CULTURESOCIÉTÉ

Don’t dress to Impress!

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When you meet someone for the first time you are left with an effect, a feeling, or an image as a consequence of that experience. The weight of that person’s presence leaves a mark on you, not literally but on the surface of your mind. That feeling or image is how Webster’s defines an impression. We all strive to make a great first impression but it seems we have learned ways to trick the mind of others and we have them focus on the surface and nothing beyond that. We all call it “being well dressed”.

I’m curious to hear your opinion. Is the well dressed man the most impressive in the crowd? What does being well dressed even mean?

Your red shirt is Bogosse, the brown monogrammed belt screams Louis Vuitton, green pants are Gucci and your blue shoes are Prada! Damn that’s fly!! Can anyone look any BETTER than that? Well, it depends. If you are headed to a clown convention I’m sure you would be deemed the best dressed by all in attendance. The thing is you are NOT an actual clown and I bet you did not intend to look like one. You put that ensemble together to make an impression on the people at that rooftop party you’re heading to in the city and your intention was to leave a mark.

You: Penthouse, please!

When the elevator doors opened this is what I heard (saw): Please look at me. Can you tell all the designers I have on? I spent a lot of money on these clothes, therefore I’m sure I look like a million bucks.

The reality: I only have 12 bucks left in my checking account and my rent could go unpaid this month if the server spills some wine on this shirt or if I step on some gum with these shoes. Well, maybe the Nordstrom associate will feel my pain and take all this stuff back anyway when I go return it tomorrow.

We are convinced that the labels on a man’s back can tell you who he is and what he’s worth. But they are just labels on his back! Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to take away the essence of buying luxurious items, trust me I’m all for it! Like I said in my previous post, what I can’t afford today keeps me motivated. But this is what’s happening nowadays. We have designers making “affordable luxury”. I’m sorry to be the first to tell you but there’s no such thing my friends. That bag you’re so proud of is not made of real leather, that belt buckle you’re showing off is not palladium nor solid brass, that watch is not even worth the cost of a battery replacement and pretty much all that stuff that glitters on you is not gold. Don’t be fooled, they are watering down the real luxury that they know Joe Blow cannot afford while still offering the satisfaction of owning “designer” items. What’s sad is that you probably didn’t know that.

We are not all billionaires or even multi-millionaires. Most of us don’t even have more than $5 000 in the bank at any given time. Yet, we act like that’s all that makes a person worthy of admiration. We lie to ourselves and to everybody else using our clothes as disguises, and labels as weapons. I know you look at yourself in the mirror right before taking that selfie and say “I’m about to kill them in the club tonight”. You’re wearing every haute couture label under the sun, therefore you are by default the baddest chick or dude in the building.

Let’s set the record straight, the people who actually have the type of money you pretend to have strive to make an impression on people too but they go about it in a different way. They don’t buy the most expensive boat shoes of the season, they buy yachts. They don’t pick the best filters on Instagram, they collect art. They don’t care about popping 20 overpriced bottles at the club, they buy vineyards. They don’t flaunt empty monogrammed designer wallets, they flaunt investment portfolios.

Next time you’re flossing in front of that mirror, I suggest you take a closer look at your reflection, maybe you’ll realize something is missing. Maybe it’s that big withdrawal you just made from your checking, maybe it’s a bit of self esteem. Here, deposit this reality check into your mental account. A “well” dressed man is not necessarily a rich man and a rich man is not always “well” dressed. The way you look definitely says a ton about you but is that all there is? I don’t think so…

You can make an impression on people with the way you dress as long as you use your style as an expression of your mind. Show that you are creative, easy-going, ambitious, focused or whatever else you want to show because being rich is not the only impressive thing there is. Part of feeling good is also looking good! But stop running around trying to be someone you’re not. Stop dressing to impress. Dress to inspire, dress to express, dress to provoke, dress to influence, dress to be you!

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