Do you treat them differently?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by exwhyzee, May 12, 2011.

  1. exwhyzee

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    Some days, I can get by at work in regular pants and a button down shirt or sweater. Other days require a sports jack or even a suit. Depending on what I wear, I've noticed that I get treated differently.

    Wearing something professional but casual, I get treated casually, and I have no problem with that. On days that I wear a jacket and tie, or a suit, I notice people treat me more efficiently, positively, and politely. For example, today I was wearing a jacket and tie (I combined brown, dark green and purple and I think it worked pretty well :cool:) and as I stood in line for food the folks in front of me were having a hard time picking out what they wanted. The guy behind the counter kept looking over their shoulder at me in a conciliatory manner, growing more impatient with them as time went by. I walk into an office and the receptionist is quick to respond. I walk into a store and the clerk is quick to serve. I notice this a lot more prevalent when I am dressed to impress.

    When I was a kid, my dad used this to his advantage. On days that he and mom had to come in for parent-teacher consultations, he would wear his dark suit with a custom tie and steel-rim glasses (normal work-gear). He looked successful, intelligent, persuasive, and not to be fucked with. When he dressed that way I knew that my teacher was toast if she said anything negative and most times they shared only positive criticism. He didn't look like the kind of guy that would take criticism of his kid.

    By the same token, men might treat women better who are showing a little skin and curves, or some of our favorite pervs here on LPSG might jump to attention for tight jeans and a huge bulge.

    What about you? Are you aware of being treated differently depending how you are dressed? Do any women have a favorite dress that always gets what they want, or do guys have a power tie that wears down the competition?

    Do clothes get you treated differently?
     
  2. D_Kitten_Kaboodle

    D_Kitten_Kaboodle Account Disabled

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    It may be sad but I believe it is true, Ex.. Thus the term "Dress to Impress".

    I have been in leadership positions in a couple of places (the boss... and btw I HATE that term). Both places employed staff that worked directly with either children or chidlren and adults with disabilities, so casual, comfortable dress was a necessity. I noticed that staff, parents, board members, and others reacted differently to my attire for the day. If it was a 'working in the office' day, I would dress casually in comfortable slacks and blouse. I was treated more as a 'peer' (with all groups) on those days. If I had meetings and/or public speaking events, I wore business suits (usually skirts) or a business dress and heels. On those days, I was treated quite differently. Much like you described. I am not the kind of person that needs that ego boost and at times it made me feel uncomfortable, so suits were not common for me. I always had a jacket behind my door for those 'impromptu' visits. You could find me in anything from jeans and a pullover to dress slacks and pressed blouse. The staff learned to laugh (with me) about 'dress up day'...

    But I always told my staff.... Represent yourself to the community as you want them to perceive the business. A professional dress will get more donations coming into the agency than a dirty shirt and messy sweat pants....

    BTW, EX... it was the Purple... a sign of royalty I believe.... that got you the attention!! (LOL)

    Oh and my POWER SUIT? A red skirt and jacket with white blouse. Red was my power color. I had one employee tease me and say when I wore red... "ok, who's getting fired today?" LOL.. no firings, just a heavy duty meeting.

    What the guys liked? My Black suits and Black dresses....
     
    #2 D_Kitten_Kaboodle, May 12, 2011
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  3. exwhyzee

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    I forget to mention my crown and scepter... :wink:
     
  4. D_Kitten_Kaboodle

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    YEP, that will do it every time..........:eek:

    And I guess I need to point out that in my heels, I am taller than most men...so that is kind of intimidating to alot of folks... that will get you attention!!
     
  5. nudeyorker

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    I've been using this to my advantage for years. I learned a long time ago you get preferential treatment (as a rule) if you are dressed nicely.
     
  6. The Dragon

    The Dragon New Member

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    Sure..on days I put in an effort I get rewarded with more attention.
    I also pay more attention those who put in a similar effort to look good.

