In some occasions we are left to hear expressions such as “you can’t judge a book by its cover” in reference on how the outward appearance can draw deception. Despite everything, we prefer to say “picture is worth a thousand words.”
There is no doubt that the image of a person worth more than everything that is said or written about it, and it is always important for its presentation in society. In this regard, Mark Twain said, “A naked men have little or no influence on society.”
The world is stimulated by perceptions based on stereotypes, particularly in the social sector, in work and in business. Stereotypes are ideas, true or false, right or wrong, but also very real, created to put the person at a certain social level.
It is a matter of “being and appearing”, of “form and substance”, in which the appearance and content go hand in hand and they must be guided and changed constantly. A bad image can affect your credibility, both in the workplace and in society. And while our personal image has little or nothing to deal with our skills, capabilities or intentions, we must pay particular attention, because the success or failure of our ability may depend on it.
The personal appearance is a set of resources, accessories and “external” behaviors who serve to those who see us for categorize us in one way or another. Immediately comes to your mind the clothing, in fact, because it is one of the main resources for the projection of our image.
In recent years we discussed about the end of the tie, of the death of classic apparel (both smoking, tight or frac) and the triumph of streetwear. We are witnessing to a major change in the habits, encouraged and driven by public figures, celebrities, athletes, singers, etc.. they show themselves in public with their alternative style, even in “red carpet” events, marking the use of the tie and the suit as a piece of the past characterized by its rigidity and excessive formalism, rather than a sign of elegance and good taste.
The “Enclothed cognition”:
There is no doubt that, do not think about the suit would be very convenient, but, for example, is good for our work? In the workplace, the way of dressing has relevance insofar as it brings some improvements to the wearer, which can be lost if he dresses without getting attention. A new way of thinking ensures that the clothes we wear deeply affect our job performance.
In 2012, professors at Northwestern University (EEUU) Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky have defined, in a study that has taken their name then, the concept of Enclothed cognition to describe the systematic influence that clothing has on psychological processes on those who wear it.
The professors came to a conclusion: the clothes that we associate with a specific occupation mean that its wearers are more concentrated and more skillful in the work, without taking into account if they are professionals or not.
Adam and Galinsky came to say that the concept of enclothed cognition works in two ways: it depends both on the symbolic meaning we attach to clothing, both from physical experience that the clothes they had. “Clothing items invade body and brain, making the wearer feel a different psychological condition” this is what Galinsky provides in a report of the New York Times. The clothing is not only changing the way we behave, but in addition, it also changes the perception that others have of us.
In a study that has already become a best seller (carried out in the mid-90s), a professor of psychology at the University of Eastern Virginia, Tracy Morris, has found that competition, composure and level of knowledge are perceived with attributes that change enormously depending of clothing you are wearing.
It is not difficult to carry the study of Professor Morris also in other working environments: people who dress very casual in the office are always having a worse assessment by the managers or by other peers or, at least, it is more difficult for them to be respected .
The impact of your personal appearance:
Representation: We must always keep in mind that the image of a company is given by the people who work there, those which convert to its ambassadors and representatives who have the responsibility to transmit the credibility of the products or services they offer. For this reason personal image is an important form of respect and good manners in the workplace towards customers, directors and colleagues; but it is also a way to reflect the interest that you have towards your work or towards oneself.
Visual power: some studies have shown that 83% of the decisions we take are based on what we see, because the image, rather than an issue of vanity or superficial, is a fundamental part of the opinion of the people. Many studies of social communication have demonstrated the power of the visual channel in the interactions between humans, given that the visual cues are 3 to 5 times more powerful than auditory signals. Since that covers 90% of our body surface, the clothing has fundamental importance, especially when the people around us perceive our presence.
The first impression is the one that counts: it is established in the first few seconds, and so first impressions are powerful and they should not be underestimated. Looking at a person before speaking with, your mind is already trying to figure out what a possible conversation will bring to.
Using our personal experiences we are used to put people into categories: we find a feature that has value for us and we associate the person to that feature. If what you wear was the only thing to make yourself known, make sure that every item is sending the message that the situation demands.
