As a men’s fashion and style advice website we are continually championing this idea of how style and fashion can make you look good, and sometimes make you look great. We have the lowdown on the latest designers, trends and collections to help you in creating particular image that you want to portray to the world. The image that we project through our posture, temperament and our clothes sends an important message to our clients, colleagues, superiors and anyone else we may interact with.
In the first few seconds of meeting someone new, they will make snap judgements about who you are, how important you are, how intelligent you are and whether or not you are worth their time. Most of the time this is a subconscious trait of the human race which has been dictated to us through society’s definitions of what is ideal in terms of stereotypical perfection. These impressions won’t be changed unless the individual in question is proven wrong.
What Is Confidence?
In the purest sense, confidence is knowing what you’re good at, the value you provide, and acting in a way that conveys that to others. Contrast this with arrogance which typically involves believing you are better in a particular area than you are, or low self-esteem which involves believing you’re less valuable than you think. The closer your self-assessment is to that reality in the middle, and the more you behave accordingly, the closer you are to displaying healthy confidence.
While we are in no way qualified to help you build confidence through the psychological channels that some of us often need, we are aware of how clothing and fashion can help you to build a wonderful foundation to build self confidence through style.
Wrong First Impressions
Unfortunately we live in world that is all about pre-judgement and inner beauty takes a reluctant back seat; all of these things can have an effect on a man’s confidence. We are inundated with reports and articles on how a woman can be more confident, or how a guy can be confident to attract women or a partner. Very little time is taken to take into consideration the confidence of a man and how he can build it for himself, particularly through the use of clothing and fashion.
The way we dress has a profound effect on how we feel about ourselves, greatly effecting our self esteem and therefore our posture, our confidence when we speak, and that again feeds back into the impression we are giving off to others. If you dress very smartly, it is amazing how many people will comment on how well you look, how they like the outfit you’re wearing or just a little comment on the shoes or tie you are wearing, you will be amazed how much confidence these little comments give you. That confidence will come across in your posture and when you are speaking, and as a consequence you will sound much more intelligent.
Clothing As Armour
The best way for me to suggest giving yourself a confidence boost through fashion is to see your clothes as pieces of armour. Firstly armour is built to protect and shield from outside forces so why not use the same thought process to allow you to build up your confidence layer by layer. Plus we are all still little boys inside who love to play dress up and be super heroes or warriors for a day. We all have days where we don’t feel ready to take on the world, myself included so the best way to deal with this is for every piece of clothing you add to your body; imagine it adding more and more confidence to your personality.
We are forever advocating this idea of investing in great pieces of men’s fashion, another reason why this is so important is because wearing great clothes can make you feel amazing. We all have clothes we love and favour above other so use this to your advantage when getting ready in the morning. Personally, there is a huge difference to how I feel about myself when wearing a hoody and jeans, to how amazing I feel when I am I my most stylish armour of my trusty three B’s: Blazer, Bow Tie and Brogues. These are my three pieces of full proof confidence giving armour, so it’s up to you to figure out yours. Think about how good you feel in public in a well put together and carefully selected stylish outfit in comparison to walking out the house in a pair of sweatpants and seeing everyone you know. One of my favourite quotes regarding sweatpants comes from Karl Lagerfeld and it is one of many of his sayings that I live by.
On occasion I have told people who lack a certain level of confidence to see themselves as a character, a hero of theirs, or take inspiration from someone they look up to. This gives you a great starting point at figuring out what you want to look like in terms of style and how you want your confidence to appear to others. You may be aware of an occasional feature we do called ‘Style icons’, pieces about celebrity style and how we look to certain industry type men for style inspiration and how to wear certain looks or trends. This is yet another great way of learning how to build confidence with style by looking to others for inspiration. At the end of the day we are forever being inspired by everything around us all the time, nothing is build from nothing and this is the same for confidence.
Look For A Style Icon
One of my personal style icons is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, you may think this is a random choice but sometimes I feel I can associate with him on some level. We both look younger than we actually are which could lead to the chance of being taken seriously a lot less than actually deserved. We both love the style of dress indicative of a traditional dapper gent. He may be an actor and I may be a fashion writer but it would seem we both didn’t start getting main roles in life until we were later in age than most who succeed. Take a look at the images below, the look book is from a piece I did about JG-L and his style. Each image you see how he carries himself and how confident he looks. Now take a look at the image of me from a recent shoot. On that day in particular I was really ill, felt awful and had no confidence. But once I slipped on my sartorial armour I was ready to take on the world with my proverbial sword and shield.
The key here is to find someone you can see yourself on a level with in terms of characteristics, this is purely about building confidence and ignoring your ego for now. One mistake many people do when trying to exercise this ‘style inspiration’ technique is to compare themselves to the person they are inspired by. This is the biggest mistake you can do regardless of who you are or the situation you are in. Sorry guys, time for another Karl Lagerfeld quote, this one couldn’t be more relevant.
I am a firm believer in never comparing yourself to a single person out there, whether it is in regard to success or fashion and style. You should only focus on you and your own style confidence, looking to someone else and their success can breed negative thoughts to your own achievements. This article is about manifesting confidence through your style, not diminishing it through ones ego.
Best Form Of Therapy
Now we may not be qualified medical practitioners but then again, we don’t need to be. What we are qualified in is to suggest a healthy dose of retail therapy to help with this ailment we are calling lack of confidence. We are all aware of how amazing a new outfit looks and how amazing it makes you feel when you adorn yourself in new dapper duds. So we are advocating going and spending some of your hard earned cash on a little bit of feel good shopping, whether it be new clothes or a sartorial gift to oneself in the form of a manly grooming kit or anew style book for you to be inspired by whether serious or comedic. Check out a few of the helpful books we found, that already live on many of the bookshelves of many of the gents here at MFM.
Confidence Is Key
So hopefully we haven’t gone on too much about the importance of self confidence, instead we hope that you have taken something away to help you build upon your stylish confidence and to be the man you know you are. As men we often prefer to drag our knuckles and beat our chests than admit we lack a little confidence, this is absolutely fine because hopefully we have given you enough advice to build yourself with the manly confidence we know you have without having to suffer a bruised ego. So don’t forget, as we always say’ confidence is key and style is key to obtaining that confidence.