Fashion and clothes for players

Johnny Caustic asks, “Hey RQ, what *do* you wear to hit hot young chicks? I’m wondering whether bad boy wear or formal wear is more effective for the older player.” Fashion is a massive topic and not an area of expertise for me; there is a guy named Tanner Guzy who might be okay on this… I, for the most part, can’t be arsed to do fashion really well. But I do know that the majority of guys need to worry first about gym, then about fit, then about shoes, then everything else. If you do gym + fit + shoes correctly, a lot of the other stuff is a bonus.

My typical top-level goal is to look put-together and adult but also cool. Wearing a suit is very adult but probably not cool to most chicks in their 20s. Suits are usually too try-hard outside of weddings or courtrooms. Wearing a t-shirt for an underground band or for a sport may be cool but is not very adult. I would also give the caveat that I’m not highly into style or clothes. If I could get away with it I’d happily wear jeans and sweatshirts 24/7, or shorts and t-shirts in the summer. I don’t want to try and imitate college students, as I think I’d just look stupid, but I also don’t want to look like every fat IT worker you’ve ever seen.

I like dark jeans or gray slacks w/ t-shirt (usually black, although red can work nicely for contrast) and dark gray or black blazer. Black shoes, preferably leather, and/or boots. Put your energy into fit. “Well-fitting” is the most important part of fashion. Then shoes, then everything else. If you’re a high school or college student, this look may be too “adult” for you. I try to avoid dress shirts. Depending on my work schedule, that isn’t always possible. I have a personal aversion to suits and ties, leading to some at work calling me “the hipster.” Not totally inaccurate.

Leather jacket is good in very cold weather, and maybe a duffel coat to vary the look if necessary.

To get good fit, tailoring is useful, as most clothes are made for average fat guys. A $10 – $20 tailoring job on a $20 item of clothing to make it fit is better than a $100 item of clothing that doesn’t fit properly. Why do Hollywood guys look good in their black tees and henleys? 1) Those guys work out hard and 2) They (or their stylists) get their t-shirts tailored to fit their bodies. Most guys are either fat or wear t-shirts that have at least two inches and often more of excess material on each side of the shirt. Fix that with a tailor. Many tailors will be confused when you ask for clothes that fit, as most guys want clothes that are “comfortable” (too loose).

For a long time I was anti-accessory but now I think a necklace and rings are an improvement and give chicks something to ask about. I like black leather cuffs; chicks who ask about them are usually into BDSM as well. Amazon has loads of cheap and okay jewelry. A search for “Masculine jewelry” will do you fine. I like black rings and they are like $8 on Amazon. Etsy is also fine for this. The “story” around the item matters more than the item. Lots of these are cool, albeit a little pricey. Chicks don’t know the difference between $10, $100, or $1,000 accessories, so why bother getting $1,000 accessories?

For brands, in shoes I like Allen Edmonds, Alden, Common Projects, Hugo Boss, and Wolf & Shepherd. The specific shoe or boot is less important than it being a) comfortable/easy to walk in and b) being leather, preferably black in my case. IMO shoes are a place to spend more rather than less, as good ones will last many years and can be re-soled. Most of these are expensive, but Allen Edmonds does sales, factory seconds, etc. that will get the cost under $200. If you can visit New York or LA, you’ll be able to try a wide selection of many of these shoes.

For shirts there are too many good ones to care much. J. Crew and Banana Republic both make good black shirts. Ribbed Tee is good.

For jeans, there are also too many good dark jeans to care much. Gap, Lucky, whatever brand is fine. I don’t know why people spend $200 on jeans but I guess some guys do that. If you are trim or athletic, buy jeans larger than you think you need and have the waist taken in. For other pants, I like Outlier (prefer gray) or Bonobos. I also love to bike, which I’ve mentioned, and Outlier is made for biking and being wearable in offices/on dates.

