Politically correct thinking dictates that you shouldn’t judge a person by how he/she dresses. This is simply politically correct garbage. Clothes do make the man or woman. What you wear can leave an impression, it’s as simple as that, and that hard and fast rule applies to both dating and work.
My sister we’ll call “Betsy” met a guy we’ll call “Phil” in college who was very physically attractive and Amerasian to boot. They’d only met briefly thanks to the plethora of mingling opportunities that college dorm life offers. Betsy liked his tight abs (she’d seen them in action in his judo class) and that he was ambitious (he was pre-med) and was very receptive to his invitation out for a date. Date night came and went and I got the recap the next day from Betsy.
Evidently, Phil decided to start the night off by showing up in tight frosted jeans and a horrendous Hawaiian shirt that was unbuttoned halfway down. The red flags were all over this one from the start. She wasn’t expecting him to show up wearing Armani or anything, but the strange choice of clothing didn’t jive with Betsy. The red flags were actually spot on. She learned he was a mama’s boy, was extremely bland, and had no sense of humor. The conversations throughout the evening were in desperate need of a defibrillator. When it all came to a thankful end, Phil wanted to know if Betsy wanted to keep hanging out and she declined, saying she had to do homework. On a Saturday night. Ouch.
I used to work with a girl we’ll call “Susie” who was a very free spirit and a very nice girl. However, Susie didn’t seem to understand that there is always a dress code at work, no matter how casual or relaxed the environment is. We didn’t have to wear business suits or even business casual. Instead, we wore what was comfortable but also respectable of others in the workplace. This meant jeans were great, shorts were great, even flip flops were great. However, Susie took casual to mean wearing whatever she liked, from tight shirts that accentuated her boobs to short skirts that accentuated her butt. It was definitely a little awkward to have conversations with her sometimes, because my brain kept screaming at her, “PUT ON SOME FREAKING WORK-APPROPRIATE CLOTHING.” Guys in other departments would say inappropriate things to her or be extremely pushy in their flirting with her and were completely out of line.
There was another place I worked where there was a guy we’ll call “Mark”. Mark thought it was a great idea to wear the same clothes and cologne he’d wear to go clubbing to the office. Every time he passed me in the halls, I’d turn my head to gag at the nauseating wave of overpowering cologne that seemed to linger in the air for an hour after he had been long gone. Seeing him in his clubbing attire made it hard for me to take him seriously, because all I kept picturing in my head was him doing Will Ferrell impressions in “Night at the Roxbury”.
Dress to the occasion and use your best judgement. Common sense may seem boring to you but it’s called common sense for a reason. Don’t make inappropriate clothing a distraction, which can end up leading to undesirable results. Taking the time to think about what to wear to work or on a date is worth it, I promise you. Otherwise, when you wear the wrong clothes for the wrong occasion, what that does is scream you have poor judgement, and do you really want that to be something that people focus on instead of your other (and better/strong) attributes?
- When in doubt, always ask for another opinion, and make sure it’s someone who you can trust to be honest, with a preference on brutally honest over tactfully honest.
- If you don’t have someone around to get a second opinion from, then by default always dress up, never dress down.
- Here’s a tip: if you wouldn’t wear it to pick up guys/girls while out on a night on the town because it’s too boring or not flashy enough, then that is a good indicator that it’s great to wear for work.