When you encounter a man showcasing an exotic Italian car, donning a beautiful Swiss watch, and wearing a perfectly tailored suit – how do you feel?
The answer may vary, but one thing you can’t deny – this man possesses a certain power that comes from ‘Status’.
What is ‘Status’ & Why Should You Care?
You might be thinking, “Well, I don't care about such superficial things.”
And yes, what we label as ‘status' might not seem to reflect a man's value since the true greatness of a man surely comes from the internal qualities within him.
Unfortunately – humans tend to be creatures of habit and are likely to judge others based on quick visual perception. These seemingly superficial things called ‘status symbols' have become a significant part of the status game.
- They can save you time
- They let you avoid conflict
- They help you signal authority
Without you speak a single word.
These are the power of ‘Status’.
In this article, I’m going to show you 10 modern high-status symbols for a man – and explain How & Why you should use them.
Male Status Symbol #1 – Custom Clothing
Many of us are fine with buying off-the-rack clothes. We go shopping and happen to find the “right” size of whatever we want. But there are always 2 things that may be an issue – authenticity and accurate fit.
Those are never questionable when it comes to custom clothing. By having something tailor-made, you’re guaranteed it’s of top quality and goes perfectly with your measurements. There's no need to question whether the item is genuine. What you see is precisely what you get.
Do you wonder why George Clooney always looks good in a suit? We know he’s a handsome guy, but he also happens to get custom suits from Mark Powell, who is said to be his favourite tailor. And history shows that powerful men like Napoleon III and Winston Churchill have bought bespoke suits from London’s Savile Row for centuries.
These men appreciate the importance of fit, fabric, and function – the fundamental elements of style. They select garments that not only fit their body type but also accentuate their individuality. It's as if they become their own style icon, unmatched in wearing those specific clothes. This subtly communicates to the world their authenticity and discernment – earning them admiration.
Custom clothing makes a definitive statement about your status as a man. If it’s within your means, consider investing in these Made-to-Measure (or Bespoke) garments.
- Sport Jackets or Blazers
- Dress Shirts
- Leather Shoes
Also, adding a personal touch such as a monogram – further highlights the uniqueness of your attire.
Male Status Symbol #2 – A Great Looking Watch
Women showcase their jewellery, and similarly, men have their watches. It's not just any watch you seek. You want something classy and luxurious like those high-end pieces priced over $1,000
While the appropriate choice often depends on the social context – the elegance of a leather strap dress watch or the robust appeal of a metal sports watch remains unparalleled.
You name it.
These brands hold a long history, recognized quality in craftsmanship, exclusivity, and price tags that could rival the cost of a significant economy automobile. This is precisely why they symbolise high status.
But what if you’re not keen on spending a lot? Given that these luxurious items don't necessarily offer more functionality than today's smartwatches, there are up-and-coming brands these days that produce luxury watches at affordable prices – and the quality of materials and mechanics is often still amazing!
When it comes to affordable watches, I love the fact that manufacturers can produce watches that look incredible without breaking the bank. After all, a Rolex is a great investment and a great statement – but not every man needs to splash out thousands of dollars when there are more budget-friendly timepieces on the market.
Sure, with many budget options, you could end up spending $200 on a low-quality timepiece that doesn't keep the time well and looks cheap. To avoid this, the key is to research brands and find manufacturers with extensive watch-making experience.
Male Status Symbol #3 – Quality Footwear
Back in the day – shoes were power symbols of the elite. Leather was so precious that only a few could afford leather footwear (or were allowed to wear it). Today, even though we all purchase shoes, with an array of options like sneakers and sandals – that symbol of status still exists.
Shoes are things people tend to look at and base judgments on (even subconsciously). If you’re wearing nice shoes – they assume that you’re a stylish man with a good eye. You look like someone who takes good care of himself. And that gains you more respect from peers.
Take David Beckham, for example. He’s a guy who – when he’s not in his cleats playing football – likes to wear bespoke leather shoes from London’s G.J.Cleverley & Co. His favourite model is the black calf brogue “The Churchill”, named after Winston Churchill – who was also a regular customer. Beckham knows how his shoes can influence public perception. So he follows the style of another respectable man.
Beyond standing out from the crowd, high-quality leather shoes offer a timeless quality. Investing in a superior pair means they could last decades, or even a lifetime, with consistent care. This dedication and attention to detail are likely to give you eyes of appreciation from others at first sight – even from those who have never seen you before!
Male Status Symbol #4 – The Technology You Use
We use our laptops, tablets, and mobile phones every day. Almost everyone has them – but some guys just need the latest & greatest stuff. They only buy from a certain company. The reason – it’s more than just quality.
