Tanner Guzy’s Journey

Episode #370

How do you decide what your style is? How do you determine your identity?

Over time, a lot of men give in to an easy and lazy lifestyle when it comes to fashion.

Fashion is the magazine and runway shows, maybe even things that you see on YouTube, and things you need to wear to be on-trend.

Style is understanding who you are and how you fit into the world and how you externally express that.

The first thing people pay attention to is your energy. If you’re coming with energy that has been hindered or dampened, they’ll be able to recognize that. There is a big difference between a guy who looks like he’s wearing a suit because he has to…and a guy who looks like he’s wearing a suit because he wants to.

In this episode, we are going to talk about Tanner Guzy’s journey, men’s fashion, how to determine your style & identity, and some easy things to do to get started in this process.

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Episode Transcript

Tanner Guzy 0:00  

For some reason, we signal to ourselves that if I abandon my style, then I’ve either sold out or I’ve changed or not the same person that I used to be. And so it becomes this almost emotional security blanket that it doesn’t need to be your style should change with you as you grow and evolve. And it helps solidify in your head that you’ve progressed, grown, and developed, and you’re not that same person that you were 15 years ago. It gets rid of a lot of the imposter syndrome that a lot of guys experience.

Doug Holt 0:25  

Hey Everyone. I’m so excited about an exceptional guest here. And we put this off for a couple of weeks. And I’ll tell you guys why here in a little bit. But I have Tanner Guzy here with us. Tanner is a specialist in men’s style. And indeed, anybody that’s followed me for the years, that I am not. So he is here to talk about that. So Tanner, thanks so much for making the time.

Tanner Guzy 0:55  

Doug. Thanks for having me on. I’m excited to go through this with you.

Doug Holt 0:58  

Yeah, I am, too. So as I was swaying to Tanner, many of our men were all of our men 100% are all business owners. So they’re leaders in their respective industries and many of the Titans, and they’re very much in the public eye. And so a lot of us guys, it seems to me, at least I have, is over time, you just kind of give in to the easy, not perhaps lazy lifestyle. When it comes to fashion, it’s almost too confusing. You get it seems like guys go to one extreme or the other. So how did you get started and all this?

Tanner Guzy 1:29  

So I’ve been hypersensitive to this stuff. Since I was a teenager. I remember I was 13-14 years old, and I had these two very disparate identities. I was involved in the punk rock music scene, BMX, snowboarding, all of this stuff. And at the same time, I went to a Christian private school. And so on one side, you have the uniform of the green Liberty spikes, and the bondage pants and the battle jackets and all of this other stuff. And then on the other side, it’s the red stripe and the gray slacks and the navy blazer. And I felt this massive clash between how I wanted to be and how I was forced to be, and what clicked with me very early on was not only how other people treated me based on the way that I dressed, but also what you’ve already kind of hit on is how I felt about myself, where I felt like I had to put on the uniform wear the costume. It was incongruent with who I was and who I wanted to be. And so that was always kind of buzzing in the back of my head. And then, as I got older and realized that I’m not that punk skate kid anymore, and I don’t want to dress that way because it’s killing job prospects. And we’re not dating the women I want to date to get where I want to be in life, and you go through this identity change and have to figure all this out. And I’ve always been a very analytical person when it comes to finding the underlying principles and philosophies and stuff like that. And so weirdly, I decided to apply it to men’s fashion, which is odd. But that’s where it started, I started writing a blog, and that was ten years ago, and it’s picked up, and I’ve been able to help 1000s of men since then. So it’s been an incredible journey.

Doug Holt 2:57  

Well, it’s fantastic because of the power of social media. I put this out there in a post looking for someone to speak about men’s fashion to our guys. And your name came up time and time again, recommended by people who I respect and trust. And that’s a rarity, especially in this day and age. So you’ve made a mark for yourself doing this and helped out a lot of men.

Tanner Guzy 3:20  

Yeah, and I appreciate that many men appreciate what I’ve done and that they recommended you. I know quite a few of the guys, and they’re great men, and I love the group. And you’ve got some, from what I’ve been able to tell, you got high-caliber men that you get to work with, which is awesome. 

Doug Holt 3:33  

Yeah, I’m very, very, very lucky. Well, I can tell you, for myself, right? We’ve shared this with you off-air, but I grew up in Southern California. Sandals and shorts are pretty much what I wore. And then, going through my professional career, one of the things that I noticed is we’d wear a suit or business casual, and then on a lunch break, everybody would race down to the beach and put on board shorts, try to get in the water or whatever it may be. And then it was back to this uniform. And then at happy hour, the first thing everybody does is they take off that quote-unquote uniform to come on to, and you kind of touch on this. But for a lot of guys, I think where we get stuck and maybe even give up is we almost feel like we’re putting on a mask in one place and then taking it off. It’s like, how do I determine what my style is? Or look at my identity as a middle-aged man?

Tanner Guzy 4:26  

Yeah, and you’re right. I think that’s where most men are, especially if you work in an environment with a dress code and expectations. And it feels in some way stifling. And the biggest thing that we’re missing with this is we feel like aesthetic style clothing. The uniform is something that is externally imposed upon us by somebody else. Maybe it’s by the industry, maybe it’s by when you’re not running your gig, it’s your boss, or it’s somebody else rather than recognizing that may be a template with a few boundaries, so things don’t go crazy. But there’s a lot of room there for you to take the internal version of who you are and signal the unique things about you. And so maybe that may be credibility, authority, trustworthiness, dignity, respect, approachability, or likability. There are all these things that you can then still Express while playing within coloring inside the lines. But we don’t think about it that way. We just think as soon as, as soon as board shorts, my gym clothes, or my gym clothes. And we never learned to speak the language of aesthetics. And so we never get the benefit of actually speaking that language and being articulate not only in how we express ourselves to other people, but most importantly, not feeling like we’re stifled when we do have to wear the uniform because it is a version of us that’s in that uniform. And so it feels very congruent and authentic and consistent when we do it the right way.

Doug Holt 5:49  

I love that it started from the inside going outward. Work with a lot of the men on. Alright, so where does the guy start? Fashion seems so overwhelming. The guys in the magazines don’t represent me and my lifestyle.

Tanner Guzy 6:05  

Good, ignore them. And that’s one of the biggest things. And this is why I go out of my way to even distinguish between fashion and style, because fashion is that it’s the magazines, it’s those terrible runway shows. It’s the stuff you see on YouTube or other places that are the five shoes you need to wear this year to be on-trend. And that’s irrelevant. Style is, again, understanding who you are and how you fit in the world. And then how you externally express that. And so it’s able to pick things like okay, you’re from Southern California, what your identity is, based on that? How can we take that same casual, laid-back ethos that comes across in board shorts and flip-flops? And apply that to what you have to wear to work? And how do we start to extrapolate that and I’ve got a whole process where we can look at things like what does and doesn’t work with your body, who your audience is, what the environment is, there’s a whole system that you can go through. And once you get familiar with that, then it becomes really easy and intuitive. To figure out what you want to wear in any environment with anybody at any time becomes easy once you figure out those basic principles. 

Doug Holt 7:08  

So Tara, how do you handle somebody who has changed? Right? So here I am, the Southern California boy. Now I live in the mountains—so in a very different style. Everybody here wears plaid. No, I didn’t own anything plaid for my first 40 years of life, let alone doing it now. But I also traveled to Morocco and led events, or I’m in Europe, or I might be down in a more conservative part of America, still leading these types of courses and speaking events. How does someone marry those differences coming through their life?

Tanner Guzy 7:47  

So there are two different ways that we can look at that because some of it is big macro changes, where you find yourself, I’m a different person than I was ten years ago, or 15 years ago. And honestly, you should be you’re not progressing. If you’re the same person, you were 15 years ago. And your style should change with that. I think one of the biggest mistakes that most men make, and you can see when they peaked, or when they kind of peaked at their biggest identity when they felt the most that way. Because they still dress like that, I see guys still wearing goatees like it’s 1995. Or they’re still wearing this stuff that was popular in the late 80s. So they’re wearing stuff when I was in high school in the early 2000s. And you can tell that that was the point in their life when they felt like I had established my identity. And I’m going to hold on to this as long as I can. And we’re just going to ride that way. Because anything else is an abandonment of that, which is kind of funny because you don’t hold on to that from a business perspective. You don’t hold on to that from a relationship perspective, a fitness perspective, or any of these major things. But for some reason, we signal to ourselves that if I abandon my style, I’ve either sold out, or I’ve changed, or I’m not the same person that I used to be. And so it becomes this almost emotional security blanket that it doesn’t need to be your style should change with you as you grow and evolve. And it helps solidify in your head that you’ve progressed, and you’ve grown, and you’ve evolved, and you’re not that same person that you were 15 years ago. It gets rid of a lot of the imposter syndrome that a lot of guys experience as they make progress.

Doug Holt 9:11  

Yeah, that’s interesting. You say the imposter syndrome because we do have several guys who are making that switch right there. If they kind of refound themselves in the later years of their lives, they focus on business, crush it, but then they look up, and people aren’t around. And so as they find themselves, they’re kind of like, Oh, crap, now I want to be better at my sexual market value. I want that to increase. I want to showcase the man in the identity I am. And then they’re just overwhelmed. You got the skater shop that caters to the 40-year-old who’s still trying to look like he rides a skateboard, and then you got a banana republic or something along those lines. So where do it guys start?

Tanner Guzy 9:53  

The biggest thing is to start. So I actually, this is one of the first things that I start with my guys, and this is something that you guys can do; I’ve got a free quiz for this. What I teach, the main thing is I’ve got three archetypes. You start with that. And if what your archetype is, and how you interact with the world, makes things easy. I’ll tell you a quick story about this. I’ve got an uncle who is about as rugged an individualist as it gets. He lives in a small town in eastern Idaho, has like 150 people, has never been married, is not interested in having kids, he has dogs, and he’s a Falconer, like just as rugged a cowboy, legitimate as it gets. And about three years ago, my grandma died, his mom. And he knew that I was working for a custom suit company at the time. And he needed a suit, and he never had one. And he needed one to be able to wear to the funeral. But he didn’t want it to be a nice, slick, shiny suit because then it would be distracting him, he wouldn’t be able to focus on the service and mourning her and being with his siblings because he would be too caught up in feeling self-conscious and irritated subconsciously about the way that he dressed. And so my understanding is that this is how he was and he was more of this cowboy, we were able to select material that had more texture and was a little bit more rough and rugged. And we did it in a way that it still looked respectable without having a tie on. And we made it so that it fits so we could wear his boots. And so, he still looked very dignified and very respectable and respectful. He was very appropriate for that circumstance. It wasn’t a distraction for anybody else that was there. And most importantly, what he had on wasn’t a distraction for himself. Either he could fully focus on what he was there to do and why he was there, as opposed to having this low buzz in the back of his head of this is ridiculous. I hate this. I can’t wait to get this stupid monkey suit.

Doug Holt 11:41  

Hey, sorry to interrupt the show. But I wanted to ask you a question. Do you ever feel like something’s just missing, like there’s something more out there, and you just can’t put your finger on it. I get it. Go over right now to ThePowerfulMan.com/freedom to discover the system that other businessmen just like you are using. We’ve included 10 case studies, ten men just like you who have found the solution and have found their way on their path. But we want to share that with you. Go over to ThePowerfulMan.com/freedom right away. Now let’s get back to the show.

Tanner Guzy 12:21  

And so when you start with this idea of knowing what your archetype is, and knowing how you interact with the world, and then you have an understanding of what are these different tools, maybe it’s pattern, or color, fit or texture, all these other things and how you can tweak those to be able to align with what that aesthetic archetype is. That’s where you can start to make some really good progress. And that answers the second part of your question of how I dress in a way that feels congruent if I’m in Morocco versus when I’m in the mountains versus when I’m at the beach. And you can take those same underlying principles. I mean, it’s the same thing with language, you don’t feel like you’re a faker, when you speak differently at a church than you do at a ballgame than you do at a kid’s event, because you understand the nuances of how you’re supposed to gauge these things. And you can still be yourself and express yourself in inappropriate ways. But it’s because you’ve established that skill set. Does that make sense? 

Doug Holt 13:09  

It does, it does. So what you’re saying here is just a normal, another form of communication. You’re communicating to everybody else, sending signals the word you use to everybody around you about what you’re about, and what’s important to you?

Tanner Guzy 13:22  

Yep, it is. It’s an effective version of communication. And when you learn about idioms or languages or dialects, or any of that kind of stuff, then you can be just as fluent and just effective with your visuals as you are with your audible language.

Doug Holt 13:37  

One of the things that I loved about your approach when you and I first chatted because I had a lot of people reach out, as I think I told you, is, you start from the inside out, as we already talked about and look at those little things. We all know that when you walk in the room, whether you’re speaking or it’s a business deal, or it’s with your wife or a potential lover, whatever it may be, that your energy comes in first, then you’re going to get first impressions on your aesthetics, your looks. People are going to make those snatch snap judgments. And what I liked about your approach is you’re starting with the inside. What matters to the individual and that man, rather than just going hey, look, you need to wear three black shirts, four pairs of these jeans, etc.

Tanner Guzy 14:26  

Yep, yeah. And that approach kills your energy because you’re the first thing people pay attention to is your energy. And for men like you who are listening, that are leaders in your industry. You’re leading your own business if you come in with an energy that has been hindered or dampened by the fact that you’re adhering to somebody else, as opposed to leading with you being your own man, and you’re leading with your energy. People won’t be able to quantify that. Still, they will be able to recognize that, which comes across statically just as much as it does for any of this other subconscious or we’re very, my new levels of communication. There’s a big difference between a guy who looks like he’s wearing a suit because he has to. And when he looks like he’s wearing a suit, because he wants to.

Doug Holt 15:06  

Yeah, and I agree. And some people own certain clothes, the kind of classic guy who can wear jeans and a black t-shirt, but nice shoes can have them, they can look just as dressed up like the guy in the suit.

Tanner Guzy 15:20  

Right. And that’s an important point to hit on. Because a lot of guys who do what I do get caught up in this very prescriptive approach. And it’s always to dress for the job you want and not the one you have or dress as people did in your industry back in the 60s, or this is the uniform you’re supposed to be wearing. And that’s all garbage. Because we don’t live in a homogenous community anymore, where the suit now means something universal to everybody. We exist in these micro tribes. And the way that things are expressed and communicated is very different. If you work in the tech industry, and you’re showing up at conferences or investor meetings or things like that, you’re wearing a three-piece suit. You’re a moron because you’re expressing that you’re completely socially inarticulate. You do not understand the cues of what’s accepted and what’s expected within this tribe. And you’re still leaning on the old world. And so, really, what you end up communicating is, I’m kind of socially abused. And I don’t know what’s going on here. I don’t belong in this room.

Doug Holt 16:18  

Very good point. And you see it all the time. We see it at events, as well. And your point, we have over 2000 active men involved in the movement we call The Powerful Man. And so we get hit up all the time. And a gentleman did approach me and said, hey, look, I’d like to speak to you guys. And here’s my philosophy, find out exactly what people were wearing. And the 50s or 40s in your area. And that’s what you want to wear today. And I mean, I’d be a lumberjack, I guess at this bright. It made no sense. 

Tanner Guzy 17:11  

Talk about a mask and a costume. 

Doug Holt 17:11  

Yeah, exactly. So another question. So, guys, I know listening to this is going great. This is awesome. I understand this. But I’m still a little confused. There’s the short of talking just to Tanner; where do I get started in this whole process? Do I clean out my closet? Do I start from scratch? What should I do?  

Tanner Guzy 17:14  

It’s hard to be able to give quick wins on this. Because, as we said, it’s trying to teach somebody how to speak a new language, and so is there something as simple, and there are a lot of guys who will hit on things like this where you can immediately get some good quick wins if you focus on the way your stuff fits. But again, that’s very contextual. Because if you’re in an industry or a part of the world, or you’re part of a tribe, where things are slim fit, and you’re still wearing baggy stuff, don’t move in that direction. Or if you’re in one of those, but stuff fits a little bit differently. And it’s not the extra slim fit stuff, and then you shouldn’t be doing that. And so there are no universals, as far as we get these colors, or you focus on these textures, you ditch these patterns that can be applied because it’s teaching how to speak a language. And it’s not even a universal language because there are multiple different languages to speak. And so, really, without totally shilling on stuff, just start paying attention to some of the stuff that I teach and get a good understanding of what this deeper stuff is. Because once you start with that established baseline, then it does become easier to look at. Okay, my clothes should fit this way, or I should be wearing these colors, or this is way too formal, or this is way too casual. And then you don’t have to get caught in the tactical approach when you understand what the strategic approach is.

Doug Holt 18:29  

Okay? And when you’re working with men, do you have them work with a designer, work with somebody in person, either a tailor or go to a specific professional shopper, or what have you gone through there?

Tanner Guzy 18:41  

I have quite a few clients who, when they do, find out that suiting is part of what they need with their wardrobe. A lot of times, they’ll fly out to me because I’ve got a great clothier here in Salt Lake City that I used to be associated with, and they love working with my guys. A lot of times, I’ll go out to them and find them if they’re in major areas where they’ve got really good tailors and stuff like that as well. But for a lot of my guys, they end up in so many of my clients, we never even need to buy a suit or anything, even business casual, we get just as good at doing sneakers, jeans, and T-shirts and making those look just as powerful and impactful as a lot of this more formal stuff. And so I don’t ever recommend that they go to shoppers, because then what you’re doing is one, you are deferring the decision-making process to somebody who doesn’t understand your needs as well as you do. And two, most of the time these shoppers are people that are trained to be focused on what’s in trend, what’s going to move, and really for the most part, and this are one of the biggest differences between men and women, is women want to signal certain things like youth or trendiness, or sexual availability or innocence or other things. And obviously, I’m speaking in generalizations, whereas for a lot of us as men, there’s a liability to signal those things. It’s like you’re talking about the guy who’s 50 and he’s grain, and he’s still dressing like a skater. He doesn’t look like he’s still young and youthful and vibrant. He looks like he’s in denial. And that’s a problem for us. Because not only are you in denial, but then you also look like you’ve never actually been battle-hardened or tested. You don’t have any of that credibility or authority or trustworthiness. And those are the things that we need to signal. So how do you do that? When not everybody wears suits? How do you do that in jeans and a T-shirt and sneakers? Or how do you do that in shorts and flip-flops? You can. But a lot of it again is understanding what these little aspects are of fit or texture or color, or how to combine all these things and make it work that way.

Doug Holt 20:33  

Love it. I love it. You’ve been so gracious with your time. What are a couple of things these guys can do right now? And then afterward, I’d love to give them information on how they can reach out to you if they want to.

Tanner Guzy 20:45  

Yes, okay, I will give you a couple of kinds of easy things right here right now. If you’ve got more colors in your closet, then I’ll give you the five neutrals because these all work with everything else. And they also work on everybody, irrespective of your coloring, complexion, or all of that—Black, white, blue, brown, and gray. If you’ve got something beyond that in there, give it a rest for a little while. Maybe don’t completely ditch it, but give it a rest for a little while. And as you learn a little bit more about how well it works or how to combine this stuff, maybe then that’s the point where you digit, or you lean into, and you hold on to and go. This is a great statement piece I want to wear; this is certainly consistent with the style that I want to signal. So that starts with some good neutral colors. And then when it comes to fit stuff, if you’ve got anything that either looks like it was popular in the 80s, the 90s, early 2000s, and you’re still holding on to it from a food perspective, get rid of it. That doesn’t mean you have to go to hyper skinny stuff, nor does it mean you have to go to hyper baggy stuff. Just wear things that look like they follow your natural lines, but they’re not going to restrict any movement. I’ll tell you if you guys are bigger if you don’t have your fitness dialed in yet. Wearing baggy stuff doesn’t hide the fact that you’re overweight. It just makes you look both overweight and sloppy, so it exacerbates the problem instead of hiding it. It is the same thing if you’re a skinny guy; it doesn’t make you look bigger if you wear something bigger. It makes you look scrawny and like a kid that can’t fill out stuff. So find things that are just a good average neutral fit, avoid the trends. Then again, as you get deeper into understanding what the signals you want to send are, you can start expanding from there, so neutral colors, neutral fits start playing with that, and they’ll give you some easy wins right away.

Doug Holt 22:24  

Awesome, Tanner. I love it, love. I guess I have to go clean out my high school clothes. So, guys interested in working with you or finding more, you’ve suggested maybe your blog or a quiz; where can they go?

Tanner Guzy 22:36  

Yes, you can go to masculine dash style dot com that’s the main website; there is a quiz on there called the archetype quiz. There are three archetypes and eight questions, and I’ll tell you what the answer is that could fit on the mailing list if you guys are more social media type guys. I am most active on Instagram and Twitter, and you can find me there at Tanner Ghazi. And if you guys are more the reader types, I have published a book on the appearance of power. And you can find that on Amazon audible all that good stuff as well.

Doug Holt 23:03  

Well, congratulations on your new one, my friend. So glad you could make this happen. I love it, man. 

Tanner Guzy 23:08  

Thanks, Doug. Appreciate you having me on, man.

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