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Clothes That Attract Women

5 May, 2017

One of the most common questions that I get is related to one of the most common search queries for men’s style, and that is – “Tanner, why don’t you talk more about dressing in ways that are attractive to women?”

Those of you who have been following me for a long time will know that is a glaring omission from what I cover and the truth is that it’s on purpose.

The short answer is because I think it’s an irrelevant question. And the long answer, well let’s dive into the long answer.

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube Video Clothes That Attract Women Part 1

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube Video Clothes That Attract Women Part 1

There’s a lot to this and I’m going to take my time with this, so let’s get started.

Also, you’ll probably not like some of what I share in here. That’s fine. Just don’t respond emotionally and instead, tell me what you disagree with and why.

Attraction & Comfort

Before we can dig deeper we need to first work from the understanding that – when it comes to relationships – there are two primary things men and women are trying to signal to each other.

The first is Attraction and the second is Comfort.

Attraction consists of things things like:

Charisma

Physical Attractiveness

Dominance

Power

Status

Comfort is things like:

Kindness

Generosity

Provision

Nurturance

Loyalty

Notice that those traits don’t conflict with each other.

There are men who have all Attraction and no Comfort. Typically they’re only out for number one and they also happen to be surrounded by a lot of beautiful women.

There are men who are all Comfort and no Attraction. Typically they’re weak-willed doormats who end up being taken advantage of by the rest of the world. They also very rarely end up with a woman at all, let alone an attractive one.

All attraction with no comfort is great for hedonists but it’s awful if you’re trying to establish a long-term relationship or marriage.

All comfort with no attraction is awful. The best-case scenario is a long-term relationship in which you’re more like roommates than a couple

Most nice guys go for all comfort and no attraction. Most bad-boys are all attraction and no comfort – think of the difference between losers and PUA’s.

Status

Status is the most important aspect of attraction and that can be on a broader scale – relationship to overall status in the world or in a tribe – or on a smaller scale – relationship to the woman you’re trying to attract.

Status is relative to women – they always want someone who’s higher status than they are

Status is tricky because it can be overall status or status within a particular subculture. In fact, the more isolated a particular subculture is, the less overall status within society at large matters.

The problem with signaling nonexistent status is that eventually you get found out. This is the main play of the PUA community, and it works for one-night stands, but you can’t keep up a charade like that long term.

Yes there are overall things that are relevant to general attraction – things like a good physique, deep voice, strong body language, and a commanding presence that all cross cultural and historical lines because they’re biological manifestations of genetic fitness.

This is why there are general standards of attractiveness – for both men and women.

Meeting some minimum standards of status for men is the same thing as meeting minimum standards of beauty for women – which is typically why the happiest couples are paired fairly closely, with the man being higher in status than the woman.

Those relationships that don’t work out often are because either the man is lower status than the woman (think of clingy, desperate guys who never get over a girl) or because the man is so much higher in status that both he and the woman know he attracts more beautiful women and could have relationships with them if he wanted to.

This often leads to discontent on the part of the man and jealousy/dread/unhappiness on the part of the woman.

Yes all of these things can be balanced out and mitigated by traits of comfort and moral codes, but from a purely attraction-based standpoint, that’s the reality most men deal with.

So, if we know that status is the primary Attraction standpoint for men, what does that have to do with clothing, and why don’t I talk about using clothes to attract women?

The first question is easier to answer. The reality is that clothing is always signaling status.

Clothing & Status

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube Video: Clothes That Attract Women Part 2

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube Video: Clothes That Attract Women Part 2

Think of the military – a tribe with a very hard hierarchy and how clothing is used to indicate rank and achievement. This is done through patches, medals, pins, and other articles of clothing.

Or consider a suit and how it’s an overall indicator of status in the Western world – especially when worn correctly. It signals that you don’t have to work with your hands, you have access to financial resources, and – if it’s a nice suit – that you have the time and mental capacity to develop a sense of taste and express that through your clothing.

Think of the cut of a motorcycle club. The men in the gang have to go through a lot to earn the right to wear that jacket and they do so with pride.

