From Dude to Dapper: How A Change in Attire Can Change Your Life
Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013 16:03
All right, men, we get it. You live in Nebraska, an admittedly less than fashion-forward hunk of dirt in the middle of the country, and you have better things to worry about than if your shoes match your belt. If nothing else, you simply value an extra 15 minutes of shut-eye in the morning than a curating a snazzy ensemble.
I’ve lived in the Omaha scene long enough to know that for most men, choice in attire is hardly a blip on their radar, let alone a major life concern. New York City? Expertly tailored suits are the name of the game. Omaha, Neb.? If Buckle jeans and a t-shirt are chosen over sweats and Nikes, it must be a special occasion.
Men aren’t the only fashion offenders; women are often just as guilty. But is it laziness? Lack of awareness? Simply not caring? Regardless of the M.O., I have to wonder why people, specifically men, don’t realize the power of a good outfit.
Mere seconds is all you have to make a good first impression upon meeting someone. This doesn’t only mean saying the right thing, but cultivating the proper nonverbals. According to the book “Communication Mosaics” by communication expert Julia T. Wood, between 65 and 93 percent of all communication is done non-verbally, an umbrella under which clothing choices fall.
I know what you hoodie-wearing folks are thinking right now: “I’m young, I don’t want to get dressed up all the time. I don’t have time to worry about what I wear. I don’t have the money to buy nice clothes.” Or the excuse to end all excuses, “I like to be comfortable.”
What do I say to this? Phooey. I don’t know who told you otherwise, but dressing well doesn’t have to mean any of these things. And even if it did, doesn’t the possibility of making a killer first impression with your standout appearance outweigh any temporary discomfort you may ensue when a real zipper-fly replaces your usual drawstring?
In a typical Omaha nightlife scene where the uniform among the man-folk consists of faded jeans and a t-shirt, a fella who walks in wearing slim, dark jeans, a button-up and footwear that can’t double as gym shoes can command the room. In a way, you Midwesterners have it easier than your trendy New York counterparts, where designer suits at the bar are as common as taxis on the street. Instead, all it takes for you to stand out in the best of ways is an easy-peasy upgrade from an Affliction tee to a classy cardigan.
While people-watching at the library last week, it took every ounce of willpower inside me not to hijack the intercom and give an impromptu speech to all the men in the house. So you’re studying and probably stressed about a number of college student woes, but need you look like you just rolled out of bed and schlepped yourself into a booth? Let me let you in on a little secret: when you look better, you feel better. When you feel better, you’re more confident and when you’re more confident, it’s entirely possible to be more productive. This brings me to my final rhetorical question-- when it comes to choosing real clothes over PJs, what do you have to lose?
We have countless interactions every single day. You never know when you will meet a connection to your dream job, an old friend or the future love of your life, and the best way to ensure you won’t miss out any of these important interactions is simple. Look the part and the rest will surely follow.
Want more tips on changing your style to change your life? Visit realmenrealstyle.com for advice straight from dapper men themselves.