Friday, March 14, 2008

Are You Conscious of The Way You Dress?

In a recent television interview with “Cai Fu Ren Sheng” <财富人生>, a TV talk show in China featured with rich and successful, Minhong Yu (俞敏洪), CEO of newly IPOed New Oriental School(新东方学校), was asked by the interviewer if there was anything he wasn’t satisfied about himself now. He responded: “my biggest problem is that I don’t know how to dress myself properly. I am always laughed by my colleagues about my outfit. It is especially frustrating that they still make fun of me when I did pick and match my outfit deliberately that morning. I can’t just do it right!”

Well of course we shouldn’t take his playful words here very seriously. He mentioned several times in the show that one of the most important elements as a leader was humor, which is by and large, came from constantly self-deprecation. This might be just one of the humors he made about himself. The interview was great. I was fascinated about his calmness and wit when his life was on the line not once, but twice. I valued a lot of his personalities, passionate, humble, approachable, and empathetic are a few of many. I am also glad to see a self-taught entrepreneur who has reached the stage that he can and is willing to give back the fortune he earned to the society and create social good; a family guy who is not afraid to tell his vulnerability and gushed his love for his kids…

Even though I enjoyed the interview so much, as a sharp-eyed fashion conscious person, I did notice from the very beginning of the interview that he needed some serious advice about the way he dresses especially in front of a camera: the suit was a bad fit; the shirt sleeves hung out suit sleeves at least 2 inches, which should be about 1/2 inch; the shirt collar was crooked; while the color of the tie was okay, the knot was not well-tied; the pant was too short and what made it even worse was that he put on a white bulky sport sock that peeked out 2-3 inches when he sat there. Hmmm, I was wondering was he dressed like this when he was doing road show in Wall Street and rang the IPO bell in NYSE. It doesn’t matter actually for a person who has achieved so much. In a second thought, wouldn’t that be nice if you can get it right?

From my observation, most of Chinese, guys, especially of engineering background, born before 80’s were lack of even some basic dressing etiquettes. This is nobody’s fault. It is, in my opinion, one of the side effects of the culture, education, economic,ideology and politics when we grew up. But there is a remedy! If you ask my husband, a geek guy, how he always pulls off a presentable look, he will tell you to get a wife who can do it. In my next blog, Geek to Chic, I will tell the story about a total makeover for my geek husband.

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