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How to Hack Men’s Style

How to Hack Men’s Style

Silly Monster

    Too many men look like hell and don’t need to. It’s not about being messy, some guys look great messy (most don’t). It’s about style. Most of us want or need more of it. Here are the hacks to get you there.

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    Personal “brand”

    First. What is your personal brand? What are five words that describe you? Ask your friends for a few words to describe you. That is your current style. If that doesn’t work for you, what do you want instead? List those words.

    How conventional are you? Do you take risks? Are you serious? Playful? My personal brand has a lot of humor, and I am pretty comfortable being the center of attention, so I can get away with wearing a bright pink sport coat, or four different patterns (coordinated, of course), but I fade into the woodwork if I’m wearing a grey suit, white shirt and red tie. That’s me. Who are you?

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    Look for other styles

    Next, find magazines that speak to your style. Look at the ads and the photos. What are the guys wearing? Imagine yourself in that. Would that look good on you? (some of the things in magazines are to be avoided, by the way) Read the style articles, too, but don’t always believe them when they say that this or that trend is coming back. “Hats” have been coming back for almost 50 years, but have never quite recovered since the 1950s. Don’t buy one because they are trendy, buy one because you like it.

    Go to a store (that fits your style…) and browse. I know, we’re guys, we prefer hunting over gathering. So, think of this as scouting for your prey. Take a friend whose judgment you trust and run ideas by him / her, but make your own decisions! (BTW, you will make mistakes. That’s OK, that’s how you learn…) If you don’t have a friend you trust with this stuff, walk up to someone else in the store and ask his or her opinion about the shirt / suit / shoes you are wearing. This is a fun way to meet people, too.

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    Get some professional help

    Find a knowledgeable salesperson in the store and enlist his / her help. Remember, they may be on commission, so they may want to sell you stuff you don’t really want, you will need to use judgment here too. A good salesperson won’t do this, preferring to build a relationship instead. You want that too, so that they will tell you about upcoming sales and offer to put stuff aside for you. This is VERY important if you are in any way a non-standard size (says the guy who is 6’5″). Anyway…ask him / her what colors and cuts look best on you. Not everyone looks good in all colors and patterns. Blue is great for me, dark grey not so much. Similarly, bold patterns make people look bigger and broader, which is great if you are 5’6″ and 120 pounds, but not if you are 6’0″ and 350 pounds.

    Lastly, enjoy the process. There is a science, as well as an art, and you can learn both. Don’t take it seriously (except for those few occasions when you must, like funerals).

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    By the way, that is me in the photo above, no stock photo could capture the mood quite right….

     

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    Dave Kaiser

    An Executive Coach who helps people make better use of their time, from productivity to living their life's mission.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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