The following message should be passed on to the next generation, as a word of advice from their not-so-distant predecessors: what you wear doesn’t make you who you are.
The true modality of this world is, as harsh as it might sound, that who a person decides to be counts much more than what a person decides to wear.
In other words, if you put a cat in a hat, it is still just a cat; and you can gift wrap a pair of socks in the trendiest wrapping paper money will buy, but at the end of the day . . . they are just socks.
On the other side of the spectrum, many people might argue that what a man or woman wears will drastically affect certain areas of their life.
Psychology Today claims that “women judge the same man as differentially attractive (in terms of his looks) as a function of the status of his clothes.”
This might entirely be true; after all, the first impression anyone gives is how they look, and it can be an immediate turnoff for people if they meet someone with food on his or her face, messy hair, untied shoelaces, and so on.
That being said, dressing nice is always better for a person’s image.
If someone is headed for an interview, they should always look presentable. A traditional wedding will always require the proper black-tie dress code. And meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time in sweats might definitely give off the wrong impression.
According to Business Insider, “Your appearance strongly influences other people’s perception of your financial success, authority, trustworthiness, intelligence, and suitability for hire or promotion.”
However, no one should try to compensate for what they feel they are lacking. A pair of Brooks Brothers slacks and a Ralph Lauren button-down polo are not going to suddenly make you a straight-A student if you weren’t already one in your underwear.
Furthermore, The Independent points out, “If you made four men and four women swap clothes for a month, once they’d got used to the idea and stopped sniggering they would behave—at least in private—very much as they always did.”
Living in this day and age, it is understandable to feel like society demands that you must dress a certain way so that others can perceive you a certain way.
However, individually we need to stop and appreciate ourselves for who we really are when we aren’t wearing $2,000 Off-white raincoats.
The fact of the matter is 20 years from now, none of us will be wearing the shirt we are wearing right now, whether it is a Target generic brand or a nine-hundred-dollar lime-green Gucci laminated jersey tank.
Sometimes clothes shrink, sometimes they get lost, sometimes they get stolen, and sometimes they are put in storage for years to collect dust and rot away.
However, we keep moving forward, name-brand pants or not.
Dressing nice is never frowned upon, and it should not be; if we don’t look presentable, then people inherently will not trust us or will be turned off by us.
However, belonging to the clothes and trading your identity in for an expensive shirt is not what you want to do. We must accept ourselves as people first before sliding into the Dolce and Gabbana Gold Fit Stretch Jeans (with a patch).
Once you can look in the mirror and realize that you are capable without any help, then as a reward, you can march around with thousands of dollars worth of fabric on your back, and you don’t even need a reason.