Suit

In 1930 J. C. Fluegel wrote a work entitled “The Psychology of Clothes.”

One of his major precepts stated that nonconformity in choice of clothing was an outward expression of nonconformity in the thought and political outlook of the individual.

So, what?

Summer is here and a whole new mass of job seekers are entering the market. People are made and broken by their appearances. You have just about 20 seconds to make an impression. And, if you know this you can turn it to your advantage.


Make sure your clothes are ALWAYS neat and clean. Keep your shoes well maintained. There is a reason for the expression, “down at the heels.” Keep you hair neat and keep it trim. Ladies, if you choose to wear make-up, keep it subtle and understated. Keep you nails well manicured. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you desire a management position dress as if you already have one.

If you wish to portray yourself as self-confident and well composed, you should dress in a moderate and traditional fashion. Competent people do not feel the need to display themselves with extravagance and flamboyant attire.

Leave the daring edge of fashion to those who are striking out on their own business ventures.

If you wish to be perceived as competitive and aggressive, attire yourself in the sport fashion. Sport jackets and khaki slacks communicate a subliminal message of activity and aggression. Too aggressive can be seen as threatening.

Dress aggressively if you need to stake your territory with other staff members.

If you wish to avoid being perceived as immature and conquerable, leave your jeans in the closet. This apparel sends the message that you would rather find a way to make do with comes rather than take a stand for what you want.

Save the jeans for the weekends.

Wearing loud, flamboyant clothing screams “look at me!” and “I need you to reassure me.” The exception being the Hawaiian, or camp, shirt. This merely screams, “these four wall are too small to contain me!”

If you dress in a flamboyant fashion, don’t expect to have your ideas taken seriously.

Military cut clothing communicates a desire for structure and conformity. This are good choices if you are a banker.

Expect to be perceived as rigid and inflexible in this type of attire.

Broad woven cottons and subdued earth colors communicate a desire for times gone by and can indicate you are trapped in the past. Remember, casual doesn’t mean sloppy. Sloppy doesn’t work in any business situation.

Dress like this and you can expect to be seen as “out of touch.”

Remember, you are marketing a product–You!

Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at Elemental Truths.

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