If you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve been conducting some “experiments” on you guys.
I’ve actually been conducting a few surveys.
These help me thoroughly understand what you’re looking to learn, what challenges you’re having and basically, how I can help you improve faster.
I’ve also been digging deep into surveys Nicolas and his team conducted when he owned it. And I’ve been talking to a lot of you personally, getting a great understanding of how I can help you better.
(As you can tell, I’ve barely slept)
Today I’d like to discuss a few of the recurring themes I’ve discovered.
Obstacle #1: Colors
Here’s an experiment of your own I’d like you to try.
This weekend, head out to a shopping mall. Look around at all the guys. Then come back and tell me how many different colors you see people wearing.
It won’t be much.
In general you’re going to see guys wearing gray, black or charcoal.
Not bad colors by themselves (except black which I don’t recommend often as it fades too fast). In fact gray is one of the four basic colors we recommend for beginners.
Disclaimer: I’m wearing black right now! However, I’m working. In my basement. By myself.
But if that’s ALL you’re wearing, it’s time to spice things up a bit.
No, you don’t have to go out and buy a rainbow-color shirt. (Please don’t).
However what you can do, even if you’re a little hesitant on adding more colors to your wardrobe, is stick with basic colors as part of your main outfit, while brightening it up with splashes of color.
Here are a few examples…
Instead of khaki Chinos, try blue or red…
Add a little white to your business shirt…
Or wear a classic jeans/blazer combo with a splash of color like the guys from Marquis of fashion did…
As you can see these outfits are easy, stylish and easy for pretty much anybody to pull off.
Think of all the various places you can add a little color. Your collars. Your cuffs. Your pants. Your shirt. Your accessories.
For the summer, chinos come in all different colors you can try out. Rust-colored chinos, marine blue, sometimes even green, etc.
Even if you don’t think you can pull it off, TRY. You might be surprised. And start small.
And when you’ve added a little color to your wardrobe, next up is…
Obstacle #2: Materials & Texture
Material can be a little more complex than color.
Mostly due to cost.
Basically, you have to completely replace your basics with high-end, elaborate materials. It’s easy to understand that cashmere is much nicer than a blend of wool and synthetic fibers.
Problem is, good materials are very expensive!
If you’re on a budget (I know many of you are), you can add different materials to your wardrobe in steps. You can also start small.
For example, you can try a nice, lightweight cashmere sweater…
Or if you’re a bit more bold and want to really liven things up, you can add multiple layers of fabric to really grab attention…
Another great look appropriate for summer is something like this Allsaints Massachussetts shirt, easy to match with a pair of slim-fitted jeans and loafers.
Here’s what I want you to notice.
All the things I’ve just shown you are still relatively simple and easy colors – it’s the material that does all the work.
Going beyond basics for elaborate materials requires a good wallet, but it’s worth the effort. Your entire wardrobe doesn’t need to be filled with high-end clothes. Just splurge when you can, and flaunt it.
Which leads us to our final obstacle…
Obstacle #3: Your Own Mind
This last one has nothing to do with clothes. It has nothing to do with your budget.
It has everything to do with YOU.
When you are first beginning to dress better, you WILL encounter resistant from your friends, family, co-workers, etc. Most guys get stuck because somebody pokes fun at them, saying they’re “too preppy”, or making country club jokes.
Let them pass.
A subscriber emailed me a few days ago saying he was having a hard time really grasping his style because every time he dressed like he wanted, his friends would ask him if he was going to a yacht party.
Please understand: This is nothing more than jealousy.
When other guys see you dressing better than they are, they are going to get defensive. They know (even subconsciously) that you’re the one who’s going to be getting attention, not them.
So they unconsciously try to stop you from doing so.
It’s the same if you lose weight. As soon as you get to a healthy weight, all of a sudden you’re “too skinny”. If you’ve ever had to lose 20+ pounds, you’ve probably received those comments.
It’s hard to deal with, but it’s worth it.
One of the FIRST things we cover in the Kinowear Bible is getting past those mental blocks and understanding why you are upgrading your style. Getting past those initial barriers takes a little work. That’s why I always recommend starting slow and working your way up.
Here’s what typically happens.
Stage 1: You wear something really nice for the first time. Girls say something like “Wow, you clean up nice!”. Guys say something like “Dude, why are you dressed up?”
Stage 2: You begin to gain more confidence and start getting compliments more often. You’ll probably notice that when you go somewhere where people don’t know you, you’ll start getting looks (good ones). If you have a girlfriend/spouse, they’ll already be used to your new style and compliment you on it. Your friends will still make jokes, but less often. Usually when you’re trying something new.
Stage 3: After a few months, people will forget how you used to dress. You will now be the guy who dresses sharp. Period.
You HAVE to get past the initial awkward stage. It’s going to happen. What’s important to know is the the closer you get to the style you feel most confident in, the less you’ll get comments that bother you. You might love the styles of the images on this blog post, or you might hate them. That doesn’t matter. You have to begin looking at pictures for the IDEAS, not the specific outfit itself.
One thing I’m going to try and do more of is add more styles that the average guy can wear. A lot of you have commented that the styles shown were a little too high-end for you. I hear you!
What’s Your Experience?
Which of those 3 stages are you at in your life? I get comments from people in all different stages. Upgrading your style is one of the best things you can do for yourself but it does bring some unique challenges (comments from others, budget, etc.).
It’s all about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and trying new things.
So let me know in the comments how you’re dealing with that!