13 Proven Ways to Look More Handsome and Attractive

Dave Bowden

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It doesn’t take a genius to see why guys want to learn how to look handsome and attractive:

In addition to increased confidence, good-looking guys 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 dudes 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 13 of the most effective strategies any guy wondering how to look handsome and attractive can use to step up his style and put his best face forward.

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive

1. Ditch Your Razor (and Get a Beard Trimmer)

How to Look More Handsome and AttractiveIt’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. The results?

“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 in all cases men with clean-shaven faces ranked the lowest.

How to Look More Handsome and AttractiveYour Move:

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

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive
“Dammit, Jerry!”

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.).

Your Move:

Use a razor and some shaving cream to get rid of unflattering shoulder, back and neck hair. For more on manscaping, check out these guides from Ask Men and Men’s Fitness.

It also might be helpful to check out the below video by Alpha M on how to avoid some of the most common manscaping mistakes:

3. Go Pluck Yourself

How to Look More Handsome and AttractiveThis 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!?!

Women, apparently. 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 Mothaf@¢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:

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive

Pratt famously got in superhero shape for his role in Guardians, and there’s no denying that the extra muscle he packed on (and the square jaw that was apparently hiding under Andy Dwyer’s baby fat) are what helped propel him into leading-man status.

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:

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive

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).

Your Move:

Pick up a grooming kit and use the tweezer and tiny scissors to 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 for the love of god, DO NOT overdo it. You’re going for Chris Pratt, not this guy.

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The (handsome) devil is in the details

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4. Whiten Your Teeth

How to Look More Handsome and AttractiveSpeaking 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.

Your Move:

How to Look More Handsome and AttractiveFind 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 32-year-old guy who works superheroes into the conversation at every possible turn.)

5. Rock a New Haircut

how to look more handsomeIt’s no secret that men are creatures of habit, and no where is this more plainly evident than on the top of our heads.

Most guys 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.

Your Move:

Google “best men’s haircuts” and find a few pictures that strike you. Save them on your phone and 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.

If you’re looking for some insight into which styles are best, Made Man has a round up of 21 styles women love, while Esquire has (supposedly) narrowed it down to just one.

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. As a kid who grew up in the ’90s – when both the boy band era and TV’s Friends were at their pinnacle – I used to think I needed 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.

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive
Photo credit Jugni via Wikimedia

By contrast, let’s take a closer look at the hair on our handsome friend from this post’s banner image at the top:

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!

Your Move:

Don’t overdo it on the hair product. 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.

For more hair tips, the guys over at style blog Real Men Real Style have put together a great guide detailing more than 20 men’s hairstyles.

7. Clip Your Nails

How to Look More Handsome and AttractiveRemember 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.

Whereas 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, 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.

Your Move:

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. Try Self-Tanner
(Yes, seriously. Just hear me out.)

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive
Trust me: I feel as weird recommending this as you do reading it. But…

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.”

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive

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 Chris Pratt’s eyebrows; instead, look at his skin tone:

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive

Now, it’s possible that leading-man Pratt spends a lot more time in the sun than his goofily disheveled former self.

But if I were a betting man, I’d wager that Star Lord’s highly paid stylists have used self-tanning cream or something similar to help him achieve a darker, more attractive (and less acne-revealing) color.

Your Move:

Pick up some self-tanner and try it for yourself. Use it once a day, and if you’re worried about accidentally going all John Boehner, try cutting it with some regular sunscreen to dilute the color a bit.

9. Get Your Shirts (& the rest of your shit) Tailored

How to Look More Handsome and AttractiveThe clothes don’t make the man – but they can sure as hell 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 your wardrobe to improve your overall look.

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

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.

Your Move(s):
How to Look More Handsome and Attractive
The Power of Tailoring

First, check out the fit guides at Dappered and Business Insider to get a better sense of how your clothes should fit.

Next, go through your closet and try on everything you own. Yep, everything. 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.

10. Tuck and Roll

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive
Get tucked. (That came out wrong.)

