Do clothes make a difference?

Am I treated differently when I wear different clothes?

 One summer I bought a dress that was cool and light. It had a busy batik design in a range of blue colors. It was a popular look at the time.

Usually I wore the dress at home but one hot day, I wore it into town. I had 3 different things to do.

The first shop was a ladies dress shop. I asked about a certain garment and the sales lady was quite dismissive. When I wanted to pay for it she wanted to see my ID and treated me as though I was trying to swindle the store. After buying the garment, I never returned to that store. It was an unpleasant experience.

The next shop I went to was to purchase a small amount of carpet for an area above the garage for an office. I had purchased carpet a year or two previously and wanted the exact same. The name had escaped me but I knew certain details. After describing what I was wanting to the salesperson, he was very dismissive. He told me to go to a bargain store nearby as he would have nothing that suited me. I stated that I had bought some previously and knew exactly what I wanted and asked to be shown some samples. He reluctantly pointed down an aisle and flicked his finger as he rolled his eyes. After some searching I found what I was looking for. He was rather astounded when I showed him what I wanted. He found it hard to reconcile the picture in his head with what I was asking about.

The last store had a similar experience and I went home wondering what on earth was going on that day.

Later, I told a friend about my day and how horrible it had been. She asked what I was wearing, and I told her. She laughed a little and said, “That’s your welfare dress.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“That dress looks like you are down and out, that you are on welfare. It doesn’t matter what you paid to buy it, it makes you look poor.”

We can argue the rights and wrongs of this perception, but the fact remains, we do get treated differently when we wear different clothes.

I did a little experimenting and made a note of how I was treated when I was more dressed up or dressed in a casual style. It is true, that you are treated differently.

I found these pictures of Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. Notice her style accents that make her look classy.

  • Her dresses are tailored to fit her body
  • Distinctive style features – each outfit is a little different
  • She is wearing finishing touches, jewelry, purse etc
  • Her hair is styled away from her face
  • She is wearing makeup
  • I imagine she has a royal demeanor and confidence
  • I also imagine she is wearing heels – which always adds a touch of elegance
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