25 Ways to Look Your Best Now
Your exclusive style guide will have you looking sharper by morning.
Avoid the #1 style mistake
You knew it was coming: Cheap shoes. "Even if the rest of your clothes are similar in formality to your peers, you can still outshine others by wearing quality shoes, properly cared for," says Jason Yeats, founder and designer of suiting brand Beckett & Robb. If your workplace is strictly casual, you'll stand out with a high-quality loafer from Alden or Allen Edmonds, or a minimalist sneaker from Common Projects. Get (or do) a weekly shine or cleaning; make it a Sunday night routine.
"Women have a better sense of smell than men do, and it's even sharper in the middle of their menstrual cycle, when estrogen levels peak and women are more likely to be deciding whether a man's attractive." says Helen Fisher, Ph.D., a professor of anthropology at Rutgers University and the author of Why We Love. Wearing fragrant leather is one great way to get inside her head. You'll encourage her animal instincts. Maintain it well — preserving its oils releases natural fragrance.
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Explore the vertical
Women rate tall men as more sexually attractive than shorter guys, and tall men are more likely to find a mate. Proof: A British study of more than 10,000 people found that men 6 feet tail were more likely than average-height men (5'10") to be married and have children. Tip: Wear pinstripes. Vertical lines enhance your height, and it's easier than standing on your toes.
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Invest in a good watch
A really good watch. Wear it to all important meetings. People notice watches even before shoes. "If you have the budget, a fine watch is a great place to invest," says Yates. "A $10,000 Rolex, Breitling, or Panerai will likely still be worth about that in 10 years. That's not so true with watches that cost $2,500 or less."
Give good face
Pure animal attraction is linked to your face and its symmetry. Sixty-five studies of 42 species have connected symmetry and sex appeal, according to the Penguin Atlas of Human Sexual Behavior. In addition, the better a man's symmetry, the more quickly he gets women into bed, the more sexual partners he has, and the more orgasms he causes in women partners, says the Atlas. You can't change your face (at least not without a scalpel), but you can frame it properly: Wear a point-collar dress shirt, with collar points 2 3/4 to 3 inches in length. This collar frames the face best and with the least margin of error for most men, regardless of face shape, says Alan Flusser, men's-fashion expert and author of Dressing the Man. When you're not wearing a tie, unbutton the top one or two buttons.
Invest in a Cleansing Brush
You know that a good moisturizer, eye cream and proper shave are essentials, but you also have to prime the canvas. Clarisonic's motorized brush, created for a man's thick skin, makes 300 movements a second, exfoliating, sweeping away pore-clogging oil and enabling a closer shave. It'll keep you smooth in more ways than one. Check out these 10 High-Tech Grooming Gadgets You Need Now!
Go custom-made now
By the time you're 40, you really should have at least one custom-made suit. If you need to dip your toes in, Indochino offers an excellent, affordable service. There are inevitably custom tailors in cities near you; some have a huge array of fabrics so you can really personalize your look. More and more suit stores are focusing on made-to-measure, and many offer online consultations.
If you're a guy, chances are that the extra weight you're carrying is around your middle. Although you can't get rid of that flubber in 15 minutes, you can use that time to slightly increase the size of other parts of your body so that your waist appears smaller in comparison. It's what bodybuilders call "getting a pump." One of the best ways to do this is to bang out some push-ups. Perfectly executed push-ups work several body parts, but in particular, engorging your chest and shoulder muscles with blood will make you seem tighter in the middle. Remember: Muscles are 70% water, so to prolong that pump, hydrate before, during and after your drills.
Develop a relationship with a tailor
They'll save your ass (or hide it, or accentuate it). Having a regular tailor is like having a regular sex partner: They know what works for you and the quickest way to get there, and how to make you feel reliably good for a good while after.
We all know what you're looking for when you check out a woman. You dog. But that doesn't mean she's looking for sex signifiers when she scopes you out. A study of mate selection in 37 cultures found that women seek partners with status, class, and success. So when she's checking you out, she's looking for the bulge in your pants, all right; the one made by your wallet. "Now, this doesn't mean that every woman wants a businessman from New York City," says Fisher. "But if she walks into a bar and there are three accountants and one is wearing a nicer suit, she might notice it and be attracted to that man. Women like signs of money and education—things that indicate that not only is this guy going to have some resources, but he's also willing to share them. So accessorize well. Spend, and spend some more, on watches and cool shoes. They're the first two stops on her itinerary.
Break apart your suit
Try a polo, a premium-fabric henley, a light cashmere sweater, a band-collar shirt, or a vest underneath your jacket. Look at the jacket and pants as a pair of items to be worn separately. One thing not to try: An everyday T-shirt. Miami Vice ain't coming back anytime soon.
