WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – College students care about the way they look and want to make sure their senior portraits look good as well. They do not wish to be remembered as ‘looking awful.’ It makes you wonder: Why does society want to dictate your participation in this five-minute photo-op? Why confine yourselves to such strangling clothing, just to impress the head honchos?
The short answer would be to show loved ones you care and want to remember these images a bit more than those horrible high school portraits which are slowly gathering dust in living rooms back home.
Still though, it goes further than that. Whether you are a senior or not, you will be leaving the university at some point in the next few years. What do you hope to accomplish once you’re out? Job opportunities, obviously.
Yes, that’s the reason to go to college in the first place — to gain the experience necessary for future careers and learn skills that attract potential employers. And what looks better than a sophisticated, ambitious-looking college graduate? So sure, sadly, it really is all about the appearance! Looks can make or break you; they can kill, especially when you exude laziness.
This is especially important when you go to an interview. You do not want to dress as if you are going to a Justin Timberlake concert, or out onto the bayou to ‘wrestle’ gators; you want to wear attire that is ‘suited’ for the job. This goes for both men and women. Before even getting to the initial handshake, the person you are being interviewed by has to lay their eyes on your wardrobe. Now, want them to be impressed? Try and dress stylishly, and show off a gleaming smile, then you will already be headed in the right direction.
You often hear people say, ‘Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you’d like to get.’ Apply that saying literally, and you’ll find yourself in a better position to land the job. Your reputation is on the line; and social customs show us that it’s all related to how you dress.
But, But, They’re Uncomfortable
One critique against wearing a suit is they are ‘uncomfortable.’ However, you are not wearing the right suit, then. Go to a different store and buy one that fits to your body’s contours. Get comfy!
When you look up the term ‘suit’ in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it says, “to be appropriate or satisfactory, to be in accordance, to meet the needs or desires of, to be proper for, a mood that suits the occasion.” Just keep that in mind.
Jason Weir, a Monmouth University alum who graduated in 2013, advised: “First you have to know what the dress code is for your specific job. Depending on the job you have (or are looking for, that really determines) what you should wear. When in doubt, dress on the nicer side, as opposed to the more casual side. I feel that a suit and tie can represent success, reaching a goal, self-confidence, or self-esteem because you feel better about yourself if you are in a positive outfit.”
See, Pop Culture Tells Us So…
On the CBS comedy “How I Met Your Mother,” there was a character named Barney Stinson (played by Neil Patrick Harris). He was best known as a womanizer and possibly more importantly, for the suits he wore. On the show’s 100th episode, Barney had to make a decision to either pursue a relationship with a woman who did not like men in suits or keep wearing them. He did a musical number reflecting how we should all think when we discuss what to wear in the work place. The main line was: “NOTHING SUITS ME LIKE A SUIT.”
And he continued, “My Sunday bests are my best friends. Send casual Friday down the laundry chute. ‘Cause nothing suits the undisputed oft-saluted suitor of repute. Like a… wait for it… Suit! Suits are full of joy. They’re the sartorial equivalent of a baby’s smile. Who doesn’t love a baby’s smile?”
And remember, a baby’s smile suits everyone, especially when it comes time for that interview.
Video created by Shawn McBride, Song by Know One (“Suits & Ties”)