And even just being on top of a trend is a way in which we subconsciously signal status. Those who are higher up will create a trend, those in the middle will be early adopters, and those at the bottom of the totem pole will be the last to catch on – which means that trend is no longer a visual means of separation and those at the top will start all over again.

You want to accurately signal your own position within your relative social hierarchies and even dress in a way that’s aspirational, but you don’t want your clothing to lie about your status

This is why young men in suits often look so dopey. It signals to the world a lack of social fluency first because they’re trying to signal overall status when they haven’t earned it. They don’t have age, wisdom, experience, or finances on their side. So they’re telling a false story to the world in general.

Secondly, within their own subculture, there are very few tribes that embrace young men wearing suits. So, it shows an inability to understand clothing in the context of their own groups and cultures. If suits were common on high school or college campuses, then different variations of them would make sense and would be more popular.

But, because they’re not, because they’re ex-tribe from the different subcultures most young people find themselves in, they look silly, try-hard, and posing. They’re using an unearned, ex-tribe symbol of Attraction and making themselves stand out negatively.

It’s kind of like thinking the best way to pound in a nail is with a fishing rod. Sure both are tools, but they’re intended for VERY different jobs.

Which brings us around to the final point – who determines what constitutes high status?

Who Grants Status?

The simple answer is that it’s other men.

That’s politically incorrect and socially inconvenient. But, in the vast majority of tribes and cultures, men have evaluated the worth and value of other men.

Women confirm and reaffirm status once it’s been achieved. But the standards by which its gained are determined by men.

Ancient tribes granted status to those who could contribute to the overall benefit of the group – whether that was through leadership, courage, fighting ability, or mastery in a field. In fact, Donovan’s four tactical virtues – courage, strength, mastery, and honor are all yardsticks by which men measure ourselves and each other.

Those who measure up well and are respected by other men within the tribe, will have the status necessary to attract the more beautiful women – which reaffirms their high status and perpetuates the cycle.

Those who don’t measure up will be shunned by other men and, therefore, by the more attractive women in the group – which reaffirms their low status and perpetuates that cycle.

You may be thinking of exceptions to this and there are some – kind of.

Take for example the lone-wolf who doesn’t want or need the approval of any other men. From a tribal standpoint his status is so low he’s not even a part of the group. So then why do these men still attract beautiful women?

Because they have all the other traits of attractiveness. They’re confident, charismatic, physical specimens who are powerful and dominant

Whereas loners who don’t have those characteristics are at the very bottom of the social barrel. They don’t belong to a tribe, nor are they powerful enough that they can thrive on their own – they’re the outcasts that no one wants anything to do with.

Conclusion

From a style standpoint, it becomes fairly easy to see that dressing to attract women is often a false and limiting goal. By making finding and getting a date/girlfriend/wife your primary purpose, you’re subtly and subconsciously signaling low status. You’re granting tribal primacy to Attraction instead of Power – the main prerogative of women within the tribe.

For men, the ability to attract the right women comes with Power. For women, the ability to gain and maintain power and influence comes with Attractiveness.

Our modern world may be changing this paradigm, through things like feminism, the outsourcing of tribal protection to governments, and technology that minimizes the physical differences between the sexes – but it still exists both culturally and biologically and affects our lives today.

So if I tell you to dress in a way that prioritizes attractiveness – either so you appear more attractive or feel like a more attractive man – we’re missing the mark.

However, if I help you dress in a way that prioritizes power and/or status – either so you appear to have more or you feel like a more powerful man – then you get those benefits, along with being attractive to women

Why Your Style Never Improves

14 April, 2017

One of the biggest problems that exists in the space of men’s style – whether you’re brand new to the game and trying to find basic advice on YouTube, or you’re well steeped in the culture and can snob out with the best of them on Style Forum – is that the vast majority of men focus on a tactical approach.

By this I mean, all they seem to care about is rules and examples. There’s very little discussion about aesthetic goals, strategies, and objectives.

It’s a mindset that may be preventing you from really improving your style and, if you don’t change it, you may never get better.

