When it comes to male fashion advice, I have a non-traditional approach. Whereas most sites give you the shoulds and coulds and then leave you to figure out what defines style for you, I aim to give you pointers on how to dress as yourself. If you want to represent yourself honestly and openly, you will find male fashion advice to be much more straightforward than it seems to be.
It’s much simpler and easier for a man to dress as himself first, then add the parts that accentuate his masculinity.
Eventually, it all comes down to this: men should try to look good, but looking good shouldn’t be the main purpose. If a man invests too much into his looks, he will be changing in variety. He will be a perfectionist. He will be looking for validation. He will be more in his feminine than his masculine.
Let’s quickly review the masculine vs. the feminine definitions for a second to be clear. According to David Deida, the masculine does (penetrates) and the feminine is done to (receives). Please note that I’m leaving out the spectrums of consciousness and love to make it simpler.
Because the feminine is done to, she (referring to gender, not sex) seeks validation, security, and variety. The masculine, when it penetrates, needs consciousness and the accompanying judgment.
This does not necessarily suggest that the man should not try to look good while getting shit done in the world. In fact, the masculine style is looking good while supporting the man’s physical activities. For example, if a man is going mountain climbing, his style should be active and in preparation for the worst weather possible. Function over fashion, so to speak. In most cases, it’s fashion IN function.
This is why fit is the most appropriate attribute when it comes to fashion for men. It denotes that he will be doing something physical. He is prepared to take on the challenges of life.
Which brings us to the 5 F’s:
- Fitness (both health and clothes)
All these factors interweave, so it’s impossible to isolate them. None is more important than the other since they all add up to strike an impression of how a man sees himself. When a feminine being is attracted to a man purely from a looks perspective (which is small compared to his behaviors), those 5 F’s drive them.
Bringing them together, a man will look the part. But what is the part? Explaining it requires us to understand context and intention. Allow me to elaborate.
A woman can wear a short skirt to almost any event and look good and appropriate. A man, however, must consider what he wants to achieve in a particular environmental setting and dress to it. He must be careful to not simply become part of the scenery. He dresses to kill–not with looks, but with action.
Think of it as a heist. What equipment do you need? What are the procedures? What’s your exit strategy? What can go wrong?
You can see how Function drives masculine style. There are many ways to do this, but there is only one good way–with integrity and authenticity.
A man should allow his outfit to tell a story about himself in the most transparent way possible. Have a gut? Don’t hide it. Got some tattoos? Here they are. Scars from a motorcycle accident? Highlight them.
“Here I am, warts and all.” — How does your outfit say that? Make that the primary function.
Fitness is self-explanatory. His clothes should go around him, accentuating his preparation for physicality. Spending time at the gym helps, but lacking that doesn’t mean you lack physicality. Your clothes just have to highlight it somehow. Here, fitting clothes will save many hours at the gym.
They all go for naught if he’s hunched over and slouching. He has to keep them together with his Frame. His silhouette will be the first thing a woman notices. How he maneuvers and holds his Frame communicates how he has long decided to walk this earth.
The best description of Frame I can give you is to think that you’re about to get sucker punched at any moment. You don’t know where the punch might come from, so you can’t be rigid. The best you can do is to dance around and be prepared to bounce back at any moment. How does your outfit support this? If you dress too uptight, you’ll be like that old guy who gets punched in Ace Ventura.
Fashion both hides and reveals a man’s intentions and dark masculine impulses. Little accessories here and there are placed to draw attention slightly away from his masculine features. Too many accessories and he loses them. He must strike a fine balance between revealing and covering. Again, context and intention matter.
Understand that Fashion is the most feminine part of the 5 F’s. Knowing that, makes playing with it much easier. Remember that being an integrated man means to combine your masculine and feminine traits together in harmony.
Fashion changes. Fashion varies. Fashion adapts. But fashion goes around the unchanging honest man underneath. Achieve that, and you can make any style work for you.
The most skipped over part of a masculine style is the Face. This is the set of cards that a man has been dealt with in life, and his face communicates how he intends to play them. His skin tone literally sets the tone for the rest of his outfit. Does he wear light or dark? Does he accentuate or blend? They are all very telling to his intentions.
His outfit must not detract attention away from the Face. If he is to show himself honestly and openly, women should be looking at his Face (his eyes) while he’s doing so. They should all point back at the Face one way or another. I used to wear striking colors and patterns, but then I realized I was detracting the attention away from my eyes. I toned it down a lot.
Putting it all together
Physicality should start from the face but move down to the rest of the body. While you should be loose and friendly in social settings, don’t forget to flash that intense look once in a while. Women are security-based creatures, so they are naturally attracted to somebody who can bring out their physicality at any moment’s notice. You do this by going into attack mode mentally once in a while.
Your body should tense up and relax in this flash. Your outfit should show it.
Back to Frame, while most guys think of Frame as defined by the amount of muscles, it’s actually the bone structures. Guys with strong facial features and skeletal structures tend to appear the most attractive. That’s why it’s more important to be toned than ripped. You want to show sharp corners, not curves. Your static Frame should be built around your joints–shoulders, elbows, . Your dynamic Frame, well, that’s another conversation altogether.
Rolling up your sleeves is one of those things you can do to show your Frame. Do it past the elbow. Show off those tendons. Wear shirts that drop perfectly at your shoulder joints.
Having the 5 F’s covered, we can see how a man should dress – simple, fitting, well-intended, and honest.
This formula will work well in any situation. As mentioned in the”30 Challenges-30 Days-Zero Excuses” project: The rest is action. Never forget the action. Don’t sit around and be part of the scenery. Get up in somebody’s face, if only to say hi to them.
If you want to refine your style and build a respectable and masculine wardrobe, I strongly recommend “Casual style 101” by Nathan Lewis. It is a very thorough guide that is both educational and actionable. You can check it out here:
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