Subj: Bad Boy Style
The biggest mistake most guys make when it comes to fashion is that they don’t have an identity in mind that they want to portray. Most men just grab random pieces of clothing off the hanger that they think look good and put them together.
That’s like trying to build a house without a blueprint. Without a cohesive plan showing what you want the finished product to look like you’re just nailing boards together randomly.
You need to have a look, not just wear clothes.
What I mean by “have a look” is that people dress in different ways based on what identity they want to portray.
Rock stars dress one way. Successful businessmen dress another way. Athletes dress another way. While each of these styles can look good if pulled off right, they all look good in a different way.
That’s why you can’t just grab random clothes off the shelf and put them on. They need to be part of a congruent style.
So the first thing a guy needs to do when designing an outfit is to decide WHAT identity he wants to portray.
If you were to meet me in real life you’d see that my look, and thus the identity I portray, is that of a stereotypical “bad boy.”
That’s the look I’m going to deconstruct for you today.
There are certain preliminaries which need to be met before a man can look good. With these preliminaries he’ll look good in pretty much anything. Without them he won’t look good no matter what he wears.
This is because most of what people perceive as a “good outfit” has nothing to do with whether or not the clothes are attractive, and has everything to do with whether the person wearing the clothes is attractive.
For example, most people would look at the photo to the right and say, “That’s a pretty stylish outfit.”
No it’s not.
There’s nothing wrong with the outfit, but it’s not particularly stylish either. It’s literally just a blazer with a white t-shirt. The reason “the outfit” looks good is because the guy wearing it is extremely good looking. It has nothing to do with the outfit itself.
So the first thing you need to do before maxing out your STYLE is max out your PRELIMINARIES.
These preliminary traits are:
- Low body fat
- Decent muscle mass
- Clean and groomed
- Well fitting clothes
If you get to low body fat levels (10% or under), have decent muscle mass, keep yourself clean and well groomed, and your clothes fit well, you’ll be able to look good in pretty much anything. Whereas if you’re out of shape, look dirty and unkempt, and your clothes don’t fit, you won’t look good no matter what you wear.
For most men, losing body fat will make the single biggest difference in their perceived attractiveness.
How to Dress Like a “Bad Boy”
The traditional bad boy look is comprised of three main elements.
A Leather Jacket
A Plain T-Shirt
The rest of the outfit can be toyed with, but these three pieces are non-negotiable.
The Leather Jacket
A “showpiece” is the most important piece of any outfit. When it comes to the bad boy look the showpiece is a classic leather jacket. But not just any leather jacket will do. Specifically you want a well fitting motorcycle jacket.
No other article of clothing has established itself so indelibly in popular culture as an icon of coolness as the leather jacket. Since it first made an appearance in the 1920’s it has been a staple of the bad boy wardrobe. It stayed in fashion through the ‘30s and ‘40s. Gained culturally iconic status through the films of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And today remain as cool as ever.
I own the jacket below and I absolutely love it.
In terms of shirts, a plain monochromatic t-shirt is all you need for the bad boy style. And while just wearing a plain t-shirt may seem boring, in my opinion the shirt is the piece which determines the sexiness level of the outfit. The more skin you show off (within reason) the sexier the outfit becomes. That’s why I recommend scoop necks, v necks, slit necks, or tank tops. Avoid crew necks.
The bad boy look requires denim jeans. Corduroy pants don’t work. Khakis won’t do it. JEANS.
Most men wear jeans which are too big for them. Baggy jeans look terrible. Slim is the word. Not “skinny”, but slim. Take a look at the jeans below and notice how well they fit. They are fitted but not tight, slim but not skinny. You want a sleek visual outline.
While there are exceptions, in keeping with the traditional monochromatic tone of the bad boy style, the jeans should either be blue, grey, or black.
Along with a leather jacket, the stereotypical image of a bad boy includes a motorcycle. Because of this association with motorcycles, motorcycle apparel is a traditional part of the bad boy look.
I own the below pair of Harley Davidson Jutland boots. These boots work well because they are styled after motorcycle boots, but are built for everyday use.
A couple words about choosing the right shoes. It’s been said that shoes can make or break an outfit. I happen to agree with that statement.
Take the finest suit in the world and put it on a man with a bad haircut and it will still look pretty good.
Pair a cool blazer with a cheap shirt and the outfit will still look hip.
But you will RUIN an entire outfit with a scuffed up pair of cheap looking shoes.
I don’t care what the outfit is, or how expensive it is. If the shoes are bad, it will make the outfit look bad.
