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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having been lurking on this forum for a number of months, I was wondering if any of you had some thoughts on a subject that has been on my mind for some time now. How much do you think a man should balance his desire to dress as he wishes with the unavoidable impression his attire will create in others?

I ask since I have discovered that, although only 28 years old, I enjoy wearing a jacket and tie (and very high quality ones at that, which I can afford thanks to eBay), yet such clothing makes me stand out at work and from my peers. I'm a paralegal at a big Wall Street firm, and when I wear what I wish I end up far outdressing my bosses, who never wear jackets or ties, and are clad in Banana Republic at best. I worry that since clothing is often a sign of status, I might be falsely seen as trying to outshine my superiors or to separate myself from my fellow paras, etc. Similarly, when I start law school in the fall, if I wear a jacket and tie, I might be seen as making a conservative political statement, even though that is not my intention. Likewise, the cut and fabric of my clothing could easily lead someone falsely to believe that I am from a higher social class than I actually am--or, even worse, that I am a social climber.

In other words, I think it is obvious that, through no fault of one's own, your clothing can cause others to misinterpret you. How much weight, if at all, do you think one should give to that concern?

Eristic
 
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