Most luxury brands are NOT WORTH IT. They are 2 – 20x the price for like 10% better quality, if that. Fashion is, like a lot of game basics, a field where 10% greater efforts yields 80 or even 90% of the benefit. It is easy to get hooked into the bogus hedonic treadmill around clothes. Chicks will notice fit and coordination and little else.

Guys who try to optimize their way into the 95% or 96% percentiles in men’s fashion are wasting their time and avoiding approach. There is often a temptation to say to yourself, “If I can improve this one thing 10% more that will help me a lot.” It probably won’t. If you are already squatting your body weight or 1.25x your body weight for reps, getting to 1.5x your body weight will not help you much. You’ll already be where you need to be. There are diminishing returns to most activities.

For most guys, getting style to be “good enough” is more than okay. I also do fairly simple colors, mostly dark blue (jeans), black, gray, sometimes color splashes.

Big thing/challenge for me is to avoid looking like a corporate drone. Other guys will have different challenges. High school/college students may also have niche preferences I’m not aware of, so if you’re a younger guy still in school, I don’t know how useful this all will be.

By contrast, I can also think about the two black guys I’ve known who did well with white chicks. Both did the basic stuff right, like lifting, but they also dressed “up” at least one level compared to anyone else in a given situation. If everyone else wore jeans and t-shirts, they’d be in dress pants and a collared shirt. They wore suits much more often than I would recommend for the typical basic guy.

Why? Since neither was (or is) stupid, they understood that they needed to play against and overcome stereotype. That meant dressing better than the average guy, speaking better than the average guy, and being friendlier/warmer/more smiley than the average white guy. Their (probably subconscious) goal was to communicate to chicks, “I am friendly and am not going to hurt you. I have my life together.” Their goal was to avoid the immediate reaction (which, sorry black guys reading this, is often justified in everyday experience).

My goal is usually to NOT appear like a boring office drone. Given my life and personality, I need to increase my implied “edge” and not seem to boring. Both the guys I’m thinking of, needed to convey other ideas to functional, middle-class chicks and higher. Contrary to what you may see in porn or elsewhere in anxious men’s writing, most functional chicks are NOT attracted to low-class and ghetto behaviors / personas. The exceptions tend to make for spectacular stories, but they are exceptions.

It’s possible that lower-class/ghetto behaviors are effective with equivalent girls, but I don’t know a lot about the bottom-level world of true social and economic dysfunction. My sense is that most chicks in it are fat/ugly/single moms by their early 20s if not sooner. When I did conventional online dating I would run into occasional girls from that world, and even had sex with a few, but we never really got along correctly because the cultural/intelligence chasm between us was too wide. Plus, as I said, I think most chicks in that culture have terrible diet and exercise habits, so even if they start off as attractive teenagers, the decline is swift. Perhaps other guys can chime in with experiences.

There might also be a world of super rich people hooking up mostly with each other, or where the guys have so much money that the gap between “paying for it directly” and “implicitly paying indirectly” is very small. In this world, maybe it makes sense to wear $5,000 in fancy clothes that other ultra-rich people can recognize. But if this world exists, it’s very small and immaterial to me, as well as to virtually all guys who aren’t already in it.

I’m typically targeting urban, college-educated white chicks, with some Asian or Hispanic chicks thrown in as well. I’m pretty happy with European chicks as well. There may be a group of redneck chicks who like guys who hunt and work construction, or whatever it is that rural people do. For all I know, those chicks might find me weird and effeminate. Women tend to cluster in urban areas and men tend to cluster in rural areas, but there are obviously women in rural areas and if you’re into those women my strategies might not be optimal for you. A guy who shows up in Carharts on a date in the heart of a city and who is deeply into working on his truck, or whatever rural guys do, is probably not going to do well with urban chicks. There is an element of market targeting to this, and I have spent my entire life in a suburban/urban professional-class milieu.

Back to me and my world…. things not to wear:

1. Sandals.

2. Polo shirts (in most cases; sometimes nice, fitted ones made of mercerized cotton are okay in intense summer heat).

3. Short shorts. Overly long shorts. Most shorts should end just above the knee and don’t wear them unless it’s f**king hot out. Don’t wear shorts on dates.

