Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
Holdfast, I am expecting an essay from you, btw.
I'm tired, so you'll have to make do with the Cliff Notes instead... :)
- I like it when someone else takes care of their appearance & dresses according to an aesthetic I like. It makes my day prettier, and I like that.
- But I don't actually care when people do not. If you like, the extent I care about other people's dress goes from zero up. No negative numbers.
- I think dress can affect behaviour - for better and for worse - but it's a lot more complex to get right than simply putting everyone in a smart suit & tie. It's a dynamic process between personal & cultural expectations of your role and how individuals see themselves within those two frameworks.
- Personally I don't like looking like a slob in public situations (at home is different!), so my ability to work would be adversely impacted by dressing like a slob for it. I can actually give a concrete example of this: I once agreed to urgently attend an assessment at a moment's notice early in the morning (I can pick & choose when I work, and normally don't take those jobs) and didn't have a chance to smarten up for it. I was ratty with my colleagues and while I still did my job correctly, I felt bad enough about how I behaved that, after I went home & got ready properly, I went back bearing both apologetic words and presents.
Random but related story:
- one of the institutions I sometimes work within recently reintroduced a uniform for its nursing staff. There were seriously mixed & strong opinions from staff about it. Some liked the idea of identifying with a clear role, others worried it would create an artificial barrier. There were many other issues on both sides of the debate. On balance, I think a majority now appreciate the simplicity of the uniform and I think it makes life much easier for the clients. This is in a setting with quite confused clients, but I think would be equally valid in other settings too.
- I mention this because uniforms are a concretisation of the idea that clothes are part of creating a clear role and group identity. This harks directly back to the point I made above about what you choose to wear being a dynamic and complex process. You can read between the lines to extend the argument in both directions in fairly self-evident ways.