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Does clothing matter so much? (first impressions)

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Okay, guys, bear with me here - its my first post and I'm somewhat tired, but I had this thought. Don't burn me if it just sounds like a load of ramblings bear with me for a bit. A year or two ago, I didn't particularly care much about personal appearance/grooming. I just sort of put on whatever random tracksuit I could find along with an aging t-shirt as soon as I got out of bed and went out, without bothering to sort out my hair, shave, or anything. However, recently I've got into fashion/grooming - now I gel my hair properly, and wear designer jeans and trendy clothing. I must admit, I was quite surprised (and very pleased) by the increased attention I got from the opposite sex - but I was even more surprised to find that people of the same gender (men) treated me with more respect and politeness, as if I was a more important person and my opinions mattered more, merely because of my appearance. So that brings me to my point - obviously, looking cool/trendy is important to the opposite sex to a certain degree, but does society as a whole tend to use such an (arguably) shallow way of measuring a person's worth the first time they meet them? I know appearance obviously matters significantly, but does it make such a massive difference, especially if they're of the same sex? Okay, when you specifically want to make a good impression - i.e. job interviews etc, but what about in normal everyday life? Sorry if I sound like I'm rambling or if this is a too deep a topic for 7pm, but I just wanted u guys opinions. Is society like this (its not necessarily a bad thing at all, I'm not complaining lol) or am I simply egotistically imagining that people now have a hugely better first impression of me?
post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by terminat
However, recently I've got into fashion/grooming - now I gel my hair properly, and wear designer jeans and trendy clothing. I must admit, I was quite surprised (and very pleased) by the increased attention I got from the opposite sex - but I was even more surprised to find that people of the same gender (men) treated me with more respect and politeness, as if I was a more important person and my opinions mattered more, merely because of my appearance.

I don't know why any of this should surprise you. Who grabs your attention more, a well (trendy) dressed woman or one that looks like a slob?
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I don't know why any of this should surprise you. Who grabs your attention more, a well (trendy) dressed woman or one that looks like a slob?
True. But isnt that about the fact that her trendiness makes her better-looking, so its partly an attraction thing? As opposed to a conscious decision of 'she dresses better, so she is better'?
post #4 of 22
Even when people consciously say that "looks and appearance don't matter, I treat everybody the same", I truly believe subconsciously it does make a difference in the majority of people.
post #5 of 22
It depends on context. If I'm talking to some slut, then yeah, I care what she is dressed like. If it's another Engineer I don't care if he's wearing it could be shorts and a stained t-shirt, I care about his mind not his chest.
post #6 of 22
Here's my thinking:

Assuming people with positive self-esteem tend to take better care of themselves, then;

If you don't feel good about yourself, there may be good reason since you know yourself better than I know you, so;

If you don't hold your own self in esteem, why should I take a risk on you?

Shallow? No. Prejudicial? Definitely. I don't have time to get to know everyone, so I use predetermined criteria - prejudices - to make overgeneralized decisions about who I will invest more time with, whether as an employer, a potential dating partner, or whatever. I just have to remember they are generalizations and guesses, wrong perhaps as often as right. I also have to remember not to use race, ethnicity, etc. in this process.

This may be what you are experiencing - you are making it through the first vetting now and people are willing to invest a little more in getting to know you.
post #7 of 22
Clothing matters, but there are a lot of other things that matter a lot more than clothing does - just don't lose sight of that fact and you'll be fine.
post #8 of 22
Only a few of the people I know personally, care about clothes. The rest of them gave up on their wardrobes, many years ago. That's their business. I do think that at certain times, a nicely turned out person, will get perhaps, a bit of preferred service. But those in the know, appreciate that it's sometimes impossible to judge another's financial assets, by how that person is dressed. The wealthiest woman I know, sews her own clothes. Some of the men I know, with plenty of money, haven't bought a new suit in twenty years. They just don't care.

When I was a child, I'd see someone flashily attired, or driving an expensive car, and I'd think . . . 'hmm, that person must have lots of money.' At that time, perhaps I was on the right track. Nowadays, oftentimes, it's the opposite.
post #9 of 22
Brands don't matter, neither does trendiness. What matters is self confidence, a solid sense of style, good hygeine and an ability to carry on a pleasant conversation.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenRocks
Brands don't matter, neither does trendiness. What matters is self confidence, a solid sense of style, good hygeine and an ability to carry on a pleasant conversation.

I'd agree.
1. Good Grooming
2. Well dressed for the ocassion: 1. clean 2. fits well 3. well taken care of 4. sense of style but appropriate
3. Well mannered and well spoken
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenRocks
Brands don't matter, neither does trendiness. What matters is self confidence, a solid sense of style, good hygeine and an ability to carry on a pleasant conversation.
Agreed. For me, a person wearing gaudy visibly-branded peices of trendy clothing would create a more negative first impression as compared to a person wearing the same type of clothing minus the trendy logo's.
post #12 of 22
Having a sense of style requires some attention to clothing--details of which are diverse.
post #13 of 22
With a first impression, there are very few items one can judge. However, it is assumed that most people dress themselves, and therefore imbue their attire with some measure of their character and tastes, so it has a certain validity as a judgeable characteristic. Of course other things count, too. Regards, Huntsman
post #14 of 22
I've always likened the aspect of dressing well to be that of seeing a beautiful piece of art; if the proprtions are good, and the clothes fit, you will look like a star. THAT is what gets attention. A well thought out ensemble, mixed with little details (such as monogrammed cufflinks, a fine watch, good pair of shoes, etc.), produces a beautiful canvas.
post #15 of 22
Playing a broken record here, but there are some plainly obvious attitude shifts you will experience depending on what you wear.

Try going to a decent restaurant in sneakers and jeans, and again in a suit and tie.

I don't see this as people being shallow or anything of that sort. I think it's just a nice benefit to being well-dressed all the time, and encourages sartorial behavior. \t
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