You know how people tell you that first impressions count for a lot??? And those same people tell you that you should be immaculately presented when attending job interviews, etc???
I have a question about that.
What does it mean to be dressed appropriately for the occasion? Obviously, if the invitation states that black tie is required you are going to stand out if you turn up in ripped jeans and an Iron Maiden t-shirt.
What I mean is – should you stick to the unspoken accepted rules regarding the appropriate colour of shirt, etc, no matter what? Or, can the rules be bent a little to suit the environment???
You see – I agree that first impressions count. However, my first impressions might not be what you are expecting. I have taken an immediate dislike to people based on – not what they were wearing – the colour of their clothing and it’s affect on my eyes. This was to the point of me coming very close to walking out of a few job interviews.
Of course, people are free to dress as they choose, in whatever colour combination they like. With one proviso. They should make sure they can alter their colour scheme to match the surrounding world.
It is difficult to describe the effect that looking at a bright white shirt in brightly lit surroundings (a room with fluorescent lights or with bright sunshine streaming through the window) has on me. I have been known to get a severe headache and eye-ache within 10 seconds of being forced to look at it. It never ceases to amaze me that people don’t realise a white shirt reflects light. Unless you are in a situation where wearing a white shirt is unavoidable (black tie dinner, white shirt as part of your work uniform, etc) please wear a tinted shirt. Or have a jacket or jumper handy to put on.
On the flip side to that we have the all-purpose shapeless colour called “black”. Black has a reputation of being a “slimming” colour??? Let’s just say that, if your number one desire is to appear to have the dimensions of a small car (and I am unable to miss you in most lighting conditions but you are rendered completely invisible in some lighting conditions) please feel free to dress head to toe in black. The chances are I will be too busy trying to work out whether or not you are human to actually speak to you. (It can also make it difficult to work out where you are when you speak to me.)
This causes me to have a rather interesting problem regarding the uniform of our “frontline” police. It has now got to the stage where – unless they are wearing their luminous yellow jackets with “Police” emblazoned on the back and/or their Custodian helmets – I cannot identify them as Police from a distance. Whilst I would prefer to go back to the days of the Police being dressed in tunics (I realise this is not practical in most situations) – I feel that making one minor alteration to the uniform might help me identify them more easily. Borrow the green and blue “Battenburg” livery from Police vehicles and put a band of it around the chest of the officers. The Dutch police now have a navy blue/black “working” uniform with a luminous green band around the chest and the Police logo on the front in the same colour. It looks very smart.
Colours can have different effects on different people. I realise that my problems with black and white are a little unusual – however, to me it is not unlike people who have different sorts of colourblindness having difficulty with different colours. (I must admit to being amazed by the fact that people with red/green colourblindness can legally drive.)
We need to be aware of how different people are affected by different colours.