    Edit: I also think it also comes down to the confidence you feel when you look in the mirror and you are really liking what you see.
    That confidence just manifests it's self as a different walk, a different head carriage, a more level gaze, a firmer stride ..a little "swag" perhaps.
    People pick up on the vibes and respond accordingly.
     
    #6 The Dragon, May 12, 2011
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  7. b.c.

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    When I wore coat and tie to my kids' parent teacher conferences it certainly wasn't with the intent of intimidating the instructors into delivering only the news they thought I wanted to hear. I always expected to hear the "whole truth and nothing but", positive or negative, and made sure to act upon it accordingly. Heaven forbid should my kids have taken away from that carte blanche to behave as they damn well pleased in school.

    However clothing does cause people to react to you in different ways and conversely, your position and title brings along with it a certain expectation of what you wear.

    Which is why I've always found behind the scenes public service preferable to the elected variety where as city councilman, representative, senator, etc. you're expected to always dress a certain way. I've always treasured the freedom to be as slovenly casual as I cared to be (when on my own time) more than the scrutiny that comes with elected office.
     
  8. HappyBoi

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    Of course it's true! We as humans respond to different shapes and colors. Clothes is a big deal, and what we percieve in these clothes or attires. Certain combinations of colors can create (mmmh, look at that beginning with all the c words, love it...) a wide range of emotions when we see a person.

    We react to clothes, just as we react to other body details, such as tattoos, piercings or other jewerly.

    We also react, even though people usually don't want to admit it, to body shapes and such. We judge people right away, even if it's unintentionally.

    There's countless studies and science about this, and it's a good way to get that little advantage. Even better if you're a leader and you manage to "put in emotions/connotations" in a certain dress/attire or detail in your attire. Like Fancy said with her "Power Dress", people around her knew right away.. "It's business". Just as with that congresswoman in England, "what's-her-name" that was a really strong woman and politican. She used a bag, an ordinary bag, but in time that bag became her trademark, and as soon as she put in ON THE TABLE, everyone knew she was meaning heavy business, even when she was the only woman in a room full a male politicans, she managed to "terrify" them. :biggrin1:

    It's really fascinating to me.. how we can use this to our advantage and "manipulate" if you so wish, just as we can with words.


    Woman in heels do give off a feeling of power, security and independence, all great traits in a leader. :D
     
  9. B_RedDude

    B_RedDude New Member

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    Especially your scepter, exwhyzee.

     
  10. Bbucko

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    I wore a suit and tie for about 20 years, for various jobs in various locales. In cities like Boston or New York (wearing a suit and having it properly tailored) marked me as a man of success, and I was treated to all kinds of privilege that others were not, for the most part.

    Though I only occasionally wore suits during my four years in Connecticut, I noticed no deference of any kind. Down here in SoFla, wearing a suit marks you either a complete native or someone who never leaves air-conditioned environments; as neither of those labels suit me (pardon the pun), I no longer wear such apparel (nor, obviously do I work for jobs that require them).

    I must admit to having a passion for neckties which seems entirely out-of-touch with my character: I've just always loved (good) ties. They make the entire outfit, especially if you can figure out a way to making the socks somehow coordinate.

    There's a noun application for "suit", which I've heard for years and is by no means complimentary: it refers to the wearer, rather than the garment, and suggests greed, vanity, an overbearing personality and an outrageously condescending attitude. Used in a sentence: "You see those two suits that just left? They left me $8 on a $50 bill! Such assholes!"

    This, from Urban Dictionary works well, too:

    Personality usually ranges from cocky douche bag to uncultured souls. Typical conversations are very limited in topic. Discussing about sports, what the hell happened last night while at MacDougal's Irish Pub, and what hot girl they brought home last night and trade occasional work experience. Same routine.
     
  11. HappyBoi

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    I think you can use that in more ways too. "Suits" can mean "goverment types" too I think, who work in within the goverment.. I've heard people refer to them as "suits" or such. They're usually portraited as cold, heartless people who only obey the goverment and go by the law, such as, for example the IRS. :tongue: Not 100% sure though..
     
