I’m in a bar in downtown Philadelphia on a Friday night in February. It’s snowing outside. It’s sweaty & popping on the inside.
It’s the same drunken energy I’ve been experiencing for a month.
I sip on my Old Fashion (Makers of course).
I look first at my competition. Standard Philly crowd…baggy jeans. Over-sized shirts. Dirty shoes. Philly sports jersey’s are abundant. WEAK.
Then there’s the crowd of dudes you’ll see in every city… the ones that wear pinstripe button down shirts (untucked) and black pointy leather shoes. WEAK.
I catch myself in a mirror. Gray blazer. White oxford (tucked). Khakis that fit. Chukka boots. My $2 leather belt that gets complimented more than a Russian supermodel. In fact, the whole outfit cost me less than one of those Philly jerseys. But I look like a million bucks in comparison. It’s not hard to stand out in Philly. (It’s not hard to stand out in this world period…do you?)
Now I survey the field for what I’m really interested in. No. No. Maybe. No. BLUE EYES. No….back to BLUE EYES. JESUS CHRIST… YES.
It’s a stare-down and neither one of us is relenting.
I make my way through the crowd to her. We talk. It’s electric.
6 months later it’s beyond electric. This is a 1 in 6.75 billion girl (World population).
6 months later we’re at a whole different level… but she still remembers what I wore that night.
Why You Need To Dress Sharp
Now, I wont pretend to be the sharpest dressed man in every room. Several of my friends have the style ‘gene’ and haven’t had to make a conscious effort like myself. (Lesson: surround yourself with people who are ‘better’ than you)
I’m still capable and prone to mistakes and laziness.
But, I will say that I’ve been living out of a suitcase for close to 3 years and look better than most men with larger closets and wallets.
I took a flight from San Diego to Philly the other week. I had jeans and a t-shirt on. I looked sharper than every cat in coach. (I really should be flying first class… Soon enough.)
It really doesn’t take a lot to dress well… and the benefits are enormous.
- More respect.
- More self-respect.
- More women.
- More business.
- (mo problems? probably not)
People automatically and instantly assess you on your clothing choice. No way around it.
There’s a study in Cialdini’s ‘Influence’:
Researchers had a man illegally jay walk against a traffic light several different times. Half the time he dressed in regular work clothes and the other half he wore a business suit and tie.
3 1/2 times as many pedestrians waiting at the corner followed the man when he wore a suit as when he wore regular work clothes.
Don’t underestimate the power clothing and a well dressed man has on influencing people.
…Of course you don’t have to play the game.
But it pays to play.
No man or woman is going to discount you for dressing well. But they’ll sure as hell discount you for dressing like a slob. Why give them the chance?
Obviously, life doesn’t come down to caring what other people think about you… And we all know there’s much more to life than clothes. (It’s not even about ‘clothes’… it’s about personal style.)
Sure, I like the ‘influence & power’ that comes from dressing well. But beyond that, I like the way dressing sharp makes me, personally, feel. I like to think of my life as ‘art’ and that my style is a reflection of that.
I like the direction my life is headed when I CARE about my clothing choice and how it fits and looks.
How To Start Taking Control
Take care of the way you dress. Start making an effort.
Most of us weren’t taught about style & fashion growing up. It wasn’t expected of us. We don’t know how to develop personal style… let alone the basics of dressing well, how clothing should fit, or even how to iron a shirt for God’s sake.
I’m just as guilty as the next guy… but the difference… I’ve made the DECISION to LEARN and to TRY.
If you want to start taking control of your personal image & dressing better (and thus getting more out of life), then check out my buddy Ross’ Dressing Sharp e-newseletter.
I’m helping him publish a new product for guys that lays out the essentials of what it takes to build personal style and an attractive wardrobe.
This guy knows his stuff, has an excellent personal brand himself, and has been teaching me since we were young bucks.
Check it here:
>>> DressingSharp.com <<<
(free sign-up, no funny business)
(he’s the suave mofo in that pic above)