From Order of Man: This is a guest post from Madhav Sekar. Madhav is the founder of Wardrobe Domination, where he helps young men with their style and personal development so they can lead kick-ass lives.
So I was watching CNBC’s The Profit (you have to watch the show – it’s sort of like Shark Tank meets Keeping Up With the Kardashians) the other day.
Anyway, there was this great wine store struggling with making money.
They had so much excess inventory that was just stored in random spots throughout the store.
And they had no method for organization or presentation – just random bottles everywhere.
But get this. Marcus Lamonis (the dude who fixes small businesses) hired a contractor, completely changed the look of the store, and created a beautiful way to present the wine bottles
He also changed the bar area of the store from looking “cheap” to high-class.
Within a few weeks, sales went up by over 200%.
Other than tell you how awesome The Profit is, I wanted to show you how much appearance matters.
But what does dressing well have to do with being a man?
Style is not about showing off and being better than others. It’s not about spending more money. It’s not about wearing crazier colors or wackier styles.
Style is a form of expression and communication.
Ultimately you express to not only yourself, but also to others who you are by the way you dress.
Now that you understand why style is important, here’s how it will help you be a better man.
I used to be pretty out of shape (chubby) and was insecure about it. This insecurity basically pervaded in to all areas of my life. I wasn’t confident in anything – even things I was good at. I wasn’t comfortable with who I was and I was always self-conscious.
I accidentally discovered the world of style and the situation started to change rapidly. I started getting compliments on my colorful socks, my ties, and my shirts.
I started embracing my new reputation as a stylish guy and became pretty confident about it. Like my former insecurity, this confidence translated in to all areas of my life.
When you dress well or create a great outfit for yourself, you feel good when you look in the mirror. Not just that, but you feel good when you walk around or while you’re in a meeting.
Knowing that you are not in some monkey suit that you’re forced to wear but rather in a dapper outfit that you picked yourself will do wonders for your confidence.
Your thoughts about yourself become positive and as world-renowned peak performance coach Tony Robbins says “our beliefs about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we can be”.
I’m sure you all have met some great men in your lifetime.
These are men that you admire, listen to, and most importantly, respect.
As you probably know, respect is not an easy asset to gain or to keep.
A man has to prove himself time and time again for others to recognize him, and one false move could throw it all away.
I’m not saying that dressing well will make everyone around you instantly respect you. But on the other hand, it’s not easy to respect someone who wears baggy jeans or shows up to work with mismatching clothes.
As I mentioned previously, when I started to dress well, I gained some respect not only as a stylish man, but also as a guy who takes himself seriously.
I’m not saying you need to go everywhere in a suit. In fact, you don’t even need to wear suit unless the event or meeting requires it.
But the term “casual” is not a license to pick three items randomly from your closet and throw them on. There are ways to dress well for all situations – even a picnic at the park.
I’m gonna be honest. Now that you know the importance of style, you won’t just walk in to your nearest store find clothes that you need and like and that all fit and be perfectly content with your wardrobe for the rest of your life.
The reality is it will take some experimentation. When I was starting out, I had to try on lots of new things. Granted, I was a bit inefficient about the whole process, but it still takes time regardless.
I had to wear clothes I felt uncomfortable in.
I was afraid people may make fun of me.
I had to push my comfort zone.
The only belief that got me through was that I knew the benefit of great style far outweighed the costs of a few harmless jokes and temporary discomfort.
But it was a great learning process. Doing that has made me more comfortable with breaking out of my comfort zone in other activities.
And this is a fundamental part of being a man. Progress never happens in the comfort zone.
Once you become comfortable with what once was scary, continue pushing further. Don’t stop. Ever.
I still experiment with new clothes, brands, or styles.
Creativity is one of those qualities that are so essential for success, especially in today’s world of constant change – yet so underappreciated.
We often reserve this word for the designers and the eccentric artists. In reality, we all need to be creative.
Creativity allows us to think our way out of challenging situations and solve unpredictable and novel problems.
But how can developing great style help with this?
As you experiment with what you like to wear, you’ll soon find yourself developing a distinctive style.
You’ll find that you like to wear a certain type of watch, tie, or in my case socks (I have a massive sock collection).
Your daily outfits will soon become an outlet for your creativity. The clothes you pick out in the morning will be your piece of artwork, your Mona Lisa (but probably even better looking).
Getting dressed, just as with anything else, is much more enjoyable when you feel emotionally invested in it instead of viewing it as merely a chore.
Everything above falls under the large umbrella of personal development.
As you already know, personal development is vital to being a successful man and individual.
Developing your style and investing in your appearance plays a huge role in personal growth. Not only that, but it also helps you grow in other areas of your life.
Once I had become more confident and stylish, I started caring about other areas of my life.
I became (and still am) an avid reader, constantly learning and applying new information.
I started living my life with much more purpose and intent, carefully considering my actions and the values on which I based my judgments.
Because I was dressing well, I knew that my actions had to match my appearance. In a way, my style kept me accountable. I was forced to take all my actions and myself seriously.
Becoming stylish made me a better man and transformed my life and I know it can do the same for you.
The biggest problems are knowing where to start, what to learn, and how to learn. If you want me to help you pinpoint your exact style “gaps” and “pain points”, click here.