Do Clothes Really Make the Man?

Posted by on July 3, 2019 in Stuff with 0 Comments

We are all familiar the age old idiom that “clothes make the man”, but is it really true? And what exactly does it mean?

There are two ways you can understand this saying:

  1. A man is judged based on his clothing
  2. Dressing a certain way will shape the way the person will act and perform

The first explanation is rather obvious; I think most people can agree that they are often quick to judge a person based on what he is wearing. For an example, they meet someone for the first time and form an opinion of the person based on the clothing that he/she is wearing. It’s amazing that something as simple as clothing really has a tremendous power to help us create a positive impression when meeting others.

Now the second explanation is a bit more interesting. Dressing a certain way will affect how we view ourselves, and how we will behave when wearing those clothes. A businessman dressed in a designer suit, dress shoes with his hair slicked back will automatically act in a more professional way and feel self-important, as opposed to a janitor dressed in his custodial uniform.

When people are lacking confidence in their role, dressing the part externally can help them gain the inner confidence to perform well. This is especially true when someone is starting out a new job, or in a new situation. Dress well, and of course appropriately for the position or situation, and you will atomically feel more at ease and comfortable.

Interestingly, we also tend to treat those wearing designers clothes differently than those wearing similar obviously cheaply made clothing. There was a study done to prove this phenomenon. Two people wearing a similar green sweater, one with a designer logo on it, and one without any logo approached stranger to take part in a survey. The one wearing the sweater with the designer logo got people to participate 52.2% of the time, while the one wearing the sweater without the logo was only successful 13.6% of the time. As much as we all claim to be kind and helpful to everyone, regardless of social status, research proves otherwise.

We can use this clothing psychology to our advantage. For example, a new nurse on the floor understandably will feel nervous her first day on the job, but if she dons a pair of designer Grey’s Anatomy scrubs, she will atomically feel more confident than if she would be wearing an old dingy no-name uniform brand.

Of course, we have to always be honest with ourselves, and see if we really feel that we are qualified and a right fit for the position. But, dressing the part, and doing it well, when we need a bit of a confidence boost is a great way to give off a favorable impression, and help us do well at a new job.

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