A word to the single guy:
The funniest thing that happens when you’re dressed nice: you wind up fielding compliments from people you don’t know. And some of the time, those people are actually women (hence the title for this post.)
Now, before you get a big head about how stylish and/or good-looking you must be to garner all this praise, there’s a reason you’re getting the occasional thumbs-up.
The herd has thinned. And for you, this is a good thing.
Not to say you don’t deserve a nice ego pick-me-up. But you might not stand out so much if this were, say, 60, 70, 80 years ago:
Now, the three guys above are all decked-out, even by 1930′s standards. But even the not-so-styling man of the recent past looks pretty good compared to today’s standards. Some of that had to do with societal norms, some had to do with the fact that a lot of guys didn’t own a lot of clothes (and for both of those reasons, owning a suit or two was a move often more practical than sartorial.) Also, the manufacturers of sportswear hadn’t yet learned how badly non-athletes wanted to wear the stuff.
This is the herd that’s thinned. The guy who would wear a sport coat to the hardware store has traded it in for something seemingly more “functional”.
Which is why, in a city of fleece and GORE-TEX®, successfully rocking the suit/tie combo will get you noticed.
Now it’s not just as easy as getting all spiffy, and walking outside. I mean, that might work, but I think there’s more to it than just the clothes. You’ll look more approachable if you look relaxed. And you look more relaxed in a suit and tie if you’re dressed that way more often.
It’s simple: wear something nice, all the time.
Now, of course, I can’t promise that an interchange with a woman you don’t know will necessarily lead anywhere. Being a happily married man, I take any compliments for what they are, and leave things with a “thanks” (which, to be honest, is probably as far as most of the women wanted the conversation to go.) But, years ago, when I was a younger, sloppier-dressed singleton, I don’t seem to recall fielding a lot of random compliments (mind you, I’ve done a good job of mentally blocking out a fair number of those early years.)
Should you manage to break the ice, I have no advice for you regarding the next step. I’ll leave that job in the capable hands of the good men from Cricketeer…
(PS: all old magazine scans in this post gleaned from my copy of The Male Mystique, a terrific birthday gift I got a few years back.)