Once in a while we have to cut out the frugal people who accidentally come here and believe we’re in the same group (not even close). Frugal people believe in scarcity which is why they focus on cost cutting even though there is a significant floor to cost cutting. No matter how much you try and reduce your expenses, you will still spend money. We’re going to walk through the escalation of spending and how becoming a millionaire to eat lentils, beans and rice is equivalent to getting in shape to develop a heroin addiction (defeating the purpose entirely). The progression and lifestyle changes will be covered in our book coming out later in the year to complete the trilogy but this should be a good way to think about the future.
The Five Most Common Arguments
“I Wouldn’t Buy That”: This is the starting point for all the excuses. People who don’t have money claim that no one cares about brand name goods, higher end apartments, nice cars etc. Back when we had no money, using mild salsa and draining it to get vegetable intake for the week, this was a common argument “I would never buy that if I was rich”. The reality? This was an obvious sign of scarcity belief systems. Anyone who eventually makes it knows that the quality of the goods certainly makes a difference. With many things in life, after you get to certain net worth and income level (described in our book) you’ll actually *lose* money by trying to act like you’re still broke. People have mistaken our comment about “stealth wealth” to mean that you should dress in $9 H&M t-shirts. This couldn’t be more wrong. Stealth wealth means you’re not famous but people know you are not struggling for cash. This is the right balance.
“No One Knows the Difference”: This one is just unbelievable. There are studies that say regular people cannot tell the difference between shoes. There are also studies that say “women don’t like muscular men”. Since they are incredibly wrong, we have to highlight them. Unless you’re born under a rock you know for sure that by being muscular and in shape you will certainly have more dating opportunities in any environment where you will be shirtless (the beach, outdoors playing sports etc.). There is just no argument here and studies don’t work since a “study” is based on what people say not what they do. Making decisions based on what people say would result in failed decisions for life. It’s similar to pornography and racism. Everyone “says” they don’t watch porn but it’s the highest traffic industry. People “say” that racism exists but then you ask people to raise their hand if they are racist… crickets. These are two clear as day examples to prove that going by what people “say” is a disaster. Bonus: people also say they “don’t click ads” on the internet. Then how come the ad companies make billions of dollars.
“On Credit”: This is the third most common excuse. People claim that luxury brands are for broke people buying on credit. Also not true. The Luxury market is primarily dominated by international travelers (this of course makes sense as frequent international travelers are unlikely broke). While it is true that many people go into debt status chasing (not something we recommend since that’s hilarious), the largest buyers are actually rich. The large buyers do not buy “just one” unit of anything. They typically have a set of items they rotate at minimum. When you go to a high end place frequently, instead of assuming people there are only “flexing” for the day… wait and see if they come back. If they come back several times and always have different nice items on… They are rich and there is no need to hate on it.
“I Don’t Like Fancy Clothing”: This one is just as bad as the “studies” excuse. It is easy to take down. Anyone reading this right now can go ahead and prove that it makes a difference. Go through your entire wardrobe and put on the nicest stuff you have. Do not lie. Everyone and their mom has a “nice outfit” for going out, weddings, special events etc. Now after you’ve put on the best outfit you’ve got, ask yourself if you feel better/more confident/more important. Use any positive attribute. Unless you’re afraid of becoming rich or you’re lying to yourself… you know you feel like ten million bucks. Since it changes the way you feel and think this naturally works.
“Not Worth It”: The final item sets in. It “isn’t worth it”. Sure. If you want to live a boring life, it isn’t worth it. That is for sure. It means that getting rich in the first place was a total waste of time. If you want to get rich to walk around in $5 t-shirts and drive a Honda Civic to your $150,000 home in the suburbs… you should have retired years ago! If it really wasn’t worth it and it really wasn’t something you envisioned having… then the person also wouldn’t have the need to comment on it. It’s always the people that are the most jealous that will comment on it. Same story. Every time.
