Antonio Centeno is president of ATailoredSuit.com and the founder of RealMenRealStyle.com. His endless knowledge of men’s style has led to over 700 published articles and videos, and the Internet’s best-selling personal presentation course. Antonio is also a powerful leader who’s dedicated to help redefine the meaning of masculinity in the modern world. Along with some of my favorite gentlemen, I asked Antonio how he defines a real man — his response is too inspiring not to share. Read his thoughts below! Hope they help!
Perhaps Mark Twain points at one quality of modern manhood better than I ever could when he says,
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
Of course there are more important things in a man’s life than his clothes, but what he wears can directly affect how he feels, how he performs, and how others perceive him. That’s why managing your image isn’t just something for rockstars and public speakers—it’s something with which every modern man should concern himself. Clothing is proven to have a major transformative effect on our state of mind. From the business world to the military, men wake up every morning and put on a certain style of clothing to help them understand who they are and where they stand in life.
In a recent study from Northwestern University, researchers tested two group of individuals – one wearing white lab coats and one without. The group wearing the lab coats performed better and made half the testing errors of their counterparts. The attentiveness and care they associated with the lab coats directly affected their performance. This “enclothed cognition” is real, and it affects all of us, every day. Your image can either help you or hurt you. Project the right image, and it won’t get in your way. And even more importantly—refuse to be intentional with the way you present yourself and it quickly can get in your way.
Take, for example, the astrophysicist who was recently interviewed on Fox News about a probe he landed on a comet 300 million miles away. It was a historic achieve- ment that he had put his entire life into, and then made a split second decision to wear a Hawaiian shirt with naked women on it during the interview. Do you think anyone cared about the comet? The work he had given his life to was trumped by his poor shirt choice.
The truth is that you have an image whether you want one or not. The question is, how do you portray an image that is going to empower you to succeed? If I may, here is my suggestion for a good place to start.
THE THREE “F’S”
Know your tailor’s name. Yes, you heard that correctly. If you don’t have a tailor, find a reputable one in your area, and get to know him. He can make you look good, and he can help your clothes fit well, not just your suits.
Shopping —not necessarily a man’s favorite pastime, but in the case of buying quality clothing it pays to take your time and do it well. Visit the most reputable menswear stores in your area, and try on the finest jackets. You don’t need to buy them, but you need to understand how they feel, and the difference in the fabric and craftsmanship. Ask about the fabrics, and how they are made.
In the military, everything a soldier wears tells a story and has a specific function. Nothing is placed on a uniform that doesn’t serve a practical purpose in battle. Make your wardrobe work like a uniform for you life- what do you do every day? What story are you trying to tell? You clothes must function within that sphere.
Appearance is not everything. A man has to perform well to succeed. But in a competitive world, it pays for a man to understand the importance of his clothing. Investing the proper resources into your personal presentation will multiply your ability to achieve greatness, and become a true modern gentleman.
– Antonio Centeno