We can all expect similar responses, or perhaps reactions, if we bring up the topic of dressing well at work. Popular culture seems to have reacted against the perceived hypocrisy of being well-dressed and well-heeled outwardly, but being just the opposite inwardly. I suppose that’s where the term “stuffed shirts” comes from. The well-dressed of today, it seems, need to be nimble enough to dodge the stones aplenty being thrown their way. There is a hue and cry for genuineness in our dressing, that people should be free to “wear our hearts on our sleeves”, so to speak, or even to “let the wild being out”. At least, that is what is being professed. However, as you and I know only too well, what is professed, what is espoused, is not always what is manifest.
It is of paramount importance that we be genuine in expressing ourselves through our words, deeds and even dressing. Yet we know that we are not always at our best. We have our bad days and are all too aware of our human frailties. Focus on the positives, focus on our strengths, of course, but it would be a highly irresponsible guru who tells you that’s all there is to it. Knowing all that, it is still better for us to put our best foot forward, not to hide our frailties, but to honour those around us and be an encouragement to all who aspire to better our quintessential selves with each passing day.
Dressing well is all about that. It is the outward manifestation of inward aspirations to live on a plane of higher virtue. Our bodies all have functions which are common to everyone, but which do not need to be made public or to be the subject of lunch or dinner conversations. Indeed, because the outward appearance will ultimately follow inward qualities, there is a great deal of truth in the expressions “first impressions count” and “how you do anything is how you do everything”. Sure, we can choose to be very well-dressed, thieving and murderous manipulators, but the nature of the swine will soon manifest itself in other areas, and ultimately even in sloppiness of dress and bearing. A scoundrel will still look like a scoundrel when dressed to the nines, but a true gentleman will make an ordinary T-shirt and shorts look good. Imagine the sight when a true gentleman is dressed in a tastefully-tailored suit! The same applies to ladies, of course. A regal spirit cannot be hidden under an old, faded dress. A lady will make that old, faded dress look good, assuming that is all she has to wear.
So, go ahead, dress for your day! Not to impress others, but because you want to honour them by looking your best. And don’t be afraid of the many naysayers out there!