Do Clothes Really Maketh The Man? #NaBloPoMo

I stumbled upon this time lapse video today showing the transformation of Jim Wolf, a US war homeless veteran, who struggles with alcoholism. The clip has been doing the Internet rounds and has elicited some strong reaction. It is quite an amazing three minutes of footage showing the effect that appearance can have on our self esteem. I commend it to you.

This is not to say that simply by giving a person a makeover all their problems melt way.  Homelessness is generally a symptom of wider issues other than a lack of financial resources and to tackle it requires not only accommodation but also support to treat the underlying cause.

What the video underscores is that the giving of dignity and respect is a special gift and further that giving comes from the simplest of gestures. No doubt the choice of Jim’s “after” wardrobe was designed to give maximum impact for the purposes of the video. The transformation could easily have been effected with a more casually tailored look and I venture to suggest that it probably would have had the same impact on Jim’s outlook. The magic is in the gesture of introducing a man to his own potential and in the acknowledgement of Jim’s existence as a fellow human being.

The boost to a person’s self esteem and confidence when they feel they look good is immeasurable. This is after all the cornerstone of the beauty and fashion industry and why a visit to a hairdresser can provide a rather effective form of therapy.

The clothes therefore don’t really maketh the man, but they can embody hope and the motivation to strive for a better life. Something we should all remember when we are cleaning out our closets of unwanted clothes.

You can read more from the maker of the video in this Blaze article.


About the curtain raiserhttp://raisingthecurtain.netI have spent my life in offices. For now I am putting that behind me and preparing for the second act. Middle age didn't come with acceptable signposts so I am making my own through my writing. A journey shared is more fun than going it solo.

11 thoughts on “Do Clothes Really Maketh The Man? #NaBloPoMo

  1. Thank you for sharing this – the gratitude in this man, was humbling. I hope he does well – bless ‘ya Jim for what you did for your country and wanting to turn your life around.

  2. The look on Jim’s face when the mirror appeared. Wow. In that split second I like to think that hope passed through his mind. It sure looked like the feeling of possibility occurred to this man.
    Wonderful video. thanks for sharing.

  3. Impressing – but I recall the reverse effect, too: Accidentally stumbling upon managers (“suits”) in very casual attire. The interesting thing was: Having seen them once this way I saw them differently when I saw them dressed in suits. So I think the surprise effect only works once – then you are able to switch back and forth mentally. Probably it is more difficult when applied to ourselves?

    • When you thought of them differently, was that in a more positive way? I think it can work either way, someone who is perceived to be very powerful then dressing casually could either lose some of his or her mystique and perceived power or become more relatable.

      • Exactly – it depends! I have noticed both effects. BTW I feel it is the same when ‘suddenly’ hearing people using vernacular – such as: Politicians or other rhetorically trained, talking off-the-record. With most politicians I rather found the losing-mystique-effect.

  4. saw this video a few days ago. Years ago my hubby worked on a homeless veteran project where the homeless could go, receive a shower, a haircut, (similiar to what this man went through) and then they had a joint employment fair, so these vets could go, spend a few days out of the elements (in tents) and start to go on a new path with new confidence and hope. I hope life improves for this man.

I would really love to hear what you have to say. C'mon.. you know you want to!

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