Peter is a Private Personal Stylist for men based in NYC — Peter and his business The Essential Man have been featured in GQ, Forbes, and Esquire magazine over the 17+ years he’s been “helping successful men look really fucking good" 😜
I discovered Peter a few years ago when I was seeking style advice for my clients. We’ve become friends since, and Peter’s even worked with many of my masterclass graduates!
Ready for some style tips that will help you uplevel your dating life?
Prior to starting The Essential Man, I worked as a high-end menswear designer for 11 years. Ryan Gosling, Kanye West, and Kevin Hart have all worn my clothes!
I loved making clothes, but I spent most of my time in dark, hot factories in Midtown Manhattan, and wanted a change.
A mentor suggested I look into shifting to services (like consulting) but the idea of helping “regular” guys look cool just sounded funner.
I felt like the info out there from fashion magazines, makeover shows, and Reddit forums was just too confusing and overwhelming.
And if it was confusing and overwhelming for me, I can only imagine it being a nightmare for the average guy. I wanted to demystify style for the average guy, thus The Essential Man was born!
Can style alone make a man more attractive? If so, how?
Oh, no. If you’re an asshole in a beautiful bespoke suit from Naples, you’re still an asshole.
I often compare style to food.
Sushi out of a prepackaged container from Whole Foods might be sufficient for lunch. It’s a whole different experience when you’re having an omakase at a 3-Michelin star restaurant in Japan. It’s sushi with a lot more style.
A lot of guys can get by with a great career, positive outlook, and active lifestyle. But if all things were equal, what do you think a potential match would choose? Premade sushi, or an omakase from the world famous Jiro?
The great news is, improving your style doesn’t take a lifetime of mastery.
Can you share a few of your most memorable transformations?
Oh, this is hard. So many of my guys have great stories!
If I had to pick a favorite, it would be my client AJ.
60 years old, CEO of a tech company. In a previous life he was a legit cowboy, trained boxer, and ran a coffee shop! He also rides motorcycles and would geek out on whisky and beer with me.
He was so open to trying out styles that scare even my younger clients, like suede jackets, white jeans, and hats. But he pulled them off with ease, and is the coolest 60 year old I know.
What are the biggest mistakes you see?
FIRST, Making sure your clothes fit properly.
I always tell my clients that this will solve 90% of your style problems.
The most common issue I see is pants that are too long. Pant legs that pool at your ankles make you look like a sloppy college kid.
The other common fit problem I see are jackets and coats that are too big. You end up looking like you’re wearing your older brother's hand-me-downs.
The first thing I do when working with clients is walk them how to quickly eyeball if something fits properly.
SECOND, wear fewer patterns and colors.
A lot of my past clients' wardrobes are filled with graphic tees, plaid and gingham shirts, and bright colored pants that are hard to mix and match.
Think of patterns and colors like pizza toppings. You need a solid base for them. Your classic cheese pizza. Without that base, you just have a bowl of toppings.
The majority of your wardrobe should be filled with solid, neutral colors like black, white, gray, navy, olive green, and camel. These foundation colors serve as your base for you to throw the occasional brighter color or pattern on.
THIRD, get a fresh fade.
A haircut can turn you into a completely different person.
When I started styling guys, I noticed that a lot of my clients made the same hairstyle mistake: their hair’s the same length all around. It was making them look a big generic and, to be honest, a little bummy.
I started taking them to my barber Mr. Bee to give them a fades while leaving the top longer. This creates a nice separation between the top and sides, making you look sharper and a lot more put together.
Fades also require some upkeep, which is a subtle signal that you’re someone that cares about how he looks and puts in the effort, which is very attractive.