The Impact of Fashion in Different Careers
The clothing we choose to wear—and the image that we project of ourselves through our appearance—can either help or hinder us on our path to achieving our career goals. Our appearance has a significant effect on how other people perceive our character, so it’s important to think about it both when applying for a new job and within an existing workplace. Fashion has had a considerable influence on many different professions and has even helped to create new ones. For example, recent advances in technology have spawned social media influencers who directly inform the products and clothing that people buy by wearing and using sponsored brands that fit with their personal style.
Conversely, in the wider technology industry, the ‘Apple-approved’ uniform of unbranded, casual t-shirt and jeans is still going strong. Steve Jobs pioneered the simple look with his infamous black turtleneck and sneakers combo, and it has since been taken up by other tech giants like Mark Zuckerberg and, to some degree, Elon Musk and Bill Gates. The reasoning is that these guys are too busy re-inventing the wheel to waste precious moments thinking about what to wear, so they stick to the same outfit every time. However, this concept is misleading. The plain, unassuming nature of their outfits is designed to project a certain image to their customers—one of industry, concentration on their products and rejection of a corporate world based on image. Ironically, much of their career is about image and design, but by wearing basic clothing, they direct consumer focus towards their products rather than themselves.
The world of professional poker is a perfect example of how a casual style took over, due to an influx of experienced online poker players who migrated to the live tables and were used to playing tournaments from their bedroom. For these players, feeling physically comfortable whilst playing a game was paramount, with big names like ElkY and Dario Minieri wearing hoodies, casual t-shirts and sunglasses. Of course, in addition to being comfortable and, therefore, putting players more at ease, clothing such as hoodies and sunglasses are very effective at hiding a player’s emotions and any tells. This casual style was more than just a desire to be comfy; it was also a practical mode of dress for the game.
However, with the ongoing rise of the industry, players are now starting to wear smarter clothing to reflect their healthier lifestyles. Dressing smartly can help anybody look more professional and put together, but, in the world of poker, this is especially effective at intimidating a player’s opponents. If one player is kitted out in a tailored suit, then they are immediately going to seem more of a threat than the guy in sweatpants and a t-shirt. Concentrating on presentability can go a long way in making a person appear more confident and successful than they perhaps really are. The lesson to be learnt here is that, whilst it’s important to feel comfortable in order to do well, it is also important to project the right image that’s appropriate to the situation.