With casual dress at work and relaxing dress codes throughout most of the modern world, it may seem like dressing well has become an afterthought. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking how you dress doesn’t really matter. Dressing well pays dividends well beyond the cost of clothes and effort involved in looking your best on a regular basis. Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t neglect the way you dress.
1. It’s part of your first impression
It’s said not to judge a book by its cover, but it’s done anyways. First impressions matter, whether we like it or not and how you dress is a huge factor in how you are initially perceived. As a matter of fact, in almost every instance, most of what a person sees when they look at you isn’t you, but your clothing. Dressing well helps maximize your odds of making a good first impression. This paradigm also holds for general appearance, not just clothing. Even the slickest suit can’t hide poor hygiene and grooming. Similarly, don’t expect a multi-thousand dollar fragrance (yep, that’s a real thing) to give a poor outfit a pass.
2. You never know who you’ll meet
You may think you don’t need to make a first impression on anyone at the grocery store or at the post office. But do you really know that? You never know who you’ll run into while running mundane errands. Looking your best means dressing your best. Granted, it makes sense to dress appropriately for the occasion. You aren’t going to wear a five thousand dollar suit to the grocery store or the gym, but you don’t want to roam around looking like a homeless guy every time you’re out in public just because you don’t have specific person in mind to impress. It’s worth being ready, because you never know who you’ll meet.
3. Dressing well gets you noticed
Well dressed guys get noticed. Men, women, business opportunities, romantic opportunities, you name it, being well dressed will increase your odds of being noticed–and, unless you plan on holding up a convenience store, being noticed is a good thing. Being noticed opens potential doors to opportunities. It’s similar to making a good first impression, but to the next level: you’re manufacturing an first impression and subsequent interaction that wasn’t going to be there at all. Dressing well can not only turn a bad first impression to a good one, it can also turn ‘no impression at all’ into a good first impression.
4. Your clothes are communication
Your clothes communicate more than a first impression. The attention to detail required to dress your best is communicated to everyone around you, and everyone you interact with. Dressing well tells people you’re attentive, thoughtful and resourceful–without you having to open your mouth. Control the narrative your outfit tells about you by dressing well.
5. It’ll make you more successful
As odd as it sounds, dressing better will actually make you work better, according to a Yale University study from a few years ago and numerous studies prior. Men in powerful positions typically dress well, and as such, we have been conditioned to associate dressing well with power and success. This projection can help you be more successful in many areas, from work negotiations to dating. We’ll make use of this common theme throughout articles we write: Use social norms and conditioning to your advantage.
Dressing well is not enough
We’ve highlighted some of the key reasons you should be dressing well in most situations out in public. However, don’t use fashion as a crutch. Though they are important, self improvement doesn’t revolve entirely around appearances and first impressions. Take steps to improve other aspects of your life, such as becoming a more interesting person.
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