Fashion and style

I often say I don’t care what other people think about me.

Now that I think about it, that’s a bit misleading.

When I say I don’t care what other people think about me, what I really mean is that I don’t care if people disdain my ideas for irrelevant reasons.  If you have a rational reason to disagree, then I definitely care about hearing your argument, but otherwise I just don’t care.

What people think about you determines how they treat you and what you can get them to do for you, so it’s worth some effort to manipulate[1] their feelings towards you.

Unsurprisingly to students of the human mind, fashion can really alter someone’s perception of you.  Even if that someone thinks they’re above such things.  It’s just not possible to avoid.

Because of this, I pay some attention to fashion and style for men and women and am able to say with some confidence what works.

This post was motivated by this great post with fashion tips for men.

In fashion as in art – style emerges not from a lack of rules but from a mastery of them, from making them serve you instead of the other way around. If you’re a geek like me, you need to dial a fresh start – clear your closets of all those conference freebie t-shirts, put a shine on your shoes, and burn your butt-crack pants. Ultimately, these rules are not at all about tamping down your personality but about learning how to express it. And unfair as it is, people will take you more seriously when you dress with a modicum of style.

Footnotes:

[1] Manipulate isn’t a bad word.  When you choose your clothing for the day you’re manipulating other people…it’s just the way it is.  Hopefully by giving some thought to what you wear, you’re manipulating people into paying attention to what you’ve got to say.  If you don’t give any thought to your clothing, you’re manipulating people into having impressions of you that you probably would rather they didn’t have.

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