Is the world too vain and superficial? Is too much value placed on looking good and presentable? Do the people who do not dress or groom up to a certain mark suffer? Is looking good only important to certain professions, walks of life and occasions?
Those are the bulk of questions that come to our mind and we try and seek out answers to, today. This is an open discussion and we appreciate all your thoughts, so shoot them!
It is the first impression
Call it being vain or call it design, but the first thing we notice when we meet a stranger is how one looks. Then we process that information on the basis of our perceptions, our culture, our mindsets… so many parameters. So without saying a word the said stranger has already created an impression (good or bad) in your head. And undeniably that happens to everyone.
Say in an interview, when the interviewer forms an opinion by looking at you, you in a way as an interviewee is doing the same. Suppose your interviewer was a heavily tattooed man, you would assume him to be unconventional or it might even shock you.
But it is not the last
So, you have made the first impression but what happens when you open your mouth; show your resume or portfolio. Well, the first impression may become deeper, reverse or simply become a “but”. It can happen like, yes he/she is really qualified BUT he/she dressed so frumpily. So in that case both the opinions are kept, and they are conflicting with one another.
So which one opinion wins? That brings us to the next thing.
It is pretty individual
At forums, we have seen employers comment that they do not hire men with unclean nails or women without a manicure. To this statement a woman replied that it is expensive to have a manicure and plus anyone can go get a manicure but everyone does not possess required talent for a job. This incident may seem ridiculous or legit to you depending on your conditioning.
But the truth of the matter is, the choice of how much importance is placed on looks varies from employer to employer and profession to profession as well.
How to play safe
By noticing what everybody else wears to the work place is the easiest way to get an insight into the work dress code at a particular office. To play safe, simply play along. In fact, research shows that grooming oneself better and at par with the workplace ethic can affect your promotions as well.
How to play risky
But what if your inner voice tells you that you have got to be different and you would not fit into the mould. The good news for you is that the rigid moulds of the last century dress codes are breaking. Not all professional environments are conservative anymore, and there is room for being your own person. Start in small doses, test out the waters and take it from there. Say you have been wearing basic colors to work always, if you would wear a deep oxblood skirt, it is not swaying too far either.
Does it affect your efficiency?
Well, depends. Try working in sweats and try working in dress pants and see for yourself. When do you “feel” more productive, “are” really productive and “perceived” really productive. For us, sweatpants don’t work.
The final conclusion?
Yes, professionally looks do play an important role but there is room for originality and individuality in today’s times. You can experiment and get away with it too. But perceptions weigh heavily on professional life, and hence we would not recommend to head out to your work in a track suit and disheveled hair anytime soon, unless of course you are a fitness trainer. But then too, maintain the hair!
What is your perspective on the issue? Tell us in the comment section below!
If you need help with dressing for your success download the Wink n Pout app and get customized look suggestions for yourself.