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Fashion Advice From A Pro
-By Caleb Jones
I recently was looking at some photographs of me from about 10 years ago. Yikes. To paint a picture, I was around 30, very married, very monogamous, family man, and had fallen into a lazy, preppy I.T. nerd look. And good god, did it show. I advertised all of these things by the way I dressed, the way I moved, the way I had my hair, my grooming, and everything else. In addition, I was also ten years younger, which means I had even more of a baby face than I do now. (It is my opinion that men generally look better and more masculine as they age.)
I looked terrible.
However, although I shudder looking at those photos now, I remember that I wasn't out dating chicks or anything like that. I was just a normal married guy, going to work, coming home, trying to fuck his wife, and constantly being told no because she was "too tired" or whatever. So at least my look was congruent to my life. Not that it's any consolation to me looking at those photos now.
When I got divorced and very quickly entered the dating/seduction world, I tried to snap it up a bit. A bit. Most of the initial fashion advice I got was from the women I was dating. I got comments like,
"Um...you might not want to tuck in your shirt all the time."
"Um...are you really going to wear those pants?"
"Um...why are you wearing those shoes with those pants?"
You get the idea. It was brutal. I realized I had a problem. I'm an introverted, non-artistic guy with very little sense of aesthetics or color. Want to talk about money or business or women? I'm your man. Want to talk about what colors or art or aesthetics? I have no fucking idea. Everything fashion-related I know now I've had to learn, sometimes painfully. Other than wearing suits, which I've always been good at, fashion has not been my strong suit at all. Pun intended.
Finally I had a hot chick or two come to my house and go through my closet. It was hilarious to watch these gals go through all my old nerdy suburban married-guy outfits.
"OMG. You have black jeans? Burn these right now. Don't even go gardening with these on."
"Um...yeah...these shirts right here went out of style like 12 years ago.
"OMG. These pants just scream 'I'm a nerd'."
"These shoes? Wear them when you go running. Don't wear them on a date."
I ended up throwing away 80% of the clothes in my closet. I felt like I was losing one of my children. In retrospect most of the advice these gals gave me was pretty accurate, but I'll be honest...it was sad to see all those comfort-zone shirts and pants get tossed into a trash bag. I later donated them to charity.
I would love to write an entire ebook on physical appearance and fashion. It's that important. However as I mentioned, other than suits, I'm only good at recommending fashion for guys like me, i.e. confident business-badass guys in their late 30's or 40's. Think guys like Daniel Craig. If you're an extroverted 25 year-old clubbing dude, or cool musician type dude, or a black guy, giving you fashion advice is not something I can do with any authority. One of my core principles in business is to never give advice I'm not qualified to give.
So, I did the next best thing. I found someone else who wrote the fashion ebook I could not write. The guy is BradP and the book is the Fashion Bible, and you need to get it. I learned some of my fashion stuff from BradP back in my learning-curve days, and his advice helped me out a lot. He lays out the techniques and information almost exactly the way I would, and as I read it I kept nodding my head in agreement.
Unlike most fashion advice, which essentially boils down to "wear this!" and "don't wear that!", BradP's advice is similar to mine in that you need to first establish a persona attractive to women (like "grunge rock star" or "Latin lover" or "Wall Street guy"), avoid personas women are not attracted to (like "nice guy" or "computer geek") then dress according to that image. EXACTLY. I've been saying something similar for years. It takes most of the guesswork out of the equation and does a lot of the work for you.
I'll give you some general tips that I've learned from various sources, tips the Fashion Bible seems to agree with.
When sarging, dating, seducing, or meeting women make sure you:
- Only wear slacks or nice jeans. Nothing else is allowed on your legs. No shorts, no khakis, no cotton pants, no sweats. Back when I was "suburban married I.T. beta" I wore nothing but beige or off-white cotton pants. Holy crap. I. Looked. Like. Shit.
- Don't wear white socks or white shoes. Save those for the gym.
- Keep your grooming congruent to the persona you've selected. (Two of my more popular posts on facial hair are here and here.)
- Avoid button-down shirts with short sleeves. They look awful. If you like button-downs like I do, make sure they're long-sleeved and keep them that way, or roll up the sleeves. For you guys my age, some cool slacks with a nice long-sleeved solid-color business button-down shirt that is tucked-in but with the sleeves rolled up and the first one or two buttons unbuttoned is a fantastic look, especially if you have big arms, shoulders, or chest.
