Strangers tend to size each other up in only a few seconds, almost exclusively based on outward appearances. When we talk about first impressions, we typically refer to mannerisms and etiquette, not appearance, but appearance is a major factor in how strangers feel about you, before you even speak to them.
This dilemma can make travel more daunting than it has to be, but there are plenty of ways to make your appearance an affable and inoffensive one.
For starters, hygiene is a no brainer. We generally want to maintain good hygiene for social reasons, as well the ever important health reasons, but it couldn’t hurt to have a refresher. Speaking of refreshment, freshen your breath in between meals when traveling and interacting with strangers. This small change can make all the difference. Make sure you don’t have debris in your hair or facial hair, and keep your appearance tidy. You’ll be much more approachable if you’re cleaned up.
The most important visual factor, however, if your apparel. You want to project your best self, so wear you best clothes. Wearing dirty is an obvious faux pas, but it can’t be overstated. Avoid excessively wrinkled or damaged clothes, as well. All of these characteristics speak to a sloppy apathy you don’t want to project to strangers. Your friends might know you didn’t make it to the laundromat or that you like the damaged look, but strangers will assume you’re just negligent.
When it comes to fashion choices, it’s fairly simple. Imagine you’re going in for a job interview. This doesn’t mean to wear a suit, but imagine a casual job interview. The same rules apply to meeting strangers. Avoid offensive images and designs on your clothing, for starters. Also keep in mind that dirty sneakers are a no go. Whatever your particular fashion needs, you can count on Pac Sun to provide an approachable look every time without breaking the bank.