I’ve never paid much attention to my style.
In high school and college I was more or less a ‘scrub’ who wore sweatpants and sweatshirts to school everyday. I just wanted to be comfortable… all the time. Ok, I also had of a pair of jeans and several button-downs for going out at night.
Since graduating I’ve paid slightly more attention to my style. Now, I also make sure my clothes fit me well. Even so, if you had asked me about my views on men’s fashion, even as recently as a few months ago, I might have laughed in your face. I believed paying too much attention to your wardrobe was a waste of time and money… not to mention a little effeminate.
However, as I’ve connected with more and more men who are at the top of their game – in terms of health, money, relationships, and life – my view of fashion has slowly changed. I recently began paying a lot more attention to how I dress and present myself. And I’ve been transforming my wardrobe in the process.
Below I explain the three main reasons I decided to deliberately craft my own unique style and why I think you should too.
#1: Dressing Sharply Builds Confidence
Let me get one thing straight: there are plenty of insecure guys who pay a lot of attention to their style. Just because a man dresses well, that doesn’t make him confident.
However, consider this: doing anything that makes you stand out takes a certain degree of courage. It doesn’t matter if it’s public speaking, approaching a cute girl, quitting your job, or dressing sharply. All of these things make you stand out. And when we stand out, we become the focus of other people’s attention, and we tend to feel insecure about ourselves.
However, getting comfortable doing things that make you stand out is the very cure for the fear of being the center of attention. Therefore, dressing sharply will help you build confidence. It will slowly desensitize you to the feelings of insecurity that arise when you put yourself in a situation where other people are likely to notice you and concentrate on you.
This does NOT make the act of dressing sharply a magic, confidence-building pill. No, not even close. As I said in the intro to this section, there are plenty of otherwise insecure guys who are perfectly comfortable dressing well and expressing their sense of style. But it is still an important piece in the larger confidence-building puzzle, and therefore you should NOT neglect it.
#2: Assembling a Wardrobe Boosts Creativity
Let’s get something else straight: crafting your own unique style does NOT mean dressing like James Bond… or an H&M model.
Crafting your style means paying attention, noticing when you like some aspect of another man’s outfit, and then incorporating it into your own look. This is NOT an overnight process. Sure, there are some quick fixes, but it will take time and patience, the same as improving any other area of your life.
This is one area where I definitely failed quite miserably. For the last 2 years my style has basically consisted of wearing outrageous amounts of Lululemon. Yes, that’s the women’s yoga clothing company. But don’t hate! Their menswear is on point, too. It fits especially well if you have a muscular, athletic body and it’s comfort is unparalleled. Also, as a writer and personal trainer, I spend 90% of my time at home, at a cafe, or at the gym. So I can keep it very casual (READ: sweats all day).
The result was me being the guy who’s always wearing functional, athletic clothing. And to be fair: that’s an honest reflection of my interests and how I spend most of my time. BUT now that my style is something that I’m paying deliberate attention to, I realize that this is not the one-dimensional image I want to project to the world.
Now that I’m looking at my style as an artistic expression of who I am, I’ve decided to make it more sophisticated. This does not mean ditching all of my functional, beloved Lululemon – no no no! Rather, it means incrementally and intentionally ‘upgrading’ it and making it slightly less casual, while still maintaining my ‘athletic edge’.
#3: It Helps You Bring Purpose into Your Life
You can approach nearly every situation in life from one of two angles: by simply going through the motions OR by being mindful and living with a focused intent. The latter is always the better choice.
When you are NOT mindful and NOT acting with purpose and intent, you tend to be caught up in neurotic thoughts, anxious, depressed, and extremely unproductive. On the other hand, when you are mindful, you tend to immerse yourself fully in what you’re doing, actually enjoy it, and do measurably better work. This is the goal of meditation, and why it’s such a crucial habit.
Creating an awesome wardrobe and getting dressed with purpose, each and every day, is no exception to this rule. You’ll infuse your entire day with an extremely large dose of mindfulness, focus, and purpose by simply taking the time to put together an outfit that you’re proud to be wearing. Make it part of your morning routine and it will set the tone for how you behave the rest of the day.
You know that feeling you get when you know your clothes are on point? There’s no absolutely reason you shouldn’t replicate that every single time you leave your home. You feel like a boss AND you can focus fully on everything else you’re doing, because you already know you’re looking sexy as hell.
And that’s a wrap! If you don’t already pay close attention to how you present yourself, I strongly urge you to join me and start doing so right now.
Note: I didn’t go into the details of exactly how to create a new wardrobe or sharp outfits, because I’m still only at the beginning of my own journey into this realm. However, you can expect future articles on the subject as I refine my approach to style. In the meantime I recommend browsing the Male Fashion Advice subreddit (check out the ‘Getting Started’ section on the right for some helpful resources).