Coaching tech executives and entrepreneurs through their personal style transformations is a dream come true. But, it’s because I survived a long childhood nightmare, that I found my life’s calling. I survived childhood sexual abuse. From first grade through sophomore year, I was bullied, beaten up, and told I was ugly by peers at school. Sounds almost insurmountable, right? Well, on top of that, midway through my sophomore year of high school, my father unexpectedly died. It was the moment I hit rock bottom.
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Back then, within a few months of his passing, I picked up a book, “The Official Preppy Handbook” and my life has never been the same since. As a fifteen-year-old, I had an epiphany that transformed my look and my life. If I could develop an authentic personal style, people would look beyond their perceptions and see me at my best. Well, it worked.
Today, some of the most successful women and men in high tech chiefly comprise my clientele. I turned around a horrific situation, created my best life, and found my talents and gifts. And, now, I show others the pathway to their best lives by transforming their personal styles.
What’s the most common mistake you see men making in their personal style?
Although men like to say that they are confident, their clothing choices do not reflect it. I see men wearing the same styles they’ve worn since college. Their looks havenâ€™t evolved with success or age. So, the biggest mistake that guys make is playing it too safe with their personal style. Safe just isn’t confident.
How do you see your clients transform while working with you?
Clients develop deeper inner confidence and it immediately shows on the outside. They look more present and also more at ease because their confidence comes naturally. There’s nothing to hide, and nothing to fake.
How did your own personal style evolve?
Back in high school, I used the Preppy look like armor to get people to leave me alone. It wasn’t an authentic representation of me. But, the highly stylized and coordinated look got people to stop telling me how ugly I was. Using this style, I built my inner confidence by taking control of how people saw me. So, by offering fresh perspectives about my appearance, I learned that I controlled people’s perceptions of me from then on. Over the years, my evolved personal style demonstrates a bold and refined taste for unusual and fine details. My style conveys that I’m very present and supportive, and that I’m an out of the box thinker. I love who I am from the inside out and it shows. The journey has been well worth it.
How have your grooming rituals changed over time?
I’m a short guy, and always am told that I appear younger than I am. Back in my early 20s, I grew a beard and have had it for more than half of my life. In the beginning, the reason was to appear older so that people would trust the wisdom of my advice. Now, it’s just a part of who I am, very much like wearing eyewear every day. I’ve worn glasses since I was ten, and never have worn contacts. Since our faces are our communication centers, I make sure that mine is always on point.
What do you prioritize in your personal care routine?
Trimming and maintaining my beard comes first. In the last year, I’ve added getting my ears waxed, which has literally taken years of aging off my face. Skincare is very important as well. I use a special regimen of products that work with my chemistry and get a facial quarterly. Additionally, I do cardio nearly every day and work out with a trainer a couple of times per week.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a guy who wants to level-up his personal appearance?
Thinking about the outcomes you want to experience by leveling up your personal appearance directs how to build your wardrobe.
5 Grooming Favorites
I love how gentle and creamy this cleanser is. My skin is prone to rosacea. So, this quick and easy step calms the skin on my face. It especially feels fantastic after working out.
This serum feels so great as I apply it to my face. It’s cooling to the face and it absorbs so nicely without leaving any filmy feeling on the skin.
My skin feels toned, hydrated, and soothed with this cream. It calms my complexion so that the rosacea is held at bay.
I apply this to a beard brush and brush it into my beard, leaving it soft and treating the skin underneath the beard.
This is my newest fragrance and I love its darkly floral scent. Just before dressing, I spray it on and it gives me a sensuous experience, where all of my senses are activated and I feel ready to take on anything.
Joseph Rosenfeld is a Chicago native splitting time between Silicon Valley in Northern California and New York City. An epiphany and transformation in high school gave birth to Joseph’s unique approach to personal style. He works with high profile technology executives and entrepreneurs as a personal brand & style strategist. Joseph’s philanthropic outreach is to serve as an example to high school students by sharing his transformational story. If you keep going, one day at a time, you can have the most amazing life, far beyond your dreams.