Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Primal Fashion Trend

A new fashion trend has emerged for men in recent times, but no one has really noticed. It's what I call Primal Fashion, because unlike previous trends it allows men to wear clothes that highlight every aspect of their masculinity.... everything from tattoos to facial hair, to the shoulders, chest and arms, to the crotch and butt.  The photo of actor Colin Farrell (above) is a good example of the look.

There are other polpular trends though : men wearing low 'drop-crotch' pants ; the 'sagging' look ; and men dressing in overly decorated shirts and pants, which is a feminine trait.  And then there's the 'lost little boy' look... oversized t-shirts and extra long baggy-bum shorts.

On that point of strange fashion trends, I recently read a very interesting book titled 'One Hundred Years of Menswear' by Cally Blackman. And what struck me was that there has always been some strange fashion trends for men. 

They're what I call 'Look at Me" trends... because they are so extreme that people just have to turn and look. The Zoot Suit below is just one example.

Like today, these extreme trends were usually worn by a social sub-group who wanted to rebel against 'establishment'  values.  But in some cases it ended up influencing main-stream fashion.

The photo below of Oxford Baggies is just one example.  What started out as an act of rebellion amongst graduate students at Oxford University, ended up influencing the style of mens trousers over the next three decades.

Another interesting point that I noticed from the photos in the book was that the fashion of almost every era only ever included one or two features that highlight the masculine form.
It's as if the natural primal instincts kept surfacing unconsciously!
Take the photo of a young Marlon Brando below. Although his trousers are a fairly loose cut - not highlighting his legs or crotch - his tight t-shirt highlights his masculine chest and arms.

Below is another example. It's a 1940's suit that emphasizes broad manly shoulders... but once again the pants ensure that the legs, crotch and butt are not emphasized in any way. And the look is clean-cut... civilised... tamed. 

But these days you don't have to look 'tamed.'  In fact you can look a little wild. You can wear a bit of facial hair... as well as clothing that complements every aspect of your masculine form. You can wear shirts that show off your shoulders and chest... and pants and that highlight your crotch, your butt, or your thighs.

Now maybe you're asking yourself why you'd want to bother highlighting all your best masculine features?  After all, you've been doing ok so far.  Or have you?  How do you measure what you haven't got... or what hasn't happened to you yet?

Wouldn't you like to be more respected everywhere you go... or be seen as more attractive? Wouldn't you like to just get better service in shops and restaurants?

No one actually aspires to 'doing ok.'  You settle for 'ok.'  And why?  Because you don't know how to make things better.... or maybe it just seems like hard work.

But it's really not hard at all.  All you need is to have a clear direction. And that direction could be this : to gradually ensure that every item in your wardrobe is distinctly masculine.
In other words, regardless of your career or social group, every item should be :
  • simple... with no unnecessary decoration, pockets, buckles or straps
  • strong... form-fitting, and preferably in dark colours or patterns
  • and functional... wear only what's needed for what you're actually doing.
And to express the styling of an Alpha personality, ensure that each item has :
  • obvious quality... which expresses self-worth, and creates higher status 
  • and an understated elegance... attention to the fit and finer detail (well made).

It's a Primal Thing.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

But would James Bond wear it?

A friend of mine recently went shopping with his wife to buy himself a few new pieces to add to his wardrobe.  As they were looking through what was available, his wife picked up a shirt and said to him "This is nice."  It was one of those overly decorated shirts that are trendy for men right now -      and it was pink !

In response he simply asked "Yes it's 'nice', but would James Bond wear it?"

She immediately knew what that meant (it was pretty, but not very masculine), and she happily put the shirt back on the rack and moved on.

Although my friend's reference to James Bond might seem a bit 'cliche', it actually hit the nail on the head.  In our western culture James Bond is an icon of masculinity... and you would never see him wearing an overly decorated pink shirt.

