Peacocking is a term that was originally developed the dating coach Erik von Markovik (aka “Mystery”), and refers to the practice of wearing deliberately garish or outlandish clothing in an attempt to get the attention of women.
The practice works for two reasons. First of all, like the bright feathers of a peacock, peacocking in the fashion world works by being eye catching and helps you to stand out from the crowd. An example of peacocking in this sense might be wearing a cowboy hat out to the bar, or wearing a particularly flashy armband or necklace. By wearing something different you differentiate yourself from the masses, and make yourself more interesting and approachable.
The second principle behind peacocking is the concept of handicapping. The peacock’s feathers are actually a disadvantage to it, because it makes them more easier to spot and catch by predators. By having bright feathers, the peacock demonstrates that it is able to survive despite these disadvantages, which demonstrates its fitness to potential mates.
Likewise, peacocking taken to the extreme can have the same effect. By wearing something completely ridiculous (say an angel’s wings, for example), you immediately make yourself the subject of attention and possible ridicule in a venue. By showing that you can handle and stand up to this social pressure, you demonstrate that you are dominant and confident guy who is not afraid to put himself out there and be the center of attention.
Peacocking can also be used as a way to build confidence, and learn how to wear clothing that is outside of your comfort zone.
Peacocking, as commented by Mystery Method users, amplify the emotional response to your avatar. How you manage that avatar determines your perceived social value within a given venue.
Read more on Peacocking Theory.