Don’t Let Your Basic Undershirt Turn You Into A “Basic Brian”

“Basic” has become a somewhat derogatory term recently. There’s the “basic bro” that consumes heavy amounts of protein, grunts when he works out and wears clothes one size too small. There’s the “basic b!&%h” who loves her Uggs, yoga pants and pumpkin spice latte everything. I always laugh when people joke about basic people. Who wants to be grouped into this mass of people who comically do the exact same stuff?

I’ve noticed someone within office culture over the years that deserves a title. I’m going to term him as “Basic Brian”. Here’s the general description of “Basic Brian”:

  • Likes the status quo
  • Doesn’t bring new ideas
  • Always responds that he’s “fine”. He’s never “good”
  • Wears pretty much the same thing to the office everyday. Grey or tan khaki slacks with either a blue or white button down.
  • A “Yes Man”
  • Rarely does anything interesting on the weekends
  • A grey or beige sock guy
  • ALWAYS wears a white cotton crew neck undershirt. Does not leave home without it.

Sadly, I used to be a “Basic Brian”. When I started my career in my 20’s, I really just wanted to blend in. That meant being basic in my actions at work and how I dressed.

I didn’t want to annoy anyone by pushing ideas or draw unnecessary attention to what I wore. I soon found out that the being like everyone else strategy doesn’t work out in the end. The reason is that I WAS LIKE EVERYONE ELSE! How am I supposed to get ahead?

It took me a little while to actually realize I had good ideas. That I could lead the thinking of teams and drive change. I could act fast. I was willing to work harder than other people. People actually liked working with me. I was better than “Basic Brian”!

As my confidence grew, I wanted to make sure people recognized me around the office. I wanted to be known as different. Before someone even said one word to me, I wanted them to think I looked sharp and put together. Those first impressions are very important! I started shopping a little differently from there.

The Change

When I went shopping, instead of going right for the basic wear, I walked right past it. I walked by the tan khakis piled on more tan khakis. I walked by the standard fitting blue button downs. Instead, I bought slim fitting clothes that worked better with my body. I got some bolder colors in both my shirts and my pants. I then made changes in my socks and undershirt.

I threw every sock and undershirt I had into the trash. My standard Gold Toe beige socks and white cotton crew neck Hanes basic undershirt HAD to go. What I wanted out of each of those items of clothing changed.

Socks: I wanted to go from blending in to now actually popping out. I am a fun and energetic guy. I wanted my socks to represent that a bit.

Undershirt: The white cotton basic undershirt is the definition of basic. I needed an undershirt because I would sweat a lot, but it was something I didn’t want anyone to see. I wanted my new clothing to stand out and not my undershirt.

This was a Super Bowl TV commercial making fun of a basic guy who had a white undershirt on AND beige socks. 

 

Over a 6 month period, I looked like a new person. I became known as “stylish”. People actually came to me for tips on clothing. I walked around more confidently knowing that I looked and felt great. My skillset that I brought to work was now matched by the correct exterior appearance.

I look back on my “Basic Brian” days and shake my head. I was better than that. The talent was always in me, but I needed a mental transition as well as an exterior one. I felt like I was only as good as my $2 white cotton basic undershirt and beige socks.

I work at a major corporation and see “Basic Brians” throughout the halls all day. I think it’s fine if your personality is one of conformation and you’re comfortable there. I want to urge people that if you’re not a “ Basic Brian” to make changes. Speak up more in meetings. Challenge the status quo a bit. It’s 2017 and the business world is in massive transformation. New and different ideas are needed!

Once you find that voice, start changing your wardrobe to the point where you look in the mirror and see the guy you want to become. And hopefully, that man does not have a basic white cotton undershirt on!

 

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5 Side Hustle Tips from Someone Doing It

 

Having a side hustle seems to be a very popular thing these days. You've heard chatter from some of your friends who are working on something on the side, and you're interest is peaked. 

Perhaps your main job that consumes most of your waking hours just isn’t enough. You may need that side hustle for extra income or to eventually grow into a main hustle.  I’ve been doing my side hustle starting a premium undershirt brand, Sloane, while I’ve been rising in the corporate world in marketing at P&G over the past 7 years. 

I’ve had some highs like hitting our Kickstarter goal, pitching on CNBC’s West Texas Investors Club and seeing the company continue to grow. I’ve had some lows like getting on the Today show while we were 100% out of inventory, borrowing money from a friend that took 2X the time I said I would pay it back and tireless nights where I come home from a long day and then need to log serious hours to get Sloane off the ground. 

 

I’ve learned a few things along this journey that I’d love to pass along. We still have a long way to go to get to our goals, but we’ve been side hustling for 7 years, and we keep growing. It’s been a success in my eyes and we see massive white space to keep going.

Today, I hope part of my journey can help you with your side hustle. Here are 5 side hustle tips to help your side hustle be a success.

 

1. Do NOT Go Into it Thinking You’re Going to Get Rich

The number of startups that fail is sobering. Forbes reports that 90% of startups fail. 90%!!! So not only are the odds not with you that you’ll get rich, but the odds are that you would lose everything!

