Is anyone else tired of always seeing t-shirts and jeans?

Sloppy clothes, careless grooming, poor manners – all it takes to set yourself apart from “the crowd” is to NOT be that way.  It’s as if those futuristic TV shows of the 50’s and 60’s have all come true, except instead of everyone wearing tidy space uniforms in the 21st Century, we’re wearing some version of a big, baggy t-shirt.

I thought I was the only one who’d had my fill of the sloppiness until I saw this recent Men’s “Style Guy” blog response that followed the question, “Shouldn’t people dress nicer than t-shirts and shorts to attend a Broadway show?”  Here’s part of the “Style Guy’s” response:

“Yes, one should. But they don’t — those unspeakable masses from across the Hudson who make the Visigoths look dapper. Unfortunately, civilization ended, with no announcements of any kind being made, sometime in the 1970s. Since then, the tourists who frequent New York City and its theaters favor T-shirts in sizes beginning at XXL, along with shorts, fanny packs, and hiking sandals.
“I’ve heard that in some European cathedrals, attendants now stand by the entrances, handing out paper coveralls to these hulking, half-nude American tourists, attempting to mitigate their appearance to the degree that it doesn’t constitute sacrilege. But I think the taste level of the Heavenly Host is being underestimated.”

Ouch!  You can read the whole post here:

So what’s my point?

Anyone can throw on “any old thing” and head out the door.  That’s what most people do.  In fact, things have gotten so lax that many folks have forgotten – or perhaps never learned – that elegant attire USED to be a sign of good breeding and proper education.  Having a large closet and varied wardrobe meant that you had the income and social obligations to warrant the expense.  Today, women spend a fortune on clothes, have closets that are literally bursting at the seams, yet many still reach for the same old sloppy clothes on a regular basis.  It’s such a shame.

George Clooney has often been dubbed the “new Cary Grant” not only for his good looks and self-effacing manner, but also for the fact that he’s rarely seen in casual attire.  Whenever he’s giving an interview or promoting a movie, he almost always wears at least a sports jacket and very often a suit.  Regardless of how you feel about his movies, lifestyle, or politics, you can’t deny that he knows how to dress.  His debonair style has landed him at the top of many a best-dressed list.

The same approach can work wonders for you as well.

Here are five reasons why you should take the time to dress appropriately every time you head out the door:

1.  Enjoy Better Service

Take a sloppily dressed person and a nicely dressed person and put them side-by-side in a store.  Who’s going to get waited on first?  The better dressed person.  Why?  Because a tidy appearance typically indicates a higher income level– which translates into more sales, tips, and commissions.  Given a choice, most salespeople will follow the easiest money trail.

2.  Get A Better Job

Have you ever picked up a piece of fruit at the grocery store, looked it over, noticed a bruise, and put it back in favor of an unblemished piece?  That’s how most people shop.  It’s also how most employers shop.  When given the choice between two candidates who are equally qualified, an employer will almost always choose the person who takes more care with her appearance, even if he has to pay more.  Why?  Because if she takes extra care with how she looks, it’s reasonable to assume that she’ll also take extra care with her work.

3. Find an Appropriate Mate

People treat you how you treat yourself.  If you’re in the market for a nice man with a good job who both worships the ground you walk on and sets your pulse racing, DON’T start your search in clothes that offer ample displays of flesh.  Yes, you’ll attract plenty of attention, but from guys more interested in sowing wild oats than in planting roots. 

I was reminded of this recently when I overheard four twenty-something guys sitting at the table behind us in a restaurant critique every women who walked by based solely on her appearance.  Their comments ran from “nice” and “seems sweet” to “dog” and “skank.”  When a well-endowed young woman in a low-cut top jiggled over to their table to flirt, one of the guys referred to her as the “booty call.”  Discrete?  No.  Reality?  Yes.  Men may get more subtle as they age (or not), but their thought processes stay the same.

4.  Build Your Self-Esteem

It’s surprising how often an unkempt appearance and poor self-esteem go hand-in-hand.  When you dress appropriately, others treat you with respect.  When they treat you with respect, your self-confidence soars.  When your self-confidence goes up, so does your self-esteem.  So if you’re ready to start feeling better about yourself, dress appropriately.  You’ll be astounded by the results. 

5.  Gain a Higher Profile

When you make the effort to dress well, you suddenly find yourself in the spotlight a whole lot more.  As I shared with you a few weeks ago, one of my readers from Canada, Kathleen Shortt, was interviewed on television and attended a VIP event at the Toronto film festival since she read WARDROBE MAGIC and committed to a more polished appearance.  I’ve had many other readers and clients report better job offers and promotions after upgrading their wardrobes.  One gal was enjoying being the “belle of the ball” at her law school reunion when she was asked to serve on a board.  The stories go on and on.  Want to finally be recognized for all your hard work and enjoy a high profile that will be the envy of your friends and peers?  Just dress appropriately and see what happens. 

Yes, dressing well DOES take a little time, particularly if you don’t know where to start.  But by making the effort and commitment to pull yourself together on a consistent basis, you’ll be shocked by how differently you’ll be treated.  Great service, good job growth, nice, handsome men vying for your attention – it’s all a matter of choice. 

So choose to dress well.


Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe and image consultant and author of “Wardrobe Magic,” an ebook that shows women how to transform their unruly closets into workable, wearable wardrobes. Visit her online at .

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