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 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.

Your Move:

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.”

11. Wear a Tie – Even (and Especially)
When You Don’t Have To

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive
Throwing a tie on with your (well-fitted) shirt instantly elevates the entire look.

Gone are the days when a man was expected to wear a suit and tie everywhere he went.

Outside of a few scarce professions and social functions, the standard for menswear today has never been more casual – which makes it easier than ever for you 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 reply?

“‘That’s a long answer… But I can tell you it all starts with how you’re dressed the first time you meet them.

‘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.

Your Move:

How to Look More Handsome and AttractiveNext 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. To narrow your search a little, I recommend starting with The Tie Bar. Their ties are stylish, well made, well priced and aimed at the modern man.

12. Blaze a New Trail

How to Look More Handsome and AttractiveHere’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.

The best part is that you can find these just about everywhere, from suit suppliers like J.Crew and Banana Republic to more casual stores like the Gap and even Old Navy, which is where the photo pictured here came from.

Your Move:

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 Uniqlo merino wool sweater review to find out why the Japanese retailer’s v-necks are among the best, most layerable sweaters on the market.

13. Shine Your Shoes

How to Look More Handsome and AttractiveIf 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 (or boots) can elevate your look, but if you don’t keep them 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.”

Your Move(s):

How to Look More Handsome and AttractiveFirst, check out this guide from the Art of Manliness to learn the right way to shine your shoes.

Next, 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 wear, 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.


14. Convey Confidence with Your Body Language

How to Look More Handsome and Attractive
Question: Which one looks more handsome to you? (Answer: Trick question! No one looks handsome in frumpy short shorts.)

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, men who stand up straight, occupy a lot of physical space by adopting a wide stance or spreading their arms, and move slowly and deliberately are considered more dominant, and thus more attractive.

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.

Your Move:

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.

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The (handsome) devil is in the details

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8 thoughts on “13 Proven Ways to Look More Handsome and Attractive”

  1. This is all well and good for guys who have symmetrical features, but what about guy who doesn’t look like traditionally attractive?

    • Hey Roman,

      In my experience being seen as handsome or attractive has a lot more to do with how you carry yourself than with your face. I’m fully aware of how corny and cliched this sounds, but it’s just fundamentally true: what really makes you attractive is your character.

      To give you a specific example, think about Owen Wilson’s broken nose. When you really look at the guy, his face is nothing special – in fact, it’s even kind of funny looking. And yet he frequently plays a leading man who romances Hollywood beauties, and we in the audience have no trouble buying it. Why? Because he carries himself with confidence, he’s funny and engaging, and that makes him watchable – and yes, attractive.

      So think of the tips in this post as window dressing. Using them will certainly help your case, but if you really want to seem handsome and attractive, look within. (Sorry – I know that was probably my corniest line yet. Still true though!)

  2. Great tips, thanks Dave. I don’t know if I’ll be plucking my eyebrows anytime soon, but the rest of the advice makes total sense. Love your point about the hair product. I think I need to cut back.

  3. Wow, this is great. Like how you back up the more out-tehre tips (i.e. self-tanner) with research. Definitely above and beyond most style blogs.

    • Thanks Edward! I figured if I was going to recommend something pretty weird, I should at least explain my reasoning for it…

  4. I want to change my hairstyle but I have trouble communicating exactly what I want to my barber. I find that when I tell him one thing, he hears another, and I don’t get what I’m looking for. Any ideas?

    • This is something bothered me for years, too. I would say something that I thought made sense and my barber would do something… well, very different. Two ideas that might help: 1. Bring a photo. If you can find a shot of a model or a celebrity who has the exact haircut you want, just save it on your phone and bring it in. 2. The blog Real Men Real Style put together an awesome little e-book designed to help you solve exactly this problem. They give you everything you need to know to get the most out of your hairstyle, including illustrations of each cut, the right language to use when talking to your barber, and tips about which products, colors and textures you should be concerned with.

      Hope this helps!

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