The other day I had an employee of mine come by the shop after attending a networking event. We spent a good hour talking about things like the perception of our brand and our industry, along with ideas on how to help the average guy see the value in investing in quality menswear.
As we were talking, he told me about how he’s perceived amongst his own circle of friends. Whenever he goes out, even if it’s just to another friend’s house to watch Netflix on a Sunday evening, his default attire is a nice pair of pants and a button-up shirt. Whereas his friends almost always default to a T-shirt and jeans or sweats.
While he does get asked whey he dresses so well all the time, it’s not in a challenging way. In fact, more often than not, his friends will tell him that they wish they could dress like him, they just feel like they can’t pull it off.
Our conversation made me think of a bunch of different things, many of which I’ll be fleshing out in future posts and videos.
But the one that stood out to me the most was the inconsistency between the caliber of his friends and the way they choose to dress.
These guys are not slackers who are sitting around waiting for life to happen to them. They’re young men who are ambitious about their lives and are seeking to shape the world in their own image. The problem is that their clothing gives absolutely no indication of those ambitions or goals.
I want you to take a few seconds and think about the words you’d use to describe yourself. What are they? Do you like those words?
If not, I want you to think of the words you’d like to use to describe yourself.
Now stop reading and look down at what you’re wearing.
If I were to see you across the street from me, would I use the same words to describe you or the person you aspire to be? If not, then why in the world are you wearing what you are?
Clothing may not be a huge factor in determining the value of a man, his character, or his impact on the world, but it is the absolute first thing we use to tell the rest of the world who we are, and people are going to assess whether or not we’re worth getting to know better based on what we wear.
Are we wrong in that assessment?
Of course we can be. I’ve misjudged poor men favorably because of their clothing and vice versa. But, more often than not, we’re right. Because we can use our clothing to tell the world who we are, the tribe to which we belong, and whom we aspire to become.
Which brings us back to the original question: Are your clothes lying about you? Are they telling the world you’re something you’re not? Do they signal that you belong to a different group than you do? Do they adequately balance where you currently are with where you want to be?
If not, then you’re not dressed well and you’re missing out on opportunities to meet and develop solid relationships with people who can help you on your journey.
Why set yourself up to have to disprove the person your appearance says you are?
Be consistent in what your appearance says and what you actually are on the inside.