4. Pleated kahki pants. Most khakis, actually.

5. Cargo pants (I like them for utilitarian purposes but zero women think they’re sexy).

6. Most sports shoes, unless you’re doing a sport.

7. Ill-fitting suits in particular. Most guys buy shitty suits that don’t fit them.

8. Most hats apart from unadorned baseball caps. Sometimes called “Directors caps.”

For most guys, getting the fashion part right enough is fine.

Things I’d still like to know:

1. How do you find collared shirts w/ sleeves you can roll up in the summer that don’t make you look too corporate/boring?

I’m sure someone will pipe up about how expensive clothes are. I’d say most of the basics (pants, shoes, blazer, leather jacket) will last many, many years. T-shirts will be replaced more frequently. If you buy everything recommended all at once the cost may be high; most of the better things I have were acquired over years. If you really can’t afford anything then you may want to worry about your income and job skills first, and rely on jeans/t-shirts and a leather jacket alone.

The big takeaway is, “It works for me.” If you just get fit right and don’t look stupid, you’re ahead of most guys.

Author: The Red Quest

How can we live and be in society?

18 thoughts on “Fashion and clothes for players”

  1. Excellent advice.

    I’ll chime in:

    >> Hey RQ, what *do* you wear to hit hot young chicks? I’m wondering whether bad boy wear or formal wear is more effective for the older player.”

    Q#1: What kind of girls do you like? Young isn’t specific enough. What is her lifestyle?
    Q#2: What kind of style (there is a range) do THEY LIKE?
    Q#3: From that range, what style would be CONGRUENT for you? (assume you could “grow into it”)

    I am older than TRQ, but I dress younger. I never “adult.” I wear Adidas (black/white), black jeans (levis, boot cut, actually), and t thirts (black, american apparel). Black, black, black. I also have a black ring. And a black car. And a black computer. And a black messenger bag. Etc. It is a look.

    I would echo almost everything TRQ said (especially FIT), but I’d add…

    Most guys have too many damn colors in their look. I don’t know why clothing designers do so many accents… you look like a box of crayons. If you take avg shoes (three colors), plus pants, plus shirt (typically 2+ color), plus a coat (2+ colors), plus a watch… you have 4-8 colors in your look. Box of crayons. It’s not “cool.” Really not cool.

    I would never wear an “all red” outfit… but aiming for 2-3 colors MAX is a very good tip — (c) Nash. I have never heard anyone else say this… but notice how “high end” and “modern” are usually minimal colors.

    All black sneakers (black soles too… no white soles!) with blue jeans and a blue shirt, black belt, starting to have some actual style to it. Add a black coat and you still haven’t added any new colors. 3 colors. Not bad.

    Black/black/black/black outfit… always a winner in my view.

    Brown boots, black jeans, brown shirt (with brown tshirt under it)… solid. 2 colors. Masculine look, too.

    But again… think about your target audience.

    Do you like goth chicks? If so, my look wouldn’t really pass. And even if I gothed out… would I be at all congruent with that look? Would I feel cool if I dressed like that? I would not.

    If you look “out of place” in your look, you’ll get rejected. You’ll also feel weird and it’ll fuck up your vibe.

    So… the goal is… what is her range, find a look within that range that you can pull off. That is the right answer.

    (Or better yet: Get cool, with cool style, from a culture you like, date girls from that culture. You’re aligned.)

    And if you don’t enjoy that look… if it doesn’t make you feel cool… are you sure you’re designing a lifestyle that makes sense for you?

    My look is a bit artist/skater. Because… I am an artist and I was a skater for 24 years. I feel super cool in those clothes (even at 46). And… that look is perfect for the girls I like, which are introverted, often artsy girls… but would be rejected by girls of the same age that work in financial services?

    You see that ^ last part? It’s not her age, so much as the lifestyle she is compatible with.

