|Photo courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.|
I’m one week into the hustle and bustle of classes and schedules, so of course the inevitable has happened for this business major—those crisp Wall Street Journals that I pick up on the way to class every morning are now folded over and piling up on my dresser. I know it sounds a little nerdy(c’est moi!), but reading the Journal is one of the things I missed most about my little major this summer. And while the front-page headlines such as “Currency Trading Soars” and “H-P Outguns Dell in Takeover Duel” are all so stimulating, Thursday’s paper had an article in the Style section that caught my eye.
“Opening Statements: What to Wear to Court” is a quippy article that I feel like our society is in desperate need for. Christina Binkley’s article about the importance of appearance while making your courtroom debut was so relevant for today’s society of “anything goes” sloppiness. Who can forget Lindsay Lohan’s classy courtroom nails featuring a sweet little four-letter word phrase? Why would you want to set an impression like that to the people who potentially have your life and/or career in their hands? Brinkley hits the nail on the head when she says,
“Juries may be even more judgmental, especially as they sit for hours with little to look at…but you.”
The whole article is a reminder that how you attire yourself not only tells the world about your personality and how you take care of yourself, but it is also a tool of persuasion.
Clothes do make the person.
Just with a change of clothes or accessories, you can come off as serious, demure, harsh, playful, mature, or immature—just by what you put on your back.
Whether we like it or not, we are judged by how we look, and how you dress may very well be the first impression you give someone.
This thought goes well beyond the courtroom straight into mainstream life.
Every day when you wake up, you choose how you want the world to see you. Do you want the world to see you as sloppy and careless? Do you want the world to see you as put together and classy? Or maybe a little edgy?
Next time you get dressed, think about your audience—this is a basic technique everyone learns in writing courses—always think about your audience, and tailor your piece accordingly. The next time you’re standing in front of that full-length mirror, ask yourself if you’re making the right impression on your audience.
Never underestimate your first tool of persuasion.
The very basic lesson in this article is that if you are prepared for your situation, the verdict will be in your favor.
Think critically, and dress appropriately.