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  • Writer's pictureTamara Schneider

First Impressions Matter - A Fashion Buds Segment

Updated: Sep 11, 2019

It made national news. Let me repeat that. It made NATIONAL news! A very smart teenager in Ohio puts on his very best attire and goes to the hospital to meet his brand-new baby niece and it goes viral on social media. This solidified in my mind what I have known for quite some time: We, as a society, no longer care what we wear. You can see it played out in almost every public venue, people dressed as if they were spending the day painting their walls or exercising at the gym. You might be saying, yeah, so, what's the big deal? Who cares what I'm wearing? I'm so glad you asked. Let me tell you why it matters.

Whether you want to agree with me or not, the simple fact remains that what you wear does impact how others think of you and how they treat you. Don't believe me? Try putting on a suit and go to your local coffee shop, car repair place or restaurant. I guarantee that you will get better service than if you were in your yoga pants and stained tee shirt.

And for all of those of you out there who say I don't care what others think about me, I would ask you, what do you think about yourself? Don't you love yourself? Who ever said, 'I feel terrible!' after putting on a new outfit that highlights their best features and fits them well? The proper attire gives you self-confidence. People who feel better, do better. So even if you adhere to the old adage of 'What others think about you is none of your business', you most certainly should be concerned with your own self image. Love yourself.

So if by putting more effort into our wardrobe choices we can improve how others perceive us, receive better treatment from others, and most importantly, feel better about ourselves, why are so many walking around looking like complete slobs? There are a few reasons.

There are those who like to live under the misconceived notions that to have a nice wardrobe you have to spend big bucks and be uncomfortable all the time. As a stylist for eight years, I can assure you that you really only need a few high-quality, key pieces to look put-together. Places like Kohl's, JCPenney's and even Walmart have clothes that are a step up from leggings and sweat pants, but won't break the bank. There has also been an explosion in the second-hand market. ThredUp, Swap, and eBay have made it so easy to get high-quality goods at 50, 60 and even 70% off. Price is no longer an issue.

As far as wanting to be comfortable, I understand. There is no pain like the pain of walking in stilettos for eight hours. If your feet hurt, you hurt all over. That's a fact. HOWEVER, dress slacks and a sweater can be just as comfortable as any pair of jeans and sweatshirt. Just remember to put on a pair of sensible shoes.

When you boil it all down, the real issue is respect. We don't respect ourselves and we don't respect others. Therefore, it's okay to wear ratty jeans to a restaurant, or (gasp) a funeral or wedding. Well, I for one agree with the Ohio teenager: first impressions do matter (as well as all the subsequent ones that follow). Further, I would make the assertion that perhaps if we dressed better, we would treat each other better, and maybe, just maybe, have fewer societal ills. Everybody wants to Make America Great Again; I say let's start with what we wear.

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