“It is impossible to wear clothes without transmitting social signals. Every costume tells a story, often a very subtle one, about its wearer.” – Desmond Morris
Have you noticed how you feel more confident and self-assured when you are wearing clothes that you know you look good in and are comfortable? On the other hand, when you throw on drab and dowdy garb and go out, then see someone you know, don’t you just wish you could slink away unnoticed and unseen?
The issue of choosing outfits to wear isn’t as frivolous as what some people may think. Although they may not really define you as a person, they do influence other people’s opinion of you. Several studies have attested to the positive effect of dressing up. Good quality and well-fitting suits and dresses add to your confidence, credibility and competency. They give you an edge over competitors in job applications, land you that promotion and get you the best seats in the house.
Now that you know about the power of clothes, include them in your arsenal of weapons for success. New York style management icon David McKnight says the obstacles to improving your image through a wardrobe update are fear of change and fear of failure. These fears get you stuck in a rut and prevent you from trying different styles. To give you an insight on the clothing styles and the image you project through them, here are common perceptions that people have for certain fashion patterns.
You only wear designer brands.
Whether its casual denims and tees, polo shirts or dresses, designer labels bestow on the wearer a sense of importance and wealth. It also gives the impression that you value quality; hence, you are better than others. Conversely, overdoing the designer thing may have an adverse effect. You could be viewed as too shallow, flaunting your wealth, trying too hard to be noticed or hiding behind logos to mask your insecurity.
You wear only clothes that are of neutral colors.
Black, white, gray and brown are neutral colors. They convey safety and security. But too safe is boring. Men can get away with wearing neutral colors only. For women, it’s a different story. If you’re female and are never seen in other colors, you project an uninteresting, dull image. Or you’re stuck in your comfort zone, which is unattractive. Donning a splash of color with accessories transforms you into a more exciting woman.
For work, combine safe with fashionable. Invest in high quality classics like suits for men, separates for women and add accessories. There are many online stores that sell a wide selection of work clothes for men and women.
You don’t dress your age or you wear inappropriate clothes.
Not dressing your age is a tricky one because how would you know if you’re guilty of doing it, unless your spouse or best friend is bold enough to tell you. If in doubt, or you hear snickers and nasty comments when you pass by, research the topic on the internet and be guided accordingly. Definitely, leather minis, plunging necklines and sky-high heels are no-no’s for women over a certain age. So are Hello Kitty tees. Fashion rules for men are more tolerant. But a 50-plus male with a paunch who’s wearing a tight shirt and distressed denims is laughable, not sexy.
If you dress too young for your age, you may be caught in a time warp. You will also be perceived as looking for attention of the wrong kind or worse, desperate.
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