Dress for Attraction: Tips From a Men’s Fashion Consultant

November 1st, 2012 by Nick Notas 4 Comments

Emmi Sorokin

Last week Thomas Edwards and I co-hosted a fashion meetup at Alton Lane in downtown Boston. They are a premium tailor with customer service and an atmosphere that’s second to none. They welcomed us into their gorgeous loft space, complete with high definition TVs, lounge seating, and fresh beer on tap.

Spear-heading the talk was Emmi Sorokin, a premier men’s fashion consultant. She specializes in complete makeovers for men and making them look their most attractive. I recommend you check out her blog for some solid fashion advice.

The way you dress is a reflection of your personality and lifestyle. Your looks matter – but not necessarily in the way that you think. Having your shit together with your appearance conveys having your shit together in your life, and thats what matters. Fashion and styling play a critical role in first impressions.

The meetup notes below were transcribed by my good friend Howie and edited by me.

First…always accentuate your shoulders

  • Emphasizing your shoulders makes you more attractive. It frames your body and gives you a strong presence.
  • A scarf, zip-structured collar, epaulettes, and other details do this well.
  • Avoid plain crew necks.
  • The seam of your shirt should go to the edge of your shoulder, not before or beyond.

On casual button-down shirts

  • The bottom of the shirt should come to around the top of your pants pockets.
  • There shouldn’t be a lot of extra fabric under your armpit.
  • Your bottom button should come down to the top of your crotch.
  • Preferably look for slim fit or city fit, not classic fit or regular cut.
  • Roll up your sleeves for a comfortable, relaxed look. Two ways to do it are:
    • Unbutton the buttons and roll it up by cuff-lengths. It should not go past your elbow (no 1950’s cigarette-pack look).
    • For shirts with a contrasting pattern underneath the cuff: do one long roll folding your sleeve in half up to your elbow. Then, roll it up the rest of the way leaving some of the contrasting pattern sticking out of the top. Watch this video for full instructions.

On pants and jeans

  • You should not need a belt to keep them up.
  • They should skim along your body and legs.
  • Avoid anything labeled classic or traditional – will most likely be too large of a fit.
  • Always wash jeans in cold water. Don’t use a dryer, let them air dry.
  • Don’t wash your jeans too often, you can get away with a couple weeks or a month depending on wear. As long as they don’t smell or have visible stains, you’re good.
  • Wash jeans inside out to preserve color and quality of denim.
  • Stylist Pick: Levi’s 511 and 514, Banana Republic.

On shoes

  • Shoes should be sex on feet. They are your chance to make a statement and showcase your taste.
  • For going out: no Birkenstocks, sandals, or sneakers. Go for drivers, slip-ons, and laced oxfords.
  • Two-tone patterns are on-trend and more exciting than single colors.
  • Stylist pick: John Varvatos shoes.

On skin tone

  • White men should stay away from red, pink, yellow, or burgundy because they emphasize unflattering skin pigmentation. The paler they are the more this rule applies.
  • Light colors work better than bold colors for white men.
  • African-American, olive-skinned, and darker men can wear all colors.

On grooming…

  • Trim all hair. Hair carries odor and can cause body odor. Trim your head hair, armpit hair, chest hair, and pubic hair.
  • No unibrows or neckbeards allowed!
  • Trim your fingernails and toenails. Invest in a nail file and good hand cream.
  • Stylist recommendation: go for a manicure and pedicure once a season.

On cologne and scented oils…

  • Should spray in the parts of your body that are warmest to mix with your natural scent: like the neck, wrists, and behind the ears. Also, no more than two sprays total.
  • Stylist pick: Check out the selection at Sephora and The Body Shop.

The 4 Step Formula to an Attractive Casual Look

1. Fit

  • The most important component of fashion. Challenge your comfort zone and buy clothes that flatter your body. Get rid of baggy t-shirts, hoodies, and jeans.
  • Pay special attention to emphasizing your shoulders.
  • All clothes should skim closely along your body.
  • Don’t be afraid to invest in a tailor or get measured at a store.

2. Distinction

  • Your outfit shouldn’t be bland or extreme, but somewhere in between.
  • Find pieces with interesting construction (seams, patterns, trim, military detailing).
  • You should look good from a distance and have subtle details to notice close-up.
  • Make use of accent pieces (bold-colored accessories or layers).
  • Avoid runway style – you are the focal point, not the clothes.

3. Layering

  • Two layers are good, three layers are better. For example, shirt, jeans, and a lightweight sport coat.
  • Nice sport coat is essential.
  • Lightweight knit v-neck sweaters will always be versatile.
  • Different fabrics imply different seasons: Linen is relaxed and implies summer, while light wool is spring to fall.
  • If you’re wearing a t-shirt under your sweater, it has to have an intention. Basic white tees look like an undershirt. Choose a graphic or colored tee – something with a purpose, not just a filler.
  • Stylist pick: Ben Sherman motorcycle cut nylon jacket.

4. Accessorizing

  • Don’t overload your pockets. Instead, get a nice canvas bag. Stylist pick: Zappos.
  • Can pair a belt with a unique buckle, but keep it subtle and not too flashy.
  • Try interesting shoelaces.
  • For ties, you can unbutton the top button for casual, “I just had sex in the bathroom” look.
  • Watches are awesome.
  • Be careful with jewelry, keep it light and not overpowering. I pity the fool who wears too much bling.

Never forget, dress to impress.

Again, much thanks to Emmi Sorokin for her style insight and Alton Lane for their impeccable hospitality!

Ready to meet and attract more women? Let’s talk for a free strategy session.

  1. Mike on November 2, 2012

    •White men should stay away from red, pink, yellow, or burgundy because they emphasize unflattering skin pigmentation. The paler they are the more this rule applies.
    •Light colors work better than bold colors for white men.

    This bothers me a little bit as I wear red pretty much exclusively as my first layer. And yuo I’m as white as it gets. I picked it as it’s colour of confidence and power. Is this really that important? This is the first time I heard this opinions in my fashion times, are there any references for this?

    • Nick Notas on November 2, 2012

      Hey Mike, the advice is very common amongst fashion experts. That said, rules are meant to be broken and nothing is ever absolute. If you truly feel some of your items look great on you, then by all means wear them. It never hurts to get a second opinion as well.

      I would suggest mixing it up though. You should not ever wear one color exclusively. Don’t focus too much on “red expresses confidence and power”. Your actions are way more important in showing that. I guarantee there are a lot of other colors and combinations that will look great on you.

  2. jim on November 8, 2012

    Wow, this really covers everything! Do you have any advice for guys who hate shopping? I prefer doing it online but then I know I could be compromising fit.

    • Nick Notas on November 8, 2012

      Figure out what works for your body type. That includes cuts, colors, and stores. This will trim down the overall time you spend in stores. Also, go with a friend (especially a girl). It takes the focus off shopping and makes the experience more enjoyable.