Style is about confidence and exuding power.
By dressing well, you convey status to those around you. You create a magnetic aura that gives you leadership over the room. Everyone follows the man that brings the most power – they follow the alpha.
So your next question is – how do you become the alpha?
That's the focus of today's article…
#1 Buy Yourself A “Power Suit”
A great deal of respect and authority comes with a dark, well-fitted suit. A suit enhances the masculine V-shape, conveys status, and looks disciplined and put together.
It's almost ingrained in our society to look at one's suit and give that man more time and attention. A power suit means a leg up in job interviews, presentations, or other professional occasions.
Here's an example of an outfit that's flattering to the majority of gentlemen:
- A solid dark, classic style suit (either charcoal gray or navy)
- A light-colored dress shirt (ideally white)
- A tie of a deeper hue and a simple, repeating pattern.
- Dress shoes that are either black (for charcoal gray suits) or dark brown (for navy suits)
This outfit will keep the focus on you and what you bring to the table instead of being too flashy and distracting.
Buy a custom-made suit
The ultimate luxuries in fashion are clothes made FOR YOU. They look, feel and fit exactly how you want them. They represent the best and most authentic version of you.
Custom clothing is about controlling your whole image; you wear them to stand out and distinguish yourself from others in the room. They evoke positive reactions, send the right messages, and give you the confidence and drive to go from good to GREAT. This effect is known as enclothed cognition.
The three major things to customize are fit, fabric and function. You have to know your body type and find the different measurements for your physique. You'll need all the info before going to see your tailor. That's where it also helps to listen to the expert's advice and ideas so you can see things from another angle.
Save up for quality clothing
You've probably seen something you've fallen in love with. Perhaps it's a watch, a jacket, or a pair of shoes. You knew it was everything you wanted until you saw the price tag.
Then, you compromised and got something cheaper that was just OK; but you still wonder about that epic piece you missed out on.
Gentlemen, if you see something you love, buy it.
I'm not saying to spend frivolously. I'm saying to set realistic saving goals and work toward buying that garment.
Spending more may feel risky initially, but you'll feel amazing in what you wear. Your closet should be about quality, not quantity. You should feel empowered by every piece in your wardrobe.
You'll love what you have on, and it'll show. People will notice you and the confidence that you carry.
#2 Wear A Great Looking Watch
A watch is a classic staple in a man's arsenal.
From Patrick Bates to James Bond, nothing finishes a great look like a quality timepiece.
There are two key men's watch types: automatic and quartz.
The former is powered by the geartrain – a complex mechanism backed by centuries of tradition. The automatic is the most preferred type by purists, electing to wind the watch when needed. The latter is powered by a battery – solid, accurate, but dismissed by enthusiasts.
What about aesthetic styles? Here's a brief summary:
- Pocket watch – classic style held by a chain and worn inside the waistcoat pocket.
- Dress watch – simplistic design made for formal wear.
- Aviator watch – originally designed to make pilots' lives easier with GMT and fuel gauge features.
- Dive watch – made to deal with high pressure at low depths.
- Racing watch – traditionally flashy and comes with a tachymeter.
- Field watch – designed for battle and the rugged outdoors.
- Digital watch – the time displayed with digits.
- Smartwatch – like your smartphone, but on your wrist.
#3 Focus On Fit
When you are wearing clothes that fit you the way they are supposed to, it sends the message that you are concerned with attention to detail and aware of your body and what it needs.
Garments that are too big send a message that you are self-conscious of your body and don't accentuate your best features. Garments that are too small may make you feel like you put on weight or cannot afford something that fits.
Dress for your body type
Which of these shapes do you think describes your upper body type best?
- Inverted Triangle
Why is this important?
It's what makes YOU look your best. It's what compliments your body. What makes you attractive. It doesn't matter how much you spend on custom-tailored clothing if you buy for the triangle body type when you are a rectangle.
For example, say you fall into the category inverted triangle, broad shoulders by nature, and a very tight waist. Polo shirts, henleys, and de-structured jackets will be your best friends. They will fit your broad shoulders while not losing your figure at the waist. You have the nice V-shape, accentuate it and make it work for you!
The important thing you want to do before approaching a tailor is this – be aware of your body type before entering the atelier. You may not know anything about what's best to wear or not. But being aware of it will allow you to work around it together with an expert.
