It takes just one-tenth of a second for us to look at someone and make a judgment. As much as we would all like to think that our performance alone is what we are judged on, the truth is, those who look the part often get the job. Whether it is first impressions or ongoing opinion, the way you look is likely to form the basis of what people think of you. That goes for your colleagues, your boss, and your clients.
We aren’t all impeccably put together all the time. Nor do we all have a Hollywood budget or team of stylists to ensure we look professional. So, how do we ensure that we are facilitating the response we want from how we look?
Following these simple and straightforward tips will certainly send you in the right direction.
1. Be smooth
Not the smarmy-salesman-smooth. Just look neat and well-groomed. It seems obvious, doesn’t it? and yet more often than not, asked the question, who is your most untidy colleague? everyone would have someone in mind. Un-ironed or dirty clothes stand out a mile and will always be noticed.
2. Be smart
Unless you work for one of the big fashion houses it is unlikely that your day job involves a catwalk. Leave the fashion show for after hours. Many workplaces now operate a smart/casual dress code but lean towards the smart rather than the casual. If in doubt then stick to business dress. Clients will put more faith in a well-attired provider and your colleagues and employer will see that you are taking your role seriously.
3. Be simple
Not in that way! Keeping things simple means you are less likely to offend or annoy anyone. Limit your accessories to plain jewelry that compliments your outfit. Loud, jangling, or provocative items might get people talking, but it won’t be in a positive manner.
4. Be fitted
With studies showing that two-thirds of all people actually wear the wrong sized clothing on a regular basis we have to accept that this is a bigger problem than we would have thought. Are we delusional as to our real shape and size, or are the ever-changing high street size charts misleading us and giving us an inconsistent guide as to what size we should be wearing? Regardless of the reasons, perhaps it is time to consider finding ourselves a tailor that can nip in or let out our garments to give us that made to measure comfort and flawless appearance.
5. Be ambitious
The old adage, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” might be a bit cheesy but it holds some value. Don’t risk being overlooked for promotion because you didn’t iron your shirt or couldn’t be bothered with a tie.
Similarly however keep in mind the requirements of your own position. If you are in a field position with a view to moving into