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How can a guy dress more sexy?
November 15, 2009 10:19 AM   Subscribe

How can a guy dress more sexy?

Being a guy I have a good understanding how women can dress more sexy, but for myself I have little clue. How do I dress more sexy for the opposite gender?

I have a decent wardrobe of things that I bought specifically for their looks and I do actively combine them so that they fit together and I supposedly look good. Still I wouldn't say it or I ever look sexy or hot.

If this is a stupid question, because (1) I already do look sexy, or (2) I have to behave sexy instead or (3) ... feel free to let me know, also.

[Background: Central Europe, 30-ish, average sporty, fashionable, and outgoing, healthy BMI]
posted by oxit to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (42 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
What are your physical assets? What colors look good on you? What cut and size of clothes fit you well? Do you look good with a hat? Is there a particular style of clothing that really suits your face and body? Figure these things out and then dress to highlight those features, walk with confidence and you'll be just fine.

If this is a stupid question, because (1) I already do look sexy

Uh, no one in this thread can tell what you look like.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:30 AM on November 15, 2009


I think what a woman finds sexy on a guy will strongly depend on the woman, assuming you're already meeting certain minimums of style and cleanliness.

Personally: dress shirts with the sleeves rolled up.
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:40 AM on November 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wear textures a woman would like to touch. My wife loves it when I wear my cashmere sweater. It serves to bring in another sense - that of touch. Touch itself is such a huge part of flirting its an important one and usually ignored I think.
posted by UMDirector at 10:45 AM on November 15, 2009


I would say that "sexy" is defined by many women as being kind, confident and having a good sense of humor. Wearing clothes that are classic in style, well-tailored and comfortable which suit your personality would be construed as sexy. Of course, having a good body and nice teeth can only help you be construed as hot. But, really, kindness, intelligence, friendliness and a willingness to laugh about life are the sexiest qualities I know.
posted by amanda at 10:46 AM on November 15, 2009


This question is hard to answer without knowing more about 1) How you dress now, and 2) in what kind of environment you are looking to meet new people. If you are currently making fashion faux pas then there are fairly easy changes you could make to adopt a more classic style likely to be more generally appealing. However, if you already dress in a manner that generally blends in with the environment in which you would like to meet more women, I fear that any obvious adjustment of your wardrobe to specifically attract women will run the risk of turning women off.
posted by applemeat at 10:50 AM on November 15, 2009


What I find sexy is a special air of confidence and competence that is generally more about being comfortable in one's own skin than any clothes per se. That said, classic clothes that fit well and show some care in their wearing (clean, pressed, polished, etc.) can be sexy irrespective of how much skin is showing.

2nding everyone above.
posted by angiep at 11:01 AM on November 15, 2009


IMHO, sexy for younger urban men usually involves slimmer cut garments than the average American male would buy (I don't know what country you're from, but many Americans would call this an "Italian" cut, whether or not it's authentic) . For example, when a friend asked me which of two t-shirts was more flattering, I picked the smaller of the two, because it emphasized the squareness and broadness of his shoulders, compared to the baggier, larger shirt which just made him drown in fabric. This runs the risk of being conflated with hipster dress, but not if done carefully and moderately. Tight is not necessarily sexy, but showing the shape of the body underneath the clothes in the right way is.
posted by slow graffiti at 11:01 AM on November 15, 2009 [12 favorites]


Just don't look like a slob. Groom and wear things that fit. Comb your beard. Trim your beard. Brush your teeth. Get your neck shaved. Iron your collars. Bleach your whites. Throw out threadbare and pit-stained things. Get your tattoos retouched. Get your pants hemmed, etc. It's the overall neat-looking fresh-smelling guy whom most of the girls I know will approach.
posted by debbie_ann at 11:02 AM on November 15, 2009


p.s. Listen to the others above. Being neat and clean is a must, and if in doubt, you'll always be best served by well-tailored, non-trendy, classic styles.
posted by applemeat at 11:05 AM on November 15, 2009


Dressing sexy for a guy usually means wearing less, unless you don't have a good physique to start off with, in which case it's just three things:
  1. The clothes should fit well
  2. The clothes should look clean
  3. The clothes should smell clean.
You'd be surprised how many guys get one or more of these essential elements wrong, then wonder why their AWESOMESEXY leather boots aren't getting any love from the ladies.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:06 AM on November 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


And to follow-up on what Civil says, it *so* annoys me when I see women at the clubs dressed to kill and these guys hitting on them wearing dorky ball caps, t-shirts and baggy jeans. A little effort in that area goes a long way.
posted by amanda at 11:11 AM on November 15, 2009


Classic, well-tailored clothes.

