Swag by my definition is a mathematical quantification of one’s demeanor, personality, and overall attractiveness as perceived by others. This department is where most of us fat dudes fall victim to predators. Walking around completely unsure of whether you fit in or not. Just like needs, swag has a hierarchy. In order to build your swag you must start with the base of the hierarchy and not skip steps. The hierarchy is as follows: the base is shoes; the next level is head appeal, then shirt, pants, and finally accessories. Those are the basics we will discuss swag boosters throughout the article.

The base is your shoes, without this, you cannot stand, or walk. How did shoes get to be the base? Well as a Fashionlytic I came to the conclusion that whether you're fat, skinny, starter, or bench warmer if you take all that away the difference is your shoes. Outside of natural appearance, it’s the first thing kids make fun of. Now hear the truth it doesn’t matter whether they are expensive or cheap just clean and fresh looking. You have to believe that your shoes are the schit! You can recognize instantly when a person believes their shoes are cool because they have the “new shoe walk”. This walk is where your swag begins to show. As people ask themselves why he walks like that, then they look down and see a pair of fresh kicks. Now what happens next, isn’t gender-specific, everyone in whatever jargon or slang you speak says to themselves, or if your swag is “on a thousand” they will say nice kicks. Now see the truth many will argue the name brand cheap thing but picture this Rick Ross shoes, expensive or cheap. Because of his swag, you aren’t going to question it. You want to know how I shop for shoes that are going to boost my swag. Shopping to find your base is easier than you think, it can be done with little cash. Say for example I wanted new shoes to wear out tonight but I only have $30, and I need them tonight. For all the fashion Guru’s this is a lesson on swag not how to spend money. I would go to Payless, yes Payless, they have a good selection and they are relatively inexpensive. For example, right now I could build my outfit around a pair of Lakeside slip-ons by Dexter. This shoe is versatile because it can be worn hanging out or going to the club. Your facial recognition factor is the next level.

Keep reading and by the end of this article, you will be a complete Swaggateer. People will look directly at your face. Head appeal is a crucial element in controlling perception. Dismiss the truth you may be ugly, and if you believe that then you lose because swag is based on how others perceive you. So stop here and go cry in the corner of your room in your parents’ house with Twinkies and a love story. If you believe you are the schit then read on. When others see your face their eyes should be greeted with a smile. Since you don’t know who’s watching you, then you should always be smiling. If their eyes are met with a mug then the bus stops there. You become unapproachable or you’re having a bad day, all of which translates to ugly. But because we are smiling now we are warm and available for conversation. Side Note: Everybody is ugly to somebody, no matter how you cut it. Your face should be groomed, hair cut, and lips not chapped. Lips not being chapped does not mean running around with your lips poppin’. At this point she will say to herself if he is this clean then his life must be that way as well. This translates to he has no drama and if he does he has a handle on it, equaling dateable or worthy of getting to know them. Not saying that is the case it's just how she perceives it. Once again with swag not being gender-specific then men will say you fresh or something of the sort. At this point, you can take control of any chance meeting with one word, hi. That one word, believe it or not, is the most difficult thing in the world to say for a swagless person. The “hi” is open-ended, which means it invites conversation but because you are in control now the response is up to the swag of the other person. Don’t get too caught up in the “hi” though you should say it to everyone. The “hi” says I recognize your presence, which could ward off would-be attackers. How do you really rev up your swagodometer?

Keep reading.

The shirt plays an important role in this aspect. As the third level of the hierarchy, this will begin to add momentum to your swag. Ok, your shirt has to be clean, pressed (ironed no wrinkles). Having wrinkles can move you into the disorganized category, and if you are big enough, the sloppy category. Both of those categories denote bad things and should be avoided. What stands out the most, and can be seen from a hundred miles away, is the shirt size. If the shirt is too small it says “I like what I like and I don’t care what you think”. That may be an outstanding quality in other areas but not when trying to gain swag. Oh and don’t think because it's high-end, name-brand it means something, it doesn’t. It will only lead to you being laughed at or talked about. Whether they say it to your face or behind your back they are still saying it. At this point, you are one foot into the coffin of friendship. The reciprocal is a shirt that is too big. These are the shirts that hang down to your knees. You know the ones that were labeled short sleeves but when you put it on the sleeves are ¾ long, looking like the shirt sleeves were rolled up then cut off, terrible. It says “hey world I have something to hide” the only problem is that everyone knows what it is I’m fat and I lack confidence! This guarantees you end up in the friendship coffin and buried deep. The person who dresses this way will be timid and want to avoid confrontation, that’s why you get picked on. Predators will attack the easiest prey shirts that size appears like a bullseye. If you put on a shirt that fits it screams I know who I am, I am confident in whom I am, and most importantly I want to be who I am. Boom, at this point you have not voluntarily put yourself in the friendship coffin, so you’re good so far. The double-up bonus equals wearing a shirt that hasn’t come out yet or that nobody would wear, at least not until they saw how you did it. A common comment that you know that you have been swag boosted is as simple as that’s a nice shirt from girls or I saw that shirt from guys. From a man that translates to I did not have the swag to wear the shirt so I didn’t buy it. When girls say it, it translates to you look nice in that shirt. You are almost to the top!

Pants are the final most statically underappreciated area of swag. Correctly choosing a pair of pants puts you on the road to being swaggeriffic. Britches, excuse my ole’ school, that are too small tells the universe that I want to desperately fit in, and not ever go against the grain, or I don’t look at myself. Again people will talk about you! That’s a clear violation of the swag code and therefore you have been D-O-W-N-G-R-A-D-E-D. Pants that are too big whisper I’m fat, but I don’t want you to know exactly how fat I am. I lack confidence, individual character, and I’m not happy with myself… If you put a rock in front of this person they will try to hide under it. If you’re lucky, because you don’t know who you are then you can be made into whatever she wants you to be. If she doesn’t have anyone to chill with, guess who’s up. If she wants to feel loved because her real love interest doesn’t like her, guess who’s up. If she has a secret that she wants to tell and doesn’t want anyone to know, guess who’s up, the unpopular swagless fat guy. These are the only circumstances that she will call you. Now metaphorically you're dead buried deep in a coffin. If you want to be swagtastic you will purchase pants that fit. Men will say, in a masculine tone, “I like those jeans, where did you get them”. Women will most likely comment on the outfit as a whole, this is because if she says “nice jeans” checkmate, she was checking you out. Now you are almost ready to go to the skybox.

Are you ready let’s go!

Accessorizing isn’t just for women. How we accessorize makes us men. Now, this isn’t the 90’s where you would put on every chain you owned every time you left the house. For men, we have to keep it simple like a watch, and or a single chain. If you have the right head size you can add a head-gear like a ball cap, or fedora. Since we have all been accustomed to watching so much TV, glasses are an excellent option as an accessory. Because you have to wear them you might as well pick a stylish looking pair. Stylish looking is just that stylish looking, not name brand or expensive. We do not carry black books anymore we carry cell phones. Some women value your subtle telling of how much money should be in your bank account by having flashy cell phones. As I love having the latest cell phone gadget I’m a fan of the cell phone as an accessory. Unless you are married get rid of the rings. Cheap outfits are instantly thought of as exclusive and expensive with the addition of a cool watch and cell phone.

Published February 22, 2011