Body language interpretation and marking ourselves out
Often dress marks out who we are and who we believe others to be, but we have to be cautious because it is not always a reliable indicator.
There are examples of this daily on the news. Unidentified “African-American” males stopped by police, because they are in dark pants and a dark hoodie.
In-fact, this has become so common place as the “description” of the assailant that parents are actually instructing their young men to actually throw these articles of clothing out of their wardrobes.
There are countless examples as well, with regards, to immigration and racial profiling cases of gentlemen that have dark hair, dark beards dressing in a particular way and “fitting” into a certain image that causes alarm.
It is easy to draw irrational conclusions about who may or may not be a danger to us depending on clothing or what someone else is wearing.
Criminals know this very well. Some of the very best conmen dress in $1,500 suits and frequent the most fashionable bars and hotels.
They wish to appear credible because they seek fat prey.
Body language interpretation, conventions and mismatching
Dress may – and I stress may – indicate a mismatch between personalities.
I recall working a sporting event a few years ago, where the director of the Athletic Department to a major University was to attend. He was seeking a private Chiropractor to potentially take on as the University’s team practitioner.
The moment he came to the team tent, wearing a suite and brown shoes, I just had that feeling we were not from the same planet.
You might laugh. You might say that I jumped hastily to the wrong conclusion, but the meeting was short and no agreement was completed that day.
The shoes were just the first indicator. From there it went from bad to worse.
The language he spoke was so different from mine that it might just as well have been Martian, although we were both English.
So whatever situation you are dressing for, consider carefully how you wish to be perceived by others. It is not a question of fairness and justice.
Some sections of society require certain standards and if we fail to comply with them, others jump to conclusions. They may be wrong, but they do so nonetheless.
If you don’t bother to dress appropriately for an interview because you don’t agree with the convention, don’t be surprised if you fail at the first hurdle.
If you don’t wear an evening suit when the dress code for dinner is formal, don’t be surprised if you are refused admission to the dining room.
Be selfish, but in this respect. Think of what you wish to achieve rather than that which you wish to rebel against.