February 23, 2014 / Dress For The Occasion
Even occasions you think are similar could require different dress.
How you should dress doesn’t only depend on what looks good on you and what’s in style, but also on the occasion. This is obvious, as you wouldn’t wear a bathing suit to a black tie wedding and you wouldn’t wear a tuxedo to the office. However, there are many circumstances where your dress code should be seemingly "the same" but in actuality, you have room for optimization.
Example: A Date Versus A Club
I used to think that what you wear on a typical date is more or less the same as what you would wear to go out to the bars or clubs. Interestingly, after much experimentation I found that I was much more successful when I actually dressed differently out at night in a large venue versus going on out on a date or going out in a small venue.
The difference I found was related to the value of accentuating my build. I stay in pretty good shape, and most women would say I have a good build. I used to think that it makes sense to show off my body as much as I could at any venue where I expect to attract women (and no, I don’t mean going shirtless or wearing a tank top, unless it’s a pool party!). Interestingly, I discovered that showing off my body with tightish t-shirts or collared shirts was considerably more effective on one on one dates than at large venues! In large venues, I have actually been more successful with button down shirts and simply dressing "well". What gives?
Explanation: Competition and Relative Value
Once I made the observation and collected enough data to support the claim, I went to work figuring out why this was happening. The answer is related to "competition" and "relative value".
One a date, your date will notice every little detail about you and your appearance: your teeth, your smile, your build, whether or not you appear lean or built but with a little bit of fat, your watch, the smell of your cologne or bathing soap, and more. She will notice much more than she could ever notice at a large, loud venue. However, her frame of reference when she is out with you alone is memories of past men. You don’t really have competition, and the men you are being compared to at the time are imaginary.
At a large venue, it is virtually the opposite. It is very hard for women to notice little details about you such as your watch, whether your big arms are mostly fat or mostly muscle, whether your hairline is receding, or anything else that may not be immediately obvious. On the other hand, she has a lot of other men to choose from and compare you to that are right there in front of you: Not only does she have less details about you than on a date, she has much more information on your competition than on a date!
For this reason, you want to dress in such a way as to narrow your competition. I was doing this wrong for many years: I was going out to a lot of night clubs and showing off my build because I have a good one. Unfortunately, at large venues given all the competition, relative to all the other guys showing off, my "good" became merely "average", and what girl wants average? There was no point for me to pigeonhole myself into the "muscle head" crowd at large venues where I would merely be average versus the competition. I learned this and started to dress differently and with that, my success improved!
Dressing for the occasion isn’t just about the obvious situations like formal events, the work place,and casual events. It is also about optimizing how you dress in situations which seem similar. I use a personal example to illustrate the point, but whether or not to show your body is hardly the only choice.