This brings us to our next point. Very important when talking about the relationship with a tailor – honesty.
Get yourself a tailor
There's no fooling your tailor.
You're talking to someone who's dressed thousands of men in his life, men with different ideas of style, different shapes, and years of knowledge and experience.
You may be well-informed about fashion but always be open to the expert's ideas. They will see things from a different perspective and give you suggestions to best suit you.
Few things will be more valuable to you than a talented and knowledgeable tailor you can trust and depend on to make sure you are always looking your best.
#4 Don't Forget The Details
Nothing says power like personalization. Monograms are usually a distinguishing factor of bespoke clothing and the finishing touch on your tailor-made garments.
If you cannot afford to get a shirt or suit custom-made, you can still achieve the look by getting off-the-rack items tailored. Again, the cherry on top will still be a monogram. This level of personalization can give you the same satisfaction as if the piece was bespoke. For the monogram to give off that classy vibe, there are a few rules to keep in mind:
You want to make sure that your monogram is in an inconspicuous place. For shirts, the signet should be one of the following:
- Sleeve cuff
- Sleeve gauntlet
- Placket bottom
Different areas are customary for jackets. They are
- Inside jacket flap (usually where the tag or inside pocket is)
- Under the collar
If the monogram is in a position other than these expected positions, you might come across as trying too hard. It also might make you look like someone uneducated about the conventions of style – and it won't fare well for your power index.
These serve as small but effective add-ons to your blazer or suit. Keep in mind that pocket squares are NOT handkerchiefs. They're sophisticated decorations that highlight a man's eye for detail. If you know how to fold a pocket square, you'll look more dashing and start many great conversations.
These are jacket cuffs with functioning buttons.
A gent who has a jacket constructed in this manner is communicating that he pays attention to detail and has an affinity for the classicism of menswear. Generally, high-end brands use this style convention in their designs.
#5 Buy A Signature Scent
What can a fragrance do for you? Boost your confidence, get you compliments, get you noticed, and draw in the ladies. Most importantly, they can be an extension of your personality. Smell is a powerful tool. It can boost your confidence, induce aromatherapy, and even trigger fond memories associated with the scent.
Most of all, it can make people notice you.
How many should you own? It depends on your budget and your goals. You could easily buy 4-5 inexpensive fragrances with $100 and parcel them by occasion. Then again, you could also spend that money on one signature fragrance.
The most versatile fragrances include Dior Sauvage, Bleu de Chanel, and Acqua Di Gio Profumo.
#6 Upgrade Your Shoes
If your goal is to make power moves and get compliments, there's no better way to do it than with some bold shoes. Much like a watch or a fragrance, the shoes you wear will draw attention – What sort of attention depends solely on you.
Shoes have as much artistry and history behind them as any piece of menswear – which means you have options.
Some of the best upgrades for you to make a statement include the dress boot over your basic Oxford, a double monk-strap over your basic brogue, and a Chelsea boot over your basic sneaker.
#7 Take Care Of Your Body
I'm not talking about just going to the gym and getting in great shape. Generally, the general populace can raise your status quite a bit if you've got a great-looking body as defined by that society that changes from culture to culture.
I'm talking, though, about a body by design, so if you're going to be a sumo wrestler, you have to gain a significant amount of weight to participate and be successful in your chosen field. If you are an actor and have to gain or lose weight for a role, then you have to be deliberate in sculpting your body for your life.
Knowing these things about your body will also help you communicate to your tailor your life needs. If you are an actor putting on 40 pounds of muscle, he can help you anticipate your future needs.
#8 Understand Your Body Language
Body language is non-verbal communication that includes posture, gestures, and the movements you make. It's just as vital as verbal communication, but it's usually something you don't think about when you're talking or presenting.
No matter how engaging or interesting a speech is, if the speaker gives off negative body language signals, the audience is less likely to listen to what they're saying. Similarly, suppose you're having a conversation with someone, and your body language is disengaged. In that case, it might appear as though you're disinterested in what they have to say – even though you're listening.
Realize the importance of a firm handshake
In the same vein as a power stance, an exertion of physical strength is a good indicator of perceived or actual clout. By definition, handshakes should be firm.
But how firm is too firm; how soft is too soft?
