Walk Like a Male Model

Walk Like a Male Model

The sidewalk is every man’s runway, and by assuming the manner and confidence of a male model, you can master it to refine your gait and infuse any off-the-rack look with a power that exceeds its price point.

“It’s all about how you carry yourself,” says Ken Flanagan, owner and chief designer for Kas Collection Inc. “When people see you, do they see a stiff, uptight person who doesn’t want to be noticed? Or do they see someone who, upon walking into the room, gets an automatic reaction? It’s about your level of confidence.”

And the ultimate totemic tip-off to your level of confidence, the inarguable gauge of your mojo, is your walk. “You can walk tentatively, like you’re nervous, and it’ll show,” says Flanagan, “or you can walk like you have a presence -- and a purpose that says, ‘I know what I’m doing’.”

So how does one get in step with the male-model strut? Flanagan and a male model offer this direct path to success:

  • Straighten up your act. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and roll your shoulders up and around in a circle, thrusting your chest out. Be relaxed, but upright and erect.
  • Stretch your steps. In a long mirror, practice taking strides 1/2 foot or longer than your normal gate, while swinging your arms slightly -- never more than 20 degrees, naturally and rhythmically. (Don’t pump them like a man who’s late for a train.)
  • Relax, buddy. Most guys like to show how powerful they are by balling their fists. This just makes them look psychotic. The key to this runway stride is to relax your fingers -- let them dangle naturally from the ends of your hands. You’ll look more natural and less uptight.
  • Keep your eyes on the prize. Fix your stare straight ahead, slightly above the crowd, keeping your chin angle slightly down, focusing on the place where you want to go. (You need to know what’s in front of you. Don’t walk around staring at the ground like the Rain Man.)
  • Suck it up! “The most important thing we’re taught as models is to breathe,” says Apollo Story, a New York City-based model. “Your breathing is the key to seeming relaxed -- even if you’re not. When you don’t breathe correctly, it means you’re nervous, and it can make you get real stiff in the shoulders and tense up. Once your shoulders get too tight, that’ll impact the sway of your arms.”

Story reminds us that, in a sense, we all walk on the runway: “As a runway model, I have to portray the fact that I have been chosen by a company to represent their brand for a reason, so I remember and embody that. Every day, most men are away from the runway. You’re not representing a fashion brand, per se, but you are representing something even more important: the brand of you.

So step it up. The world is watching.

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Tags: Style

Brian O’Connor is a print and online journalist. He is a former contributing editor at Men’s Fitness and executive editor at Genre. He has also written for Slate, San Francisco Weekly and the New York Daily News, among other publications. Brian is a frequent contributor to Style and Tech for Men.