Saturday, March 12, 2011

As the saying goes "Clothes make the man!

     As the saying goes "Clothes Make the Man", is that really true?  The thought that material goods "make the man" or a "woman" for that matter to me is absurd.  However, think about the statement and look at people today or any day that dress a variety of ways.  It's thought provoking to look at people and their style of dress to guess whether or not they are successful or penniless.  I've learned in my lifetime by trial and error that you can mistake success or failure by the way someone dresses.  For that matter you can be downright wrong by judging someone because of the way they dress.  Yes, successful people that have wealth can and do dress very well.  I've been employed in my life as an "egg picker", a "rock picker", a "stick and wood picker" prior to turning 16.  I've delivered newspapers, been a "ship fitter's apprentice", managed my dormitory cafeteria, amongst many means of employment.  My jobs as a Parks and Recreation Director, a professional realtor, and now a Health and Physical Education teacher have brought me full circle to the types of clothes that I've had to wear for such a wide variety of employment.
   I come back with "Do clothes make the man"?  I've said that I've had a variety of employment opportunities in my life that have allow me to dress in a variety of ways. It's interesting when you dress a certain way and then change to the totally opposite style of clothes.  Also, the experiences one can have when "shopping" are also thought provoking and interesting at times.  As an example, in my "professional realtor-broker" years(4) when I thought I was going to be the next Donald Trump I had the opportunity to become the Eastern Board of Realtors President.  It was suggested that I need to dress a little more professionally when conducting meetings by a good friend and colleague.  I had saved a little bit of money for this opportunity to buy two or three business style suits. I went to a "men's" clothing store to buy what I figured to be three or four suits. In my wallet I had $2,000.  I walked into the clothing store and walked around for 45 minutes with no response or inquiry about what I was looking for and what I needed.  Finally, a salesperson came over to me and said "can I help you"?  My first response was "finally", someone stopped me and asked me that proverbial question.  I then said "I'm looking for two or three suits".  He then proceeded to walk me over to the "cheaper" suits in the store.  I then said "I would like to look at those over there".  He then said "I didn't realize you wanted the higher end suits" and said "sorry". Uncharacteristically I opened my wallet and said "is this enough"?  The salesperson then became the ultimate professional salesperson showing me every suit imaginable. I ended up spending nearly the entire amount and had three "GQ" style suits along with ties, dress shirts, and in one case suspenders.  I can recall a few times later walking into the same store and the same salesperson working with me. In a sense I became one of their "customers" and was treated far differently.  I've always gone to buy "finer" clothes with "sweats/warmups" so I don't have to worry throwing the clothes around to try on others. It's a fascinating notion isn't it "that clothes make the man".
      "Clothes make the man" to me also indicates as least from my perspective my physical condition.  As a professional educator who teaches health and physical education I have always believed that I should be in great shape. For a period of ten years I let myself lose the edge when it came to being physically in great shape.  I dressed differently for a bunch of years because in my mind I didn't want to waste money on finer clothes.  Was that selfish of me perhaps? Was that the way I wanted to be?  No way!  As I continue to strive for being the best I can be and healthy I dress differently.  Yes, it's comfortable to be in "warmups" or workout clothes. It's all a mindset.  Would I love to be dressed to the "nines" so to speak.  Yes. I love dressing well. Does it make me a different person?  No!  It's a pretty interesting topic.  Wouldn't it be interesting to see a man or woman dressed really well and those that may not be dressed well so to speak to see what color their shadows are or would be.
    You can speak to this subject in great detail or give countless more examples but I'll stop. I'll leave with one more thought from my perspective "clothes don't make me" I make who I am, clothes change my persona for just a brief spec in a lifetime.

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