    Specifically for me… financial services girls…. they are “high status,” they like their job title… they work with men with “fancy watches,” they care about “hedge funds.” I am not their style, I don’t dress like their style… I am not their kind of guy… and they are not my kind of girl.

    This ^ tells you a lot about style/lifestyle overlap.

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    1. I think a huge thing that is usually completely ignored is your target audience.

      I am a somewhat feminine guy in personality. I try to balance it out by being fit and adopting some masculine traits, but in general I’m an emotional guy and theres nothing I should do about it.

      I’m into artsy, hippie, free spirited, colorful! childish chicks, and those girls dig my style. I bear two styles: first are fitting clothes with some colours that aren’t completely vanilla, so claret jeans, white fit t-shirt and a blue low neckline sweater. I have blue shoes so it fits. I seem to have a kind of natural skill to match clothes and I enjoy it, so it comes out genuine and attractive. Another “fit” outfit is creamy sweater plus dark green jeans. I avoid plain outfits like blue jeans white shirt as well as formal outfits, I’m too cheerful and colorful person for that.

      Second style are more loose, even more colorful hippie clothes. I usually wear those in environments that are more open and friendly – at psychedelic/techno music festivals, parties, home parties and so on.

      Not sure if this particular trick is applicable for you, but in the second style, if you’re at a party and you have extravagant outfit (catching eyes), because you stand out you keep getting noticed by others more frequently,they thus become accustomed and think you’re a regular there, even if you’re at a party with them for the first time. Whoever you’ll talk to will be friendlier because you’re more familiar to them.

      I also wear Hindu-like Indian accessories/jewelry that majority of RP guys would consider fag/feminine. I don’t give a shit, because I work to be firm, leading and masculine with my personality, so it only helps me filter for the chicks that also have relaxed and childlike attitude to life like I do.

      I agree though that more approaching is more of a benefit if you’re into pickup . Experimenting with clothes and style is a hobby of mine, not something I do for girls specifically.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sounds like you’re into fashion and have put a lot of thought into what you wear, and it works for you. I’m thinking of most guys who don’t care that much about fashion and who are a bit clueless and want something functional.

        Any individual guy should definitely experiment and figure out what works for him. I used to think accessories were pretty stupid and feminine… turns out that I was wrong about that.

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    2. That’s a good way to state the color issue. Any outfit should have three colors max (unless maybe you’re a style guy who knows what he’s doing). In my case, that is usually black / gray / dark blue, or, more rarely, black / gray pants / red shirt.

      I like black shoes, dark blue jeans, and a black t-shirt, as that is hard to fuck up.

      I also forgot to address the “target audience” thing, although I think I hit a pretty broad target audience. Maybe I miss the totally gothy girls, to use your example, but I have been on dates with some pretty gothy girls and been fine.

      I should also have added the “no visible logos” thing, although I think that comes through it. Why would any guy want to advertise someone else’s brand, for free? Makes no sense and looks ugly/tacky.

      I have very rarely if ever met chicks who care about fancy watches or hedge fund guys or whatever. Or as I would call them, “gold diggers.” I’m sure there are some of them out there, but I don’t think there are very many… or I just never run into them.

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  2. Instead of a normal shirt, get a linen one (e.g. from Uniqlo). I don’t even iron them. From afar, they seem nice and proper and formal, but up close they give more of a “I don’t really care” rough look. Plus they’re airy for the summer.

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  3. Really good stuff here–I’ll have to reread and see if I can upgrade myself a bit.

    One thing that I was doing on my own and then heard Torero mention, is going for some sort of Archtype or Avatar. I think I’ve heard Todd V mention this as well. For me, I try to go for the artistic/rock star kind of look: T-shirts, big jackets, skinny jeans, boots or converse All-Stars. I also have a necklace, I wear rings, I have black earrings that look like they’re gauges and a few tats. But that’s just one way to go… the point is that it does seem helpful if you have a certain “look” you are going for, and that look should be the look of the lover, not the provider–this is why polo shirts and khakis are a death knell. 1) You don’t set yourself apart from any of the betas, and 2) every girl you meet is going to see you as the stable, basic provider type guy–not the dangerous, bad boy she wants to fuck.

