It took me a few days to go through your replies to my last post asking if looks really matter. But wow, I loved hearing from everyone.

I was not only surprised by the mixed responses, but also hearing from a few female readers of The Essential Man, giving their unique perspective.

Here’s what some of you said:

I love all these responses because they’re from so many different kinds of people. The comment about hot rich guy vs ugly rich guy was hilarious.

But the comments about personality being more important stuck out, too. It reminded me of something guys often say when it comes to their appearance:

“She should like me for who I am.”

Guys LOVE saying that.

You know what I ask them?

I ask them to describe to me their “Dream Girl”. If you could have any girl right now, what would she be like?

What do you think the #1 most common trait for that “Dream Girl” is?

Great personality?

Funny?

It’s that SHE’S HOT.

Are you surprised? I’m not.

Why do we think we’re the exceptions when it comes to appearance? I admit there was a point in my life when I was crushing on the hottest girls, but never took an honest look at myself to see if I was up to par. To see if I could use some upgrades.

This goes beyond dating too. Check out this quote from actor Chris Pratt on how working on his appearance changed his career:

“A huge part of how my career has shifted is based on the way that I look, on the way that I’ve shaped my body to look…it’s nice to know that there’s something I can do, that I can manipulate the way I look — that’s a good thing for an actor to be able to do…There are a lot of women who got careers out of it, and I’m using it to my advantage. And at the end of the day, our bodies are objects.” (source)

What did you notice about the original Reddit comment and a few of the responses? Take a minute to think about what they all had in common.

So many of them approach the question as “either or.”

You’re either attractive and automatically get women, OR you’re unattractive but can get women if you’re successful (or have a great personality, etc)

One of my business mentors, an extremely successful entrepreneur here in NYC, likes to employ what’s called the “YES” approach.

If you ask him something like “Should I read more books, or should I seek out mentors to improve my business?” He would reply “Yes. You should do both.” Because that’s what successful people do. They do everything to get better.

“Should I diet or exercise to get in shape?” Yes. You should do both!

“Should I DO more romantic things for my wife, or SAY how I feel more?” YES. BOTH.

“Should I cut back on my spending, save more of my money or work on getting a raise?” Yes. All of the above!

So what’s my take on the question if looks matter?

Yes, your personality matters.

Yes, your career and success matters.

Yes, your life goals matter.

And yes, your looks matter too.

EVERYTHING MATTERS.

This is what the most successful people understand when it comes to wealth, business, dating, life: if you want to maximize success, you have to improve in as many areas as you can. Areas that you have control of.

The “areas you have control of” is very important, because we often focus on things we can’t change.

Take a look at this great comment:

It reveals an uncomfortable truth about ourselves:

It’s much easier to WISH the world was ideal, that we aren’t judged by things like how we look, than to actually do something about it.

Let me repeat that again. We would rather force the rest of the world to change, than change ourselves.

Part of the reason is we often psych ourselves out and assume it requires a lot more effort than we think. How many people do you know say they’d love to get in shape but don’t have 5 hours a day to spend at the gym? Of course, you can get in shape in a fraction of the time.

Take, for example, when I talk to guys about how clothes should fit.

They’re always so overwhelmed. They ask me DOZENS of specific questions.

Things like:

  • “How should my denim jacket fit compared to my blazer?”
  • “Is it ok if I keep my jeans long and just roll them up?”
  • “What’s the proper width of a collar?”

They totally overcomplicate things, thinking they need to learn 20 dozen rules about fit in order to look good.

And here’s what I tell them: “The clues are in the construction.”

How to Figure Out If You’re Wearing The Right Size in 1 Second

All you need to know about how clothes should fit you can be seen by looking at how it’s put together.

For example, if you want to know how a top should fit, take a look at the shoulder seams. Where the sleeve and shoulder connect on, say, a t-shirt, should line up with where your arm and shoulder connect.

Let’s see this in action.

A bad example: Adam Sandler

adamsandler

Ok. This feels way too easy, but look at how low the sleeve/shoulder seam falls from his actual shoulder. The seam almost hits the middle of his bicep!

This INSTANTLY tells you that the shirt is too big for him. The mistake Adam is making, and a lot of guys make as well, is thinking just because they can technically wear the shirt, that it “fits”. It’s much easier to know when a shirt is too small than when it’s too big.

This is why following “clues are in the construction” is a great, fast way to determine if you’re wearing the right size.

A Good Example: Chris Pratt

Let’s bring back our friend Chris Pratt.

chrispratt2

As you can see, the shoulder seam of Chris’ t-shirt lines up with where his arm and shoulder actually connect, making a much better fit.

This trick applies to ANY top – t-shirts, dress shirts, plaid shirts, jackets and blazers. Check it out:

Left: His shoulder seam is falling off his shoulder by a good 2-3 inches. Right: Perfect alignment, perfect size, perfect fit. (Source)

A lot much easier than trying to remember a dozen rules for different types of clothes right? Try out this trick today with some of the clothes in your closet and see if you’ve been buying the right size.

Question for you – think about one time in your life where you were treated a certain way because of how you dressed. Whether you were dressed really fucking amazing, or looked like shit.

First date? Job interview? Business pitch?

How did the way you look influence the way you were treated?

Leave a comment below and share your story.

peter@theessentialman.com'
Author

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

  • davidbreeze

    Very insightful article – I really need to book my ideas up with regards to my wardrobe!