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Dress-up Thursdays™ & Saturday-Night Special

Self Presentation: Smiling Thumb

By Judith Rasband

People want to feel special and clothes can do that.

It's time to get dressed and turn all occasions into special occasions.

The downtrend toward casualization is hitting all sectors of society. From the homes, schools, churches, restaurants, theaters, and of course the workplace, we're getting reports of people looking like slobs—behaving like slobs.

Image integrity is going, gone. The visual image speaks to self, and others, louder than any words. So what makes us think we can look like a slob and not act like a slob or be seen as a slob? Look around. It's happening.

People no longer feel special or participate in special occasions like they once did. The decrease in diversity in dress has led to a decrease in creativity and individuality. We're headed for a population where the young are dressed in T-shirts and jeans, the fit in tunics and leggings, and the old in sweats. Look around. It's happening.

In response to the need to look and feel special, people–even designers–are decorating their jeans, T-shirts, and sweats. Embroidery, appliqué, glitter, ric-rac, the lace, the sequins—on jeans and T-shirts. Look around. It's happening.

"It's crazy, this uniform T-shirt and jeans or sweats and sneakers," snaps human resource professional, Mark Kennell. "They each have their place, but not 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

"We're out of balance, out of sync," declares Kennell. "Since when are shorts and sandals respectful attire at a bar mitzvah. Should we really be wearing T-shirts and flip-flops to the office?" It's time to get dressed.

Ask any airline flight attendant about what people look like these days. "People used to look nice to travel. Now, even in first class, they look like they just fell out of a garbage can." It's time to get dressed.

Ask Betty Halbreich, author of Secrets Of A Fashion Therapist what she thinks. "They look awful," she responds in alarm. "People have become very sloppy. Casual Friday has become so casual they're coming to work in their pajamas and going home early." It's time to get dressed.

Marianne M. Jennings, professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University adds, "Employers have even joined the decline of civilization through office casual day, which began as khakis and golf shirts and now looks like Woodstock Fridays." It's time to get dressed.

Cartoon character Dilbert declares, "I love the ‘Business Casual look for the way it combines unattractive with unprofessional while diminishing neither." It's time to get dressed and get back to business!

And because the business casual trend has influenced all occasions, ask Susan Bruck Isaacson how she feels about jeans and sneakers worn by wedding or graduation guests. "I am saddened by this casual approach to events that mark milestones. They belittle the accomplishment. Has dress-down Friday blurred the line between what's formal and informal, between what's important and what's not?" It's time to get dressed.

"There's a common thread of advice given to anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, or alcoholism," asserts Dr. Jeffrey L. Magee, psychologist. "When you get out of bed in the morning, wash up or shower, shave or fix your hair, and get dressed in nice looking clothes. This will immediately improve how you feel. It's essential therapy. Then what in the world," wonders Magee, "makes people think they can dress down, look like a slob, and still be effective?"

They can't. The way you look directly affects the way you think, the way you feel, and the way you act–as well as affecting the reactions or response of others. When you dress down, you sit down–the couch potato trend. Manners break down, you begin to feel down, and over time may not be able to pick yourself back up to levels where you are your most effective.

That's why Conselle supports the idea of Dress-Up Thursday and Saturday Night Special. It's an idea that's beginning to catch on. It's being picked up by businesses and city government groups.

Conselle recommends people Dress-Up Thursday, the day before Casual Friday. It's simply a vehicle to get people thinking about the influence of their clothes on their lives. You will see and feel the difference. Note the way you act and the ways others react to you. Change to super-casual for after work and weekend day occasions. It makes a nice change. Relaxing actually becomes special.

Then, it's time to get dressed again, special for Saturday Night. Get together with special friends in special places. Feel special again. Act special again. It's good for you. It's good for the economy. It's good for the country.

Judith Rasband

CEO, Conselle L. C.

Special Note: If you'd like to become a professional part of Conselle's push for Dress-Up Thursday and Saturday Night Special, prepare yourself with Conselle's Certification Program in Image Management. We are dedicated to making a difference. Together, we can make a difference while you make a living.

 
 

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