Monday, February 13, 2017

Clothing makes the man...

You've probably heard that saying before.  I have found it is mostly true.  Well, depending on the circumstances.

Many years ago, I went to a seminar, held by one of my mentors in our profession.  He said to me, "You have a beard and a leather jacket - are bikers your target market?"


"If you want to cultivate a wealthier clientele, you need to look like you belong to that clientele.  As an experiment, you should wear a suit to work everyday for a week."  I explained to him that our area was more rural, and people just don't wear suits.  "Just try it and get back to me."

I did.  I noticed a marked difference in how people interacted with me: definitely cooler.  One guy even said to me, "I don't trust people in suits.  Bankers and lawyers wear suits, and I don't trust 'em."

I went back to my jeans and polo shirt.  I also learned from that experience: be myself, but dress for the occasion/situation.

As a boat captain, guests definitely react differently to you when you are wearing a white shirt and epaulettes, as opposed to the "performance shirts" I wore in my most recent job.

As a retired guy, I wear shorts (or jeans) and a polo or a t-shirt most of the time.  I dress up when the occasion calls for it (marryin' and buryin').

I mentioned in the train post that we stopped at a hippie shop and I bought a tie-dye shirt...

I wore the shirt today.  We did some grocery shopping.  Some people looked and smiled.  A few looked like they smelled something bad.  When wearing a polo while shopping, I am pretty much invisible.

I think of wearing the tie-dye as ironic; I am a pretty straight-laced old guy.  Hey, I was a hippie of sorts back in the day... as in: 40+ years ago.  Had long hair and played in a band.  I didn't have any tie-dye back then.  The first tie-dye I ever bought was one that had a guitar shape on it, and that was from a farmers market when we were boat cruising about 8 or 9 years ago.  This is my second.  I think it is kinda funny, but it does evoke different emotions from people.

It makes me smile.  And you know what they say: "Smile - it will make people wonder what you're up to."


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