Keep a style file
There's a reason Pinterest's fastest-growing user group is men. Says Yeats: "I often meet guys that say 'I want help developing my personal brand,' because they understand the advantages that can create. If you are at step one on that journey, start with tools that are free online. There are so many blogs and forums, photo sites, and more. Start looking around. Save pictures you like into a folder on your computer. Once you have 30 to 40 pictures, look at them all, and you'll probably start to see some recurring trends. These are things that you naturally like, and that's a good start."
Buy a Light Stim
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Stand up straight
Yes, it's as simple as that. Experts suggest that bad posture can make someone look ten pounds heavier than they actually are. When you're slumped over, you lose inches in height, so you're scrunching your body mass toward your midsection. The result? You look shorter and wider. So stand tall! And while you're standing tall, pull your shoulders back. This will get your shoulder-weight ratio closer to 1:6 — also called the Adonis Ratio. Studies have revealed that women are most attracted to men with that triangular torso proportion.
Make a significant investment in a briefcase or portfolio
Even if you work in a creative-casual environment. Don't walk into a meeting with a canvas or cloth bag. For some ideas, check out these 15 Briefcases That Mean Business.
Show off your testosterone
"Women are looking for men with good genes so their children can have good genes," says Devendra Singh, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas. One thing they're noticing, probably without realizing it, is a man's waist-to-hip ratio. In cross-cultural studies, women rate men with 0.8 to 0.95 ratios (almost a straight line) as most appealing. "Women are unconsciously performing these calculations — judging men on the basis of how body fat is distributed," she says. The ratio is an indicator of testosterone. Testosterone inhibits fat in the buttocks and waist but allows it in the upper body. So when a man has a large waist or butt, it indicates low testosterone, and a woman will consider him less attractive. Tip: Don't leave home without a sport coat. It creates a visual line from your neck to your thighs, which conveys an appealing waist-to-hip ratio, according to Michael Cunningham, Ph.D., who studies attraction at the University of Louisville. Unless you regularly appear on the cover of a magazine, avoid anything cinched or tightly belted at the waist.
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Empty your pockets
For the last 12 to 15 years, pants have been getting slimmer. At the same time, phones have been wider, longer and flatter. While our pants and phones have been evolving in diametrically opposed ways, it was decided that the belt-mounted phone holster would be embraced by precisely no one. The upshot: We're walking around with packed pockets that make the waist look much wider than it is. Your move? Pare down to the absolute essentials. Sign up for Apple Pay, replace your bulky wallet with a sleek stainless-steel clip for your essential cards, take seldom-used keys off your ring, and stash your phone in the inside pocket of your jacket when you're wearing one. When you're not, hold your phone in your hand. (It's there most of the time anyway.)
Pull your damn pants up
As pants have become more streamlined, the rise — the distance between the middle of the crotch seam to the top of the waistband — has shortened. Rise is important because it determines where your pants sit on your body, which in turn creates your perceived waistline. Low-rise pants look great — provided you're in the minority of men sporting less than 8% body fat. If you're rocking even a modest amount of chub, they become the plinth upon which you display your muffin top to the world. Wear your pants so that the waistband lives up to its name and sits at your natural waist.
Go skin to skin
Your first mission on a date (indeed, the key to all subsequent missions) is contact: Get her to touch you. "Touch is the mother of the senses," says Fisher. "Not only are women more sensitive when they touch, but they're also more sensitive to being touched." It has to do with millions of years of nurturing behavior, explains Fisher. Women, as mothers and caretakers, have to identify health threats such as fever, swollen glands, and so on, by touch. Show a woman your soft side—she'll expose hers in return. Your move: Apply moisturizer at least twice a day, and if you must cover skin, do it with touchable all-stars like cashmere, pima cotton, brushed corduroy, merino wool, and suede. When sex is on the line, definitely wear velvet.
Check Your Inventory
Make sure you own these 15 Items Every Man Should Have in His Closet, and upgrade your classics. We've picked out our favorite brands.
Display your true colors
Women have a better sense of color and a better color memory," says Fisher. "They're more likely to notice when something doesn't match; more likely to notice what you're wearing," Use different colors to convey different desirable personality traits and to evoke different feelings in your date. Pro tip: Surrender to pink. "It's a color women gravitate toward," says Lisa Herbert, an executive vice president at Pantone, a leading color-research firm. "It indicates intimacy and sensitivity."
HIIT it with your best shot
Short for "high-intensity interval training," HIIT involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise like sprints or squat jumps followed by a longer, low-intensity phase referred to as "active recovery." And because the high-intensity phase is measured by effort instead of weight or duration, it's one exercise worth keeping in your schedule. As your fitness level improves, so will what you define as 80% — the amount of effort called for in these short bursts of intensity. It's a workout that evolves with you. Because HIIT requires a lot of energy — and therefore longer periods of rest — try incorporating a HIIT cardio session into your workout routine one to two times per week.