The Five Most Common Mistakes
I Bought XX and It Didn’t Work: The beautiful thing about being well dressed is you *don’t* need the highest brands at all times and you *don’t* need to go directly to the top end. This is the truth. It takes several years to develop your own style that gets the best reactions based on your personality, your skin tone, body type and the venues you go to. If you’re going out in Vegas/Miami your ideal “look” is not going to match the guy going out in New York or London. There are different vibes for each city and the city you like naturally has a specific personality trait as well. This is the most common mistake. People think they can just “buy some brand” and have it work. That’s not how style operates.
The most common one we’ve seen is when people get their first high paying career/business going. They always do the same thing. They cut corners on spending (food/dry cleaning etc.). They save save save… Then they buy some Ferragamo/Gucci loafers and entry level luxury watch. This is so common it honestly hurts typing out. This is sending the *wrong* message. The message being sent is that you’re trying to get attention because you have one or two items that are “high-end”. Even worse is when the shoes don’t match the clothing which happens pretty much 99% of the time. Again. If the clothing color and style doesn’t match, no one is going to care about the brand because “something is wrong” and everyone knows it. You’re trying to impress people and that’s never a good thing.
Not Congruent: Everything needs to be in the same region. What does this mean? It means that you shouldn’t be carrying a $5 plastic wallet if your suit is worth $1,000. It doesn’t look right. Similar to the section above where the shoe style or colors don’t line up, the general categories need to be in the same region. You’re allowed to have 2 items at most that are not in-line. By way of example, if your cufflinks are $30 and your socks are only worth $5… no one is going to notice or care. In fact, a couple small items that are cheaper typically have a “story” to them hence why you’re wearing it. To take it to the other extreme, being incongruent is like going into a Chipotle with a custom made suit and Gucci Oxfords on… That image is quite painful as well.
Have to Get All Clothing on Sale: Stopping here for a second. The main reason why you’re learning to look good/dress well and know the right brands is to attract the type of women you actually want to date. Stop and ask yourself “Would this type of girl date this type of guy”. Be honest. Anyone who really believes that an *attractive* woman would choose a fat slob with $100M over a well dressed in shape muscular guy with $10M… is clearly insane. If the girl would actually choose the $100M person, it means she’s likely for sale (you either see it and notice it or you don’t).
Now back to the point, the most common mistake is trying to do everything in the same range at once. This is not necessary. If you’re going to go out to a normal venue where you suspect you won’t see a single suit… Don’t wear the high end stuff and leave it all at home. You’re probably going to wear something more fitting like a high end pair of jeans, a basic blazer and even a regular t-shirt. The goal is to stand out in a positive way that matches the actual environment. Over time as you get wealthier and wealthier you’re not going to have a “versatile” wardrobe and it’ll evolve into the higher end in general anyway. No need to buy stuff you aren’t going to use. If you plan on going to a nice place 1-2x a month, you need 1-2 upper tier shoes. If you are going to go every single day…. Well then yes the upgrade is needed.
Upgrading Where it’s Meaningless: We’re sure there is some angle here, but at the end of the day, upgrading wardrobes being used for outdoor activities or the gym are low ROI. Here you can go ahead and buy those basic shirts and shorts (nike, adidas, it doesn’t matter) and use that for the gym. If you’re smart, you’re already in a high end gym so that’s the “entry price”. As long as you’re not walking around in shirts/shoes that are 5 years old, you really don’t need to have anything special. Also. If you do end up going to a nicer gym you’ll notice that the attractive girls always have nice gym outfits as well. This is just how it works. The more attractive they are the more focused they are on their appearance which means they are on their “A game” even at the gym.
