Contrast Style: Blue-Collar Edition

One of the best ways to use your style to get some positive attention – that being the attraction of women and the respect of other men – is to have a little contrast. When most people think of a profession there is an associated image that automatically pops into their mind. Doctors wear white coats, bankers wear pin-striped suits, and auto-mechanics wear greasy coveralls. On top of the clothing, there is a grooming and overall appearance association. Most doctors and lawyers are clean-shaven with short, trim haircuts. Most auto mechanics are seen as relatively greasy and sloppy.

A good way to stand out is by defying those stereotypes in certain ways while still holding onto them in others. For you blue-collar guys who get dirty all day, this means taking advantage of some of the clean-cut aspects from the white-collar world.

Whether you work construction, framing, an oil rig, or under the hood of a car, you’re going to get grimy. It would be a waste of your time to be overly concerned about the cleanliness of your work uniform as it’s made to get dirty. It’s part of the job. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a little contrast to go against that griminess.

Buy clothing that fits. I’ll beat this dead horse until there isn’t a corpse left – the most important aspect of dressing well is finding clothes that fit. If that means having your coveralls tailored so they flatter you, then that’s what you need to do. This will make you look healthier, more professional, and therefore, more respectable. It may mean an approach from a female customer or it may mean that you’re getting more positive attention from your boss. Either way, it’s worth the investment.

The next thing you can do is take care of your grooming. This is where you’ll get some good contrast. Most people associate a certain roughness with blue-collar laborers and you can contrast this by having a clean haircut and keeping clean-shaven. If you look at the picture above, this guy looks good all around and it’s mostly due to his grooming. I’m not advocating you become a pretty boy who’s afraid to get a little grease under his nails, but I am saying the contrast of a traditional haircut and a clean face will have the same positive effects as well-fitting clothes. A man who respects his appearance commands the respect of others.

You’ll probably start to get grief from your coworkers about your change in looks. It’s because it makes them uncomfortable. Those who advocate the lowest common denominator will always try to pull down men who want to exceed it. If they start to rib you, go with the tried-and-true Agree and Amplify technique. It works as well on other men as it does on women. Internalize their discomfort as a sign that you’re moving in the right direction.

PS. Did you know I do private style consultations? I can help you dress better according to your budget and your needs.