Before you open your mouth, there are facets of your demeanor that speak volumes. Read below for some vital pointers that will help you put your best foot forward in any situation or setting.
“A good tailor can make a polyester Goodwill suit look like a million dollar bespoke ensemble.”
A Well-Tailored Suit:
They say clothing makes the man, so why not put your money where your mouth is? No matter your age, it’s the right time to invest in a well-tailored suit. If possible, try to purchase one made out of a luxury fabric as it will give you the most bang for your buck. But if you simply don’t have the budget, a generic, discount suit will also do the trick. The secret here is putting your new (pricey or cheap) suit in the hands of the right tailor. A good tailor can take even a polyester Goodwill suit and make it look like a million dollar bespoke piece simply by fitting it perfectly to your frame. A well-tailored suit not only tells people that you care about your appearance and the caliber of your clothing, but that you also have a serious eye for details. Letting people know you have an appreciation for and attention to the small things can pay off down the road in big ways. Whether interviewing for your perfect job or landing a date with your dream girl, your subliminal emphasis on the minute will guide you towards major success.
No one’s asking you to live up to Prince Charming’s fairy tale definition of chivalry. In fact, there probably isn’t a single modern woman out there who could tolerate that level of gendered pandering for longer than five minutes. Just like the tailored suit, what impresses a woman is your unflagging attention to the little things. You certainly don’t need to pay for every meal or open every door, after all, no one appreciates being treated like they’re completely destitute, co-dependent and without functioning arms. However, that doesn’t mean that every so often you can’t buy a bouquet of flowers, remember the date of an anniversary or pull out a chair. Women are capable creatures; we like to be treated as such. However, we also like to be treated like we’re special from time to time. Chivalry isn’t about doing every single thing for the useless lady in your life, but rather, making the occasional minor gesture that lets her know you not only care, but want to take care of her (just not smother her).
The Perfect, Plain, White T-Shirt:
This is easier said than done. Eighty percent of you are probably wearing a white t-shirt as we speak and thinking to yourself, “Nailed it.” Unfortunately, seventy-nine percent of you are dead wrong. Gentleman of today, please take a cue from your fashion predecessors James Dean and Marlon Brando and feel free to unleash the raw, animal sex appeal that is the fitted, white tee. It’s something that defies logic, but there is no female on earth who is immune to the powerful iconography and allure of this simple wardrobe basic. The key to getting it right? Stick to the clean, fitted, fifties silhouette of bad boy greasers. Go for a top that’s predominantly opaque, crew neck, and hits right at the hip; no need for crazy graphics or one liners, save your over-the-top personality for dinner and drinks later. For those who are truly daring, you’re going to want to go ahead and roll those sleeves up ever so slightly. Good luck fighting off the ladies on your way to work tomorrow (you’re welcome).
High Quality Shoes:
This may seem like a bad cliché, but after receiving ten compliments while just walking your dog around the block, your feet and your ego will thank you. Spending a little extra on something you know is going to get totally scuffed and beaten up may seem foolish, but that’s precisely why you need to make sure your kicks are going to last! The durable fabric, comfortable fit and timeless silhouette will make your new shoes an easy go-to option for any outfit, as well as demonstrating to all you encounter that you’re a man who can appreciate the finer things in life. A good, quality shoe will not only handle wear and tear beautifully, but actually hold up year after year, leaving you looking totally put-together. With no fraying, holes, or unsightly tearing, your footwear splurge will turn into one of the best investments you’ve ever made. Now if only you could say as much about your stock portfolio.
A Vintage Family Heirloom:
This can be anything from your grandfather’s antique Rolex, to your dad’s ironic seventies tie. Mixing in pieces passed down through the men in your family immediately shows that not only are you a fashion risk-taker with a unique sense of style all your own, but that family and tradition play an important role in your day to day life. So what’s a guy to do if his family doesn’t have any heirlooms or, even worse, they do and you’ve never seen anything uglier? Buy a high end vintage accessory. This may seem like cheating, but really it’s just like swiping the best pieces from your fantasy grandpa’s wardrobe! Just like the family heirloom piece, that purchased vintage accessory will give your look a touch of the unexpected and demonstrate your appreciation for craftsmanship, tradition and legacy, making you so much more than just another trendy fad follower. Let everyone know there’s nothing cookie cutter about your style.
This one’s a given. The better and more secure you feel about yourself, the more those around you will pick up on the cues and respond accordingly. This is such a standard element in our day to day interactions; you may not even notice how you and others respond to it. It’s a sort of immediate, undeniable, inexplicable magnetism that leaves women throwing their numbers at you and men trying to buy you the next round of beers at the bar. Confidence is a positive feedback loop, so even those of you out there who don’t feel particularly self-assured can still get there with just a little bit of time, imagination and practice. For those who need to fake it until they make it, try starting out with something as simple as making eye contact with every person you talk to and standing up straight with your shoulders back. You’ll be shocked at what a difference those little body language cues can make, and for those who still need a little something extra, try an ego-boosting mantra that you can repeat during your most insecure moments.
Emily Kirkpatrick is a fashion and lifestyle writer from New York City.