This article by Chris Groom (@mrchrisgroom) first appeared in FS Magazine, a publication of GMFA, here.
As Ludwig Andreas (and Gillian Mckeith) once said, “you are what you eat.” But are we what we wear, too?
What we wear attracts varying types of attention; some unwanted, and some most definitely wanted. Can the clothes men wear influence whether we approach them on a night out? From men in suits, to men in denim hot pants, we have all at some point been guilty of judging someone based on the way they dress.
If a guy struts across the dance floor wearing a yellow see-through vest, we’d all likely roll our eyes (apart from the guy in the yellow see-through vest), but how would you react if he tried to kiss you? A snap judgment of this guy would imply that he wants a cheap night out and to get a quick leg over, but is that necessarily true? If the same guy was wearing a Prada shirt and a pair of LV shoes would you be jumping at the opportunity instead of pushing him away?
Here’s my personal run-down of how my dating choices are influenced by sartorial choices:
Keeping it casual
What goes through your mind when a sporty masculine guy offers to buy you a drink? I know what goes through mine; it's a pleasurable wave of strong muscles, tight branded tops and high, tight bums - add a bit of stubble and you'll need to pass me a napkin to dry my seat. The ultra-cool, slick, informal look fits many tastes but it's a hard balance to strike. Too casual? Then he can look unkempt and uncared for. Too groomed? That's where he can go from masculine man to flamboyant boy.
Unprepared for preppy
The 'I’m heir to a manor estate' style worn by some preppy guys doesn't quite work for me, as it looks like too much effort was made when selecting the ensemble. The fitted cardigans, coloured dickie bows, thick framed glasses and the 'love myself' attitude sported by some of these trendy boys can be left at the door, but at least you can give them and ‘A’ for effort.
The emo/gothic style is quite a general, thrown together, mono-coloured, 'hate my life' look. Faux leather jackets and net cardigans with skinny black jeans seemingly appear to be the only choices of clothing. So, on a night out, when a gothic guy decides to leave his safety blanket (meaning his circle of friends) and walks towards you in his four-inch platform boots, do I turn my back or engage him in conversation? I assume they live a life quite similar to the way they dress, which isn't very mature.
Men at play
A man in a suit and tie oozes maturity, maybe that's why they're most popular in cheaper priced venues. It always seems to be the flamboyant guys that try and get their claws into the wealthy looking men, but for what reason? Is it something deeper rooted than what the eye can see, or is it all about the money? We all know plenty of gold diggers who, when on a night out, jump on the guy who is offering to buy the drinks; but should you accept a drink from a man you wouldn't be willing to have sex with?
High top trainers, low v-neck vest tops and basketball shorts are popular for club kids and the Vauxhall scene guys; baseball caps have an extra 'something' but only with the right outfit. Vauxhall has a bit of a reputation -sex and drugs being the main theme – and I’ve been guilty of labelling some people like this, and subsequently proven wrong on many occasions. Let’s not forget the bears, cubs and leather boys of Vauxhall – a leather dog lead many not be everyone’s taste, but don’t judge too quickly, you might like it!
Of course you shouldn’t judge someone on what they wear or how they look – there’s more to a man than that – yet we continue, myself included, to believe that people are what they wear.