dressed for success

I like to wear a tie on game day.

As I tie a perfect half windsor knot I begin to visualize both how the game will go and how many people will compliment me on my style.  They say that clothes don’t make the man; they certainly can make the man feel different.

I would never consider myself a fashion trendsetter, but I pay a lot of attention to how I look and dress.  Maybe it’s the obsessive Angelino in me, but I’ve been known to need to pick out an outfit to go to the supermarket.  (I’m not necessarily proud of this, but it’s nice to have other people checking me out while I’m squeezing some melons). If you see me on a daily basis you might assume that I’m just a jeans and polo shirt guy; really though, I’ve just been lulling you into a false sense of security.

mark-twain-white-hairI dress down at work to fit in better with my kids.  I seem a lot more approachable in jeans than a well-tailored suit.  I don’t mind that it makes me look younger; I actually prefer it.  I’ve learned through many years how people judge me based on my appearance and I’m happy to let it work to my advantage.  I’ll let others lower the bar and then be shocked when I hurdle right over it.

Human beings are quick to make impressions.  I am as guilty of it as anyone else.  If you look busted, I assume that you are busted.  I assume that everything in your life is going wrong because you clearly didn’t have the time to care about the dirt on your pants.  I assume you’re making the same assumptions about me.  That’s why my socks and skivvies match.

I don’t mind being judged by how I look.  Truthfully, it’s important to me to make the kind of impression that I want to make.  Maybe it shouldn’t matter at all; there is a great argument to be made that it’s only what’s on the inside that counts.  I would tend to disagree — what’s on the inside matters a lot, but we choose to either express or hide the contents of our insides with our outward appearance.  Not caring how you look is the same thing as caring too much. I’ve reached a point in my life where being objectified sometimes is a desirable thing.  Who says you can’t have it all?

The vast majority of communication is nonverbal.  My outfit speaks volumes about who I am and what I value.  I value comfort at work and flying under the radar, so I stay in jeans, for example.   For some, a tie is a noose, slowing choking the life and creativity out of them.  For me, it means that there is special business to handle.  It means that it’s game day and I am ready for battle.

Think about how you’re dressed today.  What are you saying to the world? What is the world saying to you?  Think about how you feel in that favorite pair of whatevers you own, you know the ones with the holes in them.  Don’t you look good!

Be confident in the image of yourself that you project to the world and see how much farther that gets you.  And once you’ve done all that, listen to this song and dance in your underwear:

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