  12. exwhyzee

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    I hope I did not imply that I was a terrible and misbehaving student in school who learned that I could do as I wish by asking my dad to slip into a suit and make it all better by intimidating the teachers into shutting up. :rolleyes:

    Closer to the truth is that I was a very quiet student and was easily bored in class and often lost focus or interest...and my dad was someone who would stand up for me and encourage the teachers to challenge me in ways such as giving me homework (when no students were assigned homework) or asking me to do extracurricular projects at home (which dad would often help me with)...and he did this still in his clothes from work which I always thought made him look quite impressive (and I think the teachers did too). Sorry if I mislead you into thinking other things. :wink:
     
  13. exwhyzee

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    Oh ya, that's a whole other area I forget. Good one!
     
  14. SilverTrain

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    Ya think? :tongue:

    As someone who wears a suit to work everyday, I agree with all those who've stated that clothes do make a difference.

    Along with your attitude (one can be both friendly and confident), looking good can get you past the roadblocks of human nature.
     
  15. Ethyl

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    I'm nearly 5'8" and find that wearing heels raises the respect factor sevenfold. I'm the only woman at work and when I wear a suit and/or heels, my co-workers' posture improves noticeably (as does mine) and clients respond positively and respectfully. I have been told I am intimidating in business gear but as approachable as I strive to make myself, it's hard to know if the perception stems from the usual associations or if I project how professional I feel in a suit and heels.
     
  16. LaFemme

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    I consciously use clothing and the way I look to influence how others percieve me. I am well educated and well connected, but I am also a woman viewed as a minority (I am multi-racial). When I dress casually, I get treated completely differently than when I'm dressed well. So clothing can compensate for a bit of racial inequity.
     
  17. b.c.

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    I didn't think so. I didn't know your dad, but I know dads (being one) and chances are that those occasions he suited up demonstrated the importance he attached to teaching and learning, and (as you indicate) no doubt showed the value with which he held your education.

    BTW, I was a very quiet one too. :wink:
     
  18. midlifebear

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    I dress primarily to be invisible. I own "real" clothing, but it attracts too much attention. Where I live attention means being overcharged for an espresso, taxi or natives thinking they need to speak to me in English and being treated like a tourist. So I take great care to dress like my neighbors: clean (but faded from too many washings) polo shirts, baggy cargo shorts, and sandals or running shoes with sport socks. I never carry a wallet or back pack, but my lap top zipped inside its universal black canvas case keeps gypsies and pickpockets away. Today's well-worn black canvas shoulder case, whether or not it actually contains my lap top, is 2011's answer to the ubiquitous black bowler hat of another era.

    But there is more to dressing than wearing clothes. You must learn how to stand apart from the moving population. You need to move at a slower, yet alert pace. You need to practice how to stand comfortably for long periods without attracting attention and develop the patience to observe others. Eventually, you become invisible . . . invisible enough to see the others around you who are invisible, too.
     
    #18 midlifebear, May 12, 2011
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  19. august86

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    With us humans, it's all about the visual, initially (well, for some it stays visual :rolleyes:), and that's why good first impressions are vital to breaking the "visual ice".
    We're always told that the first 3-5 seconds you encounter someone is enough for that person to decide whether you're worthy of their business, friendship, lust, or conversation. Those few seconds comprise a display of much more than just appearance, but appearance is a catalyst thereof.

    There's just something about formal wear (suit & tie for guys) that gives you the extra confidence and let's people know that you want/demand respect. Don't get me wrong, there are a plethora of douchebags out there wearing suits that don't deserve a glance, let alone respect, but for most of us it rings true.

    Oh yes, getting back to the question. I do treat differently, those who take the time to put on a suit and make the effort to look good. (of course that doesn't mean I disrespect those who don't, nor do I tolerate arrogance from those who do.)
     
  20. someperson

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    Physique also plays a role...
    So lets say you live in a area with a marjory of fat people and weak bags of bones. The one that muscular will get treated better.


    Also people will tend to move out of your way. I just using my city as a example.
     
    #20 someperson, May 13, 2011
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
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