The importance of colors and patterns:
colors and patterns are powerful; some keep our attention on, others accentuate our natural shades, others affect our emotions. For this reason we must first understand which are the shades that make us reach a positive result and which are not. Later, we have to choose the message we want to send. A man dressed in a blue pinstripe suit, a blue shirt with doublecuff, white collar and a red tie transmits power and authority. A man dressed in a brown suit, brown shirt and a tie light conveys confidence. Both men wear a suit, but they transmit two different messages.
Symbol of influence and authority:
many sports coaches wear the suit during the meetings for one reason only: because the world may identify them easily into “those who rule.” The formal dress, which has origins in military field, is designed to highlight the strength of a man. If it is well packaged and made with appropriate fabrics, it is a sign of authority and it draws attention. For example, the uniform of a police officer, the gallons of a general, the white coat of a doctor, are examples that make us understand the authority of the people in their field.
it is easier to have a good impression of a well-dressed man rather than the reverse. Usually, it is perceived as more intelligent, prepared or worthy of respect and admiration. We are in a world where everything is bought and sold, even if we are not fully conscious. Learn how to love you and to be able to sell your image. You must make sure that your gestures, verbal language, appearance and dress code properly talk about of your professionalism.
The effects of your personal appearance within yourself: clothing does not only change the way do others see us, but it also changes the way we see ourselves. A study done in 1994 directed by Professor Yoon-Hee Kwon, Northern Illinois University, has demonstrated how our clothing affects the assessment of our ability. Study participants who thought they were wearing the right clothing had a better perception of their competence, responsibility, professionalism or intelligence.
one of the powers of clothing is that it can transform mental status of a person. Gird you as a businessman and probably you will behave like a businessman. The effect is powerful; the most incredible thing is that few people practice it.
from Roman legions to the U.S. Marines, the greatest armies know that well-dressed soldiers have more discipline than scruffy militants. Inspections and military “magazines” are still relevant today not because military shiny boots are useful to win wars or because a perfectly ironed uniform is good to make the enemy fall in love, but because it instructs the soldier to take care of the details. And the details make the difference in a battle. Similarly, a person who dresses in an appropriate manner, learns the value of their own discipline. Learn how to plan and give proper time to your problems, to get the best results. This person is getting ready all day, anticipating his needs to take precedence over the challenges that might arise during the day. A person who dresses with discipline organizes its clothing in a way that meets his needs since he gets up in the morning until he go back to sleep in in the evening: hours at the office, meals and a few drinks after work.
Admiration and respect: dress properly takes time. The shirts should be perfectly ironedthe shoes should be polished and brushed jackets. For this reason it is necessary to respect the effort that each person employed in dressing. When you see a well-dressed man, you shall surely give more importance and give him more respect rather than criticize him for his impeccability, due only to your own insecurities.
you will do attention to the knot of his tie and appreciate the fact that it will cost 15 minutes and 5 attempts to do it. The mutual respect and admiration between two gentlemen occurs when both recognize the efforts of the other in getting dressed.
Other aspects of the image:
it doesn’t count only the image but also the body language and verbal one are important in workplace. It is not only important to dress properly, but also to treat others in an assertive way. All these aspects contribute to our positive image but also that one of the company we represent. Some basic tips that we must not forget to project a professional image of great outcome include:
Always pay attention to your personal hygiene: never neglect the appearance at the grassroots level; a person neglected in his personal hygiene is not the right person that a company want to hire and shows a gross negligence which may affect also in the workplace and in your career, such as the lack of interest or personal aspirations.
Pay attention to oral and written language: even what you say speaks for you, so avoid misspellings and/or drafting mistakes and always behaved in a courteous manner. A manager must be always able to communicate with fluency and propriety of language.
Pay attention to your outfit: it is important to be able to choose it according to commitments to the profession and the company you work for. You must maintain a formal , sober and elegant way to have more chances to be considered an expert in your field, since there is a direct and positive relationship between personal appearance and perception of quality of service provided. If you are not capable alone, seek help from a professional person who can advise you.
the team of Ottavio Nuccio Gala is able to help you in choosing your wedding suit, providing you a highly qualified staff.