I’ve got a question from my female reader and she would like to know how can she help her boyfriend step up his style.
“Antonio, I don’t know how to help my boyfriend. He’s 26 years old, a young, bright attorney, and he just landed a great position. He thinks tweed suits though are the ones that look great. To me, they remind me of couch upholstery. He says people compliment him, but he works with men and women in their 60s. I sent him a few links to your videos, but how can I help him better understand fashion?”
“His dad was never around and never taught him anything about style, and again, all of his mentors, they’re in their 60s. In addition, he’s very, very frugal. I’ve tried to tell him that we can go to the Men’s Wearhouse and get three good suits, but he had a bad experience because nothing in there fit him well. Can you help me? He has big aspirations. I have big aspirations for him, but I feel that when people look at him, they’re going to feel he has a lack of personality or self-awareness because of his image. Help.”
Normally I don’t recommend that a woman dress a man. I feel that it’s up to men to take the bull by the horns and for them to dress themselves because if you have a woman dressing you, then at the end of the day, you’re just like a little boy, except grown up.
If you don’t understand how things were put together and if you don’t take the reins on your own style, then you’re not really going to be confident in that clothing.
That is something that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. So at the end of the day, you’ve got to help him see what the value is, and he sounds like a smart guy.
Let me start off with the story of the money machine. If you ran into a machine and every time you put in a dollar, ten popped out, that would be a pretty good deal, right?
You would probably try to take that machine and hide it and just keep feeding it ones and $10 bills keep popping out until the government gets a hold of that. In any case, you see what I’m saying.
It’s like that when you start to dress sharp. When you go from not having much style to having great style, all of a sudden, you’re finding that the money you’re spending on the clothing is being returned to you in ways you’re finding that people are starting to notice your work more, that it’s making you more confident, so you’re feeling better.
You’re taking on tasks and doing things that you normally wouldn’t have felt good getting in front of people. I mean, that’s really the value that you want to help show him. Part of that is you learning the difference between style and fashion because I saw that you used the word “fashion”, and men, we do not like fashion, the reason being is we can’t keep up with it.
We don’t like the idea that one color is in fashion one season and that this suit that we spent a lot of money on isn’t in fashion the next season.
Here’s a great book besides my website, my blogs and all that stuff. I really like this book. It’s called “Dressing the Man You Love” and it’s written by a woman, Betsy Matthes, and I’m going to do a review on this book because I think it’s one of the best ones written out there, even though it’s written for women who are dressing their husbands or boyfriends.
I felt like she had to have taken a lot of this information from some of the best writers I’ve seen out there.
It’s a pretty modern — it’s not even ten years old. 2006, so we’re talking six years old and she pulls a lot of the best, I think, from Alan Flusser, from Bernhard Roetzel, some of my favorite writers.
Click here to buy Dressing the Man by Alan Flusser
Her stuff is solid. Whenever you read through this, all of a sudden, you’re going to be able to look at things like a classic men’s stylist should. And when you understand that, I think you’re going to be able to give him very good advice. They also make some great points in there of why a man should invest in his wardrobe.
Help him see the value. Help him understand that every dollar he spends on this, he’s going to get nine or ten back. When a man understands that, all of a sudden, it’s not about the clothing.
It’s about his bigger goals, his bigger aspirations, and how this clothing is going to help him be that great businessman or great attorney that you see for his future.
The other thing is let’s talk about what you can do right now, immediately. The Men’s Wearhouse is not going to solve your problems. It’s a fine store, but the problem with the Men’s Wearhouse with men with — and you mentioned he has a great athletic body, takes care of himself. They don’t make clothing for men like that.
You’re going to want to find a respectable, made-to-measure outfit or even bespoke, but I would start off with probably made-to-measure because you said your budget — you’ve got a little bit of money, but you don’t want to waste money. Nobody that has made themselves and has quite a bit of money just throws money away.
It’s one of those things that you want to get into this slowly and maybe it’s something that you want to perhaps — you’ve got Valentine’s Day coming up. Maybe it’s going to be your gift to him in which you guys have a glass of wine and you measure him in his underwear, and all of a sudden, you got his measurements down and you surprise him with a handmade shirt starting off. That would be something pretty simple.
Because you’ve read this book and you understand the basic shirt, that first shirt just focus on fit, the same with the suit focus on fit, once you get that fit down, all of a sudden he’s able to raise his arms up and the whole jacket doesn’t raise up, or it actually shows that he actually has a larger chest than midsection.
All of a sudden, he’s going to start getting more compliments from not just the people that are a bit older in his office and he’s going to start to realize that, “Wow! There is something we said.”
I wouldn’t knock his suits, it sounds like he’s got a lot of tweeds and stuff like that, but it sounds like a lot of his clothing just needs to be adjusted, so focus on that fit and focus on you changing your mindset a bit so you can show him the value of dressing sharp.
Don’t make it about you wanting him to do it because guys, we just don’t respond to that. But if you can show me the value of how it’s going to help me, then that really makes sense because I’ve got bigger aspirations.