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Today’s guest is Tanner Guzy.
We go deep today talking about:
- Smashing the misconceptions of why men should care about their style
- Highly practical and actionable tips to boost your confidence, self-respect, and external results
- Tanner’s idea of “extegrity” and why the whole style and fashion debate actually truly revolves around YOU and YOUR identity
- Why dads have a moral imperative to dress well
- How Tanner helps me answer some specific style questions so you can use his method of questioning in your own life
- The importance of making sure your kids are not responsible for soothing your negative emotions
Tanner Guzy is a husband, father, and men’s style coach. He’s the author of the book The Appearance of Power. He focuses on helping men express their identity, masculinity, and ambition through their appearance.
The Appearance of Power by Tanner Guzy
Voice over 0:03
You are the foundation of your family, you are the firm footing. They build their lives on. You carry a glorious burden and you never dream of laying it down. You carry it with joy and gratitude. You show up, even when you don't feel like it. You lead, serve, love and protect. You are a father. This is the Dad.Work podcast where men are forged into elite husbands and fathers by learning what it takes to become harder to kill, easier to love, and be equipped to lead. Get ready to start building the only legacy that truly matters, your family.
Curt Storring 1:20
Dads, we're back here for another episode of the Dad.Work podcast. I am pumped to have Tanner Guzy with me today, we're gonna be talking about all sorts of stuff for men. I was just telling you, I remember watching you and your, I guess progression from the very beginning. Because I think what was this like, seven, eight years ago at this point, you know, you and Ryan McClure and, and I think Antonio and some of these other guys were just coming out into the so called like men space. But the art of masculinity was like the only other place that this was being talked about. And now we've got Twitter, we've got Instagram, we've got all these things. And so it's actually really exciting for me to get you here because I can only imagine there has been so much growth and transformation over the last number of years. So first of all, thanks for coming on. Second of all, you want to just give like a real quick overview how you describe what you do. And then I want to dive into some specifics.
Tanner Guzy 2:05
Cool. Yeah, well, first of all, thanks for having me on. I'm excited to get to hang out with you today. I think the best way to describe what I do is appearance psychology, I teach men how to think about their appearance as an aspect of their identity, the way that they see themselves, the way that they communicate with the world around them, and how they can use it as a tool to get a better sense of who they are, what they want, and how they can make that happen around them. So it's related to clothing, grooming, body language, all that stuff.
Curt Storring 2:33
Okay, so when guys are like, Oh, don't care about style, you're like, actually, not very much you do. Yes. Yeah, exactly. And so I want to touch on that, because I want to clear up some misconceptions. Because I know that you touch a lot on this. But I want to get there in a second. I'm curious, though. Like, why did you get into this in the first place? Like, what was it that a number of years ago, you're like, oh, man style and talking about men? Where did that come from?
Tanner Guzy 2:55
So I think that there's a couple different elements that have come together, I had first stumbled into kind of like the masculinity space, when I was struggling in a marriage that ended up in divorce. And I was really trying to figure out like, why things were working and what I was doing wrong. And I stumbled on a bunch of old blogs, because you know, this is 2009 when people were still blogging, and I am extroverted in the way that I do all of my processing much better if I can do it in front of an audience, so vocalizing writing anything else like that. And I think there's a little bit of an ego involvement in there too, where I wanted to be able to write about masculinity, but I wanted to do it in a way that was unique, and something that was different. And style is always something that I've been hypersensitive to from being a kid in a Christian public school while still being involved in like, the punk rock scene. And I wanted green Liberty spikes and had to wear a red striped tie. You know, like the whole, we're just saying person there. Right? There you go. Right. And so like, it's something that I've been aware of for a long time, but I started writing about it, because I really started to piece some of these ideas together of like, what is the relationship between masculinity and aesthetics? And why doesn't matter to me so much. And it's just built an audience since then. And it's been really fun to help guys change the perspective on the fact that caring about your parents absolutely does have a place in a man's life in a masculine man's life.
Curt Storring 4:14
Yeah, no, that's fascinating, man. And my liberty spikes for blue actually. So we're almost the same person.
Tanner Guzy 4:19
What patches did you have on your battle jacket is the real.
Curt Storring 4:23
Those were like start fights back in the day, if you're right or wrong one, they're crazy. That brings back memories I haven't thought about for a long time. Oh, dude, but Okay, so you're in this for your own sort of growth. You're at this point, you're learning these things. There must have been some assumptions along the way that you came into this because like, I remember when I started in this space, I had a beard grooming company. And I was starting to do like, all these sorts of, again, guest blog posts, and I was thinking about this stuff, but I was so far off the mark. And yet I had like a little kernel of truth in there. Right here is what your growth cycle has has been in this. And I'm going to almost like, I want to hear what your answer is. I want to put a pin on this because I've got another question later in the interview that I think will be important for men who have been in this masculinity space, so to speak, because it feels like it does something to me being like, obsessed with it as my work. And so I'm curious, like, what were some of the assumptions, you came into this that have changed over time, and almost matured? Or maybe you found some truths that you weren't sure of when you came into this space?
Tanner Guzy 5:25
In regards to style or masculinity, or both? do everything I can only
Curt Storring 5:29
imagine there's like this arc, there's this growth arc. And I know, that's like a wide open question, because you've been in it for a long time. But were there things that like, you look back now you're like, Oh, dude, I was so wrong about that, or maybe growth of truth that you came into this with?
Tanner Guzy 5:42
Okay, so I can think of a couple of them. From the style perspective, I would say I made the faulty assumption that most guys make, which is that good style has to be formal. And I spent a lot of time in suiting, I ended up working in customs suiting while simultaneously writing. And it was only through that, that I discovered, kind of like the deeper underpinnings of self expression and identity and a man's sense of self and all of it, because I found that I really liked streetstyle, or I liked, again, the punk rock stuff are all these other things that guys who are in the shooting space didn't really care about. And so that's one big aspect of it. And then I would say the other one that was a big growth aspect of it was, I think a lot of guys who start to focus on masculinity, do it from a more reactionary perspective, where it becomes like their legitimate blowback and downsides to the feminist movements, especially the second and third wave and all of the things that we've seen, and you know, how anti male a lot of the culture is, but a lot of guys get really reactive. And you get in this like alpha, male and beta, and all of this kind of red pill stuff that there are kernels of truth in there. But it gets really one dimensional and really reactive in that regard. And so it's been fun to see how a lot of things that I initially thought, before I even started on this masculinity journey weren't necessarily problems. It was just my perspective on them that were problems. And then things evolved from there. So those I would say, are probably the two biggest arcs.
Curt Storring 7:08
Right? Yeah, that's really good with actually both of those things. And I'm thinking back to those days. Like I can see, dude, it's so funny, I can see your like, blog picture, like the little picture that you had on the side, you know, like everyone had their little about me avatar. I'm like, Dude, that was suiting. And it was like, just so slick and fancy all the time. And then as I've watched over the last number of years, it's been like, Dude, you're wearing like, denim right now. And that's awesome. Because I also went through that thing, where I was like, Why Am I just supposed to wear a suit to look good all the time? And right doesn't make any sense to me. But then what else is acceptable? Because I also don't want to look like a child. Right? On the other hand, like you said, about this red pill thing, man, like, dude, that is it's stealing so many men who are disillusioned. And I'm curious, like, what, why didn't you fall into that trap? Because a lot of men coming in a divorce, a lot of men who have seen pain from women will go down that red pill route, and they will just get lost and become sort of black pilled? Eventually, what do you think it was, that allowed you to stay sort of above this and hopefully be more rather than reactive, like charting a path through masculinity.
Tanner Guzy 8:13
So I would say that, unfortunately, more than I would like to admit, I did fall into that where I became more reactionary than I would like to have been. And I think the biggest thing that actually stopped me from going all the way down that path into resentment, and black pilling, and everything else, is actually my religious beliefs. I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And one of our fundamental beliefs is that marriage is like not only the core for human civilization, but that's the way that things will be set up in the eternities is through marriage and family and that structure will continue to exist, like I have been sealed to my wife, and we will be married, not just till death do us part, but for forever. And marriage is an essential and essential covenant, in order to be able to attain everything that God wants to give us. And so with marriage being that crucial, the idea of completely rejecting it, and just playing the field, to me was was completely immoral. And so I had to find a way to be able to reconcile the things that felt right about Red Pill truths, but that didn't juxtapose or contradict what I believe to be eternal gospel truth at the same time. And so that was what helped me keep my head above water as much as it was.
Curt Storring 9:25
And that speaks like this. One of the things I didn't understand for a long time was that the beliefs and the values that you have as a man actually have drastic outcomes to what you do, because if you're only in hurt, and then you'll do whatever you want to like, get back at people or, you know, whatever the case is, but if you know that you believe something about the world in the universe and the fabric of reality, that goes so deep and I poo pooed that stuff for a long time, until recently when it's like man, actually, everything follows from the pinnacle, like Central belief that I have about reality 100% that if if men put more time into that, and they didn't just get well, I don't know, man, what do you think about this? Let me turn this into more of an interview. Just I'm wrapping up.
Tanner Guzy 10:08
I love I love your enthusiasm. So fun. Yeah, dude,
Curt Storring 10:11
I'm like so jacked up about this kind of stuff. Because I see I talked to guys every day who talked to me joining our program, and they're broken, like they're hurting so bad. And it's often because they don't have this core belief. They they are, I think, distracted in many ways. And I'm curious, your thoughts on what's keeping us from identifying like, do what are your core values? How did you know this? Why did you go there? For me? I think we're being intentionally distracted by the enemy. And we've got similar, although, like slightly different belief systems, but I think that the enemy attacks with distraction these days. I'm curious if you've noticed that at all.
Tanner Guzy 10:45
No, absolutely. I would say, distraction is a big aspect of it. I would say that, like balkanization as far as like, every truth has become completely relative and completely arbitrary. And, dude, it's hard enough being loyal to what you believe is an objective truth, the the demands of being loyal to a relative or a personal truth, it's impossible, because when you don't have a north star that you are constantly checking against, as soon as you lose your bearings in the storm, you just go over where you can go wherever you want, and say that that's north, because North is now relative, and it can be whatever I want instead. And so it's no wonder that the focus is on the hurt and the loss and everything else, because there is no objective truth that men are using to anchor themselves to actually get to the destination they want to get to.
Curt Storring 11:30
Yeah, exactly. Man. That's, guys, I've talked about this on so many podcasts. Now, you've got to be sure what you believe. And nobody's taking the time to do this. Because it's so easy to just like, I know, I should think about this. Oh, but there's the next real, right? Oh, there's the next whatever. And guys are so freaking distracted. So this isn't our thought we'd go. But just like an important sidetrack for guys to hear. But let's actually go back and tie some of this back to how it relates to how we express ourselves through style. Because man, this, the more is thinking about this. It is so freakin deep. It's not just like, Oh, I just want to look, it's like, no, there's so it's for you. It's for other people. There's like an expression, there's this confidence. There's all this stuff that goes into style. And I want to give men a breakdown. I've never done anything like this in the podcast. And guys might be going like, who cares? Right? I know you post stuff all the time. I see guys all the time posting these like old warriors or kings are like no care about style. Are you for sure. Are you real about this? Because they should? And they do. So maybe let's start by laying the groundwork about why this matters. By rejecting some of the common rejections to this. What are some of the things that people assume like, oh, Scott style? As a matter, bro, that doesn't make me a man? How would you answer something like that? And what are some of the other misconceptions that you're seeing?
Tanner Guzy 12:44
So I would agree that style doesn't make you a man, what style can do is it can communicate what you've attained as a man or how you are as a man. And that it can communicate it to other people as a way for you to have the type of interactions that you want with other people around you. And also that it can reinforce that belief where it can contradict that belief, from your own self perspective. And that ties into what I think is actually the biggest misconception that most men have is that they think that style only matters if you're trying to impress other people, that the only reason you would ever care about your clothing is because you were trying to affect or manipulate the way that other people see you, and that you're insecure and that your entire emotional well being success, sense of identity is dependent on the way that other people see you. There are elements of that to your style, for sure. But the biggest reason it matters is because of the story that you tell yourself. Because what you put on can either contradict your sense of self, or it can reinforce your sense of self. And guys know this intuitively, the guy who was the most belligerent about saying that style doesn't matter. He cannot go like if your style really didn't matter, dude, go just wear whatever your wife is not wearing that day, like that's in her closet. Right? A dress is way more comfortable than whatever it is that you happen to have. Alright. So if comfort is the only thing that matters, a physical comfort is the only thing that matters. Go put on a potato sack or a dress or a garbage bag or something else. And you cringe at that idea, because you know that it matters. And the real reason that guys care about this stuff is because it reflects like you don't put on the dress because it doesn't feel like you most guys are resistant to trying to improve their style. Because the thing that they're most afraid of is I don't want to feel like a fake or a poser. Like I'm trying to art I don't want people to think things about me that aren't true. And so they already very intuitively recognize this very natural, very deep connection with who they are on the inside, and how that's expressed on the outside. And really good style. Yes, it follows the rules of aesthetics and pattern and proportion and all of those variables. But that secondary really good style is where you have I've coined a term, I call it x Tegrity. Okay, integrity is where you are the same person through your actions, like you're the same person in your behavior that you want to be on the inside. X Tegrity Is that who you are on the outside is in line with who you are on the inside, so that when you see yourself in the mirror, you don't look like a fake or a poser, you don't look safe, you don't look one dimensional, you know, look, whatever else it is that you aren't, you actually look like the fullest best version of yourself. And then the power of it is that that becomes the story that you reinforce in your head, every time you see yourself on a zoom call, or in the mirror, or on a social media post, or in a family photo or anything else. And so you can use this as a way to reinforce and convince yourself that you are the best version of yourself,
Curt Storring 15:42
men. Okay, that's excellent. Because I have experienced that myself, there's a number of things that I have heard about with style. But also, for example, I know a guy who bought a Tesla don't because he wanted one, but because he felt rich driving it. And it expanded his mind to allow him to operate as if he deserves to belong in the richer circles, whatever is this the same sort of thing as what you're talking about wearing nice clothes that you feel like you deserve? Whatever that confidence is
Tanner Guzy 16:11
100%. It's the salmon case. This is why this is why when you play an organized sport, you wear a uniform, it doesn't actually make it so that you're better capable of playing like sure my team is red and your team is blue. And we can recognize that. But you can do that in T shirts. But it's that you put on the uniform, and you feel more present in the game, you feel more like you belong to a team. When you put on a nice uniform versus like a rec league uniform. It feels more like you are playing at a higher level. And there's more effort that goes into everything of it. And so it does, it totally affects your self perception, and your psychology to dress in a way that reinforces what you want to believe about yourself.
Curt Storring 16:49
Yeah, and one of the things that I was thinking about as well was like, Have you thought about this in relation to high standards? I've been thinking a lot about having high standards and teaching my children that we have standards. And one of the things that I have observed as men so funny, like my kids, we homeschool now. But before they weren't homeschooled my son, my oldest, he's like, Dad, I'm the only kid who's wearing jeans to school. And I was like, oh, no, like, is everyone else wearing slacks? Like, am I am I failing here? Is he not living up to the standards? And he's like, no, they're all wearing PJs. And they're all in sweats. Why? Are you kidding me? And so like, it's hard for that we had a great conversation about that. But I think that having high standards is very important, for as much as spiritual belief, even, in my opinion, to have those high standards for the gifts that God's given you to administer them. For his grace, as best you can. I think that requires high standards. But there's also this idea of having high standards for the way that you show up. Even in a world especially in a world maybe we're like it doesn't it's not even kids, man, I'm walking down. There's people in like onesies. Look, I'm like, you know, cats or something weird. Have you thought about this in like the high standards discussion,
Tanner Guzy 17:56
totally, especially because one of the most powerful, powerful things about clothing is a Tesla is something that you can have, or your home is something that you can own and you can clean. But there's always a level of disconnect between that what we put on our body inevitably becomes part of who we are. And so if you are a man who has high standards, but your clothing doesn't reflect that, then there's actually an element of dissonance, or even some level of hypocrisy in that and you don't fully believe that about yourself. But if you dress in a way that shows high standards, which you can do in your pajamas, and your gym, clothes and your casual stuff, it doesn't have to be formal to be high standards. But if you can have high standards in your appearance, what that does is reinforce to you that identity of I am a man who has high standards. It's not something I do, but it's something that I am and it helps solidify that even further. Man,
Curt Storring 18:50
and what did you call that x
Tanner Guzy 18:51
federal X Tegrity
Curt Storring 18:53
X Tegrity. I love that it's so good. Because the way that you are then showing up in the world. And like, I've thought about this as well, where if you are better groomed, if you are more confident if your body language is inviting, you'll get more out of life. And that's not manipulative. And yet I know some people will go Oh, yeah, well, you're only worried about what other people think, like, what's the differentiation that you would tell guys who are like, well, you know, they should just like me, for me and my ideas. I think that's just stupid. But like, Is there is there more to it?
Tanner Guzy 19:24
Yeah. I mean, you don't just like you for you and your ideas. You know, like, there we go, sorry. Like, you have to earn the right to have self respect. You have to earn the right for other people to have respect for you. And that comes with everything that we do. And so just exhibit like, I am totally on board with the idea, especially from a parenting perspective, like, my kids shouldn't have to earn my love. They shouldn't have to earn a sense of safety. They shouldn't have to earn a sense of to a large extent, even just acceptance for who and what they are, but my kids have to earn my Respect, they have to earn my trust, they have to earn their independence. And so there are certain things that you just have to earn the world will not give them to you, your friends or family or spouse or God, like, nobody will just give you those things, they have to be married, they have to be earned. And the more that you can embrace that, then the more you actually feel like you have that internal locus of control, the more power you have over your own life, because it's not that well, everybody should just embrace me for who I am. And they all suck for not doing it. But it's Oh, no, I have to earn people's respect. And there are things that I can do to earn people's respect, then it puts the power back in your hands and style can just help reinforce all of that. And
Curt Storring 20:41
I love that man. Okay, so there's so many reasons externally, why this matters. And yet, the truth of it is, none of those are truly external. It's all about you. And I think that is so good, because that's what I've experienced as well, in our program, it's like, everything we talk about comes back to you making the right choice for the right reason, so that there is never the risk of external validation. Because as soon as you're internally referenced, as soon as you don't need anything external, and though, you still accept things that are external, that's like the winning formula. And if you can bring all of your style and your you know, your body language, like you're saying, back to you, then you're you become powerful. And that's not so power over people. It's power to influence and power to lead your family. Like, I don't know, maybe this is too specific, but like, has style allowed you to lead your family better. Like that's, that's my ultimate like Danner, gazini. And dad work together. Actually, anything like that come up, or am I just like really trying to go for here?
Tanner Guzy 21:38
No, not at all. In fact, this is one of the concepts I came up with. Back in the early days, actually, probably when you were first writing, doing the guest posts and everything. It sounds a bit hyperbolic, but I do believe that I make the argument that fathers have a moral obligation to dress well, because oh, well, yeah, I mean, really, what it does is it helps establish, okay, first of all, I think for fathers have a moral obligation to make fatherhood look appealing and awesome. And that's one of the biggest failings that we have in our culture right now is that I don't know how it was for you as a kid growing up, I didn't get this so much from my dad, as I did from like my friends, dads, or other dads at church or in the neighborhood or other things. But to me fatherhood and marriage were like, the death of individuality. It was the death of being able to have fun, being able to be my own person, like it was just this kind of like resignation into purgatory is really the way that a lot of fatherhood is portrayed right now. And we see that in media. That's Homer Simpson and Phil Dunphy. And all of these other like, fatherhood is not portrayed as desirable aspirational. In any way, shape, or form, cool are something that people want to be involved with. And I, the only way that I can fight that is by being the kind of dad that my son wants to become, and my daughters want to marry somebody like me, I have to make fatherhood aspirational for my kids. And one of the ways to do that is to dress in a way that doesn't look like I have given up on my personality, or I've given up on life where I'm just coasting, or that I'm the manchild, or any of these other things, but that part of my, what my persona or my comic book character is my kids are reading the comic book of what fatherhood is, is that it has to be a compelling enough character that my kids want to emulate that or marry that as well. So I do I think that fatherhood, like it maintains more attraction with your spouse, it maintains more credibility and self respect. And so it bleeds into the way that you can be more present with your kids. Like, there's so many ways that this can affect things and so I do I think fathers have a moral obligation to dress intentionally and to dress well.
Curt Storring 23:41
That is a hill I will die on with you gladly. Might be only a few of us, but I would love to die on that hill with you. Yeah. Okay, so another misconception then, and I don't know what your I mean, this one gonna ask, did interviewing Come on? It's like, I've never done this before. Okay, some of my best things that I like to wear are these T shirts. They're like at five bucks a pop. And I thought buying them. I was like, Are you kidding me? And yet, all of these people that I knew were like, dude, just get them they will change your life. Just get one and you'll see and I was like, this is the stupidest thing ever, but I'm gonna try it. They're like they get your measurements. They custom make them for us to tailor it is indeed dude, I only worth love. Totally. Totally worth it. I got one. And then I bought like six out Oh, yeah, I'm like constantly wearing them still. It's amazing. And that was one of the best choices ever made. So you know, shameless plug. I don't have an affiliate link or whatever. Maybe Tanner does, but go get some of those. But here's the thing, does it have to be this expensive? Is it only being able to find style and quality for this high price for you to feel good? And you should always buy the expensive thing and that way you have to buy less like how do you think about that? Because I'm sure that's also a misconception in style.
Tanner Guzy 24:52
So I would say that you always want to buy the best quality you can afford, but that doesn't necessarily mean the most expensive thing that you can afford. Especially because one of the justified resentments of a lot of clothing is the idea of fashion. And like you can buy an air meze t shirt, or a Gucci belt or a pair of Prada sunglasses. And from a quality standpoint, they're not actually any better than something else, you're just paying more, you're paying more money for the brand name and the affiliation and the flex and everything that comes with that. But when you're wearing something like a T shirt, that's this way, you're not paying $85 for it, because it says Dolce and Gabbana on it. And all of a sudden, you look like you have all this money, you're paying for it because of the amount of time that goes into it. But that goes into the weaving of the cotton that goes into the craftsmanship that goes into these other things. And so it's going to feel better on your body, it's going to fit better, it's going to last longer, you're going to feel more like you are a high quality man that's wearing high quality things. And so in that regard, it's absolutely worth it to invest in that. And so don't equate expense with quality. So don't spend the most, but buy the best quality you can afford.
Curt Storring 26:02
Oh, that's a great breakdown. And I think everyone like that that fits for every single person's budget obviously, is there like a budget formula? How do you go about figuring out how much you should spend? And maybe this goes into like the the question I want to ask, which is what are the basics? If you're wearing, like gym shorts and a T shirt? And you're like, bro, I need to do something. What are the basics? And then how do you think about like spending around those?
Tanner Guzy 26:26
Okay, yeah, those are really good questions. All right. So there isn't necessarily a budget formula. Because there is a it really depends on what your position is, as far as like your financial and your your energy and your attention resources. And then also like what's actually going to be energizing for you, I have some clients who after they work with me, we end up getting them a closet that consists of 12 pieces, because they're they're like hyper minimalist, and they only want the smallest amount of pieces that they're just wearing again, and again and again. And everything's super versatile. And everything works really well. I have other guys that have converted second bedrooms into closets, because they have so many pieces that they wear, because for them, having the variety and having this perfect piece that they can wear to this location on this date is exactly what they need. There's not a right or a wrong answer. It just depends on which one are you going to feel the most energized by and which one is actually going to contribute to your life the most. Okay, so there's that aspect of it. And then when it comes to like, knowing the basics, and those things, this gets trickier as the internet splits us up more and more into different cultures and subcultures. And I think one of the reasons why guys assume like you have to wear a suit or you have to wear like slacks and a button up shirt is because you go back into the 20th century and go pre internet. And in most Western culture, that's what it meant to dress well is that everybody wore suits or like button ups. And if you were going more casual, that was jeans and a T shirts, and that was fairly ubiquitous. But now you've got all of these different subcultures and micro cultures and everything and like so you can still get away with the neutrals of like solid T shirts, and black and white and gray. And you can do jeans that aren't super short or super long, or super skinny or super baggy. And it's just like a good inky blue. And you were like a classic pair of sneakers and you get a jacket, that maybe it's something like a like a field jacket or something that has a little bit of military heritage to it as opposed to just being a hoodie. And you do a good pair of work boots. And like that's a pretty good basic wardrobe. But most guys are going to feel a little eventually they're going to feel a little stifled in that because it's basic, but it's not actually reflective of who they are on, they want to start to expand beyond that as well.
Curt Storring 28:43
Okay, so that's presumably, where someone like you would come in and be like, hey, you've got some of these basics. Who are you? And how are you operating in the world? Where do you go? Think about your life holistically, I imagine. And then where we're like, what are the next questions after that, let's say you've got that you've got, you've got rid of all the hoodies and all the rest of this kind of stuff. And you're like, I just, it's not really feeling me. Where do you go from there?
Tanner Guzy 29:07
So the first thing that we have to figure out is essentially what are these guys like? What are their core values? What are the things that they want to reinforce themselves? And what is it that they want to communicate to the world? Most men will fall somewhere within the categories of things like credibility, self respect, authority, dignity, mastery, friendliness, affability, these types of things? And it's like, okay, let's, let's pick a couple of those. And then you have to ask yourself, what does that actually look like in your world? Because, let's say authority, that looks very different for a guy who is a lawyer in New York City than it is for a guy who runs a roofing business in the Pacific Northwest. And that's different than it is for a guy who is a young tech startup guy in Florence, Italy. Those guys may all want to communicate the same thing, but it's going to look very different. in their industries, and where they live in their age, demographics and the things that they've accomplished in their lives. And so those are all the things that we need to factor in, to be able to actually come up with a sense of style that sends those signals to other people and reinforces that sense of identity in themselves.
Curt Storring 30:16
Man, that is extremely useful, because it's, it's interesting how much that we think because we can travel because we're on the internet, that culture that we're in doesn't matter. And yet, if you're trying to feel a certain way, if you stand out, I would say the wrong way, you're going to notice that and that goes back to we were talking about before, were you and the way that you feel in your in your attire. matters. So like, man, I've never even Yeah, never thought about, like, where you are, what position you're in. That's fantastic. Are there like, okay, so. So I would say a lot of the guys listening are sort of the entrepreneurial, they've been at it for 1015 years, they've got some success. And most of the reason that the guys listen is because Oh, crap, I forgot to figure figure out this family thing. They're coming into the stage where they might be in their, you know, late 30s, early 40s. Does it require so much personality that you couldn't even give like a broad overview of how to do the casual dad thing? Like, let's say, I'm going to the park with my kids, but I don't want to look like one of their siblings. What would be let's just use me as an example. Do you want to dive into anything like that? Can I Can I just like, use your thought process here and like myself, just how you think about this. So guys might be able to do this for themselves? How would I pick that?
Tanner Guzy 31:34
Okay, so, a couple of questions. First of all, from a physical perspective, when you take your kids to the park, how active are you? Like, are you jumping on the monkey bars? Are you playing around? Or are you just kind of there to observe and be present while they do that stuff?
Curt Storring 31:49
Yeah, I'm doing pull ups. Push them on the swing. I'm running with them.
Tanner Guzy 31:52
Awesome. Okay, next question. How concerned are you with other people's opinions of you? And how much does that affect your ability to be present? So let's take that to an extreme. If you were to show up in a powerlifting, singlet, that would not be limiting your physical capacity to do pull ups and push the swings and all of that. But would you have this nagging sense of self consciousness while you're at the playground? Because you're wearing something that's so far outside what everybody else is?
Curt Storring 32:22
Unfortunately, yes. Okay, hugely.
Tanner Guzy 32:25
I'm the same way. I think most guys if they're actually being honest with themselves are the same way. Right. And so I appreciate the honesty and the self awareness to recognize that you're there. Okay. So we need to be within like a couple standard deviations, not completely conformists. But a couple standard deviations of where most of the other dads are in your neighborhood when you're at the park, that type of stuff. safe assumption there. Yes. Okay. So then the next question is, what do you see the other dads wearing at the park?
Curt Storring 32:53
Oh, dude, like, sloppy T shirts, gym shorts, you know, flip flops and ball caps.
Tanner Guzy 33:00
Okay. Okay. And so this is where most guys make the mistake of thinking I need to up the formality in order to be stylish, and we don't have to tweak the formality at all, we can just do a better version of what it is these guys are wearing. So let's take instead of a sloppy t shirt, let's do a T shirt that fits you well, it's solid. There's no graphic, there's no ironic graphic. There's no, my identity is rooted in the consumption of this product, or my fan hood of this band, like you're just your own man. And so you have a solid t shirt and a neutral color that fits well. Rather than the gym shorts. We do a pair of like classic cotton chinos, shorts that you can still like roll around in the grass, you're not going to get ripped, but at the same time, you're not going to be hot or sweaty in them. And then instead of doing flip, flip flops, we do a pair of classic old school sneakers. Maybe it's an Adidas Stan Smith or it's a Nike internationalist or it's an old school pair of Reeboks. And if you're lazy like me, you have them lace loosely enough that you can still treat them like slip ons, and you don't even have to like tie your shoes or anything. Like you can do all of that. And if everything fits well and the colors work well and you look like you put it on intentionally as opposed to like, this is still the shirt from the 5k that your company sponsored 10 years ago and you just haven't got rid of that free T shirt. Like you will look like you actually have some intentionality knew there's some self respect that goes into it. It's not going to limit your ability to be active with your kids and your kids are going to notice that dad looks different than all the other dads there and they're gonna be proud to be associated with you that way to
Curt Storring 34:35
do that was so good and the thing that I like most about that is the idea that you don't have to up the formality you could just need to what is the word for that? I want to say like classic it but what how do you describe you just
Tanner Guzy 34:47
up the execution? You do the same thing you just do it better? Yeah. Oh, I love that. form of the park is stupid. Why do you need to wear slacks or button up especially if you're actually pushing your kids like that's totally contextually inappropriate, right? You Yes, yeah, no, I
Curt Storring 35:01
fall into that all the time because I'm like, Okay, I want to look a certain way. And I want to like, make sure I'm not sloppy, because that's important. I want to be, I had a guy on here called, man, Ben Barker. And he has the neighborhood Alfa dad, like, Dude, I want Alpha dad. But I also like this is I'm not wearing this to the to the park, because it's too buttoned up. It's a bit tight, it doesn't feel that freeing. But I also don't want to look like I'm just there to like, coach their sports. Right? So that is such a good way to put it. And you know what I was going to ask you like, very selfish, like do what kind of shoes do I need to get? Because I have the hardest time I don't want to wear like, there's so many things I'm looking for. So let's let's dive into that last question just for me, selfishly personally. And guess what everyone else listening? You probably got a similar question. When I'm out dressed like this, or even with a button up and some nicer shorts. I'm looking for a pair of shoes. Ideally, one, maybe two. I've had both shoes before. I've got like size 13 feet. So a lot of stuff ends up looking like clown shoes, honestly. Yeah. And so that's a problem for me. And so like, I love the sneaker idea. I was worried it might be a little bit, you know, not old enough, I guess. But I've seen the white sneaker be a super popular staple is that the direction that you would suggest such that it can grow or it can be styled up a little bit with like a pair of jeans, but also styled down and sent in the sense of wearing shorts. Is there a type of shoe that would be great for summer for men who want the casual, but not Ultra casual look that can go up or down?
Tanner Guzy 36:30
Okay, so the white sneakers are really is probably the safest bet, probably the most neutral. But not all white sneakers are created equal, you don't want to go just pick up a pair of like, I don't know, like Flyknit racers or your oncloud running shoes that are in an all white because in order for a sneaker to be appropriate with what you're wearing is a more like casual outfit, as opposed to a gym outfit, is it actually there's a few details. The first is that the design needs to be relatively simple. The second is you want to be made out of natural materials. So like leather, Canvas, suede, like rubber on the soles and everything is fine. But you don't want to do a modern stinker, like a running shoe or a gym shoe. Because then the disparity between what you're wearing is not gym clothes, but your shoes or gym clothes, that it doesn't work, it's kind of like if you were to be dressed in that, and you were to throw on a football helmet, as opposed to a ball cap or something else, like it takes it too far into the realm of athletic wear for that to work. And so white sneakers are pretty good, safe place. And then the thing that you would do beyond that this is where context really comes into play. Because if you're a dad that's a little bit more refined and a little bit more kind of like prone to dress up. And maybe you do loafers or maybe if you live in a place that's a little bit more coastal, like boat shoes don't make any sense for me in Provo, Utah, because I'm not around any bodies of water that I'm actually like going to be wearing boat shoes on are. And so for me, it may be a pair of like desert boots, or it may be a pair of like a different type of sneaker, maybe you do a high top instead of a low top. And so that second pair is actually going to be very context dependent. Whereas the first pair of just like a good simple neutral, something like a white or a gray sneaker, that's an adult sneaker that's made out of unnatural material with a simple shape. That's a pretty good starting point for you.
Curt Storring 38:23
I love that thank you and the to having that basic and then having the context specific one is a great idea. And I appreciate specific help, let's bring it back where everyone can benefit from the thing that I fear. And that I fall into often is I can idolize the way I look, I can become perfectionistic I can not want to go out unless my hair is just so in my clothing is just so. And while I think that's part of having high standards. I know there's a lot of ego. And I know that it can become something that I almost worship. And I use that carefully because I try really hard not to do that. But how do we have that high standard with something like this without it being so like just encapsulating and restricting that we can't operate unless Everything's perfect?
Tanner Guzy 39:12
Okay, there's a couple different ways that we can think about this. The first one is the is the idea. The Italians have coined this term called spreads torta and this is something that was like really big into the, it was really big in the menswear scene about a decade ago. And it was this idea of like practiced imperfection or practice nonchalance, where what these guys will do is they're almost always in like suits and ties or sport coats or things like that. And then they put it on to wear the tie is always a little bit too long. Or maybe you you're wearing a button down collar, but you leave the buttons undone or something else. And it's this idea of my style doesn't have to be perfect in order to look good. And in order to be intentional. And you almost intentionally do that where I still do this. I mean, it's probably out of trend and that's fine. But when I go to church on Sundays and I throw in a suit and a tie, I will tie my tie one time. I don't have to figure out if it's exactly the right length or anything else like I will try it one time. And if it's a little bit imperfect, it's fine because the suit fits well. The colors aren't aren't ostentatious and demanding attention. I'm not overly reliant on pattern, the quality of the materials that I'm wearing is really good. And so it ends up looking more human more attainable, and it helps me not feel so uptight about what my students Okay, right. Another good way to look at is this quote from a guy named Hardy Amy's. And he basically the way that he puts it is a man should look as if he bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them. And I love that idea of you are, you can almost think about it as like your level of intentionality. You should be hyper intentional about your clothing, when you're deciding what you're going to buy. And what it is that you're going to add into your closet. This is where this is where my coaching comes in is like, we're really intentional about this stuff. What's my identity? Who are my people? What do I want to commit? Like, that's super intentional, okay. And then you get a little less intentional, but still maintain some level of intentionality. When it comes to what am I going to wear today? How am I going to put it on all of that, and then once you walk out the door, forget it, just ignore it, and embrace the fact that you've done a good enough job with the intentionality and what you chose in the big picture and what you chose for the day, then everything else can kind of come together, where it's like, my sleeve isn't perfectly rolled up on my shirts, or you know, my collar is a little kind of like, roll, it's fine, it's fine. It doesn't have to be totally perfect, because then you're a statue, as opposed to being a man who lives in his clothes. And I think this is why a lot of guys have a justifiable reticence to care about clothing is they don't want the clothing to become something that comes at the expense of things that matter more, where it's like, oh, I can't do this, because it's going to ruin my shirt, or I can't do this, because I'm gonna scuffed my shoes, like, I get that that's totally justified. And that doesn't mean that you have to look like an idiot either. And so you just, there's a balance that's in between there. And so embrace what that balance is. Yeah,
Curt Storring 42:08
dude. So well said. And you know what, I'm glad you brought up your caller, because I was going to comment. I appreciate that. But dude, there is something that I know you're a fan of, because I've seen you talk about it. It's more than just the clothes, because what you're working with under the clothes goes through real long way for how you look in the clothes. And so I'm curious if you want to dive in a little bit into body composition. And just touch on the importance of that. Because guys, listen to this show now that we don't accept dad bods. But how does that affect style.
Tanner Guzy 42:41
So I think the fitness style combination is one of these things, it's really interesting. And it kind of showcases a little bit of a broken mindset, where a lot of guys especially the guys who put in a ton of focus on their fitness, will say, I can wear whatever I want. Like one of the benefits of being in great shape is I can wear whatever I want. It's like that is true, you are 100%, right? If you're in killer shape, and you show up in crappy clothes, you will look infinitely better than the guy who is in terrible shape and wears a nice suit. It's like, okay, that's kind of like saying, I drive a Ferrari. And it doesn't matter that my tires are flat, because when I drag race to the minivan, I'm going to win. Yeah, you're going to win. But you're not going to reach your full potential. And there's synergy there. And so when you have and you absolutely that is the first thing you need to do is you need to work on your build, you need to work on the mindset that comes from changing your body. There's so many benefits that come from your self perception, or the Mind Body Spirit connection of how getting in the gym, improving your cardio, training, combat sports, like all of those things matter. When it comes to your sense of self, your sense of confidence and all of that. And then when you supplement that with your style, they both go further than either of them would on their own individually. Yeah.
Curt Storring 43:59
Yeah. Okay, that's awesome. Guys, if you want to look like 50% better over the next six months, go build some muscle and lose some belly fat. You know, like, I think that for me has been such a game changer. Huge. Everything looked better, the more fit that I get. And you'll have an excuse to hire Tanner because you'll fit not fit any of your clothes anymore. Exactly. Let's go with that. But what you just said, Did you know who Alex or Mozi is right? Uh huh. Yeah. Okay, so I he's got this thing where he's like, this is the only thing I wear this shirt. If you go to the pool that Alex, you're screwed man, and I can go do this stuff. This is like a lead. What do you think about his style? And I don't want to put you on the spot if you don't answer, but I think there's no
Tanner Guzy 44:36
that's fine. So I really appreciate how intentional he is with this style. And I hate his style. Because he obviously thinks about it and I think the thing that is the biggest My biggest problem with what Hormoz he does, is that he sacrifices everything on the altar of efficiency and profit. Right. And so, yes, he doesn't have to change his clothes from when he goes to the gym, goes to pool goes to a business meeting and goes to dinner, he can wear the same thing all of the time, right. But what he misses out on is the full experience of being in the gym, being in the pool, being at work and being at dinner, because your clothing can help either distract from your ability to be present, or it can enhance your ability to be present. And this is why when you get dressed up to go out on a date, or to go to the opera, or the symphony or something else, like embrace the opportunity to go do that. And again, like in order to understand that principle, let's take it into a realm it's more easily understood. I guarantee you that if I were to go to a like Michelin star restaurant, and they were to serve my food on a Dixie plate with plastic utensils, objectively, it is not going to taste any worse. But my experience is going to be significantly worse for it. Yes, right. And that doesn't mean that it always has to be fancy. Because I guarantee you that when I want street tacos, I want to question whether or not that truck is going to explode as it pulls out of the parking lot. That is part of the experience of getting street tacos, right. And if it's served to me, if street tacos are served to me by the guy in his suits, at some like high end place, it sucks. It's not the same experience. And so your clothing is the same thing. And what Hormozgan misses out on is he doesn't get the grungy aspect of the street tacos, nor does he get the high end aspects of the Michelin star resort. He's just in this boring, safe neutral work. Yeah, you're the most efficient, but you miss out on the full range of what the experience could be. Oh,
Curt Storring 46:49
dude, that was such a worthy question. I'm so glad I asked that because I feel so similar, where it's like, I respect the fact that he doesn't care. And I believe that he doesn't care. Yeah, but also like, bro, those shoes, man.
Tanner Guzy 47:02
Right. Shoes are terrible.
Curt Storring 47:06
Oh, man. Anyway, I got I got a lot of, you know, judgment against those things, but he's crushing it. So you know, business wise, I'll ask him all day. How are you for time? And you have like five more minutes? Yeah, we're good. Yeah. Okay, sweet. Okay, so I want to almost close this off with kids style. And I don't know, like how much we should be caring about that. I don't know how much we should put that on them. Or maybe like, as you're talking here, just like setting yourself up for success by buying them things that will look good on them. And then not caring about it. I think that's what you said a couple answers ago. But just if you've got the stuff in your closet, you're intentional, it's gonna be fine. But like, is there anything intentional that you guys are doing with your kids outfits? To set them up for self respect and confidence without being lost in? Oh, look how perfect I look?
Tanner Guzy 47:51
Yes. Okay. So I think the first thing to understand, we haven't really talked about this aspect of it very much we've, we've done a lot more into kind of like the psychological the self perception, the communication aspects of it. And there's also something to be said, for the idea of just beauty because there are some styles that are just inherently better than other because they follow the golden ratio, or color theory or all these other principles that are related to beauty. And I think one of the saddest things about our current culture is that we have lost the respect for and adoration of beauty as a good unto itself. Beauty doesn't have to qualify it just as worthwhile because it's beautiful, okay. And there's something to be said, for dressing your kids in a way that helps them appreciate their own beauty that it enhances their beauty, it enhances their sense of self, it enhances their own idea of I look good, I feel good. All of this happens. And again, like, you can do this on any budget. And this does not have to be expensive stuff. But what we do is we buy all of our kids clothes for them. And really, they don't have much say about it or anything until they're about like six or seven. Because we're trying to reinforce the idea of, we want you to feel like you look good in what you're wearing. Because the human brain recognizes patterns that recognizes beauty, you didn't have to be taught to appreciate a sunset, you just naturally appreciate a sunset, right? And so it's the same thing that happens with the way that we adorn ourselves or physical like you didn't have to be taught to appreciate proper proportions on a woman from a sexual perspective, or proper proportions on a man from a what, from an envy or just an appreciation perspective. You don't have to be taught that stuff. It's just ingrained into us. And so we do the same thing with our kids. As they get a little bit older, then we start to collaborate with them where when we're shopping, it's let's have you know, what is it that you want to wear? And what do you think between these options? And then as our kids get a little bit older, like I have a son who's nine, my oldest daughter is 11 and they're at the point where they're buying things that I don't necessarily really love like my son loves wearing Zelda T shirts, I think Zelda T shirts silly, but he's getting in the reps of expressing himself through his clothing. And that's just as important as the foundation of understanding beauty. So that by the time it all comes together, he will be able to have a way to express himself reinforce himself, and do it in a way that's aesthetically pleasing. And so it's good. It's getting them the reps and the practice that come in with it.
Curt Storring 50:24
That's awesome. And the last thing I want to touch on is that almost this idea of in parenting, of allowing your kids to do a thing that you don't love, so that they can learn the lesson themselves. That sounds super intentional, is there anything else around that that you guys do to like, allow them to be themselves within the boundaries, but also, kids, you gotta learn your lessons, because I know so many parents, even today, helicopter, lawnmower, whatever kind of parents you want to be.
Tanner Guzy 50:51
This is one of the hardest things that we've been working on. Because I think for most people, we were raised by emotionally immature parents, that what they did is they taught us the rules, not based on any sort of moral structure, but because our adherence to those rules is what sued their negative emotions, bro. Right. So for example, if my kids are loud at the swimming pool, and environment in which it's totally appropriate to be loud, but I have been raised to believe that that is rude or selfish or impolite or whatever else, then I am going to nag my kids or get on their case, because it makes me feel uncomfortable. And my emotions are on high alert, because my kids are being loud at the swimming pool. And that reflects poorly on me. And so they have now become the vehicle for me to soothe my own negative emotions. Okay, I have to check myself on all of that. And say, doesn't matter if my kids are loud at the pool? No. Are they wrong for not what satiating my anxiousness? By choosing to be quiet at the pool? No, they're not wrong for that. So it's my job as the as the parents to handle my own negative emotions, and just let them be loud at the pool, because it's appropriate for them to be loud at the pool. And if it pisses off somebody else, then they can deal with the conversation that comes from somebody else having to check them. And they're the ones who can get into the reps of being able to understand that and maybe that person is being a Karen and we get to talk about Karen's, and the fact that you don't have to adhere to that. Or maybe that person asks them in a way that's polite, and they feel embarrassed. And then we can talk about managing that embarrassment and like, what's the give and take in the social dynamics and in the social relationships. And so this has been a really hard thing, where we are very intentionally trying to recognize that, and I'm sure you're the same way, dude, Kurt, my kids, just all they want to be good kids so bad. They want to be good people that is so deeply ingrained in them. And if I can trust them, that they want to be good. And I don't have to instill in them a desire to be good, but I can help them understand the boundaries of what being good means. That totally changes my perspective on fatherhood. And so that's what we try to do. And so clothing is the same thing. Like, no, I'm not gonna let you go out wearing something that is completely immodest, or inappropriate or dangerous, or something else. It's my job as a parent to set those boundaries. But I don't like your Zelda shirt. And it makes me feel like I can't believe that the style guy is letting his kid that's my anxiousness. It's my job to deal with that it's not my son's job to carry that burden for me. So that's where we are with this.
Curt Storring 53:42
Well said, Man, that is such a fundamental thing. I'm going to clip whatever you just said at the start of that answer about the negative emotions being your responsibility. And so many people I think, get parenting wrong, just because of that is because that's where our parents got it. Right, you're making me uncomfortable, therefore, you need to stop. I'm taking zero risk
Tanner Guzy 54:02
to soothe your son.
Curt Storring 54:05
That's why so many of us, in our generation, don't really know what to do. And we're learning this and that's why guys like you, that's why guys like me, we're talking about this, because we probably learned it the really hard way. And I'm thankful for everything that's happened in my life, because I love where I'm at now. But a lot of guys don't have that. Nobody's showed them nobody's taught them. And if you realize what's going on in your parenting dynamic, and you're realizing that's what you're doing your kids that will change your life. If you just take ownership and you stop putting your emotions on your kids. Man, it's a game changer. And I'm speaking from experience so thank you for touching on that. Man. Is there any last thought that we didn't get to that you want to say before we wrap up into like where guys can find you? Otherwise? Let us know.
Tanner Guzy 54:44
No, dude, you nailed it. I mean, I love the I love the enthusiasm and the depth of the questions. I can't think of anything from like a general principles perspective that it's like not current miss that don't do Do you totally nail it.
Curt Storring 54:55
Let's go love it. Okay, thanks, man. Where would you like to send people to find more about you to work with you? Where are you at?
Tanner Guzy 55:00
Okay, so if you are social media guys, as opposed to just podcast listeners, I'm most active on Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok. It's at Tanner Ngozi Tann, er Guzy. And what you guys will find is yes, there's a lot of conversations about style. But there's also conversations kind of like we've done here fatherhood, faith, masculinity, all of these other things, because it's all part of the big picture, just trying to be better versions of Ben. And that's, that's what I want to be part of. And so you'll find that I talk about all of it. If you are interested in learning more about coaching, or about kind of the processing of the masculine dash style.com. And there's options to learn about things there. And I've actually published a book that really outlines all of this as well. It's called the appearance of power. And you can find that on Amazon. Or if you are a listener, as opposed to a reader. It's on Audible, and you can listen to me read it to you. So there you go. Dude,
Curt Storring 55:50
that is such an incredible name for a book, by the way, I see the poster behind you. That's amazing. I love thanks. All right, I'm gonna put all of that in the show notes. Dad.Work slash podcast if you want to remember every single link, but you could just go and do all that. But do the follows higher. Buy the book, do all those things. Dude, this has been awesome. It's been like for me, like seven, eight years in the making. It's so cool. Thank you for taking the time. I appreciate you big time.
Tanner Guzy 56:10
Thank you, man. Really appreciate it.
Curt Storring 56:14
Thank you for listening to the dad work podcast. That's it for this episode. But if you would like to stay in touch between weekly episodes, why don't you go over to Instagram and follow me there because I drop a number of things throughout the week that are related to what we talked about on this podcast, but usually go a little bit deeper. provide some tips you can find me on Instagram at dad work dot Kurt. That's da d w o RK dot c u r t. And please, if you have been getting something out of this podcast, if it has touched you if it has improved your marriage, your parenting or your life, would you please leave a quick review on Apple or Spotify. leave a rating. If you have a few extra seconds, leave a quick review. That's the best way that we can get this work in the hands of more fathers. And I truly believe that we change the world, one father at a time because each father that parents better that loves better raises children who do the same. And in just a couple of generations. I feel like we could be living in a world much better than the one we live in today. Your review will help along that path. And I thank you so much for being here to listen until next week. We'll see you then.
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