And that's the point..... if James Bond wouldn't wear it, then it's not distinctly masculine. 
 Having said that, it's quite common for wives/girlfriends to shop for their man. And because women are naturally drawn to various forms of 'decoration', they will often dress their man in colours and designs that they think will look 'nice.'

But here's the rub. Men aren't supposed to look nice... they're supposed to look masculine. Women might like the look of 'nice', but they're not sexually attracted by it.

In other words, looking 'nice' won't cause a primal stirring in your partner's loins. And looking 'nice' won't prompt respect from other men either.

However looking masculine can easilly achieve both of those things. 

Historically, a man's role is to be a protector-provider... which is an expression of what used to be a warrior-hunterAnd when you dress in a way that expresses the character traits of a strong protector-provider, you send a message that registers on a primal level with both women and men. 

So here's the important point. Throughout your life you've been constantly changing the way you dress. And most of those changes have been caused by peer pressure. But changing now is about you taking control of how you look in the future... and how people will respond to you. 

In the past you may have had one or two compliments from women who thought that what you were wearing looked nice (most men have)... but 'nice' doesn't mean they found you attractive, or respected you as a man. 

But what does prompt attraction and respect is a style of dress that's distinctly masculine - something James Bond would wear -  something simple, strong and functional, with an obvious quality, and an understated elegance

No matter what you do - at home, at work, or at play- those 5 parameters will serve you well :
  • simple... which shows you're practical in your approach
  • strong... which shows you're capable of getting the job done
  • functional... which shows you're effective at the things you do
  • with obvious quality... which shows you have very high standards
  • and understated elegance... which shows you have an eye for subtle detail.
And that basically translates as dressing like this :
  • avoid clothes with excess decorations or unnecessary features
  • wear form-fitting clothes that highlight your best masculine features
  • and the foundation of your wardrobe should be in dark or solid colours.
It's a Primal Thing.

For more insight into the Hero Mytholgy of James Bond, click on the link below :

Monday, January 2, 2012

What's Masculine Fashion, and What's Not

Whether you realise it or not, everything you wear makes a statement about who you are, and what you value at this point in your life. 

For example, you might value looking casual and relaxed, or trendy, or sexy, or tough and scary.  But what ever it is you value, it's important to understand that you probably didn't always dress in the way you're dressing now.

Throughout your whole life the way you dress has been in a constant (if not gradual) state of change.... caused by going through different stages of your life. 

And with each stage you were affected (at an unconscious level) by three primal values that are hard-wired into the human psyche :
  • to fit-in and be accepted by the group you belonged to at the time
  • to be different in some way and raise our status in the group
  • to be sexually attractive to potential mates within the group.
As I'm sure you can appreciate, these factors cause men to dress in very different ways as they progress through their teens, then their 20's, 30's, and 40's.

Each decade comes with a different set of values to live life by!

This naturally creates different expressions of masculinity. For example, the social rebellion style of the teenage years is eventually replaced by the working-and-dating style of dress of their 20's.

However, throughout all of these stages there is actually a style of dress that is appealing across all the generations... because it expresses values that are distinctly masculine :
  • simple... with no unnecessary decoration, buckles or straps
  • strong... form-fitting, and preferably in dark colours or patterns
  • functional... wear only what's needed for what you're doing.
Because an Alpha personality understands the primal game of creating respect and attraction, they naturally take those parameters further by adding :
  • an obvious quality... which creates higher status as a potential mate
  • and understated elegance... an attention to the line and finer detail.
For an example of what Alpha-stying  looks like, below is another photo of actor Bruce Willis. What he's wearing could be worn by any generation.... and it would prompt a positive response from both men and women, in any country. 

Finally... another way of understanding what's masculine is understanding what's feminine.

Although the parameters of masculine styling can be summed up with the three basic points of simple, strong and functional... feminine styling can be summed up in just one word : decoration.