    Archtypes you might want to try on…

    – Rockstar/bohemian
    – Rapper/Hip-hop/R & B
    – Hard core metal/punk
    – Wolf of Wall Street (lose the suit and jacket shortly after work)
    – Fashion forward SoCal (rolled up dress shirts/patterned shorts)
    – Athlete/jock (be careful with this–wearing jerseys all the time is pathetic)
    – Older guy (think Clooney)
    – Lumbersexual (beards and flannel type)
    – Surfer/snowboarder/extreme athlete

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  4. Thanks to RQ and Nash for the long responses!

    Interesting that you avoid dress shirts, RQ, and mix t-shirts with blazers. My usual look is button-up dress shirt, sport coat, black leather shoes or boots, dark pants or $200 jeans. I’m also comfortable in a suit and tie, which I often wear at work. (I wouldn’t touch polos or khakis with my worst enemy’s dick.) I work hard on fit, and I’ve been acquiring custom-made blazers and slacks lately. But maybe I should wear more t-shirts with my blazers and fewer dress shirts? Am I putting too much of an old-man gap between myself and the young’uns?

    > Q#1: What kind of girls do you like? Young isn’t specific enough. What is her lifestyle?

    Good questions, Nash. My target audience would be smart and educated, but still on the feminine/feelings side. Drawn toward scholarship or arts or nurturing (teacher/nurse), and not too money/success-oriented. And young, of course. I like introverts but I detest nerds.

    > Q#2: What kind of style (there is a range) do THEY LIKE?

    I wish I knew. One problem is that here on the US west coast, ALL the men dress like shit, so I can’t observe what looks the hot women would be drawn to if they had a choice. (And if there were enough hot women here to observe.)

    > Q#3: From that range, what style would be CONGRUENT for you? (assume you could -“grow into it”)

    Most congruent for me is the sharp, successful, creative businessman look (think the European version, not the high-tech cubical jockey). I’m open to changing it.

    I’m older than Nash (but young looking and fit), so I’m guessing my best shot is to appeal to young women who like the image of the stylish older man; someone who represents a very distinct choice from the soyboys at their beck and call. But I suspect that suits put too much distance between me and them, especially here out west, and I don’t know where the happy medium is. I have managed to pick up a few women with my current blazer-and-button-up look, but it’s probably not optimal.

    My personality is not congruent with a badboy, Krauser-style look, but I wonder whether moving from a sport coat-based look to brown leather jackets would be more effective or less. I also wonder whether incorporating elements like necklaces or bracelets would help or hurt. It might be necessary to drop the blazers to make an outfit with those elements gel.

    > Most guys have too many damn colors in their look. I don’t know why clothing designers do so many accents… you look like a box of crayons.
    > Black/black/black/black outfit… always a winner in my view.

    Interesting. I’m what they call a “spring”; my skin tone looks best next to primary blue, primary green, or brick red. The worst colors to put next to my face are black or white; they make me look like a corpse. (Though I do like black pants as a contrast for a bright shirt.) I wish I looked good in black, but it just really brings out the bags under my eyes.

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    1. I feel like I very rarely see “cool” dress shirts, and that most of the time dress shirts just read cubicle jockey. I can already come off that way, due to my life and disposition, so I think I need to “counter” it somewhat in fashion, if I can.

      If you’re thinking about the issue and dressing in clothes that fit, I think you’re likely fine.

      I’m not a fan of blue dress shirts in particular, as I see too many lame guys wearing them. Red is interesting and uncommon. Not sure if they’d really work or not.

