For everyone else, it’s worth keeping in mind that you are always in an interview. Whether it’s for a job, a friend or a particularly “special” friend, you are in an interview whenever you step outside your house, so you may as well dress like it.
This goes double on campus, where potential employers and lovers are all around. That guy with the impeccable sweater/button-down combination and perfectly imperfect hair? Office romance waiting to happen. That is, if you are prepared for it. He certainly seems to be.
Dressing for the occasion, however you do so, is important. How you dress is up to you, obviously, but as with all things, if what you choose is consistently shitty, then you attract opportunities of consistently shitty quality.
Some things aren’t within your control. So today’s a day that you lose your bike lock, end up walking late to class, and get splashed by a Honda Civic halfway to class (sounds cliched, but I speak from all-too-true experience). Today you pour your coffee into an upside-down cup. There might not be much you can do to improve your presentation. But you can exercise some control over your presentation by starting strong.
Standards of the workwear variety, from a collared button-down to a well-fitted pair of trousers, will come together more or less effortlessly, and look much more thought-out than a T-shirt and jeans combination. Every little bit helps.
Even better, a dress always makes women seem wonderfully put together. Or nearly always. Which is great, because it is one piece of clothing and means you can be lazy as all get-out while tricking people into thinking well of you.
I reiterate: Dressing above the T-shirt and jeans sloppiness inherent to so many people’s day-to-day is like wearing something nice to a job interview. It is, in fact, the same thing. Because you never know who you’ll meet, and how potentially life-changing they could be for you.
As for the on-campus stipulation in particular, the idea of school just for education’s sake is wonderful: personal betterment and all of that. But education gets you a job, hopefully, at some point, and you never know when you will meet someone who can help you in this arena.
Education helps, but the stark fact remains: good-looking and personable people get jobs. Were there only a tome equivalent to How to Win Friends and Influence People for personal care, we could all pretend to be stylish, friendly, confident put-together people. It wouldn’t even matter if one wasn’t blessed with the lovely cheekbones and fashionable metabolism of a model. Besides, plenty of models are really weird looking if you get right down to it.
There might, just might, be an answer, a place to find suitable fashion advice. I’m thinking — wait, you won’t believe it — magazines. And the Sartorialist coffee table book. And the Internet. Help is out there.
To wit: anyone can look good if they want to. Caring is half the battle when it comes to getting jobs and love, and dressing well is just one way to show you care (about yourself). Dressing like a goon — unless you have chosen to dress like a particularly confident and flamboyant goon, in which case you might just be scoring off the charts on personality, negating the question of visual attractiveness — is just not a tenable option.
Photo: Raisa Pezderic/The Sheaf