So many guys (including my former self) are worried about “what to say,” yet here's what they don’t realize: people often make a decision about each other before a single word has been spoken. Humans of New York captured this point succinctly.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: step #1 is always, always, ALWAYS to get your fashion and grooming in order. To look like a man that women want to date (and people want to be friends with).
Don’t believe me? Do you instead believe all the bullshit on how “people should love you for who you are on the inside”?
No worries. I will debunk that with one simple question:
How would you present yourself for a job interview?
Exactly. You would shower, shave, make sure you smell good, and probably wear a suit (or something neat/tidy for less formal industries like tech).
You would NOT just roll out of bed, show up in sweatpants, and hope they see you “for who you are on the inside.”
If you did, maybe you would make it past some of the first interviewers, but expert interviewers make their hiring decision within minutes of meeting you (here's scientific PROOF).
If you know this to be true for a job interview, why would you not put in the same effort for making friends and finding women to date? Is meeting people not somewhat of a job interview itself?
It is a job interview, and it's never ending. Because a job interview for friendship and dating can happen any time. From one perspective, that’s great, because it means there is lots of opportunity to make new friends and find dates as you meet new people, but it also means that you should always be prepared. And preparation isn’t always the most comfortable route.
I recently helped a client find some new (tighter) jeans for a conference he attended. The next time I saw him, he was wearing his old jeans, because he “wasn’t doing anything special.” I asked him "what if the girl of your dreams crosses your path as you stop for milk on the way home?” A lightbulb went off in his head, and I’m pleased that he’s now wearing his new jeans everywhere.
So don’t keep these tips tucked away and only use them when you go to an event. Make them a daily habit. Become the person who always dresses sharp and is always ready to make a great first impression. If you half-ass this part, you won’t have a shot when that special girl crosses your path – either you will look like a mess, or even if she catches you on a “special day,” you won’t feel like yourself, you will feel like a phony.
So does this mean you need to dress "to the 9s" every day, or have super unique outfits all the time?
Yes, but only if you want to be that person – it definitely doesn't hurt.
But if you don’t want to spend a ton of time getting ready (like me – my morning routine already takes me 2+ hours) then no, all you need to do is follow some basic guidelines to improve your appearance towards the opposite sex. Even if you are wearing something casual, you can still look attractive.
By the way: I know there are people out there that say “looks don’t matter” and “look at this guy, he’s not very good looking, but he has rock-solid confidence and gets tons of women.” Well good for fucking him. Those are never the guys that struggled growing up – they just won the confidence lottery and have always had it, so their appearance may not matter as much. Me? I wasn’t so lucky. And attending to my appearance is something I know makes me more attractive and boosts my confidence (put on a suit and try to tell me you don’t feel like a boss, you can’t). So it’s always the starting point.
Okay great, so with respect to your appearance, here’s what to do.
1. Be impeccably well-groomed.
Find a schedule that works for you, depending on how often your body needs grooming, and stick to it. Even if I don’t have ANY dates lined up during the week, I manscape every other Sunday, I get my fingernails cut and my eyebrows done every other Thursday, and I shave every Monday & Thursday. It has all become automatic, even down to how much money it costs me every month (side note: YNAB is the best damn budgeting tool out there for your life), and I no longer need to think about it.
2. Your clothing should fit you like a glove.
When choosing clothing, a closer fit is sexier. One of my favorite quotes from my dating coach came when I was squeezing into a leather jacket at Macy’s. He said, “if it’s not a struggle to get into, it’s not tight enough.”
Whatever size you are wearing now, try one size down. Better yet, try a skinnier fit, and try multiple brands to find which best hugs your body. When I first started down this path, I tried on about 50 different pairs of jeans. I finally found ones that worked (women’s jeans, surprisingly) and then it was easy to get new pairs. Currently, I wear ASOS Extreme Super Skinny Jeans (the first men’s jeans I have worn in years). Find what works for your body.
3. Choose versatile clothing before unique clothing.
Guys often make the mistake of trying to get what is hot right now, or that very unique piece of clothing they see on the mannequin. These items are usually expensive, short-lived, and can’t be worked into multiple outfits. Don’t do this.
Start by establishing a base of neutral, extremely well fitting clothing. Black, blue, and gray are the staples for bottoms, and you can add in white for tops. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, and you don’t want to spend a ton of time creating outfits in the morning, this rule is critical. Get the boring stuff first, and you can always spice it up (see #4).
4. Have fun with accessories and show off your personality.
You don’t want to be completely boring, though, and this is where you get to have fun. Go crazy with socks, belts, rings, bracelets, necklaces, glasses, etc. Coloring your hair can be fun (I’ve tried blonde, purple, blue, and red). Tattoos and piercings are also great (and badass), but make sure they are tactful (when in doubt, don’t get them – I haven’t yet). Most recently, I’ve been getting my hairstylist to draw shapes in the hair on the side of my head, and put stripes through my eyebrows (bringing the 90s back, oh yeah).
The point here is to experiment and try things. You’ll know what’s working because people will comment on it – and that’s awesome, because they’ve now started the conversation for you. My #1 accessory that people have commented on are my glasses. My funky (but matched to my outfit) socks are a close #2. Of all the accessories, fun socks are the best return on investment. So few guys have anything interesting going on in the sock department, that its a surefire way to stand out. Happy Socks has been my favorite socks, and also a great conversation starter (people love hearing the name).
And there you have it. Follow these 4 simple rules and you’ll look great, even on your “scrub” days, because you'll be neat and trim, you'll have well fitting clothing, basic items that you can pair with anything, and interesting accessories to stand out.
P.S. don’t sweat it if you are dressing different than your peers – I love the comfort of casual wear, but when I worked at Microsoft (where the standard uniform is shorts and a T-shirt), I would randomly just wear a button-up shirt, a vest, and a tie. Sure, my team teased me a little bit, but wherever I went those days, EVERYONE smiled at me and wanted to talk to me. And that made me feel like a frickin' rock star, so it was totally worth it.
Go be that rockstar.
So how did a 23-year-old, shy guy in a wheelchair go from zero success with women to dating 40+ women, getting his first kiss, losing his virginity, having 5 girlfriends, and being the life of the party wherever he goes? The strategies I still use, to this day, are spelled out in The 3 Step Guide to More Friends and More Dates – click the button below to download it (for free!) now.