What’s the Secret to Fashion?
Hi Dr. Matt,
I really struggle with fashion. By your good looks and extra hairy moustache, I can tell you really have a sense of how to put on a pair of pants. What’s your secret? Where do you find your motivation to strive for such fashion?
Dear Fashion Flaw,
First, thank you for acknowledging my good looks. But, before I get into how to make yourself remotely appealing, why don’t I talk about why fashion is important. But first I’ll talk about people who hate it. Some people hate fashion because they think that it’s arbitrary and stupid. It is arbitrary and stupid, but so are most of our mating rituals. It’s stupid that a peacock has to spread its feathers to attract another peacock, instead of just demonstrating to that other peacock that he has a beautiful spirit and is an all-around nice guy.
However, just because something is stupid and arbitrary doesn’t make it not important. We have evolved as a species to associate the fashionable with things like good health, high intelligence, even sexual virility. Because this is such a common association, it baffles me when people rebel against fashion. Even if you think the association is stupid, you are essentially choosing to be viewed as in poor health, unintelligent, and not a desirable mate. In the corporate world, the unfashionable are choosing to be viewed as a less desirable candidate for a job, or not the preferred choice for the sales conversion. That’s what’s stupid, people.
Now, some people may think that’s outrageous. They’re sitting there in their sloppy 2002 summer clothing and saying, “How dare you, Dr. Matt? I look just fine.” True, you can be moderately successful, and in rare occasions, very successful while looking like a Wal-Mart mannequin. I’m just saying you’re giving yourself a handicap.
Not everyone does it out of willfulness, Fashion Flaw, and the truth is that fashion is also a learned skill. Some people are afraid to go outside of their comfort zone and try an outfit that is unlike what they’ve been wearing. So what do you do then? My advice is find someone who think dresses impeccably, and ask them for tips. In the best scenario, take that person shopping with you. I personally hired a fashion consultant, because just because your friend knows how to dress doesn’t mean they know how to teach how to dress.
Finally, Fashion Flaw, the most important component is: know that you deserve to look incredible. Things like correct application of makeup, perfect moustache trimming, or the latest clothing line-up may seem like stupid tricks, but they are effective stupid tricks, and why not use what works? One of my mottos is: use collective stupidity to your advantage.
Thanks for your question!
Do you have a question for Dr. Matt? Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org!