Never dress down for the poor. They won't respect you for it. They want their First Lady to look like a million dollars. - Imelda Marcos
Looking around while my wife and daughter were trying out some clothes in a department store, an Arab lady approached me and asked the price of an item she was holding. I smiled and told her “I don’t work here”.
I ask myself, why of all people she came to me and the mirror at the shop gave me the answer. I was wearing a white polo shirt, same as the store employees are wearing. The only difference is the word “SALE” at the back of their shirt in bright red color. I just shake my head and smiled at the similarity.
When I told my wife about the incident, instead of being amused, she went ballistic. “Yan kasi, kung magbihis ka para kang hindi engineer, mas maporma pa ang tea-boy nyo sa opisina!” Of course she’s exaggerating, lamang naman ako ng tatlong paligo sa tea-boy namin. I don’t know how an engineer should dress up. Perhaps a “hard hat” will identify me as one, but I’ll look silly wearing it in the mall.
I wear polo and slack at the office. I like my clothes loose and comfortable and I hate ties. In my opinion it has no practical function except as an ornament. Besides, my job doesn’t require me to enter-act with clients, so there’s no need for me to be very presentable. My company didn’t hire me for my outside appearance, their more interested what’s inside my head. If it’s “looks” their looking for, I wouldn’t be in front of the computer but in front of the camera, half naked and holding a Paco Ranne.
To some, image is important. They equate it with dignity and respect. You see them at business establishments in their “corporate look”, in malls in their signature (or imitation) shirt and“branded” pants. If image is essential, you don’t have to don expensive clothes. A neat, clean appearance and a “cultured” speech would do the job. It’s the way you hold yourself that earns respect. It comes naturally, dictated by how you were raised and educated. But then again I might be wrong if you cite Kris Aquino as an example.
Projecting a “good” image is for politicians and celebrities. They want people to believe on something unreal or artificial. It’s not something for us, ordinary folks, to emulate. For me, I prefer individuals who are WYSIWYG.