Going in eyes wide open is critical because you have to be ready to do what it takes to succeed. Be that 10%. Your product or service, work ethic, marketing, fulfillment, team, etc need to be on point!

But if your first idea fails, don't worry and don't stop! Chalk it up as a learning experience and move on to the next one.

 

2. Be Clear on Where the Hours Will Come From

A side hustle happens on top of your current job. If you are a person that works 8 to 6, then you need to find the hours in addition to those times to work on your business. Are those your TV hours? Are those your softball team hours? Are those your workout hours?

Sacrifices will have to be made to find those hours. I moved to Cincinnati when Sloane started and didn’t get a TV. Those old TV hours turned into Sloane side hustle hours.

 

3. Make Sure Your Idea is Strong

Before you jump in, make sure you do the leg work on the idea. What consumer problem are you solving? How do you plan to create your idea? How do you plan to sell your idea? Do people like your prototypes? Get input from people who you trust. The last thing you want to do is jump in by sinking your life savings into something that’s a bad idea.

If you get some initial wins with a concept or early prototype, then you will have a higher likelihood to succeed. We gave our prototypes out to friends. Once we received positive feedback, we put it on Kickstarter. Once that succeeded, we knew we had something.

 

4. Be Clear on Where the Money is Coming From

The rule of thumb in startups is that things take twice as long and cost twice as much as you think. Having cash is everything. If you don’t have it, then it becomes very hard to even take the first step.

If you are going to take money from savings, then you have to be ok with the possibility losing it all. Can you still go on? This is where the massive risk taking comes in that separates true entrepreneurs from wannabe entrepreneurs. Are you willing to put your own hard earned money into your idea? Where will the money come from if you need more?

 

5. Be Patient

It takes awhile to build a company when you’re working full time. It takes much longer when you can only give a few hours a day max. I had high hopes Sloane would take off quickly, but the reality was that giving 10 hours a week won’t move things quickly.

You have to be ok with making steady progress versus major leaps. If you have a team, then you can scale your time and move faster. It likely never feels like you’re moving fast enough when it’s just a side thing.

The fatal flaw is underperforming at the job that pays the bills trying to put in extra time on your startup to make it go faster. If you’re patient and have the right expectations you can make it happen!  

 

About the Author: Mike Droessler is a Brand Manager at P&G working in Digital Innovation and also the Founder of Sloane Men, the maker of The Invisible Undershirt.  He attended Wharton for his undergraduate and USC for his MBA.  Sloane’s mission is to make guys better.  His breakthrough undershirt helps them look their best, but he also shares style and professional tips to help men in more aspects of their lives.

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A Manifesto. The White Undershirt Must Go.

 

The Problem Of The White Cotton Undershirt

The white cotton undershirt has been an annoyance to me since I was a kid. I would sweat badly (yes, I was THAT kid) and always wore an undershirt to absorb the sweat.  The issue was the thick cotton made me sweat MORE.  If I didn’t wear the undershirt my sweat would just go right through to my outer shirt making me look like a psycho. Women don’t dig guys who visibly sweat (unless it’s in the gym)!

When I was living in LA in my 20’s, and dressing nicer, the white undershirt still haunted me. It absolutely killed my style.  I’d be at work or at a club or bar trying to look like I had my stuff together, but there was my $3 white Hanes undershirt popping out from my neck and visible at my arms.  I knew I wasn't looking my best, but didn't have an alternative. 

When I was in business school at USC I finally got tired of this ridiculous mess with my undershirts. I remember I tried to solve the undershirt issue by trying out a wife beater tank top.  I was out at a club in LA with my classmates trying to look cool.  I went into the bathroom and could just clear as day see my wife beater under this really nice button down I had on.  WTF?!?!  I’m in business school trying to look legitimate and my $3 wife beater is standing out for EVERYONE to see!

 

A Better Men's Undershirt

My friend, Jason, and I decided to figure out a solution for this. We saw nothing in stores that solved for all of our issues, so we decided to make it ourselves. We wanted our new undershirt to fix EVERY issue we had with our white cotton undershirts. 

  • We made them long, so they don’t pull out from our belt line.
  • We made them 50% more breathable than cotton to limit sweat.
  • We made them with a deep V, so they’re not visible at the neck.
  • We made them with spandex to keep them fitted, which eliminates the baggy look.
  • Finally, we made them skin toned (3 colors), which makes them invisible at the arms because the undershirt blends into your skin color.

the invisible undershirt

 

On Mission To Help Men Feel Confident In Their Style

The mission that drives us is to help guys NOT look like how I did for years. We want their style to stand out and not their undershirt. We want guys to be confident in how they look in the office, out socially or just grabbing breakfast with friends. We don't want the undershirt to ever be a burden again! 

Try the product risk free at Sloanemen.com.  You can return it for ANY reason. We want you to look the best you ever have and have that confidence knowing that!

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