It would be David Beckham. He is my style icon, and has been for the past 20+ years. No one is even a close second. My dog is named after him. My first tattoo was inspired by one of his first. And I will never have enough children to give all of my Beckham Man United jerseys to. Put it this way, if I could have a fantasy dinner party for four, it would be he and I, and we’d put our feet up in the other two chairs. Seriously, it is very strange how someone you’ve never come close to meeting can have that much of an impact on a certain aspect of your life. But he has on the way I view fashion and style, and its importance in how I live my life. The man owns every room he walks into, he is always dressed for the occasion, and he does it his way. The first point speaks to confidence, the second to respect, and the last to balls. He has worn some weird hairstyles and clothes in the past, but he owns it, and that taught me a lot about confidence. I can look at pictures of him today, and whether he is playing with his kids, going to workout, or meeting with the Queen, he is always on point. To me, he is respecting the situation or occasion. He is like a chameleon, always adapting perfectly to his surroundings and situation. I try to do that myself as I think about what each day may present. And lastly, he’s a trendsetter, and that takes courage. He’s made mistakes, had a blip here and there, and was ridiculed for certain things. Yet here he is today at age 42 as relevant as ever in life. What an inspiration.
Dressing appropriately for the occasion is a habit that can give you a little extra swagger each day. Today, we are going to talk about dressing for special events, an exercise that I have found to confuse most guys. My prime example is folks who have a wedding, gala, or some other special event to go to, and they just throw on a regular business suit and red tie. Come on guys! This is your time to shine. Your date has likely gone out of their way to look stunning, and you throw on the Tuesday business suit? I have a good friend whose job requires plain, simple clothes for work. No problem. I invited him to an event, and he showed up looking like a million bucks. Fitted dark suit. Crisp, slim white shirt. High-quality tie. Brilliant shoes. I was blown away. And if I take notice, you can bet others will as well. I call it respecting the occasion. If you look at the list of clothes that my friend was wearing, you have a great foundation for a special occasion wardrobe. Note: we are not talking black tie here, just a special event where your goal should be to look great. So let’s walk through it: Dark, slim suit. It must fit. Not black. Crisp, slim white shirt. Sounds boring. It’s not. Especially if you have a summer tan. Dark, medium-width tie. Maybe a pocket square to add some flair. Kill the crazy socks. Neither the time nor the place. Quality, quality shoes. Could be a loafer. Could be a lace-up. No square toes…ever again. If you pay a little attention here, your confidence will shoot through the roof, and you too can think about owning the room.
Any time I am looking for some style inspiration, I dial up some Beckham pics, and I immediately up my game. But who do I go to when I want to up my general life game? I’ve figured out that surrounding myself with people that challenge me is the best way to do life. I like forward thinkers, trendsetters, and trailblazers. These are folks that get me out of my comfort zone, and make me a better person. If I find myself too comfortable, it makes me uncomfortable. You will never hear me say I am content, or I am fine. When I ask someone how they are doing and they say “fine”, I have no idea what that even means. I like to be around people that are focused on moving forward, have a positive outlook on life, and have different perspectives than me. I rarely ever think about the past, unless it is to tell a good story or reference an experience that will make me better today. Otherwise, I am a present and future guy. Always moving forward. I also avoid negativity. I try to smile all the time. The world is full of negativity, and I just choose to focus on the positive. I don’t watch the news. You’ll rarely ever hear me complain. There is so much incredible stuff going on in this world, and that is where my attention goes. Lastly, I love to find people who have different perspectives on life and surround myself with them. Listening to different viewpoints of life is so valuable, and that is really where you learn and grow. I don’t know why you would surround yourself with people who think exactly the same way you do. I guess because it is comfortable. But if I want to talk to someone that has the same exact opinions as me, I’ll just talk to myself.
So I challenge you this week to think about what you enjoy and find interesting in people, and then find some of those people to build a relationship with. You may meet some people that are very different than you, and that is a great start!
Have a great week.-Benj