Judging A Book by Its Cover
Are you one of the those people who head for the shops early on Boxing Day or catch the end-of-financial year sale just so you can stock up on more new clothes and accessories, then find yourself with an over-flowing wardrobe full of clothes, some of which you may never wear? Or you might have a few favourite pieces of clothing which you wear over and over again in spite of this wardrobe full of new clothes? In her book, “You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You,” Dr Jennifer Baumgartner, clinical psychologist, states that there is a reason for this. Apparently, the clothes we wear are a manifestation of our deeper life issues.
However, whatever those life issues may be, we don’t have to be defined by them. Dr Baumgartner argues that once we can identify the psychology behind our clothing choices, we can then dress the way we want to be perceived by others and in a personal style that suits our identity. I think many men have already caught on to this idea because I only have to look around me on a regular weekday in the city to see men dressed in suits. Much like how Cinderella’s ball gown transformed her from the look of a mistreated step-daughter to a princess-like figure, formal suits for men can make ordinary men look extraordinarily sharp.
Why Wear Formal Suits?
- To make a good first impression. According to psychologists,“first impressions” (i.e. the first few seconds when someone forms an early opinion of the other person based on his personal presentation, body language, mannerisms, tone of voice, facial expressions, language and demeanour). That is precisely why people wear suits and dress more formally when attending job interviews. They hope to make a lasting first impression with their behaviour, attitude and personal presentation so that they would stand out from the other job applicants and hopefully, influence the prospective employer’s decision to hire them. Another area where first impressions can make a huge difference is in the area of customer relations and sales. According to the Queensland Department’s business and industry advisory, customers make early decisions about a salesperson, and therefore how much time they are willing to give that salesperson, based on the salesperson’s appearance, body language, mannerisms, tone of voice, facial expressions, language and demeanour.
- To dress appropriately for a particular occasion. In Western culture, there is a dress code that helps us know how to dress the part. According to Glynis Traill-Nash, a fashion editor in The Australian newspaper, the dressiest of these codes is the White Tie, which is rarely seen these days and only worn by nobility or for government galas. Next is the Black Tie attire, which is a tuxedo, white dinner shirt and a black bow tie, cufflinks and shirt studs.
Then is the Cocktail attire, which is a black suit, white shirt and necktie. Next is the Lounge Suit, which can be a navy, grey, blue or taupe suit; optional vest; shirt and tie and a pochette (an envelope-shaped handbag used by men or women). Finally is the Smart Casual attire, which is a sports coat or blazer; trousers or chinos; collared-shirt in pale colours, gingham or stripes; tie and pochette are optional; but no jeans. Dressing appropriately for the occasion is also a way to show courtesy and respect to the people around us (e.g. at a wedding, church, when meeting a very important person).
- Formal suits engender a certain respect for the wearer’s position and rank. That’s why we often see board members, executives and managerial staff of large corporations in formal suits. I have even heard of doctors doing their rounds in hospitals wearing suits so as not to be mistaken for nursing staff. Such is the power of a suit.
That’s why there are men’s clothing stores that sell formal suits for every occasion; from slim fit to skinny fit to classic black to three-piece charcoal to textured navy. For the convenience of the customer, they also sell accessories such as shirts, ties, belts and shoes to go with these suits, so that customers don’t have to make a separate trip elsewhere to buy these accessories.However, not all suits and accessories are the same nor are they for every occasion. That’s why the best part about these men’s clothing stores is that they have salespeople who know their wares well and have the know-how to help customers find the right suit for every occasion.
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