First impressions really do count. Studies show that people form an opinion of you in a matter of seconds; often before you’ve even had a chance to say a word.
As such, if you want to land that ideal job, or convince a client to sign on the dotted line, appearances are everything. It’s not only a matter of how others perceive you either – dressing for success can affect how you feel about yourself too.
10 ways to look like the image of success
- Keep up with the trends. Like any other form of fashion, professional clothing styles change over time. Do your research before buying. For example, are single-breasted or double-breasted suits appropriate right now? What colour palettes are popular in the workplace? Flick through some magazines and browse online for clues.
- Work with what you’ve got. If money’s tight at presentand you can’t afford a lavish new wardrobe, lay out your work clothes on the bed, then mix-and-match. Sometimes, unexpected garments, when paired together, create a winning new look.
- Judge the occasion correctly. It’s a wise idea to dress according to the specific circumstances. For example, if you’re meeting some clients in a laid-back café in town, you might want to dress a bit more casually. If you’re applying for a creative job, it might be appropriate to dress more vibrantly, to let your artistic personality shine through. However, always err on the side of caution and dress up, not down. It’s better to look too smart than too scruffy.
- Wear what makes you feel good. There’s no point wearing an outfitthat’s uncomfortable, or that makes you feel self-conscious. Pick clothes that boost your self-confidence, as this will affect how you present yourself to others.
- Remember the accessories. A few designer (or designer-influenced) accessories instantly make your outfit look expensive. This then gives the impression that you’re doing well financially; which makes clients more likely to want to work with you. Handbags, jewellery and silk ties – they all make a difference.
- Look after your clothes. Whatever you do, don’t chuck your clothes back into a drawer when you’re done with them. Hang suits correctly, fold garments carefully to avoid creasing and snagging, and if they require dry cleaning, don’t attempt to throw them in your washing machine. Bobbled, faded and rumpled clothes don’t convey the right message at all.
- Don’t forget the shoes. Make no mistake, people notice your footwear. Scuffed or muddy shoes are an absolute no. Remember that they should be practical too. Towering stilettoes might look impressive, but if you end up falling over in them, this will have the reverse effect.
- Prepare for the weather. When getting dressed for a meeting or interview, it’s easy to forget a major external factor – the weather. Hot temperatures can swiftly leave you with unsightly sweat-patches, and pouring rain is guaranteed to ruin even the most perfectly coiffed hair. Check the weather forecast the day before, then plan your outfit accordingly.
- Get the right fragrance. People are influenced by scent, which is why fragrance is so important. When choosing your perfume or cologne, think about the message you want to convey. For example, if you’re going for a sense of authority and masculinity, Creed Aventusis a good option. Likewise, a female perfume like Baccarat Rouge 540 is worth considering.
- Choose what works for you. Ultimately, it’s your body, and your decision. Your clothing should be presentable and professional, but if it doesn’t feel like ‘you’, then you’ll find it difficult to remain authentic. Choose clothing that reflects your unique personality, while showing the world that you’re a force to be reckoned with.