Guys Need To Do Almost Nothing To Be Great
Being a Guy is so easy. A little Kiehl’s a little Bumble and Bumble, a peacoat, a pair of Chuck Taylors, and you’re hot. Here’s my incredibly presumptuous guide to being an awesome guy, inside and out (mostly out, for who am I to instruct you on inner improvement?). (Let me say here that if you’re some kind of iconoclastic dude who goes by the beat of your own drummer, you will find this insufferable. I totally respect that. I would never want you to stop wearing your skinny jeans and straw hat. I mean it!)
1. Buy a well-fitting peacoat from J.Crew. Or wait until Christ-mas sales are raging and buy a designer one, like Varvatos or something. Black looks good on everyone (Obvious Cops) and matches everything (Duh Police), but charcoal gray is good too. You can always look like a put-together Obama speech-writer with a classy peacoat. Oh! and get it cleaned once a year. Sounds prissy, but a good cleaning can return a peacoat to its true black luster, and make you look as snappy as the first day you wore it.
2. Have a signature drink like James Bond. it’s silly, but I’m always so impressed if a guy has a cool go-to drink. Obviously, if it has a ton of fancy ingredients like puréed berries or whatever, you can look a little bit like a high-maintenance weirdo, so don’t do that. If you like scotch, have a favorite brand. it makes you look all actualized and grown-up. (You don’t have to say your drink order with the theatrical panache of James Bond. That’s for close-ups.)
3. Own several pairs of dark wash straight-leg jeans. Don’t get bootcut, don’t get skinny, just a nice pair of levis without any embellishments on the pockets. No embellishments anywhere. At all. Nothing. Oh my god.
4. Wait until all the women have gotten on or off an elevator before you get on or off. Look, I’m not some chivalry nut or anything, but this small act of politeness is very visual and memorable.
5. When you think a girl looks pretty, say it, but don’t reference the thing that might reveal you are aware of the backstage process. e.g., say, “You look gorgeous tonight,” not “I like how you did your makeup tonight.” Also, a compliment means less if you compliment the thing and not the way the girl is carrying it off. so, say, “You look so sexy in those boots,” rather than “Those boots are really cool.” I didn’t make the boots! I don’t care if you like the boots’ design! We are magic to you: You have no idea how we got to look as good as we do.
6. Avoid asking if someone needs help in a kitchen or at a party, just start helping. Same goes with dishes. (Actually, if you don’t
want to help, you should ask them if they need help. No self respecting host or hostess will say yes to this question.)
7. Have one great cologne that’s not from the drugstore. Just one. Wear very little of it, all the time. I cannot tell you how sexy it is to be enveloped in a hug by a man whose smell you remember. Then anytime I smell that cologne, I think of you. Way to invade my psyche, guy! Shivers-down-spine central!
8. Your girlfriend’s sibling or parents might be totally nuts but always defend them. Always. all a girl wants to do is to get along with her family, and if you are on the side of making it easy, you will be loved eternally. It might be easier to condemn them— after all, she’s doing that already—but, honestly, even if they are serial murderers, there is nothing more traumatic than hearing your boyfriend trash your family.
9. Kiehl’s for your skin, Bumble and Bumble for your hair. Maybe a comb. That is all you need. and when girls look in your medicine cabinet (which they will obviously do within the first five minutes of them coming to your place), you look all classily self restrained because you only have two beauty products. You’re basically a cowboy.
10. I really think guys only need two pairs of shoes. a nice pair of black shoes and a pair of Chuck Taylors. The key, of course, is that you need to replace your Chuck Taylors every single year. You cannot be lax about this. Those shoes start to stink like hell. They cost $40. You can afford a new pair every year.
11. Bring wine or chocolate to everything. People love when guys do that. not just because of the gift, but because it is endearing to imagine you standing in line at Trader Joe’s before the party.
12. Get a little jealous now and again, even if you’re not, strictly, a jealous guy. Too much and it’s creepy and horrible, but a possessive hand on her back at a party when your girlfriend looks super hot is awesome.
Read more excerpts from the novel at Republic of Brown