Click HERE to watch the YouTube Video: Why Your Style Never Improves

Click HERE to watch the YouTube Video: Why Your Style Never Improves

Tactics vs Strategies

Understanding this approach to life will not only help you improve your style, it can make your career, hobbies, dating, family life, and personal progress all level up.

Let me give you an example.

My goal with Masculine Style is to run a great business. This consists of a few major objectives:

  • Love what I do and be pushed and stimulated by it
  • Create great, helpful, unique content and programs for you
  • Provide a wonderful living for my family

Each of these objectives has their own strategies that involve things like posting to YouTube and other social media, having courses, coaching, and membership pages to really help you guys improve your style, and monetize my experience and knowledge so I can better provide for you and my family.

If we dive down into the the YouTube strategy then we can focus on simple tactics like:

  • Post videos on Tuesday and Thursday
  • Improve videography to make content that’s more entertaining than just a talking head (unless it’s a video like today’s where that purpose isn’t served)
  • Purchase and use quality equipment like cameras, microphones, lights, and editing software
  • Continue to learn from other successful YouTubers and figure out how they’ve grown their channels

Now, if I were to want to improve Masculine Style and the only thing I ever paid attention to were articles and ideas on making better YouTube videos, I’d be missing the boat.

Maybe my videos are great but the reason my business isn’t growing like it should is because I’m not treating my newsletter list correctly, or because I should be focusing more on the book, or because not enough people like a philosophical approach to style and I should try something different.

But if the only way to make my business succeed on YouTube is to do listicles and top 5’s on style, then having a YouTube objective detracts from one of my larger goals of enjoying what I do for a living.

It’s only by seeing the full picture that I’m able to assess each goal, mission, strategy, and tactic and then determine if they’re working together harmoniously.

A Tactical Approach to Style

If you’re a 40-year-old dad who’s making headway in his company and wants to improve there, your goal is very different from a 20-year-old who’s only concern is an outfit that’s going to help him get laid this weekend.

Because those goals are different, the tactics will likely also be different. So if all you focus on is the five outfits you should be wearing this spring – as told by other content creators or threads on different forums, you may end up compromising your mission instead of seeing it succeed.

It’s why I don’t focus on or answer questions like, “What are the best places to buy clothes?” or “Where do I find the best deal on quality shirts?” Where do you live? What do you do for a work? What’s your Archetype, your Tribe? What story are you trying to tell? What’s your budget? How big of a wardrobe do you want?

The answers to all of those questions will have a HUGE impact on my ability to tell you where to buy clothes or where to find a great deal on quality.

Everything is dependent on context. And if you don’t think about your tactics within the context of mission, objectives, strategies, and goals, then you may very well be metaphorically sending your squad directly into an ambush.

Tactics & Dependence

The other problem with focusing on a tactical approach is that it leaves you unable to adapt. If all you know is how to execute on orders given from your favorite influencer, you’ll be in big trouble as soon as the goals or terrain change.

If you don’t learn how to think strategically, you’ll always be dependent on said influencer to give you style advice.

One of the more common questions I get is why do my coaching, courses, and other paid methods on the site cost so much more than what other bloggers charge. The answer is that my programs are designed to render myself obsolete. By working with me one-on-one or within a group setting, you become aesthetically independent and won’t have to rely on me or other influencers anymore.

Whether you take the time to do it yourself or learn it from me, taking a strategic approach to your style, rather than a tactical one, is the ultimate way to not only dress intentionally and well regardless of the situation, but it also mentally frees you up to focus on more important aspects of your life.

Being thrown a curveball like what to wear when your wife is giving birth, you’re testifying in court, or receiving an award no longer require Google searches because you understand the goals and objectives and know which strategies and tactics to implement in order to accomplish them.

Moving Beyond Style Archetypes

4 April, 2017

This post is a response to one of the most common questions I get.

And it’s a great question because it shows that you guys take the concepts I bring up here and on the YouTube channel and take them even deeper.

It’s all related to the Archetypes – which if you haven’t taken the quiz, go do that and get an idea of where we’re coming from with this whole post.

