It doesn’t take a genius to see why guys want to learn how to look handsome and attractive:
In addition to increased confidence, attractive men just seem to have more… well, everything.
“In society, attractive people tend to be more intelligent, better adjusted, and more popular,” explains Stanford University’s Charles Feng in the Journal of Young Investigators.
“Research shows attractive people also have more occupational success and more dating experience than their unattractive counterparts.”
While the benefits of looking handsome and attractive are abundantly clear, the methods that average guys like you and I can use to elevate our looks and join the Handsome Men’s Club aren’t as obvious.
Fortunately, figuring out how to look more handsome isn’t as difficult as you might think.
I spent a not-unweird amount of time studying, researching and ogling (errr, I mean, “investigating”) a lot of handsome men in order to reverse-engineer what makes a man look handsome and attractive.
And what I found was very good news for guys who don’t consider themselves traditionally handsome.
There are actually a number of easy-to-implement moves you, me and any regular-looking dude can use to look more handsome and attractive, even if you don’t have the squarest jaw or the fullest head of hair.
In this post I’ll share the most effective strategies any guy wondering how to look handsome and attractive can use to enhance his physical appearance and put his best face forward.
How to Look Handsome and Attractive
A Helpful Primer on Becoming a More Attractive Man
1. Ditch Your Razor
(and Get a Beard Trimmer)
It’s a scientifically proven fact:
Chicks dig facial hair.
In a study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, women were shown a man’s face in various states of beardedness, from clean shaven all the way up to full Grizzly Adams.
“Stubble was judged as most attractive overall,” according to the study.
Interestingly, full beards were judged more attractive for long-term relationships than short-term ones.
But the most important thing to take away from the stuy is that, in all cases, men with clean-shaven faces ranked the lowest.
If you decide to go for the full beard, remember that healthy hair is handsome hair.
Make sure to use a good beard oil everyday to keep your facial hair looking lush and well kept.
If you want to look more handsome, the first thing you should do is stop shaving your face.
Instead use a beard trimmer that will leave the perfect amount of stubble.
I’ve been using the Wahl Lithium Ion for a year now and absolutely swear by it.
In addition to looking sleek and sexy itself, it leaves a perfect amount of stubble every time, with no razor burn or bumps.
2. Get Rid of Unsightly Body Hair
On second thought, don’t throw that razor away just yet.
While stubble or a well kept beard might help you land a date, no one has ever said “Wow, look at all his sexy back hair.”
Keep yourself well groomed in the areas of your body that are most likely to peak out from underneath your collar or sleeves.
If you live in a warm climate or are heading on a beach-bound vacation, this rule extends to any body part that will be seen when you pop your shirt off.
Think shoulders, upper arms, lower back, etc.
Use a razor and some shaving cream to get rid of unflattering shoulder, back and neck hair.
If you prefer to go with something electric, I recommend using a different tool for your body hair than the one you use for your face.
Your best bet is probably the Meridian Trimmer.
It’s designed with sensitivity in mind, and specially engineered to be gentle enough to trim your balls without leaving any nicks or scratches.
(And if it’s good enough to handle your private parts, it’s more than capable of cleaning up your shoulders and back.)
3. Go Pluck Yourself
This is one of those things that Hollywood stylists know but the average guy doesn’t often think of:
You may not give your eyebrows much thought, but apparently women do.
“Your eyebrows are one of the first things we notice, besides that amazing smile, of course,” writes Huffington Post Fashion And Beauty Editor Dana Oliver.
Our eyebrows? Who knew!?!
As guys we tend to focus on the more basic grooming measures like brushing our teeth and combing our hair, but as it turns out, the (handsome) devil is in the details.
I’m (a [email protected]¢kin’) Star Lord
Once you become aware of how much eyebrows affect attractiveness, you’ll start noticing how really handsome guys – like, say, Hollywood leading men – almost always have impeccable brow game.
For a case study, look no further than former comic relief and current Guardian of the Galaxy Chris Pratt:
Pratt famously got in superhero shape for his role in Guardians, and there’s no denying that his newly athletic body is what helped propel him into leading-man status.
