Image Management

What’s Good for the Goose

BY: Judith Rasband • Aug 09, 2019

“And I know you’ll be delighted with the changes in your life,” I said, closing a lecture on wardrobe planning and the influence of appearance in our lives.

I was on a high, but exhausted and not at all sure I was up to confronting the husband of a woman who called prior to the lecture and begged me to “convince him of the effect of his appearance on his life and the need for a change in his clothing and grooming.”

I saw both of them approaching the podium and braced myself for a head-on collision of attitudes and ideas.  To my surprise and relief, he grabbed my hand and began pumping it enthusiastically.

“You know, everything you just said applies to men, too.” he exclaimed.

“I know,” I said, agreeing with his newly discovered knowledge.

“I should have learned this stuff years ago,” he continued.

“I know,” I added before he rushed on.

“If my dad had only known some of this, why, he’d have understood my mother better!”

“You’re right…”

“All these years, I could have been using my clothes to help me in my work and with the way I relate to my kids at home.”

“I know…”

“You don’t know what a difference this lecture is going to make on my life!”

“Oh, I know,” I countered.  “Believe me, I know.”

Somewhere in the course of history people got the mistaken idea that the subject of dress and grooming applies only to women and teenage girls.  Not so.  Let me give you a quick example.

A young man came to me disturbed over his difficulty in adjusting to a new job.  He claimed he was being treated like an errand boy.

As I looked at him and his clothing, it was apparent why this could be happening.  He was small in stature and had a narrow jaw.  His hair was parted in the middle and he wore round, gold-rimmed glasses.

There was a profusion of heavy eyebrows, which made his face appear even smaller and more delicate in comparison.  He wore corduroy slacks with a matching jacket.  A bow tie completed the picture of an inexperienced, immature student.  Considering his professional ambitions, some changes were made in order.

We moved the part in his hair to one side and I tweezed out the excess eyebrows growing across the bridge of his nose.  New glasses were ordered, brown in color with square rims but slightly rounded at the corners to soften the angularity.

We chose a gray glen plaid suit at a local store, avoiding the charcoal pinstripe suggested by the clerk, as it overpowered him and may have been recognized for just what it was: an attempt to give him a more assertive look.  The softer gray was just enough.

I wish you could have seen the “before” and “after” appearance and noted the changes.  He not only looked more mature, confident and capable, he felt that way.  His feelings, in turn, helped him to act more in keeping with his employer’s expectations and be recognized as the person he felt he was. Men should not underestimate the influence of their appearance upon their success, both personally and professionally.  A little attention to appearance will go a long way toward helping them achieve their goals.

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