If you like classic style, wanting to dress up when others don’t happen to you all the time. Here are some helpful tips on how to deal with people who question you about the way you dress.
Recently, the viewer Amir left a comment on our video, Things I Get the Most Compliments On.
“Raphael, I’ve been upgrading my style. I used to wear graphic tees, ripped jeans, and sneakers and now, I wear untucked casual button-ups, dark wash jeans, or chinos, and chukka boots. However, I still don’t feel satisfied with my current style. The thing is that people around here never dress up. Is there anything wrong with dressing up all the time even to the most casual of occasions? I’m really scared of this step.”;
Amir, I can totally sympathize with you. You want to dress up and put your best foot forward yet there are others who question your motives and may even be vocal towards you about it. I’m often the most dressed up person in a room and it inevitably will catch some attention. People ask me what the occasion is and I just say “It’s Tuesday!” simply because that’s the way I like to dress.
Recently my wife and I went out for dinner in a new hip restaurant in town and of course, we wear nice clothes. So the waiter asked, “Oh, where are you headed?” and we just said, “Here!” And she was really surprised because otherwise, people just don’t dress up as much just to go out for dinner.
Dressing up will always make you stand out and it really pays to know how to deal with the positive aspects as well as the negative ones. If you haven’t already done so, I suggest you watch the 101 Things That Change When You Dress Up because we cover mostly positive things but also some negative ones.
The paradox of style is that many people care about it for different reasons. Usually, it falls within a spectrum of people dressing for themselves or people dressing purely for others. In any case, clothes and accessories are something you wear directly in your body and because of that, it immediately becomes part of your visual identity.
Am I Dressing For Myself Or Do I Dress To Impress Others?
Being inappropriately attired can be a form of disrespect or it can be seen as a cry for attention. At the same time, dressing to fit in can mean that you’re indifferent about your outward appearance or that you simply want to be invisible to a group of many.
If you want to dress up – Do it, enjoy it and own it! There’s really nothing wrong with it and I’ve been doing it for over 20 years and the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Yes, there will always be someone who has to say something negative about you or the way you dress but you just have to deal with it. Some of them may feel threatened when they judge you or they elevate themselves above you and think they’re superior to you.
Just look at YouTube comments for example. No matter what I or anyone else produce, there will always be someone who has something really negative to say about your approach and how you do it. At the same time, they don’t go out and produce a better video, they just criticize you. Rather than being impacted by the haters, I focus on the comments of the people with constructive criticism, questions, or simple observations so we can do videos like this. So all this may be easier said than done.
How Do You Cope With Issues That Arise From Dressing Well?
1. Whenever You Dress, Consider Appropriateness.
For example, at a wedding, you never want to out-dress the bride and the groom because it’s their day. At the same time, if you go to a funeral, a burgundy or red flannel suit will simply detract from the event and it would be inappropriate. When there’s a dress code indicated such as cocktail attire, you should not wear black tie because that would be obviously overdressed.
2. If There Isn’t A Dress Code, Consider Flexibility.
On the other hand, if you’re in a business meeting and you’re not the boss, the dress code can be pretty much stipulated without being written down. In that case, consider the company culture. There’s nothing worse than wearing a three-piece suit in a startup company that simply wears jeans and t-shirts all the time. It makes you look odd and stand out in a weird way.
If you’re in a social event with friends, you should truly be able to wear whatever you want and whatever you are comfortable with and whatever you’re supported by. If it’s a more casual outing, it’s okay to be more casual.
3. Dress To Please Yourself.
Think of dressing as your hobby and it’s something that you enjoy. It’s about you and what you like to do, not about others.
4. Learn How To Accept A Compliment Graciously So As Not To come Off Arrogant.
When you dress up more, compliments will be coming your way so it is best to be aware of how you should react when a compliment is thrown at you.
5. Have A Comeback Ready.
If you’re asked why you’re dressed up, have a few answers prepared that you can give right away so you don’t have to engage in lengthy conversations. Shut the conversation down and simply go about your way.
By having an appropriate comeback, you exude confidence. Other people will just leave it at that and won’t bother you again. It’s important that a response should never be defensive or mean. Saying things like because “I’m not a peasant” or “I wasn’t raised by wolves” will always be kind of offensive to people and it automatically reflects on them which will just draw you into a long argument and it’s just a pain. That aside, as a gentleman, you never go down under a level.
Ideally, you shouldn’t go down the rabbit hole of explaining. It’s the same politics if you start explaining, you’re losing. Aggressive or negative people want to engage you in a fight, want to drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience so don’t do that. The best comebacks are short and sweet.
Comment: “What did you dress up for today?”
Comeback: “It’s Thursday!” Or if you want to be snarky, you could say something like “Adulthood.” But again that may be seen as offensive.
Comment: “Why do you look so fancy?”
Comeback: “Why not?”
Comment: “Why are you so well-dressed?”
Comeback: “Because I know how to.”
Comment: “Do you think you’re better than us?”
Comeback: “No, dressing up is just my hobby.”
The sooner you’ll accept that judgment will always be around, the easier it gets to focus on what you truly want.
6. Do Not Care What Others Think Of You.
Personally, I’d say it comes very naturally to me and being on YouTube and being exposed and having that negativity around me just helped me to develop an even thicker skin. There’s a good saying along the lines of “What other people think of you is none of your business” and I pretty much agree with that. People-pleasing, approval addiction, or the fear of rejection, will always be in the way of what you truly want for yourself. If you care a lot what other people think of you, you may want to look into the book, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck.
7. Be Authentic, Be You!
Authenticity provides you with confidence. People who are confident are perceived in a much different way. Fewer people will want to argue with you and they will accept you for who you are.