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Essay on “The Apparel of Proclaims the Man” Complete Essay, Paragraph, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

The Apparel of Proclaims the Man

Outline: The context and the meaning – clothes indicate one’s income – they throw light on character – the Gandhi cap and the Nehru shirt – exceptions, etc.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet Polonius inflicts elaborate advice on his son who is going to Paris. Instructing him to pay particular attention to his dress, he says, the apparel oft proclaims the man.’ The dress a man wears, like the company he keeps and the books he reads, is an index of his character. It is not surprising that a person’s dress should reflect his personality. because, next to his appearance, it is the first thing we notice about him.

By and large, the clothes one habitually wears broadly indicate one’s financial position. We may generally conclude that a man who is always seen in expensive, immaculate clothes is well off. People who are hard up naturally prefer plain clothes, though they may be dressed ostentatiously on special occasions. But what is more important is that, within the limits imposed by your income, the kind of dress you wear throws light on your tastes, ideals, and moral qualities.

A dandy, it may be supposed, is intellectually shallow. He wastes so much of his time and energy standing before the mirror and paying attention to his exterior that he has perforce to neglect the development of his mind, a person who is fond of gaudy, colourful clothes evidently lacks taste. A man who is always dressed neatly and smartly is likely to be disciplined and orderly in all his activities. On the other hand, one who is slovenly in dress is probably untidy in everything else. Again, a rich man clad plainly may be supposed to be a lover of simplicity, though it must be remembered that some people affect plain clothes to show off their simplicity!

In the days of the struggle for freedom the Gandhi cap and the Nehru shirt were a badge of patriotism, and those who preferred Western-style clothes were dubbed as time-servers and stooges of the British. But today the Gandhi cap and the Nehru shirt are fast going out of fashion, as they are increasingly associated with black – marketers and smugglers who try to please the powers-that-be.

The apparel, of course, does not always proclaim the man, as the ‘oft’ in the statement makes it clear. There are bound to be exceptions. Moreover, in judging a man’s character from his clothes, one should not always be simple and straightforward. One must bear in mind the diversity of human motives and be able to see through affectations and attempts to deceive others.


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