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Welcome to Day 18 of 30 Days of Dating Advice for Intellectual Badasses! We’re wrapping up the section on attraction, and the roles masculinity and femininity play in the development of attraction. Today I want to talk about men and wardrobe.

Why am I focusing on men? Men tend to care less about wardrobe than women do, and this can hurt their dating game. For all the time we’ve spent talking about mindset, dating fundamentals, and social skills, none of that will do you much good if a woman doesn’t feel some kind of attraction for you. And while masculinity is the most important thing that triggers attraction in a woman, how you dress plays a bigger role than you think. The more attractive you look, the more options you’ll have with women. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much effort or cash for a man to look really good.

Many Intellectual Badass men aren’t all that into clothes. I get it – you have other things to worry about. But I’ve had some single IB men stubbornly resist any attempts to spruce up their wardrobe, with such rationalizations as:

“I shouldn’t have to change for a woman.”

“If she doesn’t like me for who I am, then I don’t want her anyway.”

While I agree with this in general, this is faulty logic when it comes to wardrobe. Looking nice doesn’t mean changing you who are. It means looking good so that women will want to find out who you are. After all, what’s the first thing you notice about a woman? Her appearance, right? If she doesn’t interest you then, you don’t feel the magic and won’t bother.

The other day I was driving home and saw a young man walking. In trying to figure out if he was attractive or not (yes, we women look too, all the time!), I couldn’t make up my mind. Then I realized why: he was a good-looking dude wearing an unflattering getup: oversized cargo shorts and an oversized polo shirt in a dull color that clashed with the shorts.

 

Wardrobe Tips for Men

Don’t change your personal style. If you’re a jeans-and- T-shirt guy, or a khakis-and-button-downs guy, or a guy who loves his ThinkGeek T-shirts or his skinny jeans and black mohawk, there’s no need to change that about yourself, unless you want to. You wardrobe should reflect the real you.

Update every few years. Outdated clothing isn’t sexy. Men’s trends don’t change as rapidly as women’s, but they still change. Even classic menswear items such as jeans, t-shirts, polo shirts, button-downs, and suits will change in their style and cut every five or so years. If you have clothes in your closet that are over five years old, they’re probably out of date. Get rid of them.

Fit is EVERYTHING. If clothing doesn’t fit properly, it detracts from your good looks. Men often wear shirts that are too loose. Loose clothing doesn’t look good. You don’t have to wear a tight shirt like a gay man, but it should be fitted. Also, make sure your pants are the correct length. In general, aim for your hem to hit halfway between the top of your shoe and the top of your heel. Tall men can opt to have the hem fall to the top of the heel. It’s inexpensive to have your pants tailored. Just make sure you wash them first in case they shrink.

Wear color. Women like men in color. Men have a tendency to wear neutrals – white, grey, tan, brown, or black – which can get dull. If they do venture to wear color, it’s often blue. If you want to stand out, branch out a little. Choose a few shirts in (other) colors you like or that look good on you.

No sneakers. Wearing your old running shoes or other tennis shoes will detract from your look. If you like sneakers, buy a cool pair of fashion sneakers instead of wearing the ones that you use for sports or working in the garage.

Get a haircut every 4-6 weeks. A man’s haircut can make or break his attractiveness. Whether you have long hair, short hair, or no hair at all, a good haircut and nicely trimmed facial hair can turn an average man into a hottie. I’ve seen men suddenly get attention from women simply because they got a better haircut.

Read men’s magazines. Good men’s magazines provide a lot of good, uncomplicated fashion advice.

Wardrobe is one of the easiest and most effective ways a man can increase his options with women. Why look so-so when you can look great?

 

Some useful links:

How To Choose a Suit: House of Frasier

A recap of what we’ve covered so far in the 30-Day IB Campaign

Christie’s books