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I won’t quickly forget the reactions I received to an Dutch article I wrote in 2017 about the influence of designer brands. It was based on 2 studies that investigated how we (unconsciously) judge people when they are wearing designer clothes. It caused quite a stir because of course, we are not that shallow! Anyway, I recently had a conversation on the subject and this person shared some very interesting insights about the influence of the label on your neck.
Do I really want to know?
I recently got chatting with a woman who held management positions for more of her career. Her work in the commercial sector took her all over the world.
During our conversation she asked me what I do for work and I explained how I have a blog and write about work clothes. She was immediately intrigued and started to talk about the importance of work clothes. And how when he was starting out in business, she felt very insecure about her appearance.
Being a petite woman she explained how she found it difficult to exude confidence in a male-dominated environment. She was always sure of her background and her story; she was well aware that she was capable but her clothes did not support this. And this made her feel less empowered.
She started to look around her; what were other women in this sector wearing? She noticed that there was a certain style of bags, clothing, and jewelry commonly worn by her female colleagues. She also started to study the gentlemen, what were they wearing?
With this in mind she began observing people during meetings and other work functions, eventually she noticed a pattern; she often saw the same bags, colors, and brands. To boost her confidence, she decided to adapt her style. She bought the same type of clothes as her peers were wearing. She said it made her feel good when she was dressed in ‘the right suit, the right bag, and the right jewelry’. She privately referred to this as being her ‘Executive kit’. This was now her work armor.
The label on your neck
My first reaction is that it is pretty bizarre that you have to buy ‘the right’ clothes. She did not see this as a hindrance. She said she remained herself because she didn’t always buy the exact same items. She chose items that suited her, but from the same brand’s that her colleagues were wearing. ‘But how did you know the brand?’ I asked her. She told me that during meetings people often took their jackets off and this was her opportunity to look at the label on the neck.
Funny, I always do this! I thought I was the only one. I mainly do it to look at the lining on the jacket or coat, I am a sucker for beautiful lining. I do sometimes look to see the brand if I like the item and want to know which brand it is.
Do you also grab your chance to look at the label when someone takes their jacket off? If yes, what is the reason?