I think maybe your opinion about someone's outer appearance should be a little less judgemental (sic). I don't know... just a thought. Maybe that guy who met your friend for coffee just wanted to keep it a casual thing and thought nothing of it. Ya never know.
Whether we like it or not, people are going to judge us based on appearance. It's a fact. It's part of the reason the fashion industry is huge. Everyone knows that part of others' first impression of them is going to be based on what they are wearing. It's why job seekers--and generally people on a first date--make that extra effort to look good.
The way we dress also expresses our attitude toward the place we are going and the people around us. Keeping a hat on in a restaurant or coffee shop is still considered disrespectful and ill-mannered. The few dismissals I've seen of this rule are of the "we're gonna do it, so get over it" variety. Not exactly respectful.
In our society judgment has become a dirty word. But judgment is not a bad thing. This is the definition from the American Heritage dictionary:
- The act or process of judging; the formation of an opinion after consideration or deliberation.
- The mental ability to perceive and distinguish relationships; discernment: Fatigue may affect a pilot's judgment of distances.
- The capacity to form an opinion by distinguishing and evaluating: His judgment of fine music is impeccable.
- The capacity to assess situations or circumstances and draw sound conclusions; good sense: She showed good judgment in saving her money. See Synonyms at reason.
In fact, better judgment could save a lot of pain. Girls. If he comes to pick you up for a date in a cap set askew and a tank top, just stay home. (Unless you're going boating, to play softball, etc.) But, if it's for dinner, forget it. They don't call sleeveless white shirts "wife-beaters" for no reason.
We all make judgments every day about the people we see. Most of them are at the unconscious or subconscious level. We notice whether people are clean, whether they seem to care about their appearance, whether their clothes are appropriate. Sometimes we may notice their attitude, whether positive or negative. Depending on the circumstances this can help us know how to deal with that person.
The young man in the coffee shop with the baseball cap may, indeed, have thought nothing of it. And that is precisely the problem.