What Does Your Attire Say About You?

Have you ever ever seen someone who’s attire is so visually aesthetic that you can’t help but turn your head? Another question, have you ever seen someone who was dressed so horrendously that you wonder to yourself how they even had the confidence to be seen in public?  The main driving factor behind these conscious or subconscious thoughts about others mainly derives from the fact that ones attire sends nonverbal cues to one another. In essences, this post is meant to enlighten those on the matter of the communicative nature of your attire.

Many people will tell you the importance of dressing for success and countless surveys will illustrate the importance of dressing up for a company.  A survey demonstrates that some who is dressed professionally is found to be 41 % more likely to be promoted; this figure rises to a whopping 55% in certain industries.  Also, a survey conducted by Peter W. Cardon and  Ephriam  A. Okoro found the following:

Altogether, there were 16 characteristics grouped into six scales: (1) authoritative scale: authoritative, influential, powerful; (2) competent scale: self-confident, competent, professional; (3) productive scale: hardworking, productive; (4) trustworthy scale: trustworthy, dependable; (5) friendly scale: agreeable, friendly, cheerful, approachable; and (6) creative scale: creative, inspired. Respondents ranked each of the 16 adjectives on a scale from 1 (casual attire) to 5 (formal attire) to indicate how attire projected these various characteristics.

The finding in these surveys states that 64-73% of students preferred to work at a company where the dress code is business casual.  On top of this, many young professionals  are perceived as wanting to dress down more casually as opposed to corporate dress code. However, although many young professionals prefer business casual attire and some prefer corporate dress code, it is seen that the majority of young professionals prefer business casual in a workplace rather than a pure casual workplace.

Over time, business programs have geared their academia to cover critical thinking and problem solving skills as part of their educational process but as of recent, the program have been implementing  “softer” competencies such as  communication and interpersonal skills.  It is undeniable that attire has communicative power as well as cultural and social significance.

: attributes of dress, homogeneity, and conspicuousness. Attributes of dress include color, material and style, and each can represent different symbolic meanings. Specific colors are known to communicate subliminal messages, and specific colors of clothing are chosen to convey a certain attitude or to create a particular mindset in the audience. Similarly, the style of dress can convey status and power — everyone, for instance, has heard the phrase “power suit.”

A 1977 article by Rollman demonstrates that a professor who was dressed in a more casual manner was rated as having less status than when that same professor wore something more professional as in a suit and tie.



















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