Does What One Wears Affect One’s Attitude?

It seems foolish to think that what one wears does affect one’s attitude, but it definitely can. Have you ever worn something to a party and felt absolutely beautiful and important? If you are not wearing an elegant outfit to a formal affair I am sure that you feel out of place and just want to get out of there. Clothes definitely do make a difference and it does affect one’s attitude at his work place.

Dress Codes

Are dress codes needed and are they necessary? Most employers have some kind of dress code. Some times there is a good reason for them and some times it seems like it just another thing to let the employee know who is in control. I would like to think that It kind of depends on what kind of work one does. Sometimes people need to wear things that will protect them while they are at work and that makes perfect sense and I would hope that everyone agrees with this. If one works in construction, for example, a hard hat and steel capped toes would probably be something that OSHA requires for one’s protection.

Many places require that in some professions, women must wear their skirts a certain length and their tops can not be too low or revealing. Some employers say that this is for the employees’ protection, too, but some people think that this is not the real reason and may even think that it is sexist. Many schools require these same things as girls get older.

Anyway, the point I am making is that most places have some kind of dress code and whether you agree with them or not, you have to follow them. At my last job that I worked at for 18 years, one day just a day before we were allowed to wear sandals for the summer I wore them. The next day my supervisor spoke to me about it. It seemed and still does seem ridiculous since we could wear them in a days time. Obviously it was not for safety reasons since now we can wear them for the summer. However, it was the dress code and I had violated it. Rules are to be followed and the dress code is a rule.

To really answer the question whether dress codes are necessary, probably the answer would be that in many instances they are not. It probably is an antiquated dress code that has never been changed with no valid reason for the rule. Another one of the dress codes at my last job was that we had to wear only certain colors and styles. This finally got changed, but the old timers were not informed, but it was very noticeable that it had changed since all of the new people wore whatever color they wanted. My guess is that it was just an old dress code that never got changed.

The unfortunate thing is that many times people get very angry about this, which affects relationships with those enforcing them. Sometimes it seems like it could be avoided, if there was no practical reason for the dress code. I think that most people understand and accept them when it is for their well-being for other people’s well-being.

Uniforms And How They Make One Feel

I never went to a school where uniforms were required, but I know that there are schools where every child must wear them. The catholic school in the town I grew up in had to wear uniforms. The public schools did not. I was always so happy that I did not have to wear uniforms. I do not like dressing like everyone else. I never took a survey about this and have never read about results of such surveys, but my guess is that some children are bothered by it and some are not.

A couple of years ago a large metropolitan hospital near where I live became very definitive about the uniforms that their staff wears. Their reasoning was that some staff members were dressing too provocatively, so this would solve the problem. It gave no one the option to make any choices. Everyone had to dress the same or at least according to their respective department. By this I mean that nurses wear one color, the physical therapist wear another color, etc, etc. Everyone wore the same style of scrubs.

Scrubs have no style to them. They are practical, but not very attractive. Even when nurses had to wear all white, they were not very stylish. I know that health care people need to wear uniforms for a reason, but how does one feel when they are dressed like this. I know I hate white since I had to wear them for so long. The only color we could wear was in a sweater. I happen to love colors. I never felt very attractive when I was in uniform and my guess is that some feel this way now in scrubs. There is no style to them and men and women wear the same. I am sure that there are some that like them as you don’t have to make a choice in the morning and of course they are practical, but I can’t believe that people feel attractive and good about themselves when wearing uniforms.

How Does It Effect One’s Performance At Work

I remember how what I wore effected my confidence level. Some days in my last job in home care, I just wore old unspectacular outfits.  I could function in them, but I did not feel especially great in them.  On days that I had to teach, formally something in a class room, I made sure that I wore something that made me feel good about my self and that gave me confidence.  When I went to some meetings I would make sure I was dressed in business atire and that gave me confidence in myself.  When I was teaching everyday, again I had to dress for the occasion as they say.  When one feels good about himself, he feels more confident and this came across to others.

This may not be the way it should be, but in many cases it is.  It is not to say that one can not do his job when he is not dressed in a certain way, but my guess is that when people feel good about themselves it makes their job easier.  I know it does for me.  I have a feeling that this is one of the reasons that employers want employees to dress like a successful business person.  For example, most CEO’s, and people that work in big businesses want their staff to dress up in a suit and tie and dress shoes, and women to dress in a nice dress or suit  and high heels. 

Of course, nurses and other health care workers do their job very well and professionally when they are in uniforms, but I would guess that they do not feel very good about themselves when they are in scrubs or uniforms.  I do not know what else to say about this, but I do believe that how one dresses affects how he feels about himself at work.  Should this matter?  Probably not, but I still think it does.    

When Does This Not Hold True?

I am not sure.  I am sure that there are people that say that how they look does not matter or affect their performance and I sure that sometimes this is true.  However, not always.  I have a petite, gorgeous niece that works in construction.  Although she wears jeans and work boots  for work, I know that it does make a difference to her.  Many times, on facebook, she makes comments about  how dirty she has gotten during her work day or bruises she ended up with, and how terrible she looks at that point.  

What about those that work from home?  You don’t even have to get dressed in the morning when you work from home.  Does one’s appearance in this situation effect how one comes across to employers and customers?  I am not sure.  It might.  Some people don’t have the confidence that is needed if they feel “ucky”, even if they are not seen by anyone else.  Sound crazy?  Maybe so, but for some I am sure it effects how they feel about themselves.

An on-line business is an example of this. At least no one judges the work that one does on the basis of how he looks.  His work is what people are looking at.  He may still lack confidence because of the way he sees himself, but others don’t.  If what he wears effects his attitude toward work, then he can easily remedy it in this situation.  Go change into something that gives you self worth.

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Most people are concerned about their appearance and what image one presents. It is true for all of us in the workplace.  When one feels good about himself, he is more confident in what he is doing.  How one dresses definitely does affect our attitude. 

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