I received a text last week from a buddy that was headed to a party. It started out “Big event tonight”, and was accompanied by a picture of him. He looked good. He looked different. He self-admittedly was trying something new. Stepping outside of his comfort zone. The next text read “At the event getting compliments and people talking to me. I am not sure what to do now.” I was cracking up. He then said, “I will just text you to get me through this.” By this time I was literally laughing out loud imagining this. 30 minutes passed. “Benj, I am the life of the party. Out of my comfort zone. Retreating pal.” And I’ll end the story there.
My friend could care less about clothes. In fact, he was so ready to make fun of me and call BS when I started this style blog. I’ve worked on him. He reads religiously every week. I’m not trying to transform him or anyone else for that matter into a fashionista. Just raising awareness that how you present yourself is important and that people notice. Case in point above. I don’t think my pal wants to be the life of the party. It’s not who he is. But he was fascinated that my points weren’t complete nonsense. People notice effort. It says something about you. Which leads me to this week’s points.
I have a firm belief that you take on a similar personality to the clothes you are wearing. Think about the military. Always sharp. Always pressed. Always fits. No nonsense. I have never seen anyone in the military slouching around, hemming and hawing over a case of the Mondays. You wear clothes that are sloppy, I tend to witness a slouchy demeanor. Sweats? Maybe you want to relax? Tailored suit? Improves your posture and makes you taller. Shows you mean business. I still haven’t figured out the khakis and blue shirt phenomenon. Just seems robotic. Mindless.
Some specific examples from my personal experience. I went to a party in Atlanta a few months ago and wore this crazy pink and blue shirt (above). I was in the mood to dance and be wild and crazy that night, so the vibes matched up. I wear the above pinstripe, double-breasted suit every couple of weeks. It is my go-to, no-nonsense suit. I wear it if I have to have some tough conversations. Maybe a detailed negotiation. Or just some interaction that is all business. It improves my posture. I walk around supremely confident. I feel invincible. Check out my holiday party pants below. They are nuts. They are actually a really nice pair of pants, just a crazy color and pattern. I wear them once or twice a year when I am in a festive mood. Mediocrity is not allowed when wearing any of these three examples. Just doesn’t fit.
Next time you see someone moaning and groaning or just getting through the day, take a look at what they are wearing. There is a correlation. I was talking to this guy the other day who is a life coach for young men. He showed me a picture and told me about this young man he was working with. It was a classic before and after. The before: clothes were 2 sizes too big. Posture stunk. Just khakis and blah blah blah. The after: clothes fit, standing straight up, smiling ear to ear, a little color, an accessory here and there. Made me smile so big. The young man had made a huge transformation apparently, and the outward presentation was just a small piece.
The clothes don’t make the man, but if you are looking to stand a little taller, have people curious about what you have to offer the world, or feel a little better about yourself, take note. Pay attention to how you present yourself. Do it for you. All of the examples of my clothes above garner a lot of attention. But I don’t wear them to get attention. I wear them for what I want to accomplish at a particular meeting, party, or interaction. It shows I care. That I make an effort. That I want to live! And those are some of the most stylish traits of all.
Have a great week.-Benj