About 10 years ago, Apple computers were mainly used by creatives at coffee shops. It was a big deal to carry them around. But now that Apple has taken over the world, the only way you can stand out is by having the latest iDevice – since everybody else has the second latest.
Whether we like it or not – our gadgets have a say in how people see us. The updated OS and features are secondary – we want new stuff for the prestige. We want to show friends and colleagues that we’re “in” – that we can change smartphones every other year. It’s consumerist, but that affects our status.
This isn't to say that you ‘must’ update your iPhone or MacBook annually – instead, you should focus on the actual functionality you need while looking for a well-known brand. This approach is more sustainable for your budget while still securing the social recognition associated with owning prestigious technology.
Male Status Symbol #5 – The Vehicle You Drive
As I mentioned earlier, humans are inclined to judge based on perceptions, and just like your gadgets, the vehicle you drive reflects the kind of person you are. It signifies more than just the amount of money in your bank—it reveals your lifestyle, priorities, and current stage in life.
Since humans are inherently social beings, we tend to form a collective identity within our surroundings, and perceptions of status can vary widely – what is considered high status depends on your social context and environment.
I own a minivan – a practical choice for a man with 5 kids. So anyone who sees me drive by can probably tell I have a family of my own. If I were driving a Tesla – people might think I’m some big tech corporate hotshot.
But if you live in West Texas like I did – you wouldn’t be surprised to see all these dually pickup trucks. Not only are they useful if you need to pull a horse trailer, but they’re also “cool” in that area. So you want to get a vehicle that suits your environment.
Male Status Symbol #6 – Strong Beliefs & Convictions
The great thing about the U.S. is we can exercise freedom of speech. You’re allowed to comment on political issues and express personal beliefs – including religion. And while this may turn off the general crowd – you also resonate with people who are like you.
It’s a well-known fact that Tim Tebow and Steph Curry are devout Christians – who aren’t afraid to talk about it. Curry even has “4:13” (a biblical text about Jesus) printed on the inside of his Under Armour shoes. Some fans consider those guys “preachy” but for the most part – the way they put God at the centre of everything they do (including their athletic careers) has made them more appealing and authentic.
As long as you have strong convictions with a reason to support those ideas – it shouldn’t matter if others think less of you. People who share your beliefs will be drawn to your courage and conviction. This distinctiveness can significantly boost your status, setting you apart in a majority of conforming minds.
Male Status Symbol #7 – A Body By Design
While a muscular physique may command respect from another man, there's more to it than just size. It’s about mastering the body, so it suits your culture or profession.
To have a body that upgrades your status – you need to understand who you are. If you love running marathons, developing strong calves, and reducing body fat to embody the form of an elite runner is key. Meanwhile, if you're a bodybuilder, you aim to increase your muscle mass as much as possible.
Basically, if people see you with a body that perfectly matches your way of life – they’ll respect you even more
Male Status Symbol #8 – Good Etiquette
Etiquette has always been a marker of high status, especially today, when great manners are increasingly rare – possessing such manners makes you irresistibly appealing to both business and personal life.
It wasn’t too long ago when etiquette was used to separate classes of people instead of clothing, so it seems to be achievable without the financial factor like those material status symbols we’ve talked about. Unfortunately – there’s no universal book about it since it varies from culture to culture.
But if you want to elevate your status, you need to understand basic etiquette – especially when you’re invited to formal events.
- Follow the dress code
- RSVP ahead of time
- Shake hands the right way
These are small acts of politeness that matter for an event with lots of well-respected people.
And the next time you’re invited to a fancy dinner, make sure you’ve learned the rules of fine dining etiquette. You’ll be surprised – you’ll impress many people by simply knowing when to use each spoon or how to hold each knife!
Male Status Symbol #9 – Sprezzatura
‘Sprezzatura’ is often linked to a unique dressing style that conveys coolness and effortlessness – however, it's far more than that.
Sprezzatura is the art of making a challenging task look effortless, embodying coolness with grace and confidence. It's about showcasing a skill so skillfully that it draws admiration, allowing only the outcome—not the effort behind it—to be seen.
Imagine having lunch with your workmates at a Chinese restaurant – and you happen to be fluent in Mandarin. Imagine all the nods and compliments you’re going to get as you translate everyone’s orders for the waitress. They witness the little “show” you put on – but they’re unaware that it took you 15 years to learn that language.
It’s a similar thing to Tom Hiddleston's celebrity impressions. This is a guy who gets people cracking up by saying 1 or 2 lines in the accents of fellow actors – which he does so naturally. The audience doesn’t think about all the years he’s spent honing his talent – they’re just blown away by what he does.