Click HERE to watch the YouTube Video: Moving Beyond Style Archetypes

Click HERE to watch the YouTube Video: Moving Beyond Style Archetypes

The Limitations

The Three Archetypes were never intended to be the only thing you needed in order to figure how you should be dressing. They’re too broad, too all encompassing to help you narrow down what your own personal style should be.

This is especially the case when you factor in that most men are a mixture of at least two, if not all three Archetypes. It’s incredibly rare that someone is entirely Rugged, Refined, or Rakish.

For example, I fall primarily into the Refined category with a strong dose of Rakish and a tiny bit of Rugged. So for me to only dress according to the Refined Archetype is actually missing some of the story I want to (and should) be telling.

A bunch of you have taken that quiz multiple times and gotten different results with only a minor tweak or two to your answers. Or you’ve been surprised by the result you got because you went into it expecting something completely different. And, believe it or not, that’s a great thing. It shows that you’re well-rounded and not just all Rugged, all Refined, or all Rakish.

Think of the Archetype is a big, encompassing umbrella. It catches a lot of the elements of dressing well, but there are smaller segmentations within it.

Tribe

Tribe is the next step down. Let me show you what I mean.

Those four photos all fit within the Rugged Archetype incredibly well. But, the men who are dressed that way would all argue that they’re dressed differently and that they belong to different tribes.

There are a ton of differences between a survivalist and a cowboy or a granola and someone in the military. Yes they all interact with the world physically – but thats the last common denominator.

To argue that there’s some sort of uniform or universal approach to style for all men who fall into that Rugged Archetype is limiting and doesn’t factor in all the nuances that ultimately end up being communicated through our clothing.

Combining Archetypes

So let’s take this a step further. Imagine you fall between the Rugged and Refined Archetypes. Does that mean that the right approach for you is to where something along the lines of old British tweed hunting suits?

Because you’re more Refined than Rugged and your Tribe is one that falls within that sphere of classic menswear. Yes you enjoy doing things outdoors but you should be doing them with a nod to the way classic, distinguished, elite gentlemen used to do them?

Does it mean that you should be more of like a Bay Area/Huckberry Rugged?

That you should be wearing rugged tech gear that’s made very effectively, has good, clean lines, and in a modern, urban environment would look more Refined and dignified?

Or maybe you do something that’s more like Boyd Crowder from Justified.

He was certainly Rugged – having a background in coal mining and running a criminal gang based out of trailers and hollers in rural Kentucky.

Crowder used Rugged elements in his wardrobe to keep in touch with the men he was leading but introduced Refined articles to help set him apart as a leader and give him the opportunity to rub shoulders with others who weren’t on the bottom rungs of the social ladder.

More Than Archetype

These examples are why you can’t just think in terms of Archetype. You can’t just say I’m Rugged or I’m Rakish and believe that’s as deep as you need to go. There are so many different expressions of each of those Archetypes that you can’t believe simply knowing that is enough.

That is why Tribe matters.

If you find yourself at this plateau of knowing your Archetype but feeling like that’s not telling your story well enough – move down into tribe. Think about what the people around you wear and why. Think about how you can implement elements of each of your tribes into a look that works for you. Dive deeper than just the rules and simple Archetypes.

Sound off in the comments below and let me know if you’ve used this concept already. Are you a combination of Archetypes and struggling to find ways to combine them? Are there specific styles that work within the tribes that you belong to and do you reject or accept them? Let me know!

Fit Check: Anson Belts

29 March, 2017

This post is sponsored by Anson Belts. To learn more visit their website.

Did the belt really need to be re-invented? I mean, it’s one of the simplest tools in a man’s wardrobe and its current iteration has worked great for a long time.

I know when I first heard about brands who were trying to change the way men thought of belts the first thing that came to my mind was “novelty.” I thought it was something that would be popular for a couple of years and then move back out.

But I’ve changed my tune a little bit.

I’ve known the guys from Anson for the last couple of years as they’ve been regular attendees of StyleCon. And, while we’ve talked about collaborating before, I wasn’t super anxious to pull the trigger. One because of the whole “novelty” approach and two, because I’ve spent the last 14 years wearing suits, get mine custom-made, and favor braces and side adjusters over belts.

