Every man and woman forms an opinion of someone at the first glance. It’s human nature.
This first glimpse is a HUGE hurdle to jump, but luckily, your presentation is fully within your control.
With apologies to any nudist reader out there, your clothes are a major aspect of your presentation. If you’re dressed well, many women will notice; if you’re dressed less than well, they’ll notice that, too, and it may turn them off.
Our friend Peter Nguyen of TheEssentialMan.com is an expert at making sure his clients are dressing to impress. As a special treat for us, he’s jotted down some essential tips to help you improve your style selections.
Take it away, Peter!
Over the last 10 years working in men’s style, I’ve heard it all.
For example, here’s one of the most common things a guy will tell me:
“It shouldn’t matter what I look like, women should like me for who I am.”
I always like to ask these guys one question: “What does your dream girl look like?”
What do you think they always say?
It’s that she’s attractive. (of course she is!)
Here’s the thing: that’s perfectly ok!
We all have different definitions of what’s attractive, but the bigger point is that we should hold ourselves to the same standards we set for our potential dates.
If we make sure we are dressing to impress when we’re going on job interviews, we surely should do the same when we’re looking for the woman of our dreams, right?
Our appearance gives people clues about who we are. When you first meet someone, the only opinions you can form of them in that split second is by their appearance. This is called thin slicing.
That first impression is crucial. The great thing is, you have complete control of it.
What I like to say is this: Clothes don’t make the man, but they certainly enhance him.
Sarah’s been doing a fantastic job giving you the right tools to attract women naturally, and I want to do the same thing for you and your style.
Now, you might be thinking, “Ok, but I never wear suits, not even for work…”
One of the most important aspects of being a personal stylist is making sure the look and advice I give my clients match their lifestyles.
I work with men from all types of backgrounds, from tech industry entrepreneurs to guys with regular 9-5 desk jobs.
Just like using aggressive and cheesy PUA methods to attract women, putting on a slick suit and flashy watch when you’ve never worn that in your life isn’t going to feel right. (And it’s going to show in your body language).
You can look amazing in a simple t-shirt and pair of jeans. To show you how, I want to answer 4 common objections I get from guys just like you.
1. “I’m Just Not Naturally Stylish.”
Awesome! Nobody is!
In high school I had a ponytail, wore rectangle eyeglasses and way too many oversized plaid shirts.
Nobody is born in a perfectly tailored suit. Like attracting women, dressing to impress is a skill. And like any skill, you can learn and improve.
Over the past month on my site The Essential Man, I’ve been conducting a survey asking thousands of women what men should wear on a first date.
The most common point they make?
They wished guys put in a little effort.
Most guys’ styles are so bad, that just by dressing slightly better, you’re already ahead of the pack.
Here’s the best news of all: Dressing to impress is actually fairly formulaic. It’s not some instinct you have to nurture and do “by feel”.
As a linear, logical thinking introvert, your mind is PERFECT for developing great style.
2. “When I Open up GQ It’s Overwhelming. I Don’t Know Where I Should Start.”
In the same survey about first date style, I asked women what the single most important thing was about a guy’s style.
93% of women answered said her dates clothes should fit properly, while 7% said that it shouldn’t be flashy. (Nobody chose the option that his clothes should be designer).
Not coincidentally, making sure your clothes fit is the first thing I address with my styling clients.
Here’s the “dressing to impress” secret: Making sure your clothes fit will solve 90% of your style issues.
This is how someone like Mr. James Bond himself Daniel Craig can look REALLY good wearing just a t-shirt and jeans, while someone can look terrible in an ill fitting “nice suit”.
You don’t need to buy custom clothes or constantly take everything to the tailor, either.
The best way to get a better fit is make better choices when you’re out shopping. Here’s a few tricks to make the process simple and painless.
Follow “The Clues in The Construction”
How clothes are constructed will tell you how they should fit on your body.
Imagine your body as an action figure with segmented limbs.
The shoulder seams of t-shirts, button-up shirts, and jackets should line up with that imaginary line where your arm and shoulder connect.