My husband found a local tailor and brought all of his shirts to him to have them fitted. The shirts were not expensive, but they look more expensive now that they fit him so well.

He had a bespoke suit made from him by Thick As Thieves, which was revelatory as he learned exactly what flattered him and how his body was shaped.

He also wears high quality, durable items that fit well and have some patina about them.

He has just a few pairs of jeans, ie. raw denim from Kicking Mule workshop, that he is breaking in to his satisfaction. These jeans fit him well, and have many small details that add sophistication.

He also learned a lot by reading the Style Forum.
posted by Seppaku at 11:11 AM on November 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher gives you a lot to think about right out of the gate here. Expanding on the "Do you look good with a hat?" question: sexiness isn't just about being revealing, it's about smartly covering things up to be left to the imagination.

For a semi-celebrity example, take Scott Hoffman ("Babydaddy" from the band Scissor Sisters). This is him without a hat--normal, affable-looking, kinda chubby guy--and this is him with a hat...to me, that's sexy. (Note: holding a guitar or standing behind a bar generally add sexiness points too. Sometimes it's just situational.)
posted by kittyprecious at 11:12 AM on November 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


1. Dress shoes or boots coordinated with a belt. Don't wear brown shoes with black pants.
2. Tailored pants and jeans, flat front, not too slim fit.
3. I have a weakness for scarves, and nice sweaters with a button up shirt and tie. Blazers seem to be out right now.
4. Hats are stupid on 9 out of 10 guys. Have a clean hair cut. Style can vary, but make sure it's clean around the neck without too much hair product.
5. I like an expensive or interesting pair of glasses, but again, that might just be me. I notice guys who put thought into their accessories because guys' clothes just don't vary that much, to be honest.
posted by lunalaguna at 11:20 AM on November 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


And don't be afraid of color. Neutral colors or black and greys with a pop of primary or secondary color can look outstanding.
posted by lunalaguna at 11:22 AM on November 15, 2009


Thanks for your answers so far, there's definitely stuff to consider. However, please do not advise on how to look good but on how to look sexy. The difference to me is whether someone considers you sexually attractive or not.

To give an example for a woman, opening another button of her top kicks it up a notch in terms of sexiness.

(Thanks also for stating all the basics, but I am already covered in the areas of not smelling or hiding in a XXXL khaki sweater :-)
posted by oxit at 11:23 AM on November 15, 2009


Please consider scent. The right scent, and the right amount of scent, can be a big boost to a guy's attractiveness.
posted by samthemander at 11:30 AM on November 15, 2009


Natural fibers only.

Polyester = not sexy.
Cashmere/wool tweed/high-quality cotton = sexy.
posted by oinopaponton at 11:42 AM on November 15, 2009


As a woman, I find the sexiest things for a man to wear are the things I have picked out for him. Take advice from your partners!
posted by katypickle at 11:46 AM on November 15, 2009


I've always used the rule of thumb to dress yourself in the style to attract the kind of women you would like.
posted by mattsweaters at 11:56 AM on November 15, 2009


Find a female friend you trust. Buy a variety of men's fashion magazines. Have her go through the magazines, picking out the things she thinks would look good on you, and the things that she thinks look silly. Take her advice.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:09 PM on November 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do not dress anything like these guys.
posted by anniecat at 12:09 PM on November 15, 2009


