Shoes and Clothes

Women pay attention to shoes. Let me repeat that: Women will notice your shoes. They notice their own, and they notice yours. You don't have to spend a fortune to get good shoes, but you will have to pay more than $15 at the local Payless. Go to a discount store that sells many of the brand names on sale. You can get a long-lasting pair of shoes for around $50 or so, and they will do more to enhance your image than those ragged Hush Puppies you've had since you were a kid. Keep your shoes shined and in good condition and you'll avoid raising any red flags with her. Keep your socks in good shape (no holes or tears) and matching. Memorize the golden rules: Socks match your pant color, not the shoes, and the belt matches the shoes.

When it comes to clothes, keep it simple - especially if you don't have any understanding of fashion. You don't have to be Mr. Armani to look decent, especially if you stick to the basics. Remember: black is always good, just not too much or you'll look like Johnny Cash. Black makes you look slim, it's always in, it's hard to stain, and it goes with most everything. Go with subdued colors until you know which ones work for you. Again, the best thing you can do is to find a woman to go shopping with you and help you pick out some clothes, or get the sales gal to help you find a good look. (And don't forget to get her phone number, while you're at it.)

Another part of your overall fashion appearance is to keep your lines clean. This means that, aside from choosing a good fit from your clothes, you should keep the creases and contours of your clothes smooth so that they look as if they fit well. Don't carry large objects (anything noticeable) in your pockets, like your cell phone, a pager, a Palm Pilot, whatever geek toys you usually keep. Also, watch out for the Batman Syndrome, where you end up carrying all this junk on your utility belt. Keep it all out of sight whenever possible. Women are not impressed with or attracted to geeky-ness as much as you might think.

Take a good long look at that lumpy wallet you've been carrying around since the eighth grade - you know, the one with the worn circle from where you keep that condom stowed away. Traditional wallets, I must inform you, are for old married guys. Most men are carrying around pictures, business cards, credit cards, driver's license, fortunes from Chinese meals gone-by, change, a few George Washingtons, and that worn out backup rubber. This amounts to about three inches of lump in your ass pocket. Not attractive. My recommendation is to ditch your beat-up lambskin tri-fold for a sleek billfold that holds only the essentials, and keep it in a front jacket pocket where possible. I now carry one that holds my license in a see-through window, a few credit cards, and a clip for money.

If you can afford to, use a dry cleaner where possible to handle your nicer clothes. An added bonus is that when they launder your shirts, they'll press them. I know how much guys (and gals) hate to iron, and you can't afford to run around looking like you fished that shirt from the bottom of your laundry basket. Dry cleaners also provide repair services, so use them to re-attach buttons, fix seams, etc.

Another tip for clothing care is to use only a small amount of detergent when you wash. The smell of too much soap can be overwhelming. Also, the over-use of soaps will fade and wear your clothes out early.

I have an easy formula for clothes that should help you build a simple, versatile, and effective wardrobe:

Buy one pair of pants in navy blue, olive, tan, charcoal, and black. (5 Total)

Buy one black, one light or medium blue, and one shirt of a color that works for you. Buy two white, long-sleeve dress shirts (Oxford pinpoint, button-down collar). (5 Total) Increase your shirts as needed. These colors should give you a great deal of combining options. When you can afford it, a sport coat or two should be added in to the mix, but in the meantime, a simple black jacket will suffice.

Continue reading here: Physical Fitness

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