One of the most important things you can do to improve your “looks” is to improve your posture.
If you are going to fix anything about your look, from working out, to getting a tan, to wearing cooler clothes, fixing your posture is probably one of those things that has the greatest effect. Good posture makes you look noble, upright, confident and poised.
I highly recommend something called Alexander Technique if you can afford it. The Technique is one-hour weekly lessons where a teacher works with you to help improve your posture. Having a coach to watch you during your pickup is an invaluble tool that can quickly give you insight into what you’re doing wrong. The same can be said about your posture.
The Alexander Technique is not just about posture, it is about moving efficiently. To “try” to improve your posture on your own can be counter-productive because it is difficult to see exactly what you are doing wrong. Improving is less about “trying” and more about relaxing in the correct way and changing old habits.
However, much can be done on your own to improve posture. If you are going to work on your own, I would recommend practicing two things simultaneously:
1) Imagine a wire pulling up your top vertebrae. Feel around the back of your neck and find the top vertebrae in your spinal column. It’s probably about six inches below the base of your skull. When you are walking and standing, imagine a wire attached to that vertebrae, pulling you up toward the sky. In other words, lift this vertebrae as high as possible.
2) Relax your shoulders! This is super important. When people “try” to have good posture, the first thing that tenses up is their shoulders. A huge part of good posture is just relaxing the shoulders as much as possible. When you go to do a pickup, women subconsciously can tell how tense you are by how tense your shoulders are.
When it comes to pickup and posture, there are two conflicting elements: having really nice posture and being as relaxed as possible. If you have excellent posture, it should ideally look relaxed and not stiff. If you look stiff, you are trying to hard. Then again, just as when you started doing pickup, you may be a bit awkward when you first practice it.
I sometimes do the relaxed slouch thing. It can be cool. But at the same time, there are fewer things more attractive in a guy than good posture. Therefor, I always err on the side of having good posture rather than slouching.
Posture is one of those telltale signs of status. Animals, including humans, who are lower in status tend to have poorer posture. It’s similar to the averted eye gaze. Just as someone of higher status enjoys being seen, enjoys taking the spotlight, lower status people, people with more social anxiety, tend to avoid the spotlight, and want to hide in social situations (think of the response to embarrassment–you just want to hide.) There is also a stress associated with being lower status that takes effect on the posture.
I myself have noticed that it is more difficult for me to have good posture in more social/stressful situations. It’s easier for me to have good posture walking down the street than in a crowded bar, i.e. a place my body feels more social stress.