Americans have gotten a bit sloppy when it comes to dressing these days, as many have foregone the collared look to something more comfortable. Today, clothing is being worn for reasons like practicality…and it shows when shopping at department stores and online. Depending where one resides and or works…it can play into ones’ chosen wardrobe. However, does the choice of clothing one wears influence behavior?

Fashion as we know, changes through the years, and while most women wore dresses in the past centuries, it took a turn in the 1950’s and 60’s, allowing more women to wear pants. Looking through the previous decades, uniforms were common and being worn at prep schools, doctors’ offices, airlines, restaurants and more. Today, Americans are sporting a much more casual attire. On another note, the more diverse this country became, the less people dressed up, while others chose to cover up (wearing cloaks and burkas); sparking controversy among those from other countries, which pressed on religious beliefs and cultural upbringing. Our society has changed, and so did the way people began treating one another.

Research has been done through the years whether clothing influences others or the one wearing the attire; and the answer is yes. It’s been proven that when one dresses up, the individual feels better about themselves, therefor projecting a positive and confident attitude. I’ve observed (as a dining customer) a restaurant giving interviews to potential employees; with the next candidates waiting their turns near the entrance. I found it interesting to watch, and every one of them dressed differently. Some came clean shaven, wearing a button shirt and khaki pant, while others wore jeans and t-shirts. I’m sure you can guess which candidate took the position. This was just another example of Americans getting too comfortable.

Clothing gives us a chance to express ourselves, but I find in todays world…not everyone cares. You could dress a millionaire in torn clothes, make him look as if he hadn’t showered in weeks with hair growth and missing teeth, and you’d be surprised at how the public treats him. Now dress him in a tuxedo, all manicured with smiling pearly whites…again he will be treated differently. Appearance in general can have amazing effects on how one is treated by a stranger or anyone else for that matter; it’s reality. But I had to wonder…if we could change how Americans dress ( better than casual), is it possible it could change the way we treat one another? I believe it would be an improvement…we all want to be treated fairly and with respect. However, I’m sure some might disagree about a dress code. I don’t think pajamas should be allowed in public places, other than a medical facility, and there’s not a week that goes by I don’t see pjs being worn in a store or movie theater. As for me, I won’t even wear sweatpants in public, but it’s what I choose. We have the freedom to wear what we want, but clothing that’s baggy worn under their buttocks, along with grungy over-sized shirts… just isn’t a look that many Americans want to portray. I say … Better dressed, positive feelings flow, self-esteem rises, you do better! it’s all good! You shouldn’t have to wait for a special occasion to want to dress better…now is the perfect time to feel more confident about yourself; Rise Up Everybody.

Make your week count.