Also, guys who look rugged and brawny are handsome, like the lumberjack outfit Hugh Jackman wore in Wolverine! But there are a lot of good looking woman dating guys who have popped collars and wear metrosexual shirts and look like tools, so it depends on the girl. Figure out what kind of girl you want to have think you're sexy and then copy whatever their male companions are wearing. Though a lot of girls aren't picky and will look like they're all put together and then their boyfriend wears baggy jeans and trucker hats. I think they will argue that sexiness is not in the outfit, but in the openness, sincerity and warmth (and amazing eyes).
posted by anniecat at 12:14 PM on November 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


For me, the difference between looking good and sexually attractive is ENTIRELY about personality and approach. A neat and clean appearance will get you the attention initially, but from then on it's all you.
Responsible, self assured, kind and attentive men are unbearably hot. Check out Rudyard Kipling's poem "If". I know he's describing the impossible, but that would be a ridiculously sexy man.
posted by Iggley at 12:36 PM on November 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Fabrics that are pleasant to the touch, such as suede, cashmere, silk. Leather if it looks good on you and you want to push her "bad boy" buttons. Stylish glasses if you wear glasses. If you're in a relationship, colors and cuts that emphasize features your partner is especially attracted to (e.g., brings out the color of your eyes, fits nicely on your broad shoulders, etc.). And, as said above, be clean, groom yourself well, wear clothes that fit and aren't age-inappropriate or out of date. Also, DON'T WEAR TOO MUCH COLOGNE!!! Spray, stay, and walk away.
posted by matildaben at 1:22 PM on November 15, 2009


Oh, yeah, and don't be afraid to wear non-traditional colors (e.g., pink or purple, whatever looks good with your complexion) and patterns. Get a woman friend's advice on how it looks on you. To me, that would say that you are secure with your masculinity but not hung up on traditional notions of what it means to be masculine.
posted by matildaben at 1:25 PM on November 15, 2009


I agree with slow grafitti. Clothes that are cut close to a guy's body show it off, and that's always sexy. If you've got broad shoulders, wear shirts that show them off. Abs like a wall? Let the fabric hang over them, not clingy, but cut close enough that only a guy as built as you could wear it. A great ass? Make sure to wear pants that emphasize it.

I'm not quite sure how to describe man-booty pants. Like, with a woman you want pants that hug the whole bottom, but with guys you want something that caresses it oh so gently. The kind that's fairly tame when you're standing up straight, but leaves little to the imagination when you bend over. (Bonus points for finding excuses to bend over.) Here's an approximation of what I'm talking about.

I think leaving an extra button unbuttoned is pretty sexy too, but a half-undone shirt is more sleazy than sexy (at least, outside the bedroom).
posted by shaun uh at 1:47 PM on November 15, 2009


Stylish jeans that fit well.

Black turtlenecks are nice, too.
posted by dzaz at 1:48 PM on November 15, 2009


Bum and shoulders--make sure your trousers emphasise your bum nicely (saggy bum=unsexy) and that the shoulders of your shirts fit (not sliding down your arms, not up by your neck). Basically, as with women, it's all about emphasising certain parts of your body.
posted by brambory at 2:18 PM on November 15, 2009


Like others have said, it really depends on the woman. I often find myself amazed at who and what other girls find sexy or attractive, and I'm sure a lot of girls would find my tastes absolutely weird. A lot of the things people have mentioned in this thread are things that I personally find nice, but not sexy at all. There really isn't anything you can do to make women in general find you more sexually attractive. I think it's a good idea to think about what kind of women (or who in particular) you'd like to attract, and then find out who they find attractive (their favourite male singers, actors, fictional characters etc.) and look at the way they dress.

- But yes, a lot of attractiveness comes from things such as confidence and the way you carry yourself. I'd say that's number one. Try to keep your body language open, self-assured and graceful. Be calm and kind of... stoic? That's the best word I can think of to describe it.
- Being always clean and fresh is important.
- A good haircut, yes.
- I, too, like classic type of clothes better than just trendy ones. Make sure they fit you well.
- I often find black clothes sexy.
- Like you're a kitty! said, dress shirts with rolled-up sleeves. (Or, actually, any type of shirt with rolled-up sleeves.)
- Wearing some jewellery (but not too much of it) is something I also like, but I know other girls who don't really like it that much.
- Good shoes make everything you wear look a lot better. (I'd personally recommend black leather.)

