Debate: Does a man’s dress code tell his character?

It’s bigger than clothes The art of disguise is best aided by pleasant clothes; they say that if you want to fool someone, just iron  your clothes, polish your shoes, comb your hair and smile while you talk… flipping an expensive phonies an added advantage.  
Ivan Mugisha & Rachel Garuka
Ivan Mugisha & Rachel Garuka

It’s bigger than clothes

The art of disguise is best aided by pleasant clothes; they say that if you want to fool someone, just iron  your clothes, polish your shoes, comb your hair and smile while you talk… flipping an expensive phonies an added advantage.

Masses are so blinded by outward beauty that thieves, conmen, spies and wiseacres have thwarted inquisitive glares by simply wearing clothes that blend in. Best example is not so far away; in 2009, a couple managed to pass through all security checks and gate crush Obama’s party in the White House uninvited.

Had the security protocol paid closer attention to the guest list instead of the man’s standard tux and the gold chiffon sari that beautified his wife, perhaps these intruders would have been captured and the president’s security wouldn’t be subjected to such a threat.

Just as being smart and clean will not translate into having a wonderful character, being shabby certainly doesn’t mean that one is foul or that that their character is out of tune.

Without going for farfetched criteria, canons of character are not that hard to find. If someone is rude and shouts at other people, they are simply bad mannered, regardless of whether they are wearing a tuxedo or rags.

Judgmental as the world is, I personally cannot allow myself to be fooled by camouflage; I can’t judge someone until they open their mouth to speak. Not after that can I try to understand that someone is arrogant, self-important, meek or timid.

But even then, I would have to spend ample time with them before I can really dig deeper and understand whether they are stubborn, selfish, loving or affectionate.

These days we have self-appointed judges of character, so scary that I pray none of them is on the interviewing panel I will ever face.

 These people will harshly judge a person as he approaches them, in that even if he speaks or does nothing, they’ve already made up their mind about him or her.

What runs in a man’s brain has totally nothing to do with his financial status, yet because these psychics can afford some type of clothing and others can’t, their imagination is so flawed that they have made themselves the standard measurement for good character.

If I am not mistaken this whole fashion-tells-character thing is a result of becoming too westernized; that is why younger men who prefer not to wear jeans and t-shirts and girls who don’t wear hot pants and belly showing tops are deemed “boring” and “local” in a derogative manner.

Yes, we have a call to be descent, respectable women wear clothes with no intention of making men stare at them, and yet, even those who wear short skirts, regardless of whether their intentions are clean or not, are not in anyway supposed to be deemed by men in a derogative manner.

Even before the invention of clothes, man had character, good or bad. This dress-code prejudice must stop! Give someone the benefit of the doubt; even Jesus Christ said it- what comes from the inside is what matters.

 Ivan Mugisha

It outright defines him

I suppose this is the reason some men find it fit to just leave their homes looking like death itself thinking it has nothing to do with their character. Well, sorry to burst you bubble boys but dress code has everything to do with who you are.

A man who takes no pride in his appearance should never call himself a man again. In fact, show yourself and I will tell you exactly what you are called– something similar to a man, that’s what! There is that very wrong notion that men who groom themselves are gay. Now I don’t know who came up with that silly idea but wearing clean boxers does not make you gay!

I’m really sorry if I sound rude but it’s the truth. Some guys think it is okay to wear the same boxers for a whole week without so much as dipping them in water. They think because it is underwear, it doesn’t matter if it’s washed or not – who will know? Well trust me, we do!

As a woman, I know that combing hair can be real stressful but it has to be done. Who would take me seriously if I showed up to work looking like a Rastafarian gone wrong? Guys have it easy because they can always shave it off. Women look ridiculous without hair – well – except Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta!

But even with that option, some guys insist on walking around with hair so unkempt that when you see him, the only thing you want to do is sever his head! You do not have to look like you are going for a conference meeting in the White House all the time. Simply put some effort in your looks and see the doors smartness can open.

If you dress like a beggar, people will assume you are a beggar so anything dirty and tattered is out of the question.

Try going for a job interview wearing checkered pants, suspenders and some silly hat and see if anyone will take you seriously. No one will care how many degrees and PHD’s you have – in fact you probably won’t even have the time to let them know about your splendid education because the outfit alone will veto you.

A lazy look suggests that the individual is lazy too. So lazy that he wears the first creased shirt he finds without a care in the world. That is just being reckless and disrespectful. If a man doesn’t give a cow about his own appearance, then naturally he doesn’t care too much about the people around him.

In this day and age, some guys can still afford to walk around sockless or if they are wearing any, they are so full of holes; it’s shocking that they don’t fall off! How much does a pair of socks cost really? If you want to be taken seriously, look the part! You might have a bit of an interesting personality but with a shady look, no one will ever know.

A man who wears jeans to a wedding can only be interpreted as someone who has no plans to get married himself. The only reason he showed up was out of obligation – nothing more – hence the jeans! In fact to him, everybody else wearing a silly suit is a fool!

Character is vital, and the way you dress defines that character. If your job requires you to dress casually then that’s okay but do not show up in corporate offices wearing jeans and a silly t-shirt saying ‘I am proof my mother doesn’t use birth control’ and think anyone will be amused! In fact, RWF10, 000 says you’ll be fired shortly after for lack of seriousness. 

Do yourself a favor and dress like you mean it. The second you leave the house, every look will suggest you are a man worth talking to.

 Rachel Garuka


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