In essence, women use decoration in its various forms to enhance their beauty and/or sexuality. Following are just some examples :

hair colouring = decoration
hair accessories = decoration
lipstick and make-up = decoration
ear-rings and necklaces = decoration
watches, bangles and rings = decoration
fabric colours, patterns and textures = decoration
big sunglasses with wide sides and bling = decoration
shoes with an excess of buckles and straps = decoration
handbags with an excess of buckles and straps = decoration.

You'll notice in this photo of Bruce Willis (below) that he isn't exhibiting any of those decorative traits. His look is completely masculine : simple, strong and functional, with an obvious quality, and an understated elegance. The appeal is universal.

It's a Primal Thing.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Simplicity and Strength of Alpha Styling

In a recent discussion about Alpha styling, the person I was talking to said "I'm working to put a new Alpha wardrobe together, but it's complicated." 

Over the last few months I've actually heard that statement a couple of times now, and each time I was surprised.  Why?  Because I thought that the Alpha-style parameters were very clear. All you need to do is ensure that everything is :
  • simple
  • strong
  • and functional
  • with an obvious quality
  • and an understated elegance.
Together those five points make one easy-to-remember sentence... and the photo of Hugh Jackman (above) is a perfect example of what that sentence describes.

But then it dawned on me that most people don't know precisely why they wear the clothes they wear.  I'm sure if I had asked the person I was talking to to explain why they were wearing a checked 'tablecloth' shirt they would have said "Because I like it."
But if I had pushed the point further and asked them "But what statement do you think you're making about yourself by wearing that particular shirt?"... I think there would have been a silent pause.

And that's my point.  Everything you wear sends a message about who you are - but few people realise they're making that kind of statement about themselves.

Maybe the guy I was talking to would have responded by saying "This is what everyone is wearing right now." That would have been a very acceptable answer, because we humans are hard-wired to want to fit-in and be accepted by our group.

In fact, that want is the first (and strongest) of the three primal values that influence the way we dress :
  • we want to fit-in and be accepted by the group
  • we want to be different and raise our staus amonst the group
  • we want to be sexually attractive to potential mates within the group.
What must be understood is that the fashion industry depends on constantly creating new fashion trends (new or different looks) for each season.  And we all buy into the process because of the three primal values I've listed above... even if a particular new trend makes us look less manly.

That's why these days we've got young men wearing drop-crotch pants and clothes with too much decoration (which is a feminine trait)... and older men who look like they're lost little boys in big t-shirts and long baggy-bum shorts. 

Unfortunately, all of these current trends send a negative primal message about a man. They might be acceptable in a small social sub-group... but outside of that group they won't prompt any respect from other men, nor any attraction from women.  So the attraction-factor is extremely limited.
To maximise your masculinity, every item you wear, including your watch, sunglasses and jewellery follow the same theme :
  • simple... with no unnecessary decoration, buckles or straps
  • strong... form-fitting, and preferably in dark colours or patterns
  • and functional... only what's needed for that particular activity.
And because an Alpha personality understands the primal game of creating respect and attraction, they take those parameters even further by adding :
  • an obvious quality... which expresses self-worth and creates higher status
  • and understated elegance... attention to the fit and finer detail (well made).
So finally, here's a brief overview of the most common items :
  • Suit - a plain colour will cross-over into casual wear
  • Shirts - quality fabric, neat fit, and plain colours are the most versatile
  • Tie - complement the colours of your suit and shirt
  • Pants - a fit that highlights your butt, your crotch, and/or your thighs
  • Jeans - a fit that highlights your butt, your crotch, and/or your thighs
  • Shorts - a fit that highlights your butt, your crotch, and/or your thighs
  • Belts - a solid looking buckle, and a minimum of 3cm wide
  • Watch - a solid quality time-piece, with either a metal or leather band
  • Shoes - strong toe and heel, preferably in an interesting leather
  • Sunglasses - small to medium sized frames, but no big logos or bling.
It's a Primal Thing.