The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published a study that everyone should pay close attention to their handshake. A soft handshake could be considered weak, and that you lack confidence, which doesn't translate well with employers and business associates.
On the opposite end of the scale, you shouldn't try to break the other person's hand.
The perfect, firm handshake, looks like this:
- Good posture
- Eye contact – shows focus.
- Use your right hand – the old standard rule from medieval days when gentlemen would check for knives up each other's sleeves.
- Light yet firm squeeze – Asserts that you are present.
- Hold the grip for two seconds – Any longer, and you look desperate and weird.
- Smile and have a pleasant disposition – This shows that you're not a jerk.
- Call the other person by name – If you are meeting someone for the first time and saying their name, repeat it back to them. For example. “Hi, I'm Kevin.” “Nice to meet you, Kevin; I'm Antonio.” Doing this shows confidence and an asserted dominance that's commanding but not overpowering.
Pay attention to your posture
Good posture is a cornerstone of the alpha male mentality. When you see a man standing straight, you immediately think he's powerful and has his sh*t together. Slouching, head forward? You think he's weak (even though he probably isn't).
Taller men are usually more desired, more respected, and more likely to attract people than those who slouch and make themselves look more petite. An alpha doesn't slink away from people or a situation; lousy posture gives the impression that you are avoiding attention.
#9 Use Style To Command Confidence
Many of the most successful people in the world got that way through hard work and never quitting. They knew they would make it if they stayed positive and approached the world with the confidence to conquer it.
These are ways you can use your wardrobe to convey confidence to those around you:
Leverage colors and patterns
A simple way to feel great about your ensemble and look powerful is to wear your favorite colors. Colors are not only essential to us on a personal level, but they affect the people that see us.
A 2010 study found that wearing red makes men more attractive to women. It makes men seem more powerful and high-status.
Purple was the preferred color of the Roman emperors. It was a costly dye for thousands of years. Nowadays, it conveys a combination of power and creativity.
Blue tends to represent a sense of freshness. Another way to stand out is to leverage patterns. I wouldn't go too hard on bright, bold patterns right away, though.
Consider starting with subtle repeating patterns. Houndstooth is a classic pattern on sports jackets. It's a checked pattern with notched corners that give the appearance of a canine fang.
Herringbone is another worthy option. It's also called broken twill weave; it's woven in a chevron shape that causes the overall pattern to resemble fish bones.
Accessories are a safe place to go bold. Take pocket squares, for instance. You can use them to integrate bright colors and patterns without sacrificing the versatility of the core garment. Paisley is a popular pattern used in pocket squares. It's old as the Sassanian Empire, where it became the Zoroastrian symbol for life.
The point is that there is no shortage of choice when it comes to patterns. It's one of the easier power moves in men's style.
#10 Know How To Break The Rules
If you think every rule in the book of style is rigid – time to reshape that point of view. The fact is these “rules” are just guidelines for the most part. You have to realize what your goals are – since fashion is a means to an end.
All style choices should revolve around you. It's your brand to build, your confidence to grow. You should be the center of attention – not the clothes themselves. So it's only appropriate to bend or break the rules in a way that benefits you.
It can be something as simple as a suit that's not all buttoned up, making you appear more relaxed and less uptight. Or maybe you're exploring colors for your day-to-day outfit. Back in the day, society viewed a colorful ensemble as less masculine. Nowadays – color is simply color. Feel free to combine colors and stay secure about your manliness.
It's good to be bold with personal style – provided you're well-aware of your audience, environment, and underlying message. There's a fine line between being edgy and going off the rails.
BONUS – Surround Yourself With The Right People
The people around you often determine your status and override almost all the other ones in this article. You see a guy come into a room; he is unattractive; he's downright ugly.
He is short, seems unfriendly, and doesn't stand out when in a crowd. What do we think about this guy?
We think he's either rich that he's a movie star. His status has shot up because of who surrounds him. Who you date, who you marry, the friends you keep, all of that can affect your status.
This doesn't mean ditching your friends but to think about the person you're spending the most time with – often your partner. Do these people elevate you, or do they keep you back at the starting line?
The art of commanding power lies in several factors. They range from minor adjustments to your clothing to significant changes in the way you speak and move.
The bottom line is that once you learn the essential skills, others will take notice. Epitomizing masculinity doesn't come in one fell swoop. There are several factors that, when combined, make you the top dog.
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