Being well dressed can improve our self-confidence and what we wear affects how we are perceived by others. Therefore, wearing appropriate clothes, for example, a formal suit for an interview, builds our confidence and can make us appear more serious, conscientious and respectful.
Dr Carolyn Mair
Today I want to touch a subject that most Gentlemen sites and self-empowerment groups tend to look over, if not outright ignore, the fact that not everyone is well-off enough to live the supposed lifestyle what society thinks a Gentleman has. It’s really easy to spout off advice like “Dress for the Career you want, not the job you have” when you don’t have to choose between buying a suit and paying rent.
Not everyone starts well off, and not everyone who is well off stay there. We all fall and fall into hardships and some start life in that hardship. Hearing someone tell you to simply dust yourself off, suit up, and get back on the horse is pretty hard when you don’t own a suit and had to sell the horse for food.
Be it that you’re starting off with limited resources, be it that you got fired and can’t find a job, be it that your divorce went worse than you expected. The reasons as to why you will fall into hardship are endless as there are men, so demonizing them just shows your true colors as a human being. So instead of simply making assumptions as to why you are better than those who were handed a bad hand, let’s talk about ways you could offer them a better hand.
Before you start complaining and judging (see my comment about ‘true colors’ in the paragraph above) I am not talking about handouts. I am talking about providing the proper tools so a man can stand on his own two feet. The reality is that the first step to being respectable is looking respectable.
We may have seen that image of drycleaners willing to clean a suit for free for those unemployed heading to a job interview. This is commendable and those doing this prove what being a good man really is… So when I learned that some organizations took this a step further, I was in absolute awe.
I have learned (and started to get in contact) with several charities in different countries that provide suits to qualified job trained men entering the workforce and young men attending formal affairs. These organizations understand fully well that stepping into a new suit or outfit not only changes the way others see you, but also changes the way you see yourself, and want to empower men to be a better version of themselves. Keep in mind that these are only some of the organizations I have found, and would love if you know of any others, to let me know.
That Suits You (New York)
TSY works with men who are looking to get back into the workforce, but unfortunately lack the means or resources to obtain the clothing required to make a good impression. We assist them in acquiring the suits, shoes, accessories, etc. that they require.
Suited & Booted (London)
Public agencies refer vulnerable, unemployed and low-income men to us, and we help them get into employment by providing suitable interview clothing donated by companies and professionals. We also offer our clients interview advice and mentoring.
Career Gear (New York, Baltimore, DC, Houston, Jersey City, Miami)
Career Gear provides professional clothing, mentoring, and life-skills to help men in poverty become stronger contributors to their families and communities.
So, next time you consider updating your closet and getting rid of some of your old suits, consider donating them. They might help someone else as much as they helped you.