Your Image: First Impressions

Its quite remarkable how quickly and abrasively people formulate opinions about others merely based on appearance. At times, there is presumed intersectionality between style socioeconomic status and background.

For instance, a girl walks into a designer boutique store, wearing some converse sneakers, ripped blue jeans, and a graphic tee. Does that necessarily mean that she can’t afford the designer clothes in the store? Does that automatically mean that shes merely window shopping? Of course not! But the simple truth is that how your present yourself to the world dictates how the world treats you.

Human behavior (whether caused by innate characteristics or through learned behavior) is always trying to conceptualize and categorize people and things. We are all just trying to make sense of this thing called life. In that pursuit of order we utilize structure to create clusters in our mind for associations.

Some of these categories are positive and some are negative. An example are assumptions based on body weight and lifestyle.Furthermore, connections between style of clothes and personality are drawn …. conservative … bohemian … minimalist etc. It comes down to labeling you … checking you into a box so that you “understood”.

Is this behavior fair and morally astute? Not at all but most things in this world aren’t. Knowledge is power! The importance is being able to use your image to leverage your endeavors whether it be influencing a potential partner, a new employer or even those at a school reunion. You can control how people view you by how you dress.

How your present yourself in the world is important. What you wear is a representation in essence of the perception you want people to make about you. Just to clarify before broad generalizations are made about my sentiments. Not everyone is supposed to look like they just stepped out of a vogue photo shoot; that just not realistic and practical. But rather its important that the message you are sending to the world, is the one you want out there!

You are not what you wear bur rather what you wear is a part of you. Therefore it always good to be cognizant of outfits! An important question to ask before deciding on an outfit is “What does this outfit say about me”. Does it showcase (fill in the blank) i.e your sophistication or being casual and demur.

Make sure the message you are trying to showcase and what you are wearing matches. People will often make judgment and formulate opinion, the least you can do it take a little control of how they initially see you.

Article by Sandy Matters

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