Clothes have a very peculiar effect of speaking for you. Depending on what you wear, and where you are wearing it, clothes themselves have the ability to influence.
Have you ever been around a person who is wearing a nice suit but you aren’t wearing nice clothes? Have you noticed how you feel just a little uncomfortable like “something is going on?” Maybe you even feel “under-dressed.”
This is one example that happens from nice clothes, but this effect isn’t just for suits. This effect occurs with “spiritual robes”, medals and awards, police uniforms, and more.
Consider intentionally dressing to influence
If you are not already conscious in your clothes choices, consider being more intentional. People respond to what you wear, even if they don’t tell you. When you are in public, consider wearing clothes that if a person met you for the first time, they leave with the impression that you want.
First impressions matter, because that is the stepping off place that people begin their relationship with you. If that relationship is “we’re just casual buddies” then don’t be surprised if you are building influence from square one, instead of ahead.
In some cases, the “uniform” of the day is most important.
When people are wearing uniforms, and you are not wearing the same uniform, the reverse is affect is true. Those wearing the uniform can often feel a bit uncomfortable being around a person who isn’t wearing a uniform. It is almost as though they naturally cannot place you in “their tribe”, the one that has the uniforms.
Sometimes it is necessary to put on the same clothes as other people, especially when you want to work “at their level” to drive forward. People who work together as a team, feel comfortable when they “dress together.”
Probably the best example is outdoor work clothes for working on around the farm. If you are helping lead outdoor projects, wear similar outdoor clothes as the people doing the work. This is the time to fit in.