Picture someone real or imagined who you believe to be an incredibly well-dressed and well put together person (perhaps your style mentor, if you acted on that article).
Now, picture the clothes that ideal man was wearing- completely eliminating the person who previously had them on. Now imagine that you put those very same clothes onto the meekest, weakest, most nervous imaginary person you can come up with.
So, what’s going on here? I mean, it’s the same clothes, so why the big disparity?
Fashion is how you decorate the product- it is not the product itself.
You can recreate that previous exercise in your head with the ideal guy and the weak guy having the same body type, hairstyle, and everything else; and I think we can all agree that the weaker guy just does not compare.
So, how do we fix this, how do we get swagger? Well, we have written on the best ways to convey confidence in the first few seconds, but this is slightly different. Being confident is more of you being comfortable in your skin. I want you to think of who you are deep down as a person.
We want to get into some deep “what is the meaning of life” kind of thoughts about yourself.
Then think: what are you trying to display to the world? As a human being, who are you and what are you best suited to do?
You need to know yourself first. Know your strengths and your weaknesses, and know how you fit into the world. What is your job? What are your hobbies? How do you want to be perceived? What kind of environments do you regularly find yourself in? What kind of people would be interested in the things you do with your life?
Most guys when they get something new to throw on they think, “okay, this looks good.” What they should be thinking though is, “how will this show the best version of myself?”
The guy who lacks confidence is going to have that be the most noticeable thing about their presence. You could put a completely fit guy, with the perfect clothes, but if he messes up the first impression he will be fighting an uphill battle.
Think about who you are trying to attract into your life. What are you good at? What do you want to learn? Who are your best friends, and what friends do you want to be able to make?
Fashion should be an amplifier, not a liar.
Liars get found out, exposed, and ultimately ignored.
One of the keys to having swagger is knowing that you have something worthwhile for others; knowing your value to them, while also knowing that your value is not attached to them.
If you find yourself lacking swagger, you should first look at your surroundings. You probably feel like a fish out of water, and metaphorically you are.
You have value that you can provide to people. Not all people, but some people. This is the case for everyone. Even the best of us can only hope to please some of the people all of the time, or all of the people some of the time. But nobody can please all of the people all of the time. Find those people that you can please as much as possible.
Guys more easily get caught up in trying to impress everyone. That is not the point. The point is to find the people who you can provide value to, and then provide that value.
Your swagger will come because you are in familiar territory. The most socially awkward gamer might find themselves feeling top of the world in gaming tournaments. That’s fine. It is just the same way a jock might find themselves feeling kingly in a sports tournament, but if you were to put them in a sea of gamers, they may very likely be laughed at once they started losing horribly in the videogame tournament.
Swagger comes from knowing and owning your niche. You are going to be strong in some circumstances and environments, and weak in others. Maximize the time you are in your strongest areas.
Then, once you are feeling good and full of swagger, then and only then, should you worry about the way you are presenting yourself to the world through your style.
Think about everything from the color schemes to the types of clothes you put on, down to which accessories to wear at which times.
You want your style to be top notch and to attract the right kind of attention, but you need to be able to hold that attention. You hold that attention by being in your zone, by playing to your strengths.
So, long story short, how do you get and maintain swagger?
Know yourself and your strengths.
Put yourself in environments that enhance those strengths.
Use fashion to attract those that will most appreciate your strengths in those environments.
Keep on keeping on.