The year was 1976. The team was the Chicago White Sox. The Sport? Major League Baseball. Yes. Major League Baseball.
Maybe some of you remember this, maybe this is new to many of you, but for 3 games in 1976, the White Sox sent their players out on the field wearing…yes, shorts. And not cool, baggy shorts. No. Tight, clingy shorts. With their socks pulled up all the way to their knees.
This alone would have been bad–a fashion faux-pas of epic proportions–but the designers of this sleek little number weren’t done. They added to the shorts what would have been a boring white shirt were it not for the GI-NORMOUS 1970’s black collar.
Together, the whole outfit was so horrible, I’m pretty sure opposing teams refused to even take the field against the White Sox. White Sox players themselves likely spent hours in counseling and therapy sessions after being ridiculed and laughed into oblivion by former fans.
And yet, what’s interesting to me is that underneath that ridiculous outfit, these men were still Major League Baseball players. They are/were more successful than me by a long shot and yet, looking at the pictures, it’s almost impossible to think of them that way.
It’s a perfect example of that old saying about how the clothes make the man (or, of course, woman). When we say that, we know that clothes don’t CHANGE who we are, but they certainly affect how we are perceived.
For example, think of the manliest man playing the game today–I’m not going to name names, you just get somebody in your mind. Picture that player and then dress him–in your mind–in this bozo outfit from the 1970s. Give him shorts and white socks with black stripes pulled up to his ankles. Put that little shirt on him with the big fluffy disco collar. I guarantee if you do that, you’ll be unable to take him seriously. The goofy get-up doesn’t change who he is, but it certainly changes who we think him to be.
Now let’s shift gears and talk about paint.
Your home–your living room, your kitchen, the exterior of your home itself–can be in great shape. It can be solid, well-built, brand-new. It can be composed of the highest quality materials and consist of the best workmanship known to mankind. It can be all of those things, but if the paint colors are boring or were poorly chosen, all of the quality underneath remains hidden.
Look again at the pitcher in the top picture. He may be a tremendous athlete (and even if he wasn’t, he’s still likely 20X more fit than most of us). And yet, even though that may all be true, he looks so silly in his little shorts and his big collar and pulled-up socks that I look more manly sitting here typing this story about paint colors than he does throwing curveballs and 4-seam fastballs.
As I said earlier, clothes MAKE the man–they alter our perceptions–and the same is true with your home. You can take the best, highest quality workmanship and hide all that quality beneath poor paint jobs and lousy color choices.
It’s a remarkable concept: an athlete takes years and years of sweat and work and effort to hone him or herself to be the best he or she can be in their sport. Just like those White Sox players. And yet, all that work can be tossed out in a minute when you cover them over with a stupid-looking uniform. You can spend hours and hours and tons of money making your home exactly the way you want it, but if you choose the wrong paint color–something that simple and that superficial–the rest of the work is cheapened.
So all that to say, choose wisely. Color matters. The right colors can make your home look like something out of a magazine and the wrong colors can make it look like kids built it. Choose the right colors!