Aaron Marino's Male Style Guide

Under review: Aaron Marino's Male Style Guide, 23 pages, $19.95. I'd link to it but I doubt that's allowed in the Forums. It's easy to Google.

I first observed Aaron Marino and his company, Alpha M Image Consulting, on YouTube. I found his videos to be immediately appealing, accessible, and helpful, and so I started paying attention. Aaron stands out because . . .

. . . he always looks stylish, well-groomed, and attractive, even when he isn't "dressed up."

. . . he looks and acts convincingly like a regular guy. You could run into Aaron in your everyday life, at the club, the gym, or the professional event. He'd look normal--he'd also just look plain good.

. . . his mixture of developed fashion awareness and "regular guy" outlook strikes a fine balance. He's not trying to distinguish himself through knowledge of Milan runways or the most super-hip trends. He's simply a guy who happens to know about cuts, fabrics, threads, lines, and so on. But much like LS instructors, he's teaching steps that work for real guys.

. . . he doesn't assume knowledge. He spells even basic things out. It's good to hear, even if you already knew.

In the same way that I'd been suffering a mild girl crisis until I discovered game, I'd been suffering a mild fashion crisis all my life. It wasn't that I felt I needed all the answers, or particular answers--I just lacked a guide, someone I felt I could trust and who was speaking to my needs. My closets are filled with a lot of items that aren't mistakes, necessarily--I just know they aren't me, and that I don't look edgey or particularly attractive when I put them on.

In one of his videos Aaron led me to the single greatest clothing purchase I ever made: a pair of Frye boots. I'd already gotten a quick fashion primer from some PUA outlet or another, but the Fryes really took my developing profile forward. That was a year ago and they've been on my feet regularly since.

I still have a lot of areas to fill in, and since Aaron has been tops on every question he's commented on, going forward I'm going to solicit more in-depth advice from him. His YouTube videos are great, but each has a particular topic and focus. If you're like me and are in some sort of middle stage, where you know fashion basics but still lack guidance and answers, you're going to need some more help.

He makes available a variety of consulting packages through his company, but I wanted to start with the basic primer: his Male Style Guide.

His primer at the beginning of his guide spell out where he's coming from. Much of it will have LS instructors and students nodding.

As a whole, we as men have done a poor job in terms of analyzing our image and personal presentation. Is it that we just don’t care about how we come across? I don’t think this is the case. I believe it is an inability to look at ourselves through the eyes of others. One of the toughest things a person can do is look in the mirror and analyze themselves with a critical eye.

Image is so much more than what you see in the mirror from the chest up. Image is the entire presentation or package that you are bringing to the table and the world. The way you put yourself together, and the way in which you carry yourself, is paramount to just wearing a cool pair of shoes. Remember, image is the collection of the nonverbal cues and communication you convey, day in and day out.

Some cues or habits are so engrained in your movements and psyche that you wouldn’t be able to identify them if you were hard pressed to do so. Others are easily identifiable and changeable, such as your hairstyle. Yes guys, your hair is communicating to people! Other non verbal communication includes, but is not limited to: grooming, wardrobe, eye contact, posture, hand shake, smell and even your breath.
The part I've bolded is important. Guys who are cultivating their game are hammering away at the hard stuff--inner psychology, projection, value, etc. Often they're trying to rewire ingrained aspects of themselves. It's hard work! Why not take care of the easiest stuff first, and give yourself a little boost? When I first got interested in game, dress and image were the first matters I cleaned up, and it made an instant difference. It also smoothed out the rest of the process.

The Guide overall is meant to catch up the guy who needs serious help--who lacks any real fashion awareness or concept, who maybe can't match his belts to his shoes, lacks wardrobe basics, or routinely commits image-destroying fashion mistakes. It's only twenty-three pages and it is easily digestible. It's a good prompt on basic points--the idea of a good image and what contributes to it, a coverage of wardrobe essentials, and a checklist of aspects of appearance of which to be aware.

For me personally, the Guide could have added more beyond the basics. I'm not a fashion emergency case. While it's good and helpful to have my image reminders all in one place, I was hoping for more help in the areas of shopping and shaping my image. I want to sharpen my look, and hit more home runs, like I did with my Frye's. I have questions on other particular details that didn't come up in the Guide but that nag a bit.

But, the Guide is everything it's advertised to be. And Marino remains my go-to voice and example in his area of expertise. I'll be signing on for consulting services from him in the future so I can finally get all my image insecurities resolved and stand out confidently in the crowd.