Tag Archives: confidence

Clothes: Your Most Powerful Long Range Social Weapon

Picture a world where all the boys and girls are impeccably well dressed – Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother).

I used to be fashion-blind. I used to dress in jeans and a T-shirt. I didn’t know what a powerful tool clothes were.

We have many weapons we use to “win” people over: a good handshake, manners, a charming accent and so on.

But these are all short-distance “weapons”. You can’t shoot a handshake across the room. But you can transmit something of who you are over the air: your looks.

While some parts of your look, such as your face or height, do not speak of your personality because you are not able to control them (your expression does, however), the way you dress speaks volumes about you.

We are told not to judge a book by it’s cover, but covers contain some valuable information. When a book cover features a flying saucer on it, you assume it’s science-fiction, and when a woman is wearing a skirt that barely covers her bottom, you assume she’s a slut.

You can actually transmit any attribute of your personality through your clothes. Clothes can be just as “conservative”, “funny”, “different”, “innovative”, “sexy” and “outgoing” as you.

We don’t get to know most people we meet very well, so the first impression is extremely important. Clothes can do a lot in your favour before you ever open your mouth.

Personally, I don’t like clothes that are trendy (same way I usually don’t root for most trends of any kind). I prefer wearing classic items in solid colours with only one item -many times an accessory- that has a pattern. The classic clothes represent that I’m not a regular teenager -and more- and the patterned item that I’m even weirder: not a regular person in general.

But that’s only my general style. Each individual item has it’s own attributes and they combine together to send a message. If you don’t consciously form it, you may be sending the wrong message.

Steve Pavlina covers this extensively here and here.

Also, clothes can make you look great

One rule of thumb I use when buying clothes is that “if I look better naked, then I don’t take it”.

There are thousands of shirts, pants, skirts, ties, heels and jeans in the world. Why should you ever waste your time and money in something that doesn’t look absolutely stunning on you?

Also, you must wear clothes that fit. A girl tries on a shirt and her love handles are showing off awfully. Her friend points it out: “But I’m a size 4! The shirt I was wearing today was a 4!”. You may be one size for one designer and two sizes bigger for another. Or you may need to lose weight. Get over it. Buy what looks good on you, not what you think should look good.

Plus, wearing a suit makes any guy automatically twice as hot. Thousands of girls agree with me.

A suit brings instant memories of James Bond to a woman's head.

Also known as "The Bond Effect".

Not to mention, knowing you look great in your clean and nicely ironed clothes and that some of the best features or your personality are being shown is an absolute confidence boost. You feel ready to succeed.

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5 Lessons From 5 Great Film Characters

Cosmo Brown (Singin’ in the Rain)

Now you could study Shakespeare and be quite an elite, and you could charm the critics and have nothing to eat, just slip on a banana peel the world’s at your feet! Make ’em laugh, make ’em laugh, make ’em laugh!

“Make ’em laugh” is effectively what I learnt from this character. I’ve discovered that a witty line can make a point, and a funny story can win an audience.

Maria (The Sound of Music)

Now children, Do Re Mi Fa So and so on are only the tools you use to build a song. Once you have these notes in your heads you can sing a million different tunes by mixing them up.

From Maria I learnt that there was much more to music that I previously thought. After watching this film, I listen to music in a completely different way. I appreciate music much more now, to the point of taking singing and piano lessons.

Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother)

“Okay, pep talk! You can do this, but to be more accurate, you probably can’t. You’re way out of practice and she’s way too hot for you. So, remember, it’s not about scoring. It’s about believing you can do it, even though you probably can’t. Go get ’em, tiger!”

I love this quote because it reflects exactly how hard it is to explain to someone the power of confidence and positive thinking. It sounds like you are deluding yourself with a confidence overload, and in fact you are, but that’s the only way to unleash the power. If I had to pick only one thing to be successful, it’s this one. Believe in yourself.

Trip Tucker (Star Trek: Enterprise)

[about flying an alien vessel] How difficult can it be? Up, down, forward, reverse. I’ll figure it out.


Nothing is that complicated. This character made me change the way I look at things. You don’t have to focus on the problem and try to eliminate it, you have to focus on the purpose and find a way there. This may not look like it, but it was a major shift in my thinking triggered by an Enterprise episode when I was twelve.

Captain Kirk (Star Trek)

The prejudices people feel about each other disappear when they get to know each other.

The quote above has nothing to do with the lesson, but I like it. What I learnt from Captain Kirk (although it’s displayed by almost every character in the Star Trek franchise) is that you can be smart, athletic and many other things at the same time and it’s not only OK but preferred. I consider myself lucky to have learnt the importance of being well-rounded at an early age (I watched Star Trek for the first time when I was about eight) because I was able to break free from my maths nerd stereotype an enrich my life enormously.

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