Another meaningless upgrade is actually work! That’s right. If you’re still grinding it out at work and there are no clients that day, there is no real reason to wear anything brand oriented. Those shoes and shirts are going to get more wear and tear on them and you can simply chuck them at the end. Your higher quality items are for 1) meetings, 2) events and 3) higher end venues. Since everyone wants to know the exact formula we’ll use examples: 1) meetings would be anything that is going to generate you money, 2) events would be any event where you’re going to meet someone of importance and 3) higher end venues would be a place like Catch on a Monday in NYC, the Wynn/Encore at Vegas or a Michelin Star Restaurant. If you have a rough weekend coming up with long hours of work, you should just use some of your “throwaway clothing”, items you wear to normal days at work or to a regular lunch spot/bar.
Overspending: If you’ve found this blog we’ll guarantee that this will occur when you first attempt to adjust your wardrobe and style. Why? Well if you already followed our basic style advice from Efficiency you’ll already know it works (we already got numerous emails about dates/promotions attributed to looking professional/sharp). Since you know it works, you’re going to have to go up the learning curve and will likely overspend up front to figure it out. The only way to prevent this is to sit, stop and think about the type of people you’re trying to attract. The more you can target your audience (i.e. Facebook ads!), the better the results! On a serious note since the prior paragraphs make it seem like the changes need to be made today, you have to know what you’re going to do.
That last part needs to be read a hundred times. Unless you know the type of places you like, the cities you’re going to go to and the people you enjoy being around… Tailoring specifically to your audience isn’t going to work and you’ll blow up. Tying this back to Ferragamo loafers (classic style error), they *do* work for people who typically operate in jeans and drive a lot. They *don’t* work for guys who like to dress in custom suits and drink champagne (the shoes need to be flipped to oxfords or double monks for example). There are small nuances like this. Ferragamo shoes are great for the right venue and are not great for the wrong venue (just like every other brand on the planet).
The second part of emphasis here is finding the “light version”. If you’re not sure who you want to be yet, or what venues you’ll go to… there is always a starter brand. If you look at the design of the upper mid range: To Boot New York, Magnanni, Allen Edmonds and almost anything else found at a place like Bloomingdales… you’ll find that they try to mirror one of the top end brands.
As a basic rule of thumb, if you can find it on sale… that shoe type/brand is not upper end as the real high end brands don’t have “sale racks”. As an extra point of emphasis, this is why certain high end brands only have certain *types* of shoes that show up on sale on rare occasions.
The Benefits – the Best Part
Quite a lot *should* change over the years (otherwise why are you working so hard!). You should be able to go from “getting looks” because you learned how to have good style/basic dress code abilities (typically just a tailor and clothing from a place like Nordstroms), you then move on to made to measure products with some nicer shoes (anything in the $400-500 range) and then you move to the high-end custom made clothing and brand name shoes/watches (some people even get custom shoes etc.). Now people can complain all they like, but anyone has the ability to at least do step #1 which is learning how to dress with the right colors/fit and prove to themselves it makes a difference. It makes an enormous difference.
#1 Regular People Repellant: That’s right. It actually deflects people who you don’t want to talk to. When people see a well dressed guy with clothes they even know are not cheap.. they will avoid you. This is worth 100x more than the dating category (second) because people literally move out of your way. They will constantly talk smack behind your back and as always.. leave empty handed. A good way to describe the people you’re deflecting? The 3-star review Yelp Crowd. The 3-star review Yelp crowd constantly complains about “prices” for high-end clubs because they shouldn’t actually be there as they haven’t made it *yet*. The 3-star review high end bar/club is going to be your bread and butter since it’s typically the best place (rich people always attract the best looking women). For further explanation of this effect, look no further than the front 10 rows of any major sporting event.