(Not to mention the square jaw that was apparently hiding under Andy Dwyer’s baby fat.)
But once he was there, Hollywood stylists apparently let him in on the eyebrow secret.
Let’s zoom in on the two photos above and take a closer look at those brows:
The goofy Chris Pratt of 2003 didn’t exactly have a unibrow, but his eyebrows are clearly untamed and kind of disheveled.
Which is to say, they’re exactly like yours and mine.
But the handsome-ass Chris Pratt who seduces Zoe Saldana and Jennifer Lawrence in blockbuster movies?
His eyebrows are clearly better groomed and more controlled than his younger self, as on point as his fitness, style and skin tone (more on that later).
Pick up a grooming kit and make sure it has a good set of tweezers, along with those tiny scissors that can help you remove any stray hairs along the edges of your brows.
And especially, of course, the ones in the middle above the bridge of your nose.
But while you should pluck your brows on a regular basis, for the love of god, DO NOT overdo it. You’re going for Chris Pratt, not this guy.
4. Whiten Your Teeth
Speaking of grooming tricks you might not think of, when was the last time you gave much thought to your chompers?
It’s easy to forget about them, but everybody else sees your teeth every time you open your mouth.
So it’s in your best interest to keep them looking clean, well cared for and at least close to a normal shade of white.
As with all aspects of personal hygiene, your best bet is to find the teeth-whitening method that’s right for you.
Personally I like to use whitening toothpaste in order to combat the daily deluge of teeth-yellowing coffee I subject my mouth to.
I’ve also had good results from the occasional use of Crest White Strips and other at-home whitening kits.
For best results, consult your dentist about which method will work best for you.
(You probably shouldn’t go sticking things in your mouth based solely on the advice of a guy who works superheroes into the conversation at every possible turn.)
5. Rock a New Haircut
It’s no secret that guys are creatures of habit.
And nowhere is this more plainly evident than on the top of our heads.
A lot of men have some variation of the same haircut for years and even decades, giving little thought to one of our most noticeable features.
But by ignoring your hair, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to elevate your look.
A well-chosen and well-styled look on top can make an otherwise “meh” visage look put together, refined and handsome.
Check out my round up of the 32 most handsome and classic men’s haircuts to find a good haircut that suits your style.
Save the photos for each onto your phone, then take them into your barber to give them an idea of what you’re going for.
They’ll help you adapt the look to your head shape.
6. Use Less Hair Product
Your barber can only do so much. Once you’ve found the hair cut that works for you, it’s up to you to style it properly.
This is a mistake a lot of young guys make, and I have to admit that I was one of the worst culprits back in the day.
I grew up in the ’90s and came of age in the early ’00s, when both the boy band era and TV’s Friends were at their pinnacle.
I spent a lot of time thinking about how to look handsome in high school, and I incorrectly assumed the answer was to gob product into my hair by the handful.
At my worst, I was using about as much product as the kid in the photo below.
Anytime your hair looks like you could grade parmesan cheese against it, you’ve got a problem.
By contrast, let’s take a closer look at the stock photo we used above:
Is there some product in there?
Almost certainly, yeah – it’s hard to maintain that “windswept” look without actual wind.
But did he overdo it?
Not at all. His hair looks both stylish and natural, which is generally the right look when you’re dressed casually. No wonder he’s smiling!
Don’t overdo it on the hair product.
Stick with a classic product, like a good pomade, and resist the urge to glob on too much.
Try using just one finger when you scoop it out of the jar, then apply it and style it appropriately.
This method will help keep you from gobbing on too much. If you do need a little extra, you can always dip back in.
7. Clip Your Nails
Remember that grooming kit you bought after learning about the magic of maintaining your eyebrows?
It came with a nail clipper, and you need to use it.
You might have a (totally understandable and perfectly legitimate) argument for why plucking your eyebrows is one step further than you’re willing to travel on the road to handsometown.
But there’s absolutely no excuse for neglecting your nail-trimming duties.
No one’s saying you have to go get a manicure. (Though if you do, no one’s going to judge you for it, either – you do you, brotha.)
