Thursday, June 21, 2012

Alpha Styling for Women - dressing like you mean business

(Erin Burnett - Respected business reporter and interviewer for CNN)

Now I'd like to make it clear from the outset that 'I get it'..... most women don't think that a  man is capable of giving fashion advice to women. They believe men just don't understand the complexities of women's fashion.

But maybe - just maybe - there might be something worthwhile in a man's perspective... especially when it comes to projecting a strong and capable image in a corporate environment.

Have I got you interested?  Ok.... let's start by taking a brief look at something that women and men have in common... the basic psychology behind why we dress the way we do. 

It's simple really. Human beings are hard-wired to dress in a way that allows them to :
  • fit-in and be accepted by the group (whatever the group is) 
  • to be different in some way that raises their status within the group
  • and to be attractive to potential mates that might exist within the group.
Now it's important to appreciate the fact that women and men express these three primal values in very different ways. 

For most men, this means dressing in a way that's simplestrong and functional.  And if they are an Alpha personality, they will wear clothes that have an obvious quality and an understated elegance. A good example of this is the character of James Bond.

Women on the other hand, use decoration to enhance their natural beauty and attractiveness.  And this can take the form of any-or-all of the following techniques :

*  the latest fashion trends
*  hair colour and accessories
*  make-up
*  ear-rings and necklaces
*  watches, bangles and rings
*  handbags with buckles and straps.

For the sake of the men reading this post, I would point out that each woman uses the decoration techniques above in her own particular way... which creates a complex personal expression that can-and-does change from time to time!  As an example, the photo of Erin Burnett below shows a drastic change of image from her usual television presentation.


The challenge for a woman comes when they are expected to balance decoration with the image that employers (and clients) in the corporate sector expect from both women and men.

So what is the image that the corporate sector values? 

They value staff who look like they have : a practical approach to the business ; who are capable and effective in their role ; have high standards of performance ; and an appreciation for the fine detail.

These are the basic character traits of an Alpha personality... and it could be said that they have become the foundation of the corporate uniformIn short, it's a style of dress that is :

1)  simple (practical)
2)  strong (capable)
3)  and functional (effective)
4)  with an obvious quality (high standards)
5)  and an understated elegance (appreciation for detail).

For women, those five parameters could be interpreted as being : 

1)  simple - nothing too frilly or too sexy
2)  strong - use solid colours as your foundation
3)  functional - wear or carry items that are practical for your role
4)  obvious quality - invest in quality fabrics and good craftsmanship
5)  understated elegance - a subtle sophistication and attention to detail.

Finally, keep in mind that dressing for a corporate environment is not about you expressing yourself with the way you dress.  And it’s not about expressing your sexuality either.  It’s about expressing qualities that make the business (and your role) look efficient and professional.
It's a Primal Thing.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dress like a Man - not like Manchester

The photo above is of Cuban-American rapper Armondo Perez (aka Pitbull).  His style of dress is very different from most other rappers, and he has an incredibly large female following. 

That's no surprise really... Pitbull dresses in a way that is universally recognised as being manly.  He doesn't wear a cap sideways on his head, or baggy-bum jeans that show half his underwear. 

Instead he wears clothes that highlight his shoulders, chest, crotch, bum and thighs... all the physical features that women are hard-wired to admire in a man.  It's a primal thing

Pitbull dresses in a way that  highlights he's an Alpha personality.  What he wears is always : simple, strong and functional, with an obvious quality, and an understated elegance. 

This is very different to the current fashions for men, which are very highly decorated and often have unnecessary features (extra buttons, straps and buckles that don't serve any real purpose).

These unnecessary features are simply decoration... which is a feminine trait.  And while a man might wear a splash of colour here and there (as Pitbull often does), using decoration to attract attention from the opposite sex doesn't actually send the right primal message.

But a lot of women will say that they like a man who wears up-to-date fashion.  And I'm sure they do, but only because he becomes another decoration in her life.  He becomes something pretty to have around the house... like nice curtains, a nice lounge, and nice cushions

But a man isn't supposed to look (or act) like a piece of manchester.  His primal role is that of a warrior-hunter... or to put that in more modern terms, a protector-provider

To do that effectively... to prompt respect from other man and be attractive to women... he has to demonstrate that he's more than just mere decoration.  He has to show that he has the character traits necessary to fulfill his primal role.

So in summary :  Avoid fashion trends that have you looking like you're part of the furnishings. Dress like a manly man... an Alpha personality :
  • simple... which shows you're practical in your approach
  • strong... which shows that you're capable of getting the job done
  • functional... which shows that you're effective in everything you do.
And that basically translates as dressing like this :  
  • avoid clothes with excess decorations or unnecessary features
  • wear form-fitting clothes that highlight your masculine features
  • and preferably in dark or solid colours.

It's a Primal Thing.

For insights into the Pitfalls of Popular Fashion, click on the link below :