But then again, a lot of girls are going to prefer something entirely different, and even I don't find every guy with well-tailored classic black clothes, nice shoes, a good haircut, some jewellery and rolled-up sleeves sexy or even attractive. You can't really do anything to make yourself objectively attractive to women, because there is no such thing as objectively attractive. Just make yourself as attractive as possible in a style that suits you and then go from there with a particular woman.
posted by Jelly at 2:23 PM on November 15, 2009


Three words:

Really. Good. Underwear.

Those Homer Simpson boxers? Bad. Saggy-waistband briefs? Bad. Thong? Really fucking bad.

Sexy underwear can be a fine line to walk, particularly for straight men. You want classy without looking like you fell out of an International Male catalogue, but not so boring as to appear in a Sears catalogue.

Boxer briefs in white or black are the ticket, really. And knowing that you look good when (mostly) undressed contributes a lot of confidence when you're fully dressed--and quiet confidence is very sexy.

Beyond that: fit, fit, fit, fit and fit. Most North Americans wear clothes that are shapeless and baggy--with good reason; most of us are well-padded. You're not, so look for clothes that have a slimmer silhouette and are fitted more closely to your body. Mainstream brands you should look at include Club Monaco, Banana Republic, Tristan & America.

Simplicity is also good. Good dark slacks (NO PLEATED FRONTS EVER) with a (thin) and well-fitted turtleneck or mock-nec? Gorgeous.

Accessorise carefully. A drag queen I knew always said of accessorising that before leaving the house one should either take off one accessory or put on three more. It's reasonably good advice, even for straight men.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:53 PM on November 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think this link is pretty useful: what every man needs in his wardrobe
posted by diode at 2:55 PM on November 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sexy dressing for women is all about accentuating the positive and minimizing the negative. In order for a man to do that, he has to take a thorough inventory of his own assets.

Are you thin? Make sure you dress in a way that accentuates that. Do you have thick, lustrous hair? Do something with it. No hair but really nice eyes? Make sure we can see them.

So much of this is trial and error and having people you trust to be really honest with you. You know how guys joke about how women always shop together and go to the restroom together? This is a big part of why, and it works.
posted by hermitosis at 2:56 PM on November 15, 2009


If someone tells you a color brings out your eyes, wear more of that color. Think about practical stuff — shoes, coat, watch or glasses if you wear them — as part of the outfit. And yeah, wear pants and shirts that fit, and nice-but-not-eye-catching shoes.

But don't look for specifically S-E-X-Y clothing. Anything suggestive, revealing or skintight looks ridicuous unless you're Mick Jagger 40 years ago. This is one of the big differences between men's and women's clothing — we haven't gotten caught in the miserable tighter-pants shorter-skirts more-skin arms race that they have, and so just wearing clothing that fits and looks good is still plenty.

I hope I won't be presuming too much if I guess that you're probably straight. Ask a straight woman or a gay man who you're friends with to go out with you sometime and point out guys who are wearing sexy clothes. Odds are you'll realize that you've got clothes that fit into the same category, and it just hasn't occurred to you to think of them that way because you don't make a general habit of thinking of any men's clothing that way.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:16 PM on November 15, 2009


To give an example for a woman, opening another button of her top kicks it up a notch in terms of sexiness.

Please note: this is not gender-reversible--nothing is less sexy on men than the 1970s disco-lizard look.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:20 PM on November 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nerd Boyfriend. It's been previously discussed on the Blue, with a general assessment being that the blog is misnamed. Some of it is a bit outlandish for everyday use (unless you live in Williamsburg), but there are a few things that seem easy and comfy.
posted by functionequalsform at 4:53 PM on November 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Most women just aren't visually aroused the way most men are. This is why opening another button on the top blouse works for straight women, but emphatically does not for straight men.

What a lot of women want physically is to be smaller than the guy they're with. I wish this wasn't true, but for me personally that's the case.