But for the love of god, don’t let your claws grow out of control.
Use a nail clipper to trim your nails regularly. For an in-depth look at how to do it right, check out this helpful guide from Real Men Real Style.
8. Don’t Let Your Skin Go to Sh*t
Most guys don’t spend much time thinking about what the natural aging process does to our skin, much to the chagrin of both our health and our handsomeness.
In terms of your health, your skin is your body’s single largest organ (despite what you may tell women while sexting).
So taking care of your skin health plays a key role in your overall health and longevity.
But more to the point, skin also plays a vital role when it comes to your handsomeness.
Having smooth, healthy and youthful skin definitely contributes to a man’s overall attractiveness.
But even when your skin is a perfect 10/10, people might still have a hard time pinpointing why you look so good.
On the flip side, when your skin isn’t a perfect 10, it’s a lot more obvious—and a lot harder to correct.
Whether you have acne, dark circles, sun damage or premature wrinkles, fixing an existing skin problem is a lot harder than preventing it from happening in the first place.
(Not to mention a lot cheaper, since the most sever skin problems could require plastic surgery to solve.)
Fortunately, adopting a daily skincare regimen that will keep your skin looking healthy and young is easy.
As long as you choose the right products (and be warned: there are a lot of shitty ones out there), applying them each day takes no more than 30 seconds.
But it could become one of the healthiest and most handsome habits you ever adopt.
Check out Lumin skin care’s Age Management Collection, which features three products that will help keep your skin looking healthy and handsome.
I did a full Lumin skin review awhile back and found their products to be really effective.
The other nice thing about Lumin is that they’re confident enough in their products to offer a free trial to new customers.
9. Try Self-Tanner
(Yes, seriously. Just hear me out.)
For the final grooming tip on this list, I’ve saved what’s undoubtedly the weirdest for last.
This one comes courtesy of fashion-world kingpin Michael Kors, who told GQ in 2013:
“A tan makes you look healthy. My secret is Jergens self-tanning moisturizer. Gives you just a bit of color.”
Now before I go any further, let me pause and acknowledge how bat-shit crazy this advice probably sounds.
We’re dudes! We don’t bother fretting about our tans, right??
Well, maybe we should.
A study done at the University of Toronto examined the skin tone of male and female models.
White male models had skin that was 15 percent darker than white female models, while the skin of black male models was 11 percent darker than their female counterparts.
Why do most male models have darker skin? Because women are apparently predisposed to finding darker shades of skin more attractive.
As the Daily Mail wrote in summarizing the study:
“Women favour darker, brooding men… [they] pick men with darker complexions… because these are associated with sex, virility, mystery, villainy and danger.”– University of Toronto study
Admit it: that bottle of Jergens is looking a little less ridiculous right about now, isn’t it?
To see the effects of darker skin in action, let’s re-examine our favorite humble-to-handsome transformation, shall we?
This time, ignore Pratt’s eyebrows; instead, look at his skin tone:
Now, it’s possible that leading-man Pratt spends a lot more time in the sun than his goofily disheveled former self.
But Star Lord now has a team of highly paid stylists, who have a whole arsenal of little tricks like this at their disposal.
My guess is that they used self-tanning cream or something similar to help him achieve a darker, more attractive (and more acne-covering) color.
Pick up some self-tanner and try it for yourself, applying it evenly across your face to avoid creating any dark spots.
Use it once a day, but remember: there’s a fine line between “nicely tanned” and “overly orange.”
The best way to avoid going a little too, uhh, let’s call it “presidential” is to cut the tanner with some regular sunscreen to dilute the color a bit.
10. Get Your Shirts (and the Rest of Your Sh!t) Tailored
The clothes don’t always make the man – but they always make him look better.
Now that we’ve tackled the question of how to look more handsome from a grooming perspective, let’s look at a few tweaks you can make to give your wardrobe a more attractive look.
The good news here is that you don’t have to worry about the latest fads or fashion trends in order to sharpen your style.
Each of the tips below is timeless, and will work just as well today as they will a decade from now.
