A gentleman’s guide to peacocking

Shake your tail feathers, gentlemen...peacocking is the word of the moment.

There is little as daunting as dating – that much is clear. And, of all the steps and stages of a relationship, that initial meeting is definitely the most daunting – and difficult – of them all. But never fear; this is where peacocking comes in handy.

Peacocking is the way to make the best possible first impression, and is guaranteed to help you cut through the competition, stand out from the crowd and attract the woman of your dreams.

We know it sounds like a bizarre form of exotic bird poaching, but don’t mistake us: peacocking is thoroughly footed in both nature and fashion. A sartorial system, devised to ensure you attract the most attention as possible in a social setting, this practice follows the same principles used by a male peacock’s tail plumage.

And it’s hardly new. Peacocking has been around for years, but you’ve probably just dismissed the men you’ve seen in bars and clubs, dressed ostentatiously in bright clothing and bearing flamboyant accessories, as no-hopers.

Not so. These peacocks are doing it right, gentleman – and they’re guaranteed to be getting considerably more action that you as a result of their proud peacocking.

But never fear: we’ve devised the ultimate failsafe ways to dive headfirst into this theatrical and exuberant world, in which peacocking takes centre stage. As individuality is key, there are few rules to follow – but we’ve outlined some handy guidelines just in case.

Know when to stop


There is a fine line between fancy dress and peacocking – and it’s one you really don’t want to cross. Statement blazers, vibrant hats and accessories and showy shoes are all perfectly acceptable forms of peacocking; but turn up in a full body hot dog costume, and you’ve gone too far. Far too far.

The first rule of peacocking – and the most important – is to know when to stop. This isn’t Hallowe’en, so the minute you start considering masks, feather boas or dressing up as the legs of a pantomime horse: rein it in. Rather than choosing extravagant designs and clothes, go for extravagant patterns and colours – this way, your peacocking will ensure that your outfit retains a little relatability without alienating your audience completely.

Practicality is key

A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ drama “THE GREAT GATSBY,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

You have no idea of the way your night is going to go – where you’ll end up, or who you’ll end up seeing. So, rather than committing to a hideously garish, frilly-sleeved flamenco shirt, you should consider that there’s every chance you’ll need to shed your peacocking garb at some point during the evening.

With this in mind: jackets and accessories (such as pocket squares, cufflinks and even the odd hat) are the best bets. You can make a big entrance and ensure all eyes on you; but when you’re chatting to your crush, you can subtly shed your plumage and help her get to know the guy behind the garb. Commit to a full night of non-stop peacocking, and you really don’t have that option.

Build it up

Don’t go crazy. The first time you attempt peacocking, commit strongly to one or two accessories and ease yourself into this unique way of attracting attention. If you head straight out in jodhpurs and a psychedelic waistcoat, you’ll likely end up regretting your decision — consequently, the confidence you need to pull off your finery will never materialise. Skip ahead to two hours in, and you’re the oddly-dressed oddball sat alone in the corner of the bar, eating a bag of Quavers on your own. This is peacocking gone very badly wrong, gents.

Another key warning for aspiring peacocks: don’t ignore dress codes. If you’re going to a black tie event, it’s not a good idea to turn up wearing platform boots and a multi-coloured spinning bow tie. Potential partners won’t think that’s charming – they’ll think it’s disrespectful (and they’d be right). Make sure your peacocking is always within the realms of the polite.

Let your real self shine through

It’s not all about the shock factor. Experienced peacocks know this, and they let their own unique personalities shine through. If you’re Scottish, thrown a bit of tartan into the mix to act as a conversation starter. If Westerns are your favourite films, then by all means pull on those spangly cowboy boots. If you’re an Elton John fan, then elaborate sunglasses are a must. The opportunities where peacocking is concerned are simply endless.

If you’re peacocking for the sake of it, however, then picture the scene: a woman finally approaches you to ask you why you’re wearing a silver spandex bodysuit. You have no answer, and instead stand there awkwardly looking disturbingly creepy. The encounter ends with her dashing for the door before you can say, ‘This cost me 45 quid on the internet!’

So fly, my peacocks, fly! Peacocking is for everyone: but remember to know when to stop, think practically, build up your outfit and let your personality shine through. Don’t half-cock it, commit to the cause, and you’ll soon be the peacock-of-the-walk.

Looking for a more traditional style approach? From Redford to DiCaprio, here are the greatest style lessons to learn from Jay Gatsby

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