“Nobody wakes up thinking ‘I want to look like shit today.’” I told her.

I was having coffee with a friend Eva at The Highline Hotel.

She was fascinated about what I do, and was curious about how I get guys to care about how they look.

It reminded me of a question I came across my feed on Quora. Someone asked “What’s the point of dressing well?”

Here’s my answer to the question…

There is no point.

There’s no point of dressing well. Or looking good. Ugly clothes can cover your body just as well as a bespoke suit.

There’s also no point of eating food that tastes really good, the tech nerds got you covered with a nutritious goo disturbingly called Soylent.

Cheap made-for-tv movies kill just as much as time as that Summer blockbuster your friends can’t shut up about on Facebook.

But here’s the thing.

Nobody wakes up thinking “I want to look like shit today.”

Nobody looks forward to a pale beige drink when they’re starving.

Nobody writes “I want an average life.” when asked the question “What is your dream?”

When I started The Essential Man a year ago, I focused on improving guy’s style not just because my background in menswear. But because I knew it was a quick way to introduce to guys what it means to strive to be better than average.

Style is a small part of what it means to be an essential man.

What The Essential Man is truly about, is living the best version of your life.

One you thought only existed in the fantasy parts of your mind.

Take a look at this amazing comment a reader posted recently:


This is what I love about Essential Man readers.

You don’t have to be a successful entrepreneur or CEO, you can be a factory worker and strive to be the best version of yourself.

Back to Eva’s question. How do I get guys to care about how they look?

Easy, I don’t get them to care. I find people who already do. The Essential Man is for guys like Glenn who want the best things in life, who want to live the best versions of their lives.

Next week, I’m going to share a 30 minute exercise (mental, not physical) that can be the gamechanger to living the best version of your life.

In the meantime, I want to hear from you.

What does it mean to you to be an Essential Man? Leave a comment below, I’ll read them all. 


Hi, I'm Peter. I spent 11 years as a menswear designer here in NYC. Now, I help some of the most successful men look really good as a Private Personal Stylist and writer of The Essential Man. You can learn more about what I do by clicking here

  • Bobby Santana

    Hi Friend, I always read ALL. and… I have to disagree with:

    hmmm WHAT..?! 😀 for me…, Best Food…, Best Wine..
    that’s pretty much it! — have a nice weekend, Roberto

    • Peter Nguyen

      Hi Bobby. I think there’s a bit of miscommunication and we actually both agree.

      I was being sarcastic with those points!

      • Bobby Santana

        LOLL 😀 I’m really Sorry.. I really have no idea what I was thinking.. Excellent writing! 🙂

  • Keith Steven Phillips Bowers

    Several years ago I tried an experiment: Dress way the heck up when I travel by air, especially if it’s a long trip. I’ll wear something like color-coordinated chinos/bow-tie/pocket-square (say, in burgundy), with a black porkpie hat, a black vest, a white shirt, two-tone wingtips and a gray blazer. I’ve found that compliments are frequent, as is the question, “Why are you dressed up?” When I answer, “No particular reason,” the reaction is almost always positive. One flight attendant remarked how glad she was that I dressed up “just because” — and how discouraged she was on most days to see such a high percentage of people traveling in what she called pajamas. On a trip from California to New Hampshire a couple of years ago, I probably had 20 conversations that I wouldn’t have had if I wore something more pragmatic and predictable. I found that it really did seem to raise the spirits of people around me. It also got some odd questions — such as, “Are you a magician?” Have you ever been mistaken for a magician? It feels pretty cool.

    • Peter Nguyen

      That’s awesome Keith. A flight attendant friend of mine recently told me she loves seeing people dressed up on flights because most people just look like they rolled out of bed. There’s def a misconception that dressing up is uncomfortable. I also read recently that dressing nicer will increase your likelihood of getting upgraded. Though I don’t know how true this is, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Thanks for sharing

      • Keith Steven Phillips Bowers

        Like you, I’ve also run into the assumption that dressing nicer is somehow constricting and uncomfortable — yet some of the same people who express that view also compliment me with a hint of envy in their eye. No matter. I say wear whatever makes you feel your best, but try looking sharp and see how that feels, too. I don’t doubt that dressing well would make a person more likely to get an upgrade in some retail or air or rental car situation. As I’ve learned, people engage with you more when you’re dressed well, and if your attitude is good, the whole package is likely to lift other people’s attitudes too. So if some service person is in a position to give you an upgrade, I wholly understand why he or she would.