Don’t skimp on shoes. Find the right pair and take care of them. Do this and they’ll make you look good for years to come.
There are two styles of sunglasses which every bad boy needs. They are both made by Ray-Ban.
Aviators first made an appearance in 1936. They were originally designed to replace flight goggles for military pilots, and their design reflects this history. The large convex lenses are designed to cover the entire range of vision and prevent as much light as possible from entering the eye from any angle.
When picking out a pair of aviators it’s tempting to go for the solid black tint. They look cool sitting on the shelf, but when they’re on a person they tend to make that person look like a giant insect. Because of this I prefer lighter grey lenses like the photo above.
Very stylish and highly versatile, Wayfarer style sunglasses were originally developed for the military and were later released by Ray-Ban in 1956.
These iconic glasses have since become the most popular sunglass design ever created and have been worn by everyone from Tom Cruise in Risky Business to JFK.
Prepare for a photo montage of cool people wearing Wayfarers.
Tattoos, even more so than leather jackets or motorcycles, are the ultimate symbol of a bad boy. Originally the domain of sailors, bikers, outlaws, and rock-stars, while tattoos have gained greater acceptance from the general public in the past few decades they are still considered very cool.
Having tattoos (even just one or two) will instantly add to you bad boy factor as well as make you much more attractive to women.
Here are some quick tattoo tips:
Take your time. Never get a tattoo spur of the moment. This will be marked on your body forever.
Avoid tribal and barbed wire tattoos. Those went out of style in the ’90s and I promise you they’re not coming back.
Pick something that has meaning to you. From a practical perspective, people will ask you about your tattoos all the time. If you have a good story or meaning behind your tattoo you’ll have the opportunity to share these interesting stories or show who you are as a person.
[Here’s the story of how I got a tattoo in Jerusalem at the oldest tattoo shop in the world.]
While jewelry isn’t necessarily a part of the bad boy look, some cool accessories can help sex up and personalize your outfit.
Reds, dark blues, earthy colors, and leather are you best bet for accessories. Silver is also a good option, but stay away from gold.
As a side note, notice the heavy level of distressing on both the leather jacket and bag. This adds a level of character and sex appeal to the outfit.
My #1 recommendation when it comes to finding cool jewelry is Pyrrha.com. They make silver jewelry that has both an antique and yet still very hip vibe.
Lighters and Cigarettes
I don’t smoke, and I would never recommend someone take it up. However smoking is a part of the bad boy look, so it deserves a mention in this article.
There’s no denying that if you put a cigarette in someone’s mouth, they instantly look way cooler.
That being said, the benefits of temporarily looking cool with a cigarette in your mouth aren’t worth the long term health complications.
But I have found a compromise.
Even though I don’t smoke I always carry a lighter on me, and I recommend you do as well. The ability to create fire on command can come in useful in a number of situations; but the primary reason is that it is common (especially in bars and clubs) for women to approach men by asking them to light their cigarettes. Women will often use this as an excuse to start conversations with men they are attracted to. It’s the female equivalent of a pickup line. By carrying a lighter you will be prepared for this when it happens, as well as be able to steal some of the coolness of cigarettes without actually smoking.
There are a number of different types of lighters, from cheap plastic bics to high end cigar torches. I carry a classic brushed chrome Zippo like the one below.
So call “Designer Stubble” is a short growth of beard (normally between three days and two weeks worth) which will add a touch of rugged masculinity to your appearance.
Studies have shown that women find a few days worth of stubble to be the sexiest of all facial hair styles, and the bad boy style is the perfect look to pull it off with.
A couple tips on wearing stubble.
Firstly, stubble only looks good on guys who already have low body fat. Having stubble when your face is lean makes you look more masculine, but having stubble when you’re fat just makes you look like a slob. Spend some time getting lean before you decide to wear stubble.
If your facial hair is a bit patchy you have two options. The first is to use an eyebrow pencil to shade in the patchy are. Don’t go crazy with this or it will look comical and fake, but if you’ve got a small patch that isn’t as filled in as the rest of your face, this is a good option.
Your second option is Minoxidil. Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine. You can buy Minoxidil solutions online at a fairly inexpensive price. Just take a Q-tip that’s been wetted with Minoxidil and rub it on the area you want to fill out. This isn’t guaranteed to work, but there are examples of men using Minoxidil to fill out their beards.
Examples of Bad Boy Style
So there you have it. Bad Boy style deconstructed.
If you want to try the bad boy look for yourself, here are some links to get you started.
Cool Leather Jackets
Cool Rings, Necklaces, Etc
Minoxidil for Stubble Growth
To Lose Body Fat
Until next time,