Clothes maketh a man, or do they? This idiom is certainly a common refrain.
Dress to impress.
We tell our children to dress correctly for a job interview, and we tell employees to dress for the next job that they want. We accept that it is preferred that we dress better than expected, rather that being under dressed, when in good company.
Decide what you are, what you want to express, by the way you dress and the way you liveGianni Versace
There is a lot of truth in this of course. How you dress can and will often impact on how you are perceived by others. Conformists, especially, take stock in how your clothes express your social class. Your standing in society, how much money you own, your possessions … Unfortunately this can affect Conformists’ objectivity and ability to lead and spot real talent, amongst those that don’t dress as expected.
Mavericks know that none of this matters
Socialised Mavericks understand the psychology that underlies this phenomenon – and when you understand the things that people use to manipulate you, you can avoid becoming affected. It is easy for Socialised Mavericks to conform (temporarily) and use to their advantage the expectations that others place them on them.
For example a Socialised Maverick may wear a suit to the office, fully understanding what that suit says about them. Or they may not, having decided to buck the trend and intentionally say something by standing out.
Clothes maketh a man, or do they?
Socialised Mavericks value their own thinking processes and ability to analyse and reason. They value other’s abilities in this manner also. How someone dresses has little importance to their ability to express themselves. All things being equal.
If the decision to dress unusually adds something to the situation then the maverick will find the person interesting. If not, the maverick is likely to raise an eyebrow and put the observation aside for later consideration.
They will listen to the other’s opinion and judge them based on the value of their stated opinion – not how they are dressed. This is a sign of their objectivity, tolerance, and nature.
When a maverick is underestimated
It is usually when the maverick does something unexpected. It is considered unexpected because their behaviour doesn’t fit the contextual stereotype.
A common example of this is how the maverick is dressed. Socialised Mavericks aren’t very concerned on how others perceive their dress sense. Especially in environments that the maverick believes, the relevance of how they are dressed is unimportant (others may perceive this differently).
However, as discussed before, Conformists can put a lot of store on how someone is dressed. Therefore, they readily form an opinion based on how someone is dressed. Speaking down to someone, or ignoring their opinion, is how they can show that they have underestimated the nature of the maverick.
This can be dangerous mistake, if the Socialised Maverick is not amused. It is likely that the Socialised Maverick is most likely to be their most analytical, objective and challenging when engaged in these circumstances.
It is most likely to be disadvantageous to the Conformist. The old adage of ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’, is most apt when applying to a maverick.
Never judge a maverick by how they are dressed, you are most likely to be greatly surprised.