By far the most effective thing you can do to upgrade your current wardrobe without buying anything new is get your shirts, pants and other core wardrobe pieces tailored.
The “Secret Weapon” of Menswear
Don’t get me wrong: choosing the right color for your suit is important.
(I personally swear by the blue suit and brown shoes combo.)
But tailoring is the secret weapon of menswear.
I’d much rather have a $100 suit that fit like a glove than a $10,000 suit that draped off my shoulders, bunched up at the ankles or otherwise didn’t fit my frame.
And since good local tailors are easy to find thanks to review sites like Yelp and Google, this one should be a no-brainer.
First, check out the fit guide at Business Insider to get a better sense of how your clothes should fit.
Next, go through your closet and try on everything you own.
Look in the mirror and compare what you see to the sizing guides linked to above.
If it doesn’t look right, set it aside and start a pile of stuff you plan to have tailored.
If you find something in your closet that doesn’t quite fit, but you’re not sure a tailor will do it, check out this guide to clothing alterations from the Art of Manliness.
(Or, ya know, just bring it in and ask…)
Over the next week, start bringing in your clothes to have them altered.
Bring in as many as you can at one time (while still leaving yourself something to wear, of course) and see if you can get a bulk discount from your tailor because you’ve brought in so much business.
By the time you’re done, you’ll practically have a brand-new wardrobe that fits like a glove…
…for about a tenth of the price of what a brand new wardrobe would actually cost.
11. Cultivate Your Color Game
After you’ve had your clothes fitted, the next most important factor to consider is the color of each item.
I can’t tell you how many otherwise sharp getups I’ve seen ruined by the wrong color selection.
(I once went to a wedding where I saw a tall, handsome guy wearing a crisp black suit, a black shirt, and a [throws up in mouth a little bit] neon turquoise tie.)
While some colors work better with certain complexions, for the most part you really only need to know a handful of core colors.
12. Tuck and Roll
Now that your shirt fits properly, it’s time to learn how to wear it with style.
Tucking in your shirt – especially a shirt that’s well cut – immediately makes you look more polished and put together.
It conveys the message that you’re conscientious and care about your personal appearance, both of which contribute to attractiveness.
Rolling up your sleeves, meanwhile, makes you look a little more relaxed, conveying that while you make an effort to look good, you’re not too stuffy.
Tuck in your shirt and roll up your sleeves to simultaneously look more polished, more relaxed and more confident.
You can probably handle this one without any further instruction, but if you feel like doing a deep-dive on this, check out Esquire’s “Definitive Guide to Rolling Up Your Sleeves.”
And if you frequently find yourself feeling frustrated that your shirt keeps coming untucked, try using shirt stays or shirt garters to keep it in place.
13. Ditch the Undershirt
Nothing says, “I have no idea how to look presentable” quite like the cotton white collar of an undershirt pouring out between the buttons of a dress shirt.
Unfortunately, this is a mistake that way too many guys make.
And speaking as someone who sweats a lot, let me just say, I get it:
I’m all too familiar with the anxiety that comes from worrying that you’re going to sweat right through your dress shirt.
And I fully concede that throwing an extra layer on underneath your shirt can help sop up the sweat before it reaches your fancier clothes.
But there’s a smarter (i.e. sharper and more handsome) way to wear an undershirt.
Instead of wearing a cotton undershirt with a crew collar, which can easily be seen under your dress shirt, opt for one with a deep v-neck.
The big, swooping neckline will allow you to leave your top couple buttons undone, like Bryan Cranston has in the photo above.
But it won’t make you look like a clueless suburban dad, like Walter White – played to perfection by Cranston – also does above.
14. Wear a Tie
(Even – and Especially – When You Don’t Have To)
Gone are the days when a man was expected to wear a suit and tie everywhere he went. (Sigh.)
Outside of a few scarce professions and social functions, the standard for menswear today has never been more casual.
And while that’s disappointing to menswear fanatics like me, the good news is that it also makes it easier than ever to handsomely stand out from the crowd.
In an article for Forbes about why you should dress 25 percent better than everyone else in the office, Carmine Gallo writes:
“I asked a military hero the secret to leading a team into battle.”
