What Does Dressing "Sexy" Even Mean For a Man?

Suits? Skinny jeans? Short shorts? Is there any true equivalent of the slinky dress for guys? We turned to a stylist to find out.

What Does Dressing "Sexy" Even Mean For a Man?

Are you one of those guys who wants to look stylish but finds it doesn’t come all that naturally? We feel you. Don’t fret: With some advice from LA-based stylist Rayne Parvis, we’re all going to learn how to dress a little better. In this edition, we’re discussing whether or not dudes can dress sexy, and if so, how?

Step #1: Cleanliness Is Next to Sexiness

It may be comfortable to throw on a raggedy T-shirt and a hoodie, but dressing sloppy gives off the impression that you didn’t put much thought into the date. That’s no good: While men don’t have a lot of options in their wardrobe, one thing that never stops being sexy is looking like you made an effort. “You want to look like you put some time into looking nice for your significant other,” Parvis explains. This doesn’t mean you can’t wear your favorite casual tee and a pair of jeans if that’s your look—you just need to make sure you iron the shirt and wear some more stylish dark denim. Remember: There’s a difference between “casually sexy” and “just woke up.”

Step #2: Don’t Dress Like James Bond

Thanks to the perception that 007 is the ultimate in suave, the black suit or tuxedo has become the go-to sexy attire for many men. The only problem, Parvis warns, is that since most men are not as attractive as James Bond, wearing a black suit can come off as generic, uninviting and overcompensating. Instead, she recommends toning down the formality of your look to send the message that you’re down to earth and friendly. “I suggest a soft cashmere sweater or a soft button-down shirt—women love soft clothes—dark-colored jeans, black socks, and snazzy shoes,” she says. “If the date is a little more formal, add a cool blazer or wear a non-black suit with a colorful tie.”

Step #3: Instead, Dress Like Yourself

It’s tempting to overcompensate by throwing on rockstar attire when you’re not actually a rockstar, or professional attire when you’re not all that professional, but Parvis says being confident about who you really are is what will ignite the loins. That’s why she recommends starting with a basic T-shirt and dark denim jeans, then adding your own flair to it. “If you’re the edgy type, throw a leather jacket or bomber jacket on over the tee,” she says. “If you’re more clean-cut, put a sports coat on over the shirt with a pocket square for a little extra flair.” Or, if you land somewhere in the middle, go with a flannel or a button-down over the tee, then roll up the sleeves.

That’s right, you had the sexiness in you this whole time. You just had to wear it on your sleeve—literally.

If you have any questions about getting the look you want—fits, cuts, colors or anything else fashion-related—leave it in the comments and we’ll have a stylist answer it in an upcoming post.