In my last blog post I talked about how grooming, certain clothing styles, combinations or the condition of your clothing will have a strong impact on the perceptions others have about you and how they can damage your credibility for business. However everything we wear and the way we groom ourselves not only have an impact in a business setting, they also have an impact on anyone who sees us no matter what the setting. If the garment fits the activity or setting, the garment will harmonize and we will look like we belong. If it doesn’t fit the activity or setting, it and us will be distracting and out of place.
What settings do you think the following items harmonize in?
- Wrinkled or stained clothing
- Yoga pants
- Uncoordinated clothing and accessories
- Clothing that needs repair
- Basketball shoes
- Novelty t-shirt that says, “Life is Hell.”
- Delicate clothing with ruffles and tiers
- Ski suit
- Wool suit
Many of us would think the answers are obvious. A ski suit would be worn for skiing. A wool suit would be worn for business or at a conservative event. But what if the ski suit was worn to the beach on a hot August day? Although after thinking about it for a minute, most of us would question the person’s sanity, initially, most of us would consider the oddity of a ski suit at the beach among others in bathing suits and shorts. Now I know this is an extreme case and quite unlikely… I hope. But there are other situations similar to this that we see all the time. Basket ball shoes and yoga pants in fancy restaurants; Wrinkled and stained clothing while out on a date; or thread worn clothing or clothing with a fallen hem at a job interview.
As I mentioned before there is a time and place for everything. However, clothing that isn’t in-sync with its environment draws attention to itself and you and creates questions about your personality and lifestyle. For Example: Dirty, stained or wrinkled clothing worn out on a date or at work, may imply that that you are lazy or don’t care about yourself. However, when worn while working in the garden they might imply that you have been working hard or that you don’t want to ruin your good clothes. Or it may imply that you are lazy and don’t care about yourself. Remember, perception is always in the eye of the beholder.