The military hero’s answer?
“‘It all starts with how you’re dressed the first time you meet them,'” he replied.
“‘If your pants are whiter, your shoes are shinier and your clothes are better pressed, you’ll communicate confidence, a commanding presence. You’re telegraphing that you’re in charge.'”
Fortunately, you don’t need to wear the navy’s dress whites to dress better than your peers – all you need is about 10 bucks and an Amazon account.
Next time you’re in a situation where a (well fitted and appropriately tucked) dress shirt would suffice, try throwing on a tie to elevate the look even further.
By dressing just slightly better than you have to, you’ll gain handsome points in two ways.
First, you’ll look even more put together and better dressed than the guy standing next to you.
Second, in so doing you’ll instantly communicate that you’re a cut above the norm, which will make you seem all the more attractive.
As I alluded to above, Amazon has literally thousands of options for ties ranging in price from 2 bucks to 200.
15. Blaze a New Trail
Here’s how to elevate your look with one simple swap.
Not to be confused with its cousin the sports jacket, a blazer is basically a suit jacket with a more relaxed fit.
Because it has less structure in the shoulders, it gives off a more casual look and feel than a suit jacket, while still looking a hell of a lot sharper than a hoodie or sweatshirt.
Next time you’re tempted to throw on a hoodie or a zip-up sweater, consider ditching them in favor of an unlined, unstructured blazer.
And if you need help finding something to layer under your blazer, check out my post about the nine most stylish types of sweaters, many of which you can wear under your jacket.
16. Step Up Your Shoe Game
If the handsome devil is indeed in the details, then you need to make sure your look is on-point all the way from head to toe.
The right pair of shoes can really make or break your entire look.
If you find proper dress shoes to be too restrictive, check out the new breed of dress shoes that feel like sneakers.
Brands like Cole Haan and Wolf & Shepherd have basically combined the handsome leather upper of a dress shoe with the comfortable rubber sole of a running shoe, resulting in kicks that look great and feel even better.
Keep Them Sufficiently Shined
Of course, if you don’t keep your shoes in good shape, you’ll miss out on their handsome benefits.
Remember what the military hero quoted above said?
“If your pants are whiter, your shoes are shinier… you’ll communicate confidence.”
First, upgrade your shoes.
If, like a lot of guys, you’ve been pairing the same old sneakers, boat shoes or hiking boots with your jeans for years, try picking up a good pair of brogues or oxfords to help your shoes stand out.
Then, pick up a shoe shining kit like this one, which will have (pretty much) everything you need to restore the sheen to your shoes.
After a full week or two of wearing your new shoes, break out the shoe shine kit and give ’em a polish.
In between, keep an eye out for scuffs, mud or anything else that might make your shoes look less than ideal.
17. Avoid Sh*tty Shades…
If wearing the wrong shoes can ruin your look, imagine how consequential the accessories that you slap on your face must be.
As a style enthusiast, there’s nothing that makes me sadder than seeing an otherwise well put together man wearing the wrong sunglasses.
The right pair of shades can elevate a man’s look and lend him an air of effortless cool.
The wrong pair, on the other hand, can make an otherwise a well put together look worthless (and make already-bad getups look even worse).
First and foremost, remember this:
If you’re not actually playing a sport, you should NOT be wearing sports sunglasses.
So, what kinds of frames should you wear?
Check out our round up of the most timeless, classic and stylish sunglasses of all time for a good place to start.
18. …and Get Good Glasses
If you wear glasses most of the time, then finding the right frames is absolutely essential.
(And significantly more impactful than rocking stylish sunglasses, since you wear your glasses much more often.)
Since glasses loom so large on the face, they’re often the very first thing a person notices about you.
A sharp pair of glasses that’s well suited to your face can help you look smart and sophisticated, two traits that essentially increase your attractiveness automatically.
But when your glasses are out of style or don’t fit your face shape, they have the opposite effect, making you look clueless and even kind of dopey.
Here’s Stephen Colbert back in 2011, accepting his Peabody Award:
At the time, he was wearing a weird pair of oval-shaped frames that almost blended into his face, and did nothing to enhance his image.
