Mark Twain was quoted saying that individuals that don’t dress well don’t have any influence on society. I’m going to paraphrase Mark and say that men that don’t dress well have any influence over the opposite sex. Learning how to dress more masculine for men is one of the quick fixes you can get when improving their dating and relationships life. Fashion is the closest you’ll get to a magic pill in your dating life.
So how can you dress better, not just to attract women, but also portray a more masculine identity?
Firstly, dressing well is something you, as a 21st-century male, should cultivate in your daily behaviour and habits.
It doesn’t just help you become more attractive, psychological research also shows that dressing well increases a person’s self-esteem. Ever felt good in a suit? That’s what I meant.
Clothes should not only be seen as an outlet for expression but the actual building of an identity. How can you express an identity from the way you dress? From observation, in Singaporean culture, many guys, whether young or old, don’t purchase their own clothes. They are happy to let their parents do the shopping and choosing for them.
Your parents are 2 generations older than you, how is their fashion sense going to be suited to your generation? Furthermore, if your parents are still making choices for you, then you’re probably a big baby that has no ownership of your own life choices.
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
Fit is king. Starting out, this rule applies to all of fashion advice.
I always choose fit over every other factor when shopping for clothes. This includes design, price and brand.
Going for something more fitting that will show off your body contours. Choose fit over brand or how expensive the clothes are. Women, in general (minus the gold-diggers) won’t be looking at the brands of your clothes, they’ll be looking at the fit, the patterns and how well put together your outfit is.
I have survived well with 10 dollars Uniqlo shirts from H&M. You can get black, blue, white and grey basic tees.
Remember, fit is king.
I always aim to make my wardrobe as minimalistic as possible. Focus on quality over quantity.
The strategy here is to purchase a couple of quality outerwear such as jackets and blazers and you can mix them with v-necks or crew neck tee shirts underneath.
You achieve this by investing a little bit more on quality pieces, and then mix them with cheaper basic pieces.
Quality pieces include your blazer, formal pants, a leather jacket, raw denim jeans and your bags.
You’ll come off as well dressed, sophisticated by blending these high-quality pieces with cheaper basic ones. You can also accessorise with necklaces and chains underneath them. Personally, I like my style quick and easy, hence I don’t use any accessories. However, it’s up to you.
You don’t really require much much cash to build a wardrobe. I recommend getting your cheaper pieces such as the basic tee shirts from Uniqlo. The material isn’t that all bad and the basic Tee shirts fit well and are affordable.
Then get a pair of high quality blue fitting jeans from Levis.
It won’t break the bank, and you’ll look like a million bucks.
You should also invest in a pair of formal wear: a blazer and pants. You can then use these pieces to leverage a smart casual look with your neutral coloured Tee shirts. It’s malleable and can be used for many events.
You’re now good to go for many occasions both formal and casual.
Shoes wise, you got to invest a little and get a quality pair from Zara or Pedro.
I’d like to add to take into account the weather. You’ll want to take that into consideration when choosing your clothes. In Singapore, it’s hot and humid all year round. I don’t own any winter clothes and I also normally don’t wear out my blazers and jackets unless I’m out at night.
Learning how to fit pieces together and keeping your identity flexible will open up your options to many.
If you stick to neutral colours like white, grey, light blue, navy, green, olive. You’re going to find yourself easier to match and fit clothes.
However, you’re going to give up a little variety with such a wardrobe. If you’re passionate about fashion, then you should further your research about colours.
I don’t really care for the variety of colours as I’m always on the go and I prefer my wardrobe to be easy and quick. I literally own 5-6 basic tee shirts of different neutral colours, and I blend them with other pieces in my wardrobe.
Fashion caveat: You’ll tend to notice the trends in fashion and dressing amongst your peers and society. There’s a minority (in Singapore culture that I grew up in) that’s obsessed over the feminine Japanese rock band look. They’re the ones opting for a Korean-POP or Japanese look. In my opinion, these trends look really feminine and will work against you if you’re attempting to be dress more masculine to be more attractive to girls. The masculine look comprises of more monotone dressing styles.
It may seem more popular or trendy to follow the trends, but if you’re gunning for is dressing more masculine and being more polarizing to girls, then you’ll need to go for a more masculine style. You need to stick out more in social situations and sometimes you may almost come off as a rebel or a ‘bad boy’. This attracting women thing is by nature polarizing and controversial by nature, so deal with it.