#2 Dating: This is the second most obvious category. We’ll re-emphasize. The girls who do not care about your clothing/looks are not the girls you want to attract. The ones you want to attract will 100% care that you look good and are “put together” the most common saying. No attractive girl wants to introduce her “man” as a beer swilling, blue jeans wearing slob. Just like her interest in purses and nice shoes, the way you look is a reflection on her as well. The way this scales up is pretty simple, it goes from: 1) more looks and comments such as – i like your overall outfit/look to 2) “where did you get that” to 3) the most blatant = “Nice XXX”. It can get *much* more overt from here but like everything it is an art. Once you’re getting complements consistently, you’ve done it right. Again using the scale, it should go from 1x every 2 weeks to 1x a week to the pinnacle which is “daily” whenever you dress up to your “max potential”. Before moving on here, remember the same old quote, “if she can’t experience it, it doesn’t exist”. You don’t want to be seen with an unattractive poorly dressed woman and we can guarantee you the feeling is more than mutual. You don’t need to look like James Bond 365 days a year… but you better be able to pull it off if needed.
#3 Self Confidence: Can’t put this into words but we’ll try. If you’re already making good money, you will still benefit by creating your own distinct style and vibe. You’ll go out shopping or look at something and the girl you’re with will say something like “I knew you’d like this it’s your type”. That’s when you’ve essentially hit gold. You’re now at a point where you’re establishing the direction you’re going in life. Besides, you didn’t get rich and succeed to be the same guy did you? Of course not. So once you have hit your stride you’ll slowly upgrade in that “direction”. The baseline clothing slowly turns into throwaway clothing, the second level clothing becomes daily wear clothing and the final level is worn maybe 30-40 days a year. Eventually, you end up with only two tiers, the daily wear clothing and high end which look increasingly similar. Funny how that works!
#4 More Events: A hidden secret of high-end fashion/clothing? You’ll be invited in. If you’re looking sharp all of the time who is the most likely person to recognize high-end fashion… Models and other designers of course. What does this mean. It means those types of people are more likely to talk to you. Take a second and imagine a standard good looking model. Do you see this person talking to someone who looks like James Bond or your average middle aged american. Be honest. We all know the answer is James Bond as this fictional character is easy to compare and contrast with. So. If you’re dressed more similar to a rich James Bond type person, you’re more likely to attract the right crowd. This ends up *saving* you money. Despite what frugal people will tell you, if the ideal version of yourself attracts good looking women, you’ll have a hundred more opportunities by dressing sharp and getting invited to events/house parties. The only other “easy” way into this “level of the video game” is by getting into the illegal drug scene.
#5 More Income Opportunity: Here is the slippery slope. When it comes to rich people there are really two categories, people who are extremely frugal and those that aren’t. By knowing how to dress sharp and do all of the above you’re giving yourself the opportunity to sell to this side of the equation. The frugal side will look down on your style so you should always have that second tier to avoid making them feel insecure/upset. Essentially, by knowing how to look good, you’ll open up a door that’s essentially shut off from the masses and a lot of rich people as well. It’s a good strategy as you never want to close a door when it is full of rich and attractive people.
Conclusion: This should repel a lot of regular people who confused “stealth wealth” with wearing $10 t-shirts and plastic shoes. It also gives a good hint on how detailed our lifestyle/spending book will be as we didn’t explain when to buy and upgrade (or the types to go for!). For people that are on the fence about all of this we’d say, get to level one first (90% can’t even do that) then take a stab at level 2… then you’ll be 1,000% convinced. You’re not going to go broke wearing nice clothes when you’ve made it. The key here is that you’ve made it. If you’re making $200K pre-tax a year, you’re definitely not going to buy Gucci shoes and $5,000 custom suits. Now if you’re making $50K a month after taxes… you can buy whatever you want and slowly infiltrate the fashion community (it’s worth it!).
To emphasize how easy it is to make a difference you don’t need the ultra high end today. All you need to do is *show* that you’re the type of person who won’t be a cheap guy. If you’re willing to spend a little extra to look good the message is that when you make more, you’re not going be stingy. This is the implied message you send when people see you. And. When we say people, again we’re talking about the ones you want to attract. The guys in the Cole Haans and Aldos will hate on you… This is good (they don’t waste your time).