A doctor should appear to be a doctor. People prefer a doctor who appears to be deserving of their respect, if not reverence. People can form many opinions about you based on how you dress. They can assess your financial and educational status, trustworthiness and social standing, and, most importantly, your moral character. If others think well of you, you will have an advantage in any situation.
Here are seven reasons why you should care;
- Clothing is the most important tool for making a good first impression
People are superficial, not just as a cultural phenomenon, but as a hardwired instinct dating back to when our brains needed to make split-second decisions about what was a stripy rock and what was a tiger about to eat us. We’re usually done forming our first impressions of someone before we’ve even spoken to them.
That means your clothing will directly impact people’s default assumptions about you — the better you look, the more respect and attention they’ll automatically give you.
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- Clothing can boost your perceived status among peers
Your clothing can influence how people react to you, even after the first impression. Better-dressed men receive better treatment and service than their sloppy counterparts in a visually-based society. In the eyes of those who don’t know you well enough to judge you on anything else, clothing serves as a substitute for character.
That may appear superficial, but it is true whether we like it. Your appearance may not mean much to you, but it does to the people who see you daily, so it is important to take care of it.
- Dressing sharply boosts your confidence
“Get Your Appearance Under Control!” is almost always one of the first pieces of advice in self-help books. It is sound advice. People tend to perform better in life when they believe they deserve to. When it’s your reflection in the mirror, the automatic assumption that a well-dressed man should be treated with respect also applies.
A few minutes spent grooming yourself in the mirror before leaving the house reinforces the idea that you deserve success and good treatment.
- The requirement to dress neatly teaches responsibility
As ridiculous as it may sound, taking care of your appearance will make you a more responsible man. You keep track of details like shoes needing to be shined and shirts needing to be ironed, and you usually have to do those things yourself (unless you live with someone who adores you). It develops mental habits of paying attention to detail and planning ahead of time, which are transferable to any career or skill.
- Dressing professionally makes you more useful at work
It doesn’t matter what your job is, who you work for, or even if you’re your own boss — if you’re well-dressed enough to walk away from your desk and into a meeting with a client, customer, or supervisor without prior preparation, you’re more useful. Having a casual, day-to-day presentation that allows you to walk into any situation and look respectable is a huge advantage in the workplace.
- Colours and patterns speak for themselves
Specific colours and patterns begin to reveal their distinct advantages as you learn more about them. Blues represent youth, browns openness and trustworthiness, and deep grey somberness and dignity — each can be the best choice in situations where many other colours would be equally appropriate but not as ideal.
And by thinking about colours and patterns in a meaningful way rather than just throwing anything together that doesn’t clash too badly, you might avoid being the guy whose tie keeps appearing to ripple on TV one day…
- Certain clothing items make statements about you
Uniforms and semi-uniforms, such as a doctor’s white coat, are obvious indicators of the wearer’s status or role. More subtle effects can convey nearly as much detailed information for a man who takes time planning his outfit.
Clothing can proclaim everything from your profession to your passions — from a bolo tie advertising a reckless cowboy attitude to a pinstriped suit in the colours of a favourite baseball team.