in mind, I’m no Versaci myself, but I do have an attentive eye on the way men dress (as it relates to attracting women). I’m less concerned with the hottest fall colors than I am with just looking hot.
So these tips, while simple, can be regarded as the “men’s fashion laws” for looking attractive. No matter what season, no matter what style, following these guidelines will keep you looking your absolute best.
1. Layering—If you want an eye-catching outfit without resorting to “peacocking” then develop an eye for detail and combinations. Nothing expresses your personality better than 2 or 3 layers of carefully coordinated clothes. I still stand by my own all-time favorite 3 piece sexy casual combination: 1.) button-down shirt, 2.) light, zip-up hoodie, and 3.) sports coat. Just mix and match whites, blacks, and grays to create an interesting outfit (without coming off try-hard).
2. Clothes that fit—I say it again and again, but I still see 4 out of 5 guys wearing baggy clothes that make them look sloppy. I don’t care if you’re 20-30 pounds overweight, you’d STILL look better wearing clothes that fit. Nothing says slovenly existence better than clothing that sags off your body. So, as a rule of thumb, if you can grasp more of a handful of fabric on your shirt or pants that means it’s way too baggy. Also, if ANYTHING is bunched (e.g., pants legs), get it tailored—immediately. Bunchy and baggy is equal to sloppy and ugly.
(Note: And, yes, that includes your jacket—especially your jacket!)
3. Unbutton, untucked—Again, another faux pas that seems obvious, but guys are out committing it again and again. Just type “men’s fashion” into Google and see how many pictures feature guys with tucked-in or fully-buttoned shirts. And, if that doesn’t convince you, go out and observe how many guys with hot girls have their shirts tucked or buttons buttoned. YET STILL, at every conference I speak at, on every live program I teach, and every time I’m recognized out, I meet dating advice students who tuck in their shirts in and are fully buttoned up. In fact, if I’ve met you and my first comment was, “Untuck your shirt and undo about 3 of those buttons,” don’t be offended (I say it to everyone); however, heed my advice! Women want guys who let it “hang out”—so do it!
4. Quality versus quantity—I doubt anyone reading is attending runway shows or salivating over this year’s Prada outdoor line. Though, buying “cheap” brands because it saves you a couple bucks is just not worth it in the long run. I, too, was once guilty of “bargain hunting,” trying to find all my clothing at inexpensive stores like H&M and TJ Maxx. While you will certainly find some cool pieces there (especially shirts and vests to incorporate into layering), for fashion necessities go with quality brands. For example, shell out a little extra money for jeans and jackets/coats. While it may hurt a bit up front to drop $150 for a pair of Diesel jeans or $400 for an Armani trench coat, you’ll look forward to wearing these items and feel good every time you put them on.
5. Experiment a bit—No, I don’t mean that type of experimenting. I mean experiment with some “riskier” fashion items. For example, try wearing a neck tie out or a vest or a button-down argyle sweater. Thumb through an issue of GQ and see what the “very fashionable” male models are wearing and experiment with it. Sure, it may feel a bit “incongruent” at first, but you’ll probably find lots of people commenting on your intrepid outfit. Sure some guys may tool you, but the corollary to that is that some girls will find you irresistibly sexy. Again, let me just reiterate that this is NOT “peacocking” where you wear something absurd simply to get a reaction out of people—this is you being “highly stylish” and in synch with tomorrow’s fashion staples. And who knows, you just may stumble on a “fashion law” that applies only to you and makes you look devilishly more charming than the average guy who’s still going out in graphic print t-shirts and American Eagle jeans. (If that’s you, please stop immediately.)
Here’s to looking fashionable this fall.
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About Rob J. Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in New York City. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness.