Peacocking in Fashion: The Dos and Don’ts
Fashion peacocking is a divisive concept these days, mainly because it was popularized by proud pickup artists. Before that, it was known as a mating ritual for actual peacocks: males spread their spectacular feathers to catch the attention of the ladies. It’s a legitimate lesson for today’s human world, where first impressions can make or break a connection.
For peacocking in fashion, the dos and don’ts determine whether a person is sincere or just a showoff. What’s obnoxious, what’s manipulative, and what’s just plain tacky? After all, while peacocks typically choose mates with flashier feathers, sometimes they can be scared off by too much of a good thing. Peacocking can serve a positive purpose if you do it right.
Don’t Be a Stereotype
Peacocking has been weaponized by men who are after sex, not relationships. Some superficial fashion will attract attention from superficial people, which is fine if your goals lineup. An oversized fur hat might lure someone in a party mood, while touching your face a lot to showcase your Rolex will get you a materialistic partner—briefly. But that’s wasting the opportunity to communicate an authentic message about yourself.
Do Wear Something Unique
Whether you’re choosing a photo for a profile or going on a blind date, even shy romantics should try to convey something about themselves in their clothes. It’s not realistic for someone to immediately judge a love interest’s potential if they’re wearing a nondescript ensemble that says nothing. But is what you’re wearing really you? Or a costume prop?
Don’t Peacock With Your Physique
You may be proudest of your athletic lifestyle, but wearing a top that’s too tight or showing too much skin is distracting from your best feature: your personality. Leave some things to the imagination, because nobody needs to see the six pack to know you’re in shape.
Do Put on Something Personal
If your family means a lot to you, wear the signet ring your grandfather left you or the scarf your sister made you, and share the story. If birdwatching is your passion, wear your beloved tie with the whooping crane motif. If you love fashion, don’t be afraid to wear a vintage or one-of-a-kind hat—but only outside, not at the dinner table. Wear something with meaning.
Don’t Wear Something Cliché
There are dos and don’ts for peacocking in fashion because you want to start a conversation, not declare that you’re a jerk without saying a word. A chunky gold chain says you’re an ’80s rap superstar. Unless you were a founding member of Run-DMC, skip it. If you don’t wear a feather boa to the DMV, don’t wear it on a date. If flamboyance is truly a part of your identity, go ahead and glitter. But if you want someone to get to know you, make sure that’s what your clothes are saying.