Can dressing more intentionally really improve your life?
Do clothes make the man?
Does dressing better mean you have to wear suits all the time?
I get questions like this all the time and the answer is that clothing is just like any other tool.
Did the lightsaber make Luke a Jedi? Was Arthur king because of Excalibur?
The Hero’s Journey
I want you to engage in a little thought experiment with me. Take a moment and think of your favorite hero from your most favorite story.
Now think about why that story is so compelling. Why do we as men, get really interested in hearing stories about men who start off as normal, regular guys and are faced with a problem.
What makes them heroes is that they overcome the problem. They defeat the enemy, conquer the foe, or take whatever the problem is and vanquish it.
That is why we are so addicted to these stories. Because we see these men, whom we think might be like us, and we see them do hard, difficult, and worthwhile things.
One of the things that every hero receives as part of his heroic journey is a tool or set of tools to help him along his way.
Think about Harry Potter and his wand, Luke Skywalker and his lightsaber, or King Arthur and Excalibur.
Part of the experience is receiving the tools which help them overcome the problem and become the heroes they were destined to be.
What’s Your Heroic Journey?
Think about what this is in your own life.
If you’re like me, you don’t have any huge, world-destroying enemies. Most men don’t. Most men throughout history haven’t.
But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have enemies, that we don’t have problems, that we don’t have things we need to conquer in our lives.
If you’re like most men – especially most men in the 21st Century, where our lives are relatively easy – then one of the biggest problems you need to conquer is either
Does that ring a bell for you at all? Do you feel like the challenge of your life is not becoming mediocre or average?
Do you want to be better today than you were a year ago? Do you want to be miles ahead of where you are in another five years?
I know I certainly do and I think most men feel the same way.
We have an innate desire to take the Heroic Journey and apply it to our own lives – even if our problems and enemies are much more subtle than Voldemort or Darth Vader.
Just like the heroes of stories, I want you to think about some of the tools you can have that will help you to conquer mediocrity.
Whatever the antithesis of average looks like for you – be it a big, fulfilling career, a family who loves and adores you, the opportunity to travel across the globe and have epic adventures, or any other definition of a meaningful and fulfilling life – think about that.
Whatever overcoming mediocrity looks like for you, one of the tools you can have in your kit, is your wardrobe.
Dressing well isn’t just a hobby. It’s not simply for guys who think suits are really cool or those who have the money (and inclination) to build up a massive and detailed wardrobe.
In fact, that’s why I tell people to dress intentionally as opposed to dress well. The phrases “dress well” or “dress up” have a particular connotation of wearing more formal clothing. They make us think that the only two options are either to dress casually and sloppily or to dress up and be uncomfortable.
It’s a totally faulty line of reasoning and it makes millions and millions of men miss out on an easy opportunity to improve their lives.
And yes, dressing more intentionally can absolutely improve your overall life.
It can help you land that job, command a room, and connect with the woman of your dreams.
As I’ve helped thousands of men dress better over the last five years, I’ve learned that most of us want the same thing – to look and feel great without standing out too much.
Sure there are plenty of guys who really want to draw attention with their clothes (and I’m happy to help if that’s your goal) but most of us don’t want to dress flamboyantly or ostentatiously. In fact, we don’t want people really thinking about our style or clothes at all.
We just want to look good, respectable, and confident and wear clothes that don’t stand out – either negatively or positively.
One of the reasons I know that dressing up isn’t the same as dressing intentionally is because of how I personally learned the impact clothes can have. Do you remember how tough it is to be an awkward teenager? And not like the “I have the world all figured out because I’m a senior in high-school teenager” I mean seventh and eighth grade – when everyone looks weird, no one knows if they’re more of an adult or a child, and your identity is starting to become more dependent on your friends than your family.
Well I spent those years attending a school that had a uniform. The problem was that my friends at home and I were more interested in BMX bikes and punk music than Latin or reciting poetry. And when my friends would see me in my grey slacks, white shirt, and blazer, I quickly became an easy target for teasing and was soon the runt of the pack.
The clothes weren’t the only factor – my lack of confidence, fear of rejection, and small stature certainly contributed but I wasn’t really singled out until I was seen in slacks and a jacket.
As good as that experience was for me and as much as I wouldn’t trade it in for anything else, it was certainly difficult at the time.
I learned at an early age that dressing up can often have as many negatives as dressing down.
Which is why I now teach men to dress intentionally – whether that’s dressing up or dressing down.
I’ve been through almost every extreme – from wearing clothes that made me feel incredibly sloppy and self-conscious, to being known as the “style guy” (and dealing with how uncomfortable that can make most people feel), to finding the exact correct balance and knowing I can look great without having to expend a ton of energy (or money) or making other people feel overwhelmed or underdressed.
There are ways to make even something as simple as a T-shirt and jeans look like something a movie start or action hero would where.
By focusing on things like fit, color and pattern, knowing a few key items that will look good on anyone and aren’t a quick trend, and learning how to express the right amount of individuality through clothing I’ve been able to help thousands of men dress intentionally and ensure their appearance is always an asset – never a liability.
I know you’re probably thinking that I’m going to draw some hard and fast lines in the sand. I don’t blame you. Those seem to exist in the world of clothing and appearance more than anywhere else.
But don’t worry. I’m not going to tell you that the only way to dress intentionally is to go buy three suits and never wear anything else, or that you have to throw away every single piece of clothing you own and pay thousands of dollars on a new wardrobe tomorrow.
I’m not going to make suggestions that – when you put them on – you walk out of the dressing room both feeling and looking like a complete fake and fraud.
What I am going to do, is give you some specific examples of how easy it is to dress better and start seeing improvements in your life immediately.
I’m going to show you how to understand what works with your body, give you suggestions for items that look great on any man anywhere in the world, and help you figure out how to move your appearance from simple and stylish to deadly effective.
Here’s what I need from you – whether you’re just graduating from cargo shorts and flip-flops or you already feel like you have this style stuff pretty well figured out.
Leave a comment below and tell me how you imagine your life can improve by dressing more intentionally. What advantages will it give you that you’re currently missing out on? What are your hangups and why are you not already dressing better?
I can’t wait to show you guys the next post and give you some real-life examples of simple outfits that can work well for anyone.