However, with my recent move to having Masculine Style be my full-time gig, I’ve found myself in suits a whole lot less often and the need to add some good belts to my rotation arose.

So I asked the guys at Anson to send me over a couple and agreed to do a post if I liked how they worked.

Size Changes

Now the main thing that separates a belt like Anson’s from the typical notch-and-hook belt you’re used to wearing is the range of sizing. Rather than have a mere five options for how the belt can fit, these use micro notches that are spaced in very small increments.

Anson Belt System

Meaning, you put on five pounds over a couple of weeks and you don’t have to be stuck in the no-mans’-land between two holes on your belt.

That’s been a big selling point for a lot of guys, but wasn’t one that really resonated with me. My weight fluctuation apparently is a lot more dramatic and I’ll jump easily up or down one whole notch in a matter of weeks.

But, I have found that the fit of my pants changes quite a bit throughout the day.

Between exercise, eating, and all the other things my body does on a given day, what can start off as the right notch in my belt in the morning, is more often than not, way too big by the time I get to mid afternoon.

Waist & Hips

Not only do my fit needs change incrementally throughout the day, but I run into a problem with belts that a lot of men don’t experience.

You see, I like to wear my stuff with a rise that’s a little higher – much closer to my natural waist than my hips. The only problem with this is that, like most men, my hips are wider than my waist and my pants have the tendency to drop lower than where I want them simply because that’s where they meet the most resistance and hang.

Waist & Hips

In the past I’ve been frustrated with constantly having to hike up my pants because a belt or side adjusters wouldn’t keep them at my waist. Braces are a great option, but I’m only wearing those with suiting and more formal stuff – so I needed another solution with my jeans and casual wear.

This is another winning point for Anson. By being able to accommodate both the change in my waist throughout the day, and the fact that there needs to be precision in the fit in order to avoid my pants dropping too low, they’ve solved a major problem for me.

All I need to do is cinch up the belt one or two more notches and I’m good to go – still comfortable and still wearing my pants where I want them.

Variety

Another big advantage of these belts is their variety. Yes you can pick them up as one-off’s but the real aesthetic strength comes in being able to vary what you have.

Anson has a package deal in which you can pick up two buckles and three straps or three buckles and two straps for $99 – basically getting you six different belts.

I ended up going with one brown leather strap, and two canvas options – one in khaki and the other in green.

Then I chose a brushed gold buckle and another one in gun-metal grey.

Anson Belt Buckles

These six options mean I can have a belt that works with my look whether I’m out camping, running errands, meeting with a client, or presenting on stage. The variety and versatility here are huge and take a great product and make it even better.

Conclusion

I fully expected to be underwhelmed by this product but it’s not a novelty. It’s a unique approach that can solve problems men didn’t even know they were experiencing. For me, that’s one of the big differences between novelty and true innovation.

If you find yourself on the fence but know that your current rotation of belts isn’t doing as well for you as it could, give Anson a try. You’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Timeless Style is Impossible

23 March, 2017

One of the most common concepts in the world of menswear is the pursuit of timeless style.

And it’s all one, big false god.

The whole concept is impossible and is based on a goal that we shouldn’t even be pursuing.

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube Video: Timeless Style is Impossible

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube Video: Timeless Style is Impossible

Set & Forget

The goal most of us are after is being able to establish our style and then leave it alone to focus on more important things.

It’s a great goal and is based on a very real understanding that style is not anywhere near the top of a man’s priorities – nor should it be.

But, it’s a terrible goal too, because it’s based on the belief that somehow your style doesn’t require any maintenance or effort – that once you have it well-established, you can completely remove any focus on it.

And there’s four main reasons why this approach doesn’t work.

Clothing is Destructible

Reason number one is easy – your clothing is going to wear out. It’s a fact of life and one that can’t be avoided – even if you’re buying the most durable, high-quality stuff.

At some point, you’re going to blow out a crotch, get an irremovable stain, burn through an elbow, or experience some other unrepairable problem and will need to replace your clothing.

