There is, perhaps, no better feeling than walking down the street in something that makes me feel like a badass. It’s a weekly ceremony for me, it seems — I navigate the streets of downtown Chicago, on my way to visit my mother, in an outfit that turns heads and draws all attention in a three-yard radius to the snobby boy going clickety-clack down the sidewalk. Some people give me looks of awe, some show furrowed brows, some reveal impressed smiles or even lips curled in distaste. No matter the reaction, one thing is for sure: my ‘fit is making an impact, and that’s what fuels me.
Maybe you’re not the type of person who likes to draw attention to yourself, and hey, that’s totally okay. This just probably isn’t the article for you (might I suggest this article on some 53 different types of birdhouses you can make?).
However, if you’re anything like me and you want to be able to intimidate people and project power with your mere presence, you’ve come to the right place. Now, aside from inherent aspects of appearing powerful and charismatic such as height, facial expression, and gait, there are three things you can toss into your closet in order to cultivate your bad-bitch image.
This is a no-brainer. Boots announce your presence by mere sound — people will hear you before you come, and trust me, they’ll be anxious to see who’s making all that racket. In my mind, the sound of a solid heel striking the floor is like your own chorus of royal trumpeters playing a fanfare for your grand entrance. On top of that, a tall enough heel will do wonders for your height.
Tell me, who do you respect more? The person gliding silently across the crosswalk in a pair of loafers or flats, or the person who comes marching to the beat of their boots in front of your car, as if to say run me over, I fucking dare you?
My suggestion is looking for a pair of boots that comes with a solid wooden heel, or a heel of a similarly-sturdy construction. Please, do not get a $25 pair of boots with some bullshit rubber heel that makes a dull little thup thup sound when you strut; do not sacrifice quality for cost, ever. It’s crucial that you invest in a decent pair. My favorite type for men are Chelsea boots, otherwise known as ankle boots. These shoes usually come with a fairly solid heel, and if you want to benefit from a height (and sound) advantage as well, look for pairs with a stacked heel. They also make the legs look longer, adding to the illusion of greater height. For women, I would advise looking for boots with a taller heel, with the thickness dependent on your ability to properly walk in them. No one immediately respects someone who walks in their heels like a baby deer born five minutes ago. Additionally, skip the flimsy cutout patterns and designs — you need a shoe that tells the world you don’t concern yourself with such unsophisticated frivolity.
Okay, HEAR ME OUT ON THIS. I would not steer you wrong. I am the proud owner of four capes, and let me tell you, you’d be surprised how many compliments I receive on them; if you have a flair for the dramatic like I do, please commence your scouring of the internet for capes to purchase.
Of course, I don’t mean Dracula capes that tie around the neck and come with a nifty collar; the type of capes I’m talking about fall over the shoulders and leave space for your arms to move somewhat freely. If you still can’t picture this in your mind, just waltz on over to ASOS.com and search “cape” for a few decent examples.
Capes are capable (hah) of exuding power for the same reason so many Disney villains and superheroes tend to don them; they make you appear larger, thus more intimidating, and they billow out behind you when you walk, lending you an almost supernatural-quality while still looking classy. Needless to say, if you walk down the street in a cape, you are impossible to not notice. My personal favorite combo is a black turtleneck with a black cape — I’ve been told that I literally look evil when I dress like so, which I suppose is a compliment and a testament to the image my outfit can convey.
Yes, this applies to both men and women. When you wear the appropriate amount of jewelry, it can almost speak for you — a woman wearing only a little pendant on a tiny chain seems to say “oh, don’t mind me, I’m just running a few errands for my elderly grandmother and then I’m going to leave a pie on the windowsill later on”. A woman wearing matching crystal earrings and necklace with maybe a few rings says “I hate having to leave my penthouse apartment and grovel with the smallfolk; the lengths I will go to to buy my martini olives”. A man wearing any noticeable jewelry at all? That says “I could give two shits what you and society think I be able to wear”.
If you really want to make a splash, make sure to include a few statement pieces in your jewelry box. This can be a big, flashy necklace, an ornate cuff, or a pair of long, dangly earrings. When choosing a statement piece to wear, it’s good to limit yourself to only one or two at a time; statement pieces act as an anchor-of-sorts for the rest of your jewelry, and what good is a ship if the entire thing is made of fucking anchors? It sinks, dummy, and so will your outfit! Center more low-key accessories around this statement piece, and your jewelry game will come across as composed and have the same effect upon your image as a whole. Trust me, people will respect that without even realizing it.
Jewelry can go a long, long way in developing your charisma, but you absolutely must be careful. It’s very easy to overdo it and appear tacky or trying just a bit too hard, which only serves to make you look like a buffoon. My own personal code is to never exceed more than one necklace (unless it’s an intentionally-layered piece), one bracelet or cuff, and three rings. Again, this only pertains to me and my jewelry, and depending on what you have, these rules might be different. Despite this, one thing is universal: well-organized jewelry conveys a sense of aesthetic awareness, and is instrumental in helping you seem charismatic and intriguing.
In summation, if you decide to include even just one of the three things listed above on your next shopping trip, you might find that you’ll receive a few glances now and again. Cultivate that even more, and pretty soon, you’ll be commanding whatever room you enter — and those around you.