- Never tuck in your shirt if you're wearing jeans. I spent the first 10 years of my adult life with tucked-in-shirt-with-jeans. Dumb. The exception to this rule would be if you wear a business suit top over the shirt, with our without a tie.
- Men tend to wear clothes one or two sizes too big. I was absolutely guilty of this, and I'm a big guy to begin with. I still remember a first date I had back in the day with a hot blonde corporate chick. I had just started to un-tuck my shirts back then, but the button-down shirt I was wearing was WAY too big for me. It flowed behind me like a god damn parachute as I walked through the bar to meet her. I blew the date. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way. Point being, wear clothing that fits your body, or next-best, wear clothing that's a little tight, even if you're not a skinny guy. Too big is the worst option.
The Fashion Bible has way more advice much better than the above. If fashion is a tough spot for you like it was for me a few years ago, I highly recommend this book. I like it so much consider it a companion volume to my own ebooks. There's a money-back guarantee on it just like my stuff, so go get it.
By the way, if you're over age 35 or so or if you're one of those married guys or guys with serious girlfriends trying to convert to open relationships, paying attention to your fashion goes DOUBLE for you and you really need this book. You fuckers are the worst offenders by far, just like I was when I was married. It's very difficult to stay motivated to look good and dress cool attractively on a regular basis when you've got little wifey at home regardless of how bad you look. If you want to open things up in your relationship, looking like a dork isn't going to cut it any more.
I also have a theory that many married women (or girlfriends with live-in BFs) actually try to make their men dress more dorky, just to keep other women away. But that's a topic for another time. 🙂
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Johnny Caustic 2012-07-08 16:06:29
Interesting. I never heard that don't-tuck-shirts-into-jeans rule before. How could I miss that? I guess 'cause I don't know any cool guys to model myself on. This rules out wearing shirts with long tails with jeans, I guess. I'll have to work on finding more shorter shirts.
Blackdragon 2012-07-08 21:02:25
Actually, yeah. I've had that problem too. I've got some very cool shirts that only look cool if they're tucked in, because they're too damn long. You can get your shirts tailored pretty cheap though.
Alejandro 2012-07-09 10:26:15
Very true. Something else I would add: Don't spare much money on clothes. You can use cheap clothes at home or to go to work if you have to, but when it comes to sarging or going on dates, you want to invest a little bit more on what you wear. Think about not so cheap brands like Hollister, Tommy Hilfiger or Diesel... women do notice!!
Kevin 2012-07-10 04:34:45
The Fashion Bible made a HUGE difference for me. I was sporting the married-accounting-dork look and don't believe I had any pants in my closet without the words "relaxed fit" or "loose" in the description at the time I got divorced. 🙁 I wasn't even particularly fat. It's just that when I was married, it was more important for pants to be comfortable and on sale was than to look good. I cringe to think about my standard pair of jeans back then. Relaxed fit, light blue jeans that were a little too long so I had to cuff them.... *shudder* This is a good reminder to revisit my look though. I put it together almost two years ago when I was 34. Now that I'm 36 I should probably reevaluate things to make sure it's not out of date, and I don't look like I'm trying to hard to be young. One tip I'd give is to ignore well meaning people who don't want you to change (like your mom). Let your results with women tell you if the style works.
Socialkenny 2012-07-20 15:38:46
Where's the pic proof of the bad days of fashion? We wanna see photos lol!
Oxyjinn 2012-09-19 17:14:01
It's like with everything else in your life. If you want to be good at it, get interested in it and teach it yourself, until it becomes part of you. Frankly, there are very few men out there who dress well. Mainly because they just don't care. They know that they need a suit when they're in business, but that's about it. I consider clothing as important as anything in PU. Especially for the first time you meet a woman. Imagine yourself walking up to her and what would go through your mind if she wore a shirt with some semi-loose long skirt and flats vs. tight short dress and heels. See the difference? You make the first impression only once. I will use a quote from an Alpha goes Beta movie: "Be better than the Gap!" "I also have a theory that many married women (or girlfriends with live-in BFs) actually try to make their men dress more dorky, just to keep other women away." This is definitely true.
Joe Whittaker 2016-11-08 06:10:33
good post, i love your blog. Brad Ps fashion bible is a great guide newbies. One point I disagree with is getting womens' opinions on fashion. If a women completely dresses you..... meaning from start to finish, you tend to end up looking like a nice, well-dressed, normal kind of guy. This is a lot better than the average guy, but not optimal for PU. You should aim to have a sexy edger look than that, something more unique, dangerous or risky.