So don’t think that your most recent trip to the store is going to be your last. At some point, that wonderful new item you just picked up is going to need to be replaced.

Your Body Changes

When you read that you probably think about bigger guys trying to shed a few pounds or skinny guys attempting to bulk up a bit. Yes, both of those are true and they are real-world scenarios for a lot of men.

In fact, one of the most common questions I get from guys is whether or not they should be investing in their wardrobe when they’re in the middle of a physical transformation (the answer is yes, just buy cheaper stuff to get you through until you land where you want to be).

But even if you love the shape you’re in, your body is going to change. It’s called aging and, even if you do it incredibly well, you won’t look the same at 45 as you do at 25, and 65 is going to be a whole different ball game.

Body changes aren’t bad, unless you give up and allow them to happen in a negative way. But, they’re  a part of life and will affect the way your clothing fits.

Styles Change

Yes the suit has been around for centuries and has seen very minor changes in a hundred years. Yes most of our casual wear is still derived from WWII clothing and has changed little since then but styles change – on both a micro and a macro scale.

On a micro scale you can see why different trends and style emerge within each decade. The attitudes and priorities of Western society go through shifts and part of those changes are what we wear. Sure a powder blue suit from the 1970’s is more similar to what we wear today than something worn by George Washington, but it’s still going to look incredibly out-of-place if you show up wearing one.

Being aware of those small changes and learning how to navigate them properly – balancing fitting in with standing out and other variables are all part of being socially fluent and are status displays in any culture.

But take it out even further. Showing up in a perfectly cut toga, one that would have been the pinnacle of refinement and taste at the height of the Roman empire isn’t going to look good in a boardroom or a shared workspace. No one is going to see that as an appropriate throwback to a different time and something that should be considered as a viable choice when improving your wardrobe. You’re just going to look like an idiot.

You Should Change

The last reason timeless style is a Siren is also the most important. Once you understand that the way you look is a major component of your branding and the story of your life, you won’t want your style to remain stagnant.

You should be living your life in a way that you’re happy with and proud of who you are today. And, you should also be living your life in a way that you’ll be a different person in five years. You shouldn’t be able to look back five years from now and see the same person. You should have grown, improved, and changed over that time.

You story should be different. And, if it’s different, you’re doing yourself a disservice if your style hasn’t evolved with you.

There should be a monstrous difference between how you dress when you’re 25 and when you’re 65. You’ve accomplished things, made sacrifices, and hopefully come out on the other side of many of your ambitions from when you were younger. The story you tell the world should reflect all of those changes!

As I look over the last six years that I’ve written Masculine Style, I’ve seen huge changes in my life. I’ve been married, had kids, started and left jobs, lived in four different places, and gone through a whole lot more. As I’ve grown throughout those experiences, my style has changed – just like it should.

Aesthetic Entropy

Your style is like your physique – it will require less effort to maintain it than to get it established, but it’s still going to require some effort.

It doesn’t matter how great your body feels and looks today, if you stop sleeping well, get overly stressed out, avoid the gym, and fill your face with junk food, you’re going to lose all of your hard work. Those may be extreme examples and can read like an active act of sabotage against your body, but they’re all just a natural progression that happens without the effort and discipline to maintain your physique.

The same applies to your style. If you’re not replacing your worn clothing with new items, updating your fit as your body changes, properly responding to cultural changes, and telling a different story as your life changes, you’ll stop having great style.

In the past, I’ve called this Aesthetic Inertia, and I believe that term still applies in a lot of scenarios. But there’s a distinction here. This is Aesthetic Entropy.

Entropy is a law of science. It is the real-life scenario wherein order moves to chaos. It’s why buildings collapse, bodies decompose, and nothing in this life is permanent. The only thing that prevents entropy is a rational actor making disciplined moves to maintain order.

It’s visible in how you work, how you parent, and even how you make your bed in the morning.

Abandon the set-it-and-forget-it attitude and embrace that your style is something you’ll always be changing and updating. It will never be a neutral, so you might as well have your appearance be a positive.