You Coulda Fooled Me…..

Man hands in pocket

I read what I thought would be a same old, same old topic today in Paralegal Society but it didn't turn out that way.  The guest post, by Stacey Wagner, was about business casual but the piece actually gave me a poke in the old gray matter evoking this lesson:

Some years ago, I did some consulting work for the Marine base at Ft. Lejuene for JAG officers, attorneys and paralegals who were departing the service. Just before I was to go on with my talk, there were a couple of consultants from the corporate department of Nordstrom who talked with the officers about how to dress in the corporate world.

They showed some pictures of a man and a woman. The woman was dressed in biz casual with nice jeans and a colorful shirt, designer sunglasses on her head and comfy shoes. The man was dressed in a casual brown suit with brown shoes. The consultants asked, “What do you think these people do for a living?” The reply from the audience was an overwhelming secretary for the woman and used car salesperson or junior manager for the man.

Then they showed another set of pictures of a man and a woman. The woman was dressed in a beautiful navy blue suit, not too conservative, with navy shoes and a nice handbag. The man was dressed in a navy suit, white shirt, beautiful tie and carrying an expensive leather briefcase. “What do you think these people do for living?” they asked. The audience responded with lawyer or CEO for the woman and financial investor, head of a bank, senior exec for the man.

Turns out the man and the woman in the first set of pictures were the same man and woman in the second set of pictures. Goes to show. Clothes can make the person.