Macks come in all flairs, races and hues. They come from all cities and backgrounds, from the cornfields of Nebraska to the urban jungles of New York. And just as there are myriad types of Macks, there are limitless types of Mack fashion—hip-hop, preppy, older professional, surfer and punk rocker are just a few. A guy with a Mohawk who plays drums in a rock band can be as smooth with women as the buttoned-up corporate professional. It would look meaningless if either of these guys tried to adopt the other guy’s style of dress, yet each can be a Mack is his own right.
No book or TV show can teach you precisely how you should dress. They don’t know you, just as we have no idea what style would suit your body type, character and lifestyle. But we can help you measure your fashion sense so that you can take it up a notch. We can also point out certain fashion blunders that no man should make.
Evolving and improving your style is a learning process. Much of your knowledge will come from visiting stores, browsing, trying things on and asking questions. We’re not going to propose too many specific brands, because they might not be right for you as an individual. Besides, new brands are always coming out, and we want to encourage you to constantly explore new options.
The essential message is this: your style should be the best possible reflection of you. Every day, do you choose your clothes prudently and feel good when you’re dressed right—or do you simply put on whatever clothes are contented or clean? If you fall into the latter category, it’s time for you to start putting more care into your choices. This might mean taking some risks and investigating, which a Mack is never afraid to do.
First and foremost, having great style means you are aware of style. You keep up with trends, and notice when your fellow man—whether it’s some dude on the street, or a celebrity on TV—is wearing something that might look good on you. We’re not saying you need to start buying Armani, Versace or the urban equivalent. But you do need to start pushing your own fashion envelope, especially if you haven’t been successful with women. Feeling good about your appearance boosts your confidence, and as we’ve stated frequently, that’s critical to your victory.
My friend The Negotiator gets frequent compliments from men and women on the way he dresses. Ironically, the salutations often come from people who spend a lot of money on outfits and jewelry (we live in Vegas, where styles tend to be flashy), while he generally wears vintage (or “second hand”) clothing. He found a look that suits his personality: colorful, funky, a little bit adventurous. He could style himself in expensive designer brands, but he found a look that best reflects him.
If you were to try dressing the same way, you might feel bumpy and self-conscious. Then again, you might dig it—it does wonders for your self-confidence when you step out wearing something different and your friends (especially female friends) have a positive reaction. You won’t know until you try out a couple of new “looks.”
You must also recollect that fashion is about more than knowing what to wear on a Friday or Saturday night. A lot of guys have several “special” outfits in their closet that they save for when they’re going out on the town, but during the work week they pay little attention to what they wear. As a Mack, you should never leave the house without feeling good about what you have on. When you feel your best, your confidence level is high and you’re better prepared to introduce yourself to whatever women you encounter.
Gyms are a perfect example: they’re a magnet for nice-looking, in-shape women. Why enter a target-rich environment wearing old sweatpants and ratty tennis shoes? Invest in some hip workout gear, and the next time you go work out you’ll feel sharper and more confident. You never know when some hottie is going to get on the treadmill next to you.
If you need to get updated on current fashions, browse upscale magazines such as GQ, Esquire, Vanity Fair and Men’s Health to see what hip guys your age are wearing. They may be wearing expensive designer threads that are beyond your budget, but it’s the “look” you want to match, not the brand. There are probably stores at your local mall that offer moderately priced clothes in the same style. And as we’ve said before, sales women are always an excellent (and free) source of information.
Basic rules you should follow:
Refrain from tight jeans. (Rule of thumb: if they show your “bulge” even remotely, get rid of them.) Ditto for acid-wash jeans, unless you’re macking on chicks who still listen to Poison and Whitesnake. Constricting clothing usually means restricted attitude. As a Mack, you should feel loose, comfortable, and ready for anything.
Holster your “guns.” If you hit the gym hard and have bulging muscles, we respect the effort. But don’t show off your biceps with cut-off sleeves or shirts that are two sizes too small. We can already tell you work out; walking around with flexed shoulders like you’re “carrying luggage” only makes you look like a goon. Gratuitous displays of muscle are going to turn off more women than they’re going to turn on. Better to save your physique as surprise, once you get intimate with her.
Avoid the Double Denim. Don’t try to match denim shirts or jackets with jeans. It looks like a missed putt every time.
No Cut-rate Shoes. When we say “cheap,” we’re not referring to the amount you paid. There are plenty of moderately priced brands, for both sneakers and dress shoes, that will look good with your outfit. Many hammers have told us that the first two items they notice on a man are his shoes and his wristwatch. If these two items are on point, they know they’re dealing with a man who understands style. And don’t forget the comfort factor; you spend more than half of your life on your feet, and if you wear cheap shoes you will pay the penalties.
Cool it with the jewelry. If you hang with the bad boy rock n’ roll crowd, you can pull off an assortment of rings, chains, earrings, etc. But for most guys here are the maximums: two rings, one on each hand. One necklace. One bracelet on the right wrist and a wristwatch on the left. No more than two earrings. Even if it’s good jewelry, when a guy wears too much it cheapens the effect. It’s better to wear one nice item (a chain, bracelet or watch) than several items that are imitation gold or diamond. Women know when they see the real thing. And if you wear a chain around your neck, tuck it in. Unless you’re a rapper, guys with money don’t need to advertise it with excessive “bling bling.”
Reconsider the baseball caps. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. If” hip hop” is your style of dress, then a ball cap can certainly work with your outfit. But if you’re a regular dude, don’t wear baseball caps when you go out at night. 99% of women really don’t care what your favorite team is. If you wear caps because you’re going bald, think about shaving your head altogether.
Re-assess your facial hair and hair style. A lot of guys have worn goatees or scruffy facial hair for years, and are attached to this “look.” Other guys believe a pony tail or long hair is part of their look. If you’ve had facial hair for as long as you can remember, we advise you to trim it and make a clean start.
Be honest. Has this “look” really been working for you? Do you fairly believe that women dig it? I’m going to guess that you might be better off without it. And I’d say that 95% of women find a smooth, clean-shaven face a lot more attractive and inviting than scruff, or even a well-tended goatee.