In movies, romance novels, etc, there is a kind of guy look that produces the swoon response that I assume you're going for. It's masculine in a way that makes the woman look small & dainty in comparison - think motorcycle jacket, vampire cape, military uniform.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:06 PM on November 15, 2009


http://www.selectism.com/ has some good stuff that may give you ideas.
posted by debu at 7:10 PM on November 15, 2009


Good jeans that draw my eyes right to your butt/hips/crotch area. Mmm mmm. A fitted t-shirt with those jeans that fits nicely over your body. That's dressing sexy to me. Those western plaid shirts that are popular now are sexy to me. I also love long sleeved polo shirts on guys, I find that sexy for some reason. But all women are so different, some would like a guy in slacks in dress shoes, some think flashy expensive sneakers are sexy. So wear nicely fitted clothes that go with your personality and lifestyle and music taste. That way, hopefully, the women who have similar personality/lifestyle/music taste will find you sexy.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 7:32 PM on November 15, 2009


Things the other anachronism wears that I find explicitly sexy rather than just good (tends to go for most other men as well):

simple Bonds shirts (similar to this)
soft, longsleeved, block colour shirts with v necks
singlets (these are what I'm talking about)
flat front pants
business wear with no shoes or socks on (actually, fully clothed with bare feet in general I find quite sexy)
a beard
dark rinse jeans
waistcoat/vest
boyshort style underwear

Things the other anachronism won't wear/dislikes but I think are sexy on men:

boots!
painted toenails
boyshort style swimwear
skinny ties

Things I find explicitly unsexy, on the other anachronism and on men in general:

sandals (or flipflops)
pleatfront pants
sport jerseys
loafers with shorts
shoes without socks

To analyse the lists - I like things that emphasise the parts of a man I enjoy looking at and that exhibit a sort of practicality and minimum of fuss. Also things that are more classic than fashionable. I have a huge hatred for preppy crap which tends to mean loafers with no socks and shorts, polo shirts and that sort of thing. I have a hatred of sandals and flipflops in general, which sucks as an aussie, but luckily the other anachronism is the same. Some things are situational - I love the casual intimacy of bare feet and businesswear. I like the pairing of a suit with the neck shirt I mentioned as well. Beards are a personal perversion I think but it is one a fair few friends share. We all tend to like the same 'look' though - masculine without macho, classic and unfussy.

It's all entirely subjective though. I cannot for the life of me see how most boy bands invoke any sort of sexual response. I don't get the thing for twinks either. I'm in neither demographic though. The simplest way to be sexy is to know what your partner likes and play to that. Otherwise it's a scattershot approach and hoping it works. Classic stuff is a good bet though.
posted by geek anachronism at 8:13 PM on November 15, 2009


I have to disagree with the turtleneck advice offered above. There are few things I like less on a man than a turtleneck.

Tasteful cologne makes me swoon. We shouldn't be able to smell you coming, but the scent should linger a few seconds after you pass. It literally turns heads, forcing us to stop, turn around, and seek out who smells so good.
posted by iceprincess324 at 12:31 PM on November 20, 2009


Fitted T-shirts. The main thing is that the shoulder seams should fit square on the shoulders. If you're at all muscular, you can get bonus points if almost the whole edge of the sleeve is touching skin (but not stretched tight, that's cheesy). If the shoulder seam is drooping over the corner of the shoulder, or the sleeves are loose, it's not sexy.

Slim-cut button down shirts. Again, the key is that the shoulders should fit very squarely.

Button-down shirts that fit close at the shoulders, worn with a vest, and rolled shirtsleeves.

Shirtsleeves rolled in general. So hot. I cannot handle well-rolled shirtsleeves.

High-contrast layer colors. A white shirt under a dark vest, blazer, or sweater is almost always great.

Vintage cowboy shirts (not too flashy).

Cognac leather shoes in really smooth, very high quality leather.

Big plain watch that's a little loose on the wrist. Squrish face and thick band.

One thick plain silver ring.

A sense of irony.
posted by twistofrhyme at 4:49 PM on December 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


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