The Difference a Shirt Can Make

One of the hangups I have with my goal is the fact that I cannot conceive of possessing a lot of money. The thought of spending or gaining a lot of money makes me choke.

That’s what happens when you’ve always been poor.

And that’s okay. I’m aware of my limitation. The burning question is how do I overcome it?

My daughter helped me come up with a solution. She loves to visit the new stores that are opening in our town so one day when we were both off from work she suggested that we grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant and look around.

I felt my pulse quicken as soon as we stepped into the very first shop. It was a boutique; every single piece of clothing in there made me quail when I looked at the price tag. How could people afford to pay so much? I thought as I looked around.

That was when it hit me. I could afford clothing like that as well. If I applied minimalism to my purchases and treated them well, the items would last for quite a long while. Just a couple of shirts, combined with a few little trinkets, would give my wardrobe a completely new look.

Even better, they would make me feel wealthy.

I noticed my mindset shifting as I admired the items on display. I could feel the difference in how the fabric played upon my skin. A far cry from the handmedown tee shirts that I’m accustomed to wearing, the items felt luxurious as they started speaking to me.

They told a story of wealth, of success. Of looking like the person I want to become. What would be the harm in saving up for a shirt, I asked myself as I began to admire them. As I looked, I discarded the trendy items in favor of more classical ones.

I checked out the prices on the pieces that would look tasteful regardless of the year or the season.

I imagined what I would look like wearing them as I walked down the street or worked on this website.

I reminded myself of the stories I’d read about paupers who saved up for nice wardrobes and used them as a tool to make the right connections.

I could do this. I could save up the money to buy the occasional shirt, I realized.

I remembered reading in the Napoleon Hill book The Law of Success about how upgrading one’s wardrobe could improve your whole outlook on life. Looking successful attracts success.

I wanted to look successful.

I calculated my budget in my head; I couldn’t afford to buy one right then. Maybe next month, I thought as I moved to place the shirt back on the rack.

“What are you looking at?” my daughter asked as she browsed nearby.

I showed her the shirt. “I’m going to see if I can buy it next month,” I shared. “Do you think it suits me?”

“Yeah, I do.” She plucked the item out of my hand and examined it. “It goes well with your skin tone,” she remarked.

The conversation moved on to the items she planned to purchase. She wanted a new outfit for when she went to attend her fiancee’s graduation from BASIC training and had selected a few to choose from.

I helped her make a decision. As she headed up to the counter, I noticed that she still had the shirt I’d admired in her arms.

“You forgot to put the shirt back,” I pointed out helpfully.

“No, I didn’t,” she replied.

To my absolute shock, she bought the shirt for me.

“Why did you buy me the shirt?” I asked as soon as we left the store. “You didn’t have to; I was thinking of saving up for it.”

My daughter smiled. “Remember all of those times when I was a kid when you put back stuff to buy things for me? This is my way of saying thank you. You gave up a lot to spend time with me and I wanted to show you that I appreciate it.”

I blinked back tears as we continued down the street.

I wear that shirt with pride now. Every time I don it I feel wealthy. I carry my silver round in my pocket, hold up my head, and tell myself that I am a success.

Since that day my daughter has gifted me with even more trinkets. She’d noticed the silver I carry and decided to add more to my collection.

First, it was a pair of earrings.

Next, she surprised me with a silver Yggdrasil pendant since the founding father of my mother’s family had been discovered as a baby beneath an ash tree. She even purchased a small container of pure silver to add to my collection.

I’ve added a couple of trinkets to my collection as well. I found a vintage ring on eBay some time back and today I allowed myself to splurge on an inexpensive bracelet that matches the pendant my daughter gave me. It’s not silver but it makes me feel wealthy just the same.

To my surprise, people treat me differently when I’m wearing that shirt around town. I can’t put my finger on it but it’s like they treat me with more respect now. Instead of dismissing me even the waitresses seem more attentive.

They actually seem happy when I walk in the door.

It puzzled me at first until a friend helped me realize the difference when I saw him walking through town. I waved but my friend didn’t respond.

Thinking that he hadn’t seen me I approached him for a hug. It’s been a tradition in the years that we’ve known each other to always say hello.

“Oh, wow, I didn’t recognize you!” he gushed as he wrapped his arms around me. “You look like a completely different person.”

Come to find out he’d noticed my wave but had been certain that it hadn’t been directed at him. He’d never seen me “dressed up,” so he hadn’t even realized it was me.

Clothing can make a difference. Just a simple shirt completely changed how I am perceived as I walk through town.

I am going to play with this as I move forward. I intend to look through my wardrobe and select dressier items to wear before going out in public. I’m curious to see what will happen.

Have you ever noticed a change in how people treat you based on the clothing you wear in public? Please share your stories in the comments below.


2 thoughts on “The Difference a Shirt Can Make”

  1. How true! I know a guy, He is very wealthy, His family actual donated the second largest diamond in the WORLD to a museum here, so I mean REAL MONEY .He would wear old clothes, garden along with Me and then go to the foodstore on purpose. He was very amused as security guards, gawkers, etc followed Him thinking surely, these”dirty hobos ” are thieves. Now I have dough and dress up on purpose. Suddenly , woman look at Me. Same dude, same lack of soap, shaving, and criminal record .The “look ” of money even is what people tend fall for or even notice. Of course I understand everyone does what they believe is their best interests, I just think they are incorrect about the ways to get it most times. Likely why “criminals” dress like a peacock to attract mates. Maybe something subliminal in it that things , incorrectly, they will share in the wealth, which of course doesnt really exist.

  2. Annie, you have a wonderful, beautiful daughter – and her character is a testament to YOU. You have the most valuable kind of silver there is – your (and your daughter’s) sterling character. You look lovely in your shirt, but your greatest jewel is the wisdom and strength you have imparted to your family. Brava to you all!

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