In my late teens and early twenties, I kept my wardrobe towards the lighter side choosing to go with brighter colours such as light blue, pink and purple. However, I remembered one of my girlfriends commented that I should change to a darker colour.
It may be good to play around with more ‘feminine’ colours such as brighter colours when you have a masculine look already. However, I have a ‘babyface’ so darker colours such as grey, black and navy blue help me project a more masculine look.
Ultimately, learning how to dress more masculine isn’t difficult. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Fashion, just like any other skillset, comes with time and practice. More importantly, you don’t want Mum dressing you. She wants you to look like a good proper kid that makes the grades in school. You want to look edgy and sexual.
Some may encourage the idea of going over the top and showing up with necklaces and fanciful hats. However, what it fails to point out is that what you wear should be to tailor to your personality and your daily life. If you’re a rock star like Johnny Depp, then, by all means, you can go over the top with all the accessories. However, if you’re a University student, then you should reconsider showing up to class with a suit.
Some times I see guys showing up in slippers in my University classes. You’re not going to be attracting any attention from the ladies with that outlook. Put in some effort. Get a pair of raw denim jeans, a basic belt and a pair of sneakers. That will do. It’s not that hard. On the other hand, you’re a student, then showing up in business suits to classes is not going to make any sense. It’s important to dress to your personality and the social event you’re showing up for.
I chanced upon an article by Masculine Style a couple of years ago that talked about masculine archetypes and fashion sense. I found the archetypes and identities described in the article interesting and useful. I could relate to these masculine identities played out in my own life.
Let’s take a look at the three types of masculine archetypes. These are all archetypes that are attractive to women.
Men at their core, by virtue of our genetic makeup, have this element of rugged masculinity in us. In a high commercialized culture that focuses on economic growth at all costs tends to forget the physical. Our culture is one of standing behind computers, screens, and phones. We’ve often forgotten what it feels like to build and move.
The rugged is the sportsman, the athlete, the fighter. The one who prides himself on his physical attributes. He is willing to get down and dirty. He’s able to fix spoilt pipes, climb up ladders and work the drill. He’s able to bend the surroundings by his pure physical will.
He is the musician, writer, marketer, and entertainer. He is also highly emotionally intelligent and gets what he wants from the world through social competence. The rake is the outlaw, the Casanova, and isn’t too concerned about social standards than the standards he sets on his own.
You’ll be known as the social guy, the guy that gets along well with everyone. The guy that’s able to blend into social situations, identities, subcultures effortlessly.
That is the Rakish archetype.
Traditional Asian values emphasize on a career, a family, and playing by the rules of culture. The rake is also often frowned upon by traditional (read: outdated) Asian values.
This archetype is the high powered executive that works in a corporate environment. He draws a reasonable salary and can afford the minimal luxuries of life such as clubs, spas and the yearly holiday. He also prides himself on corporate achievements in his corporate ladder.
The refined archetype establishes power in their domain. He’s perhaps a powerhouse in finance. He spends years cultivate authority, respect and power in that particular domain. The refined has less influence outside his own arena, however, he has absolute authority and power in his own circles.
The refined archetype is also commonly known as the tribe leader. The tribe leader is often respected and known for his external status. The nice suits, the house, the business connections, political power and influence.
I personally have never ventured too deeply into any three the archetypes. There is a trade-off between all of them, being too refined makes you boring and standoff-ish, being too rugged makes you a square and being too rakish gets you outlawed in your culture.
However, you can mix and match. You can also pour through guides like this one or magazines and invent your own style.
For business meetings, you can dress towards the refined archetype. You can take on the identity of someone who gets down to the numbers. At a social event or on a date, you can dress down towards the rakish element by putting on a leather casual jacket and raw denim jeans. When hitting the gym or a mixed martial arts workout, you can dress to the rugged element.
However, as you progress, you may start thinking about commitment, business and building your own tribe. You may realize that if you’re going to build a business and be committed to a single demographic, for a longer period of time, you may move towards the refined archetype. Instead of moving freely in and out of social groups, you decide to start your own.
So, are you a free loving rake or a dominant CEO styled tribe leader? Who are you at your masculine core? Perhaps it’s a little balance of both. They are all different expressions of masculinity. There’s no right or wrong. It’s up to you to paint your canvas in the minds of the women of this world.