4 Steps To Changing Your Look & Why
If it works, it works, right? You remember putting on your absolutely favorite shirt—how amazing it looked, how hot you felt, and how your friends all admired it.
And you still hang on to that memory, even now that your favorite shirt has…you know…maybe a few holes, and that one stain from the football thing, and a little unravelling after that fifth wash---but, hey, it’s your favorite shirt, so it must look good, right?
The truth is that most guys find a look that works, and then stick with it forever. Even when our lifestyle changes, even when our bodies change, even when our relationships change, we fall back on the same old hairstyle and clothing patterns because we know them, we’re comfortable with them, and it doesn’t require us to put too much thought into a new “look.”
But sometimes we really (really, really) need a change. Because growing can be painful, but the benefits are outstanding.
Think of all those critical moments:
- You’re up for a promotion.
- The hottie that walked into the bar just smiled in your direction.
- That relationship that just came to a close.
- You have back to back meetings with potential new clients.
If you want to demonstrate to the people around you that you are confident, strong, and smart you need to present a look that projects control and authority. Because the world is constantly changing, and your look can tell everyone that you are not only flexible, but well ahead of the curve.
But to do that, you have to suck it up, and make the effort to change. Because the best way to change is to change your thought pattern, and then immediately follow through by changing your actions. Thinking wistfully won’t get you that promotion, or that hot date.
So, it’s time to bite the bullet and ask yourself four hard questions.
1. Does My Wardrobe Fit?
This isn’t about gym goals, or what you think your body should look like. Just take two minutes and be honest. Are the shoulders too loose or too tight? Are the buttons straining, or is fabric bunching around the waist?
Even if it’s an amazing item of clothing—if it really doesn’t fit, you need to let it go. It’s not doing you any favors.
2. Are My Clothes Worn Out?
Again. Be honest. Are there tears at the seams? Buttons missing? Mystery stains? Holes in the socks? Visible wear at the elbows? Bin it. Recycle it. Cut it up and use it for doggie chew toys. Set it on fire (in a responsible way that won’t get you in trouble with the local Fire Marshal). Whatever you do, just get it out of your closet.
If it’s in your closet, you’ll be tempted to wear it. So, keep one ratty t-shirt/sweatshirt for future house-painting purposes, and get the rest out of sight and out of mind. The “last-survivor-in-a-Jaws-remake” look is only professional on a Hollywood set.
3. What Does My Style Say?
The clothes that make you look cool and trendy when you’re 18, can make you look deranged and out of touch when you’re 40 (and, often, vice-versa). So, if the last time you changed your look was in a year beginning 19--, it’s time to stop and think. You’re no longer at the bottom of the company rungs, but are you dressing for success?
At the same time, reassess the rest of your personal look. Is your cologne still right for who you are right now? Does your haircut still ideal for your face? The answer might be “yes,” but you should take a moment reevaluate every few years.
Remember, there is no one perfect look for all men. We have different bodies, different professions, and different goals—but we all want to be treated with respect in our own environment. So, is your look still right for you?
4. What Do I Want My Style to Say?
Take a look at the people who have the kind of status you want, and then pay attention to how they dress in different settings. (How you dress away from the office is just as important as how you dress in the office.) How well do their clothes fit? Are they wearing suits or polos? What kind of bag are they carrying? Do they wear watches or jewelry?
Very few people want to spend lots of money on their wardrobe. But, everyone who knows anything about business knows that you have to invest if you want a return. And nothing is more important than investing in your look. Most people decide whether they are going to like or trust you in the first fifteen seconds. College students are accurately able to predict which professors will be the best teachers just from photographs of the professor standing at the front of the classroom. In spite of the old saying, we all judge the book by the cover.
And, honestly, our brain is correct in doing so. The brain’s ability to make complex predictions based on minimal information is a survival skill that we need to navigate in a huge, fast-paced world. We add up little cues from dress, personal hygiene, posture, and speech patterns to come up with a summary judgement in almost no time at all.
And those snap judgements are not always right, but if you can stack the deck in your favor by taking control of that first impression—that’s worth a little effort. Because you’re not the only guy who’s eyeing that promotion, or the hottie who just walked through the door.
So, it’s time to take action. Dress for the man you want to be, and you’re on your way to becoming that man.
Otero Menswear: Anything But Average