Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How important is it to wear stereotypical clothes?

Ever since I stepped into the arena of image management work, I did come across people who would say – “I don’t care what clothes somebody is wearing!” or “I judge people by their talent...” or “I don’t think much about what I wear” and so forth. All of us agree that what we say is important because that is how we communicate to others. But some people overlook the fact that communication is not just about words and but it’s also about the visuals attached with the words. If there are two people who meet you with the same business proposal – one dressed like a beggar & the other like a millionaire; who will you trust?
How we appear visually serves as part of the message we communicate to others. In fact, the contribution of visual elements like dressing, grooming, body language, etiquette etc. is around 80% of all communication that we do. That is why sometimes you don’t believe when a person says something, maybe because they don’t look the part, their gestures/ body language are not confident or their mannerisms contradict them.
Whether it is a social interaction or a work situation people have a certain expectation of us in terms of visual appearance and if we don’t meet those, people find it hard to trust us and we fail to send the appropriate communication. A business person should be dressed in clothes that communicate business, a fashionista on the other hand will send a wrong message if dressed in business clothes and must wear something trendy, chic. Stereotypes matter and you can also add a pinch of your personal style to the same!