Your sleeves should end where your wrist starts. Your pant legs should end right where your leg ends (the hem of your pants should just settle at the top of your feet.)
Paying attention to these spots will instantly tell you if you’re wearing the right size.
Do “The Pinch Test”
Getting the proper size will usually help you avoid wearing clothes that are too baggy. The “Pinch Test” can help you find your proper size.
With your thumb and forefinger, lightly pinch your pants at the thigh and calf. (The same strength if you were pinching a baby’s’ cheek).
You should only be able to grab a digit worth of fabric, or ½ to 1”. Anymore, it’s too baggy. Any less, it’s too tight.
If your clothes are too baggy or too tight, look for different “fit” options when you’re shopping. You’ve probably run into “slim cut” often, which is great if you’re a lean guy. If you’re bigger, these can be suffocatingly tight.
If you’re a guy with bigger thighs, look for “Athletic cut” pants, like Levi’s 541. Athletic cut pants have more room in the thigh and seat (butt), but taper as you get to the calf so you don’t look like you’re wearing raver pants.
The same goes with tops. Look for different fits in stores and do The Pinch Test to make sure they’re the right size.
3. “I’m Not Really Confident I Can Pull Something Off.”
Think back to when you were first learning how to drive a car.
You were nervous and convinced you’d crash it within 10 minutes of pulling out of the driveway.
You just weren’t confident with your driving skills. Yet, the more you drove, the more confident you got about driving.
Dressing to impress a date is exactly the same. You don’t need confidence in order to start dressing better, you dress better to build up your confidence.
The key is to start small and make incremental improvements.
Don’t worry about finding a great “original” style, or if you’re matching colors right. Start with buying clothes that fit better.
If you’ve worn t-shirts all your life but are interested in wearing suits, don’t go out and buy a suit. Start by wearing more button-up shirts.
Every small tweak to your style will build up your confidence to naturally dress better.
4. “I Don’t Want To Look Like Someone I’m Not.”
To quote one of my favorite movies, Hitch, “You are a fluid concept.”
Sarah has shown that you can develop natural skills of attraction without resorting to being a faux-extrovert or aggressive PUA tactics. You can dress better without needing to copy what the latest celebrity is wearing.
A big part of that is realizing that you made the decision to improve.
You chose to learn how to start dressing to impress your dates. You chose to apply those concepts and buy better clothes!
I’ve worked with Silicon Valley guys who exclusively wear t-shirts, to guys that are in suits 24/7. With any style there are always ways you can improve so you can look absolutely your best.
Improving and dressing to impress dates won’t change who you are at your core.
Imagine cooking a burger, but instead of buying burger meat that’s on sale, you go to a artisanal butcher and have some dry-aged beef ground up for you.
You make your own buns from scratch, and picked up some high quality gruyere cheese imported straight from Switzerland.
You’re not scraping the burger and making a hot dog. It’s still a burger, but ONE HELL of a burger because you decided to craft it with better ingredients.
Dressing to Impress: Putting It All Together
To help you with this, I put together a special, free essential style guide for Introverted Alpha readers that expands on what we talked about today.
In it, I’ve offered a style roadmap to follow to take you from “I don’t know where to start” to “Dressing to Impress”.
I’ve also included an illustrated cheatsheet. It guides you on how to get the perfect fit even easier, and list a few “essentials” all guys should have in their wardrobe.
Click here to get your free guide and “Good Luck” on your dates!
Awesome work, Peter! Thank you!
Dressing to impress is a key part of presenting your best self, and your dating life will explode when you can present your best self naturally.
Of course, clothes do not solely make the man. In order to present your best self, it’s a full mindset, skill-building, confidence-enhancing smorgasbord. For more on that, check out…
- Introvert Dating Mindset: Getting Your Headspace Right
- Overcoming Fear of Rejection in 3 Steps
- Free Ebook on Finding Your Uniquely Attractive Vibe
If you’d like to apply all this to your personal situation and develop in confidence not only in general but in the specific phases of dating, we can help.