It’s about performing with such finesse that the hard work behind it remains invisible.
Male Status Symbol #10 – People You Surround Yourself With
This last point may be the most influential.
The company you keep—be it your spouse, partner, colleagues, or friends—significantly shapes how others perceive you.
Humans are deeply influenced by their social environment. Whether it involves personal perception or how others view us from the outside, we tend to form a group identity and align ourselves with certain values.
In a way, this is a good thing. It calls for you to be more selective about the people you want part of your life. The phenomenon of an “average Joe” receiving a status boost simply by dating someone perceived as “out of their league” is a good example of this.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you cut ties with friends who aren’t as successful as you. I’m saying you should find people who can help you grow and reach for the stars. These are among the best qualities to look for in friends and a spouse.
Aim to spend each day with someone who not only brings you joy but also motivates you to be the best version of yourself. Imagine – marrying such a person could be a truly hitting the jackpot.
What All of This Means for You
That’s it Gents, 10 high-status symbols for a man.
As I told you, no matter how much you want to escape the status game, our nature won’t let us. That’s why incorporating these symbols can give you a quick win in life.
You can start applying some of those right now, while the others might need a little more time.
To further improve your status game, here's how to avoid being end up like a low-status man.
Click below to watch the video on YouTube – How To Signal Power & Authority With Clothing
Examples of powerful male status symbols include luxury cars, designer clothing, high-end watches, impressive homes, rare collectibles, exclusive memberships, advanced degrees or notable awards, physical fitness, leadership positions, and philanthropic endeavors. Status symbols can greatly vary across different cultures and societies. While some symbols like wealth might be universal, the specifics (e.g., type of car, style of clothing) can be culture-specific. An exclusive membership refers to being part of an elite club or society, whether that's a high-end fitness club, a golf club, or a business organization. It signifies social standing, connections, and a certain level of exclusivity. Yes, philanthropy can be seen as a status symbol. It signifies not just wealth, but also a commitment to giving back to society and using one's resources to benefit others. They represent achievement, intelligence, and dedication. In many societies, educational achievements and awards are highly respected and are considered signs of success. Yes, typically, rural and urban settings have different norms and lifestyle expectations, so what serves as a status symbol in one may not have the same impact in the other. Yes, in the digital age, certain virtual goods, like rare NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), in-game items, or digital real estate, can serve as status symbols. Yes, people often make assumptions about others based on visible status symbols. However, it's important to note that these assumptions may not always accurately reflect a person's character or success. Not at all. Owning a status symbol isn't inherently negative. It becomes problematic when it leads to excessive materialism or when a person's self-worth becomes tied to these external symbols. It's crucial to remember that these symbols represent only one aspect of a person's identity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some examples of powerful male status symbols?
Are status symbols universal or do they differ across cultures?
What does an exclusive membership mean in the context of status symbols?
Is philanthropy a status symbol?
How do advanced degrees or notable awards act as status symbols?
Does the value of status symbols differ in rural and urban settings?
Can digital goods serve as status symbols?
Do status symbols influence people's perception of someone?
Is owning a status symbol inherently negative?
Examples of powerful male status symbols include luxury cars, designer clothing, high-end watches, impressive homes, rare collectibles, exclusive memberships, advanced degrees or notable awards, physical fitness, leadership positions, and philanthropic endeavors.
Status symbols can greatly vary across different cultures and societies. While some symbols like wealth might be universal, the specifics (e.g., type of car, style of clothing) can be culture-specific.
An exclusive membership refers to being part of an elite club or society, whether that's a high-end fitness club, a golf club, or a business organization. It signifies social standing, connections, and a certain level of exclusivity.
Yes, philanthropy can be seen as a status symbol. It signifies not just wealth, but also a commitment to giving back to society and using one's resources to benefit others.
They represent achievement, intelligence, and dedication. In many societies, educational achievements and awards are highly respected and are considered signs of success.
Yes, typically, rural and urban settings have different norms and lifestyle expectations, so what serves as a status symbol in one may not have the same impact in the other.
Yes, in the digital age, certain virtual goods, like rare NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), in-game items, or digital real estate, can serve as status symbols.
Yes, people often make assumptions about others based on visible status symbols. However, it's important to note that these assumptions may not always accurately reflect a person's character or success.
Not at all. Owning a status symbol isn't inherently negative. It becomes problematic when it leads to excessive materialism or when a person's self-worth becomes tied to these external symbols. It's crucial to remember that these symbols represent only one aspect of a person's identity.