Monday, July 5, 2010

The Charming Gentleman (Pt 3/6): Look Great

Lets be superficial for a moment.

As human beings, we are constantly noticing attractive people. We do this if we’re single or married just by observing the (hot) world around us. So lets admit that

Looks matter.

But, and this is a great sigh of relief, it is not hard or expensive to look great for the Charming Gentleman. There are two elements to consider, your physical body and the clothes you put on top of it.

Your body

We all have insecurities about our body, like that one part of you that is too big or too small, too fat or too skinny. You have to develop a focus, such as losing weight or gaining muscle and then incorporating the workout, diet and sleeping habits to make it happen. Men’s Health has a plethora of information on the topic in the form of easy to digest articles and workout plans.

Your look

Here’s where it gets fun. One of the easiest things to look better is to PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS.

I’ve always been lean, and in middle school I walked around with giant, over-sized t-shirts and pants when “baggy” was the cool way to dress. It wasn’t until I studied abroad in Italy that I discovered that wearing slimmer clothing that flattered my body was more attractive. I even enlisted female friends with good taste to help me shop. Here’s some quality insights from Daniela, an LA fashionista with Italian blood. (After all, we dress for the ladies, so we should listen to what looks good to them)

Men in L.A. always dress like they are going to the beach and they just don't care. I personally hate the look of flip flops on men year-round. Especially with jeans. It's like Uggs and a miniskirt on a girl. I always wish men put more effort into looking good, so I’m going to break it down into the most simple terms.

1. CLEAN AND FRESH: If you stick by this, you will be better off than most. Your clothes, body and hair have to be clean and fresh. If the shirt has holes or is worn down just get rid of it! A good haircut also goes a long way. Some facial hair like a 5 o’clock shadow is cute too. Any kind of mustache, beard or goatee (the horror) is not. Your face is unique enough on its own.

2. FITTED: Clothes must be fitted to your body. I seriously do not care that your ass is big, do not buy jeans that can fit a small child in the pant leg when you are wearing them.

3. SMELL: I know this has nothing to do with fashion but a good, SUBTLE cologne goes a long way. Have a girlfriend or a lady at the store recommend one to you. It goes a long way even if you are in sweats.

4. SPEND WISELY: The trick is to keep the basic items classic and simple and then to mix them up with a unique item. Your basics should be a pair of nice slacks, 1-2 button down shirts, 1-2 pair of jeans (fitted, not tight), a handful of t-shirts or polos and a nice casual button down shirt for when you want to wear jeans somewhere nice but you want to look too cool to dress up.*

*You have to wear nice shoes to pull this off, just trust me.

Now it’s important that these things remain simple and that you don’t spend too much money on them because if you wear them a lot, you have to be able to replace them. And you will wear them a lot. That’s a good thing. The fun comes in with the unique item that mix it all up. That’s where you splurge and distinguish yourself.

The best items to do this with are glasses, sunglasses, scarves, watches, sweaters and shoes! Find something that you love that has a little color or an interesting design.

And some good places to shop: Zara’s, H&Ms, Nordstroms Rak, Levis

For further research on what’s hip and cool, check out an issue of the magazine GQ

Remember that looking great is only part of the whole package, but an important part nonetheless that can communicate … (blah blah blah, segue into amusing anecdote) …

A year ago I found myself at Lola’s, a martini bar near Santa Monica and Fairfax. It’s a low-lit, classy joint with a great Thursday night happy hour with quality $5 martinis.

My friend Shana had invited me to join her group of charming foreigners, including a gorgeous Swedish girl with that perfect tan all Swedish women seem born with. And when she smiled, the room noticed. Her and I had a good time chatted throughout the evening. Finally, as we were all on our way out I discovered that (Surprise!) she had a boyfriend.

(Aside: Wouldn’t it be great if girls would slyly mention their relationship status within 10-20 minutes of conversation…just to be polite? As a result, men have to be clever in finding out these key details. Like this:

“When you get the chance, check out (insert interesting activity, like hiking). You and your boyfriend would have a great time.”

In which case a girl would chuckle and say, “Yes, we will” or casually mention she doesn’t have a boyfriend. Sure, she’ll know the sub-communication going on, but it’s more playful than bluntly asking if she’s single.)

The most amusing part of that night was that I had decided to wear a tie, loosely hanging on a white collared shirt in that I-just-gotta-relax-after-work style. However in my line of work, I NEVER wear a tie. In fact, ties are dangerous to wear when you work with elementary kids and regularly interact with glue, markers and lots of Gak.

Shana at one pointed commented, “You look different, but good.”

“Is it the tie?” I said.

“Maybe”

“What goes through your mind when you see a guy with a tie?”

“He seems… I don’t know.”

“Come on, the first thing that pops in your mind!”

“That he’s...”

“Yes?”

“Employed.”

And there you have it! Wearing a tie not only makes you look sharp, but it communicates that you have money in your wallet and a job, which in these times, is attractive in and of itself.

I want to end with a great link on male fashion by J.T. “The Asian Playboy,” a pickup artist who teaches guys how to be more genuine and social, not rush women to bed.

I know there’s been a lot of information in this post, but to sum it up: workout, buy fitted clothing and if all else fails, wear a tie.

3 comments:

gplewis said...

Great lessons here. My favorite part, however, might just be "blah blah blah, segue into amusing anecdote." ;)

Dustinek said...

Hahaha, yes if they could mention the bf in the first ten minutes, that would definitely be nice!

Eric Horwitz said...

For sure Dustinek, it should be something that every daughter is taught at a young age.

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