My style and the way that I wear it, matters! We all individually have a certain style about ourselves. The fail, is when we are not in touch with that style and it remains dulled by our lack of knowing how to develop it. Most people when you ask them how they would describe their personal style in words would say, "Whatever is comfortable" or "Trendy" or "What I can afford and fits well". The key is getting in touch with your style by being in touch with who you are and your ambitions. As far as how to develop your personal style, this will be a topic that we will discuss on a future post. Whether we are dressed casual or dressed up for business, we should keep in mind that our style is a form of communication without words.
As we mentioned in the previous blog, people judge us by what they see us wear before they ever hear us speak. In fact, in an article entitled Dress Code or Note, What You Wear Matters by Organizational Psychologist; Eva Rykrsmith, she speaks of how what we wear has an effect on our performance, ourselves and on others. She describes how what we wear has an affect on the way people perceive us, but even more so, the way we dress can affect how we behave. This, to me is a very powerful fact about why we should step it up in the way we dress. Eva mentions a case study where behavior was observed at a roller rink.
On the nights where there was a strict dress code enforced, there were fewer accidents and less noise. She states: "In an old article in the Academy of Management Review, scientists theorized that exhibiting actions not in line with the expectations of how one would behave when wearing that clothing creates a psychological conflict called cognitive dissonance. And to relieve the conflict, people will change their behavior to match their dress." Of course, in order to enhance one's style to fit the bill, there oftentimes has to be a learning as to how to do so. But, I find that a large number of people tend to shy away from the challenge because they feel it requires too much energy and thought and they would much rather just keep it quick and simple.
I can remember once interviewing for a notable, high-end department store for a personal stylist position. When I walked with one of the hiring managers throughout the department store, he did an entire survey of what I was wearing and even asked me if the shoes I had on were Allen Edmonds; of which I am proud to say, were! Although, I ended up not getting the position there, it stuck with me how he was impressed by the attention I put into my attire more than my experiences and how this helped our interview flow smoothly. Shortly afterwards, I ended up landing another position that even paid more where my style became an asset to the type of work that I would be involved in. That is a valuable lesson I will never forget. I think it's more than just having a knowledge of name brands and fashion sense, but our style and the way we wear what we wear gains us people's ears and even their favor.
In short, we should not shun the saying "dress to impress" because it has been proven since the Renaissance until now to open up great doors of opportunity because the people wearing it have the confidence necessary to possess these new opportunities.
DRESS LIKE A GENT