(What instant change can you make to alter people’s perception of you?)
The photograph above is of two different people’s shoes at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
As humans we are dominated by our sense of vision. We draw a tremendous amount of information and conclusions about the world according to its appearance. That’s why you spend more money for Apple products, pick the prettiest flower at the Farmer’s Market, or choose to date the more attractive mate; we are all superficial and have a bias towards aesthetics.
When you look at the shoes at the bottom of the photo what words come to mind? Maybe he’s stylish, professional, or polished. What words come to mind when you see the shoes at the top of the photo? Maybe he’s trendy, boyish, and immature.
Judging solely from the information from the above photo, which of those two people would you rather do business with? Which of those two people would you rather date? Which of those two people would you rather go to a museum with?
So you can see how using as little information as someone’s shoes and part of their pants, your mind already draws conclusions about these people. And you have no idea what their face, physique, body language, expression, skin color, or the rest of them looks like from the ankles up. So what if we were to factor in what the entire person looks like now? If you can draw that much information from just someone’s shoes, then what about the entire package?
Your appearance matters.
Every day as you see people walking down the street, sitting at the office, or interacting with people at bars, we are all processing each other. We instantaneously and subconsciously process each other as potential mates, threats, or friends. This is based on several things, but one of the most important components that can readily be altered is the way you dress. That’s why celebrities have stylists and movies have costume designers. They know they’re creating an image, and an image is created primarily on how someone looks. Much like a corporation, you are a brand.
Most women understand the importance of appearance, therefore they embrace fashion a lot more than men. Most men think they’re above it because it isn’t manly or that it doesn’t apply to them. Before you accept that, read the counter argument here on the site Masculine Style.
Your hoodie, your shoes, your watch, your pants, your shorts etc. are all going to speak volumes about you before you even say a word. Although a person’s initial opinion of you will change when (and if) they get to know you, the mind searches for patterns and has a tendency to stick to whatever judgement it first created. So if you want to improve your brand, you have to control the basic way that people see you. If you want to make a good first impression on the world, you first have to accept that your appearance matters.
[Photo: Two pairs of shoes at LACMA. The feet at the top of the photo actually belong to that of a girl. Why modern trends dictate women dress like men is beyond me. Men appreciate feminity in a woman.]