Using Clothing as Communication!
“Dress is a systematic means of transmission of information about the wearer.” - Mary Lynn Damhorst, Social Researcher
When it comes to creating new social relationships, it all starts with the impression you initially make. While there’s so much more to each individual than the clothes they choose, it is a great way to communicate your interests and values to the world before even having a conversation. With this impression, you have a powerful communication tool at your fingertips, ready to use!
When choosing your clothes, it doesn’t have to be as blatant as choosing shirts with your interests splayed out in large letters. Small touches can do the trick, even just a unique article can draw attention and serve as a jumping off point for a conversation, and hopefully a friendship.
So what stands out best? Well that depends on you! Alma Maters are always a safe choice, with thousands of people who are ensured to share something with you, regardless of how far away you go. Favorite movies, tv shows, books, all of these are good ways to connect, and will be an easy jumping off point as you strike up a conversation.
Another good thing to keep in mind is how color can portray information about you. Color psychology hypothesizes that color can be an extension of your personality. Muted colors show a more reserved spirit, while bright colors show more of an outgoing and bubbly nature. See your current wardrobe to see the image that you are portraying to the world, if you feel like there isn’t enough that reflects the true you, it may be time for a shake up!
One last tip, keep the excess to a minimum. WIth fancy clothes or flashy jewelry may be hurting more than helping. Per experts, “At a societal level, we may be wasting billions of dollars on expensive status symbols that ultimately keep others from wanting to associate with us.
And to the extent that close friendships are important to well-being, we may be inadvertently hurting ourselves." Approachability is a big part of making new friends, and ostentatious touches may steer people away from getting to know you. Save it for the business meetings, and trust that more casual attire will increase your chances at making a bond.
It can be hard to talk to strangers, and these tips and tricks will do their part to make it a little easier. Making friends isn’t an exact science, and neither is style, so follow your heart and the right connections will follow. This advice will just propel your personality and interests to the forefront, before you even speak. It may seem inconsequential, but it really can do the trick!