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    2. > ’m guessing my best shot is to appeal to young women who like the image of the stylish older man; someone who represents a very distinct choice from the soyboys at their beck and call. But I suspect that suits put too much distance between me and them, especially here out west, and I don’t know where the happy medium is

      I think there is some room to be the “guy in the suit” and pull it off. “American Psycho” style. You can wear a suit and be very attractive… but I mostly think this strategy is overplayed by guys that would rather buys suits than work on being attractive to girls.

      With that said… I had a wing I called The Professor. He actually was a professor. My age (about 40 at the time), 100% grey hair, ties, vests, cardigans. Often mixed with sneakers and skinny jeans. His age was a big part of his appeal… and he did very well. Fucked a few of his students… even had an 18 yr old from OKC message him, meet him, fuck him, first date (he checked her ID).

      Age, and a look that enhances you age… doesn’t always hurt you.

      Often is a better to pick a look (and archetype, as was mentioned above) and nail. “Jack of all trades and master of none” is very true.

      I would avoid the brown leather jacket, personally. I wear some brown (I’m lily white skinned), but brown is a little “safe.” I think we should avoid safe. I think that is part of why RQ is pushing to avoid button-downs.

      I wear button downs… mixed with Adidas/Vans (occasionally Chelsea boots) and black jeans, never tuck them in, usually solid color (sometimes with Western ‘snaps’), “military” style with chest pockets on both sides (I hate shirts with an off-centered, single pocket, never wear them)… and if I button them, I button the 2nd/3rd from the top buttons, and let it hang out. It’s modified “cholo” style (I am originally from a Mexican gangster part of LA). I never button the sleeves… I leave them open (100% of the time), or cuff them back so you can see my wrists.

      I have been lifting weights for about 8 months now… it’s showing. When a button down fits me right, and my body is making the fabric tight in the shoulders/chest/bicep… it’s not a bad look at all. Clean + powerful. Fit matters.

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  5. Summer shirt for me is Columbia Tamiami II Short Sleeve Shirt. Breezy fit, pair really well with jeans and come in all kinds of colors. I own 3, black, white, and blue. Couple more in my future next year, they were a big win last summer. They work well with jeans or shorts. I’m a bigger guy at 6’3 235 so I need some room, and in hot weather the fabric dries real quick if you are working up a sweat. I use a stitch ripper to take the stupid flap thing with the logo over the pocket off. I’m a gym rat and tend to wear running/gym shoes a lot, but I try to buy a new pair every month and toss out the pair that doesn’t look new. Can pull off running shoes, jeans and a well fitted shirt of some sort as my default look. But nothing worse than trying to rock worn out running shoes, the-worst. Looked at a few black leather bracelets based on your post, good call, put 2 on order. Have a set of green chinos that I think will look good with brown leather boots and a neutral colored shirt on order from Amazon. Amazon Prime Wardrobe is a nice program, get the stuff for free and shipped free, and then send back what you don’t like at no charge, and pay only for what you keep. Allows you to test some fashion limits without having to pay the price right away. My winter go-to sarging outfit is sport coat with mock collared shirt (so comfy and looks great, warm and easy to wear) with dark blue or black Wranglers and chukka boots. I’m into watches too, so I like to use those like bracelets, but its all fake TAG Heuer stuff bought for < $15 off the streets in Thailand but looks mint. /rambling

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    1. > I use a stitch ripper to take the stupid flap thing with the logo over the pocket off.

      This is a great call. You can’t get all logos off, but if you can remove a color easily, do it. Fewer colors are usually better.

      I actually wear logos… but not “Ralph Lauren” / “Armani” kind of stuff. Black Vans hightops/black jeans with a white Thrasher T Shirt (with a black logo) is a good look for me. I have a white Adidas one (also with a black logo). If the logo continues a pattern “black/white/black/black/white/black” it is fine.

      What kills me is companies like SuperDry that have great looking stuff, but when add a bright orange collar or logo… that ruins it for me.

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      1. Had the same concern about the pockets, but they blend in pretty well and become a non issue. Casual shirt that ends up feeling kinda dressy when you are wearing it somehow

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