Confidence is great, but a well-chosen wardrobe, and great grooming habits definitely won’t hurt
Written by RJ Firchau
While we’re all taught not to judge a book by its cover, first impressions matter — especially with the fairer sex. We asked a diverse group of women what they care about most when it comes to a man’s style and learned what details really make a difference.
So what do women find attractive? Read on to see what they had to say.
Good Grooming Habits
No matter what you’re wearing, the chief thing women will notice about you is your grooming habits. This includes your hair (opens in new window), facial hair, body hair, body odor, and overall cleanliness. While particular taste among women differs, there is some consensus.
And what it comes down to is this: Put in a little effort.
Women love a man who knows how to take care of himself and who takes pride in his appearance. Clean-shaven, rugged, whatever. So go beyond the basics of maintaining good hygiene, and build a solid grooming routine (opens in new window).
Great Taste in Shoes
Great taste in shoes is one of the first things women notice in a man’s style, perhaps second only to great grooming habits. This should tell you that investing in classic, quality footwear is a no-brainer.
Be sure to wear styles that are appropriate for the season AND the occasion. If you’re wearing your gym sneakers out on a date, you’re going to look clueless, trust us.
Bottom line: You might not need a dozen pairs of kicks in your closet, but one pair of sneakers is not going to cut it.
White Tee + Jeans
This combination is classic — and for good reason. It’s comfortable, budget-friendly, and quite frankly, it’s a look any man can pull off. However, the fit will drastically affect its overall appeal.
A t-shirt that fits correctly will display your physique in the best possible light. Too baggy or too tight are equally unflattering. Make sure your sleeves aren’t too loose or you’ll end up obscuring your biceps, a body part women find extremely attractive.
For denim, our advice is to choose a slim or tapered cut that is just long enough that it grazes the top of your shoes. But be sure that the style you pick complements your body type — jeans come in different fits for a reason.
A Suit (That Fits Properly)
Depending on your job, you may wear a suit nearly every day or hardly at all. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, women take notice when you’re in your most dressed-up attire. However, a suit that doesn’t fit you properly is not doing you any favors. If it looks like you’re drowning in a sea of suit fabric, you’re probably better off not wearing a suit at all.
Your jacket should fit snugly in the shoulders, your sleeves should end just before your wrists, and your pants should be hemmed to the proper length (opens in new window). If you need an adjustment, any of these aspects can be altered by an inexpensive tailor — so learn how to talk the tailor’s lingo (opens in new window).
Don’t just wear a suit, wear it well.
Rolling your sleeves and showing a little forearm is a big hit with the ladies. It has a cool, casual, approachable vibe. It can make you look like you’re kicking back after doing some serious, manly work — and what’s not to love about that?
Keep this style in mind next time you’re heading to a post-work happy hour or anytime you want to tone down the formality of a button-up shirt. Not sure how to roll your sleeves? Learn how here (opens in new window).
Chinos are another versatile piece that you can easily plug into your everyday wardrobe. Women love them because they look more put together than your average jeans or khakis — are you starting to sense a theme here?
Just like a suit, proper fit is essential. Chinos that are too big or shapeless will ruin the look, so choose a modern, tapered cut.
Pro Tip: Try cuffing the hem to show off a hint of your colorful dress socks (opens in new window).
Henleys are a step up from the t-shirt when it comes to attraction factor. They lend a casual sophistication to your attire and are easily added to your weekend wardrobe. Pick up a couple in neutral colors like white, gray, and navy, and you’ll be able to pair them with virtually any pants you own.
So stand apart from the average t-shirt-clad masses — you’ll seem more mature in comparison and still be just as comfortable.
A v-neck sweater strikes the right balance between relaxed and done-up, so wearing one is a safe bet for most occasions. As a bonus, it’ll help keep you warm when temperatures start to drop.
For the sake of versatility, we suggest solid gray, navy, or olive green. Try wearing it over a button-up shirt or crew neck tee — the layering factor (opens in new window) is a major part of what makes the v-neck so winning.
Well-chosen accessories truly elevate your style, so don’t treat them as an afterthought. If you’re just beginning to experiment, we suggesting making your first purchase an understated, minimalist watch. (We know that the functionality of a watch is basically obsolete at this point — but they just look so damn good.)
Be careful not to ruin an otherwise solid foundation by going overboard. Too much jewelry, flashy statement pieces, and wardrobe flair can end up doing more harm than good.
Rule of Thumb: Limit yourself to no more than two or three accessories at a time. This includes watches, rings, bracelets, tie bars, colorful laces, scarves, pocket squares (opens in new window), and lapel pins.
Perhaps the most controversial item on our list, the mankle (man+ankle) has seen a serious rise in popularity over the past few years. It has a modern and daring vibe, with undertones of sensuality — and many women go crazy over it. It says “I care about how I look, but not too much.”
Despite what you may think, showing off your ankles doesn’t mean going sockless. A great pair of no-shows socks (opens in new window) will keep you just as comfy as a pair of mid-calf socks and they’ll help you avoid sweaty, stinky feet.
You can achieve this look by simply cuffing your pant legs (jeans and chinos) or asking your tailor for a cropped trouser (suits). But don’t show more than 1 or 2 inches of ankle or you’ll risk looking like you’ve hit an unexpected growth spurt.
What do you find makes a great first impression? Is there anything you wear to put your best foot forward? Let us know in the comments.
Photo Of RJ Firchau
SOURCE: THE GENTLEMANUAL