But here is in 2019, wearing the striking pair of black frames he’s had for the last few years:
Even though he’s seven years older and has the same basic haircut, the new frames lend him an air of expertise and authority that make him look a lot more handsome.
(He also seems to have borrowed Chris Pratt’s tanning cream—funny how guys seem to get more tanned as they become bigger stars… 🤔)
Warby Parker (one of my favorite glasses brands) has put together a pretty comprehensive guide to choosing the right glasses for your face shape.
(They also put together a video about it, for those who prefer watching to reading.)
Use it to help you choose the best types of frames to suit your face and head shape and avoid choosing frames that detract from your overall attractiveness.
19. Convey Confidence with Your Body Language
Making sure your clothes and grooming are on point will go a long way toward making you look more handsome.
But in order to really stand out ,you have to stand tall – or at least as tall as your frame can muster.
There are a lot of ways you can convey confidence, strength and attractiveness simply by using your body language effectively.
(Like, a whole lot.)
But to keep it simple, just focus on the basics.
Generally speaking, the men who are considered most dominant (and thus, most attractive) share a few physical traits:
They have good posture, occupy a lot of physical space by adopting a wide stance or spreading their arms, and move slowly and deliberately.
As Amy Cuddy famously noted, adopting a powerful position with your body can actually make you feel more powerful.
That effect extends to other people as well – carry yourself like a young George Clooney, and other people will (subconsciously) take notice.
Be more conscious of your body language.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, keep your back straight, your chest out and your arms open (rather than crossed) to convey confidence.
Take Your Look to the Next Level
Learn How to Out-Dress The Other Guys
As you can see, there are a ton of ways you can work with what you’ve got to optimize your overall appearance and make yourself look more handsome and attractive.
But if you really want to stand out from the crowd, you need to know how to out-dress the other guys.
In my post about how to dress better for guys I put together a three-part plan for doing just that.
It includes three over-arching strategies you can use to dress better, and 27 specific tips that you can implement into your wardrobe.
The three fundamental strategies I recommend are:
1. Sharpen Your Style Instincts
The underlying element that really allows you to look your best is developing a strong understanding of what men’s style is, and – most importantly – what it is to you.
2. Implement Specific Style Strategies
Once you understand the fundamentals, you can begin implementing specific, action-oriented tips that will help you dress better.
Stack each of these small tips and tricks on top of each other, and they’ll add up to a big impact on your overall look.
3. Spend Less, Look Better
One of the biggest challenges guys face when trying to dress their best is that clothes can be expensive.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can look like a baller, even if you have a tight budget, so in the third section of the post I reveal my favorite cost-saving strategies for looking sharp.
All of the strategies and tips I recommend to help guys dress better complement and build upon the handsome hacks listed above.
Using them in tandem is a great way to really optimize your overall appearance, and present the best possible version of yourself to the world.
Click here to read the full post about how to dress better for guys and learn how to take your look to the next level.
More Great Stuff from Irreverent Gent:
- The Definitive Guide to How Your Suit Should Fit
- 9 Stylish & Comfortable Dress Shoes That Feel Like Sneakers
- The 35 Most Comfortable, Supportive & Overall Best Underwear Brands for Men
- Who is the Most Handsome Man in the World?
- What to Wear to a Funeral: The Complete Guide to Proper Funeral Attire
- How to
WearRock a Blue Suit and Brown Shoes
- How to Start a Workout Routine for Men: 7 Easy-to-Implement Steps to Success
- The Most Stylish, Stretchy & Comfortable Suits for Men
- The Ultimate Guide to Professional Clothiers
- The Best Subscription Boxes for Men
- How to Look Confident All the Time
- The Taper vs Fade Haircut: The Ultimate Guide
- 19 Eye-Opening Stats on Social Media, Mental Health & Low Self-Esteem
- In-Depth The Jacket Maker Review – Is The Jacket Maker Legit?
More Advice on What Make a Man Handsome from Around the Web:
Banner photos: G-Stock Stuio and Dean Drobot / Shutterstock;
Banner illustration: Irreverent Gent