Seriously — What's stopping you?
I know many of you have read dozens of style articles on what to do.
Chances are you have read through my free 7 Deadly Style Sins eBook, listened to the audio as well, and perhaps even some of you own the men's style books I've recommended.
But most of you reading this are still wearing the same clothing you wore 6 month ago when you started this journey!
What's holding YOU back?
What's YOUR Ball and Chain?
The purpose of this post? For YOU to tell ME in the comment section below exactly what is holding you back.
Why? So that I can address these barriers in my upcoming Style Transformation Course.
The 7 Most Common Barriers
Below are the 7 common barriers holding men back from instituting meaningful change in their appearance. Having worked with thousands of men – I find that in some shape or form – these obstacles manage to trip up over 95% of us (myself included at times).
Which of these Barriers is your ball and chain?
Barrier #1 – No Money
By far, the most common issue most men tell me they have is that they don't have enough money to dress well. But is this really the case?
I have seen men in Africa who make $50 a month piece together respectable wardrobes from used and donated clothing. To a lesser extreme, I've seen men in East Europe and Asia dress incredibly sharp within economies where clothing is relatively more expensive yet they make on average 1/4 to 1/3 the salary of their American Counterparts. We spend $5 on coffee daily, and 150K on a college education, but are reluctant to spend more than $200 on a suit and balk at $50 to have one altered.
What's going on here? Is money really the barrier we think it is?
Barrier #2 – No Time
A close second – it seems a large number of men feel piecing together an interchangeable wardrobe is something they don't have time for. They feel they need to read dozens of books on style and hundreds of articles on fashion so that they don't make a single mistake.
Still others find that the shopping in their areas is too limited – all the clothing they try on is a poor fit or an unsuitable style for their body type.
Barrier #3 – Analysis Paralysis
The internet is a wonderful thing for men's style; it's exposing men to more knowledge and clothing retailers than were ever available to our fathers. Many of you are following blogs, contribute to forums, and watching our style video on You Tube. In fact you might be consuming information from 10 or 20 different sources.
But are you so caught up in learning that you aren't taking any steps to improve your wardrobe? Has analysis paralysis set in?
My most popular set of articles ever was a 4 part series on “How to Build Your Wardrobe” featured over at The Art of Manliness – I felt it did well as it laid out a step-by-step set of instructions as to how to get started building an interchangeable wardrobe. Are you the kind of man that needs a step by step plan?
Barrier #4 – Hostile Environment
With relaxed dressing standards, many work environments are so casual that any man dressing sharp, stands out from the crowd. Many of you have told me this is hampering the changes you want to make as you fear standing out for your appearance will draw negative attention to you from colleagues who view your improvements as a threat to their laid back work place environment. You also don't want to out-dress your boss.
For others, their legitimate concern is that your idea of dress clothing isn't conducive to the type of work you do in the first place. How can you upgrade from jeans and T-shirts when you are required to work with your hands and get dirty?
Barrier #5 You Don't Truly Give A Damn
You understand dressing sharp is important, but so is everything else in your life. Spending time with your family, studying to complete your degree, exercising to stay in shape, and watching Jack Bauer save the world all compete for your limited resources. You would dress better if only there were 25 hours in a day – but right now improving your wardrobe isn't going to make the final cut.
Barrier #6 Hard To Fit Body Type
This is a real barrier for many of us (as I was reminded in the comments!). Most clothing is made for a hypothetical man who doesn't exist — a man who perfectly sits in the middle of the bell curve we call average.
But who's average? Many of you are 5 foot two, six foot nine, 120 lbs, 340lbs or just have long/short arms and legs. How can you build a wardrobe when you can't even find a shirt that fits?
Barrier #7 – Not Willing To Make Mistakes
I understand this barrier very well. Sitting in my closet are a number of expensive suits and shirts I never wear. The reason — I bought them before I understood style like I do today, and even though I thought they looked good on me 8 years ago — today, I'm a bit embarrassed to wear them.
But what's wrong with just getting started and learning from our mistakes? Isn't that how we do most things in life?
One of my favorite quotes is from Vince Lombardi (whose field and statue is one hour east of me) “If you're not making mistakes – you're not trying hard enough.”
Your turn — Tell me what's holding you back!
I want to hear from you – please leave a detailed comment as to which of the 7 (or combination of) above barriers is stopping you. Even better – tell me about problems you face beyond these obstacles.
All comments will receive a private message via video later this month from Antonio, the founder of Real Men Real Style.
Want to dress better but you don't want to draw too much attention or shock shock your friends?