How Not to Overdo It in Style


fashionable guy

You’ve been hearing this for years: Wear color!, Stand out!, Be yourself!, Who cares what anyone else thinks?
So, you timidly decide you should follow these voices and you buy a red pair of chinos, a slim tie, maybe even a fedora. As you wear your new items of clothing, you say to yourself: Hey, this is cool!
But something isn’t right. Even though the outfit is perfect, you have that gut feeling that you’re wearing someone else’s clothes.
This feeling accentuates once you meet someone you know and he or she gives you that “smile”.
You know that smile, right? The smile you get when they see you overdressed and they’re thinking to themselves: What’s this all about?
You bravely say to yourself: It’s going to pass. Everyone will eventually get used to me dressing to stand out.
But that weird gut feeling is still there…

I have an important message for you:
You don’t have to *dress to stand out* to stand out!

If you don’t like bold colors, don’t wear them.
If you don’t like fancy accessories, stay away from them.
If wearing shorts with a sports jacket gives you the heebie-jeebies, don’t wear this combination. In fact, I give you permission to laugh out loud at anyone who does.

The reality is you can stand out without trying too hard. And, between you and me, standing out without appearing to try is the absolute best way to do it.
Why? Because people will assume you’re not trying to impress anyone. They’ll think you just happened to put on some clothes on you in the morning and that you put together your incredible attire by accident.

Here’s a motivational quote I like which says it all:
Stop trying to impress people by being someone you’re not because in the end, you’ll lose yourself…

Standing Out: Your Self Assessment

By now you’re probably asking: Ok, George, how can I do this? How can I be cool without coming off as a try hard?

Before I open up my bag of tricks, I want you to get the mindset you need to have to pull this off. You know what they say:
Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.

You need to assess three things:
1. Your body flaws
2. Your body weaknesses
3. The people around you

Ok, you need to know what your body flaws are, and be brutally honest about it. Contrary to what you might expect, I’m not going to tell you to hide all your flaws.
Part of looking cool without appearing to try is to show a flaw or two that your body may have. We all have flaws and, by revealing one or two, your look will be more natural AND you’ll show the world you’re not trying to hide anything.
Finding the flaws should not be too daunting of a task. Just think what would happen if a woman you desire would walk in and see you naked. What would be the first thing she would see? What would be the second? Make a list and leave nothing out. (Tip: If you’re embarrassed that someone might find that list, it’s ok to do it on the computer and delete it afterwards).
Examples of body weaknesses include (but are not limited to):

– height
– weight
– baldness
– shoulder slouch
– messed-up teeth
– thick and/or rebel hair
– narrow shoulders and/or waist
– skinny arms or legs
– black spots or pimples on your face
– back hair
– too much chest hair
– and the list goes on and on

Stand in front of a mirror for 15 minutes if you have to and leave nothing out or you might sabotage your chances with women because of some hidden flaw.

Ok, now let’s talk a little about your body strengths. These are just as important as your weaknesses so be very meticulous about finding them.
You may find that…
– you have wide shoulders (very attractive to the ladies)
– you’re (very) tall
– you have a muscular body
– you have blue or green eyes (I’ll show you how to make those stand out later on)
– and so on

Now that you have the two lists, let’s remember for a moment what you want to achieve here. You want to look cool without trying too hard.
The trick is to hide all your body flaws BUT ONE. Oops!

If you intentionally show a flaw that you may have, you’ll show your soft side.
It could be the fact that you have a dark spot on your face and you trim your facial hair in a way which makes it obvious you considered its presence.
Maybe you have skinny legs and you’re wearing shorts with striped socks instead of hiding them.
Here’s an example from my own personal experience: I have pretty thick eyebrows and I found that a white and navy rugby shirt works wonders on me. The thick horizontal stripes form a pattern into which my eyebrows take part. Not that obvious but you won’t know what works for you until you try.
Whatever you do, make sure you don’t take this too far. One flaw, that’s it. The rest of your outfit should be as cool as possible without making you feel uncomfortable.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Showing your best traits is taken for granted by most guys. It’s EASY to wear a pair of bright red chinos but it’s not so easy to wear a color that complements your skin tone.
Standing out is great but it’s even more powerful to choose the clothes that look like they were designed specifically for you.

So how can you show your best traits without looking like you did it on purpose?
It all depends on your body’s best features. If you have wide shoulders, make sure the lower part of your shirts and t-shirts is follows your body, so that your shoulders are fully visible from your slim waist.

If you have to, take your shirts and t-shirts to your tailor for adjustments.
Here’s another tip if you have wide shoulders: to make them stand out: wear a t-shirt with horizontal stripes. This will make them look even wider.
(Stay away from muscle t-shirts, however, as they are cheesy and out of style.)

OK, let’s take another trait. Let’s say you have blue (or green) eyes. In this case, the secret is to match the color of your eyes to a color from your outfit. Maybe it’s your scarf, maybe it’s your shirt. The trick is to repeat the green or the blue.

Alright, you learned how to make the best of your body traits and hide your flaws. But what else can you do? You still want to convey that you’re an individual who has his own sense of style, right?
Let me give you a few golden nuggets on how to look cool and relaxed in your attire. Very few men use them so I’m convinced that this will give you a definite edge in front of the ladies.

Try without appearing to try: unbutton those buttons!

buttons

The first thing you should think about is… buttons! Too many guys button all their buttons, which makes them look rather… stiff.

If you’re wearing a (dress) shirt, unbutton the first button. If things get a little hot, unbutton the second one. Just make sure your chest hair won’t pop up. If that’s the case, I strongly suggest you trim it.

If you’re wearing a sports jacket, unbutton the bottom button. If it’s a three-button jacket or blazer, go ahead and keep only the middle button buttoned.
If it’s a 6-button cardigan, go ahead and unbutton the first, last and next to the last button.
These are not by any means strict rules but they will give you that relaxed look which triggers so much attraction in women.

Trying without appearing to try: work that scarf!

Scarves are great as long as you make it look like you just happen to throw them right before you left out the door.
If you just wrap them around your neck it will look very “negligent” BUT…

If you make sure you match one of the colors on your scarf to one of the colors on your outfit (could be the shirt, could be the jacket etc.)…
Take a look at some of the biggest celebrities out there and notice the way they wear their scarves:

scarves

Let your belt hang

I’ve been using this for a long time and it’s never failed me. Instead of wearing your belt like most guys do, let one of its ends loose. Not too loose, though – you don’t want it to hang too low and draw too much attention.

belts

Final word…

There are an enormous amount of things that can make you look cool without appearing to try. The secret to all of this is to know yourself (your body strengths, weaknesses) and try to make the best of it.

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7 Comments

  1. Amir
    July 15, 2011

    Ok george that post was cool…. Now tell me one thing. Whenever i wear casual shirts without tucking them there appear that i am actually hiding my body flaws. So i feel a lot confident but i used to wear tshirts which makes me feel comfortable. So a important question …. Comfort or hiding flaws??

  2. July 15, 2011

    Hi Amir,
    First off, are you talking about your belly when you speak about body flaws? That would make sense when you tuck in your shirt.

    I wouldn’t wear a casual shirt tucked and I wouldn’t wear a dress shirt untucked. This is just how they’re made.

    T-shirt are indeed more comfortable but style automatically comes with a loss of comfort when you switch to shirt. You get used to dress shirts once you wear them long enough.

    So to answer your question: aim for both (and maybe you can let me know exactly which body flaws you’re talking about).

    I’ll give you feedback to your Facebook pics as soon as I find some spare time – I didn’t forget. 🙂

  3. Amir
    July 16, 2011

    Thanks George
    I am not a musculay guy 😀 …. And that too with short torso. So i untuck the items like tees and shirts. But recently i realized that belt just add a flair of style. So to show my belt and at the same time hide my short torso i keep the jeans at very low waist area. But still i am able to show only a part of belt and not full belt. This is done due to two reasons: one its for fashion statement by showing a little piece of belt and second its due to the fact that if i show my full belt area than it grabs the attention of other person to my torso. So somehow i think its better if i dont show any belt. What say?

  4. Amir
    July 16, 2011

    On the other hand a casual shirt with one button open is like heaven for me. It takes the attention of other person away from any of my non muscular body and direct it towards my open button and face .. But at the same time if i close that top button it dont look very good on me.

  5. July 25, 2011

    It so happen that I am playing the Thor movie soundtrack while browsing your blog and the guy above looks like Thor in the movie..

  6. August 3, 2011

    Great article George, love the self assessment aspect you described. For me the key is to be CONGRUENT with whatever look you are rockin
    If what you are wearing does not suit your demeanour, body language, outlook, swagger etc then you just look ‘off’ or like you are trying to impress – which we all know is the antithesis of ‘cool’

    Look forward to reading more dood!

  7. Ken
    July 1, 2013

    Great post George!Can you make a topic about body language and hygiene.Because i see alot man with bad posture or smell like shit.A man
    can dress stylish but if the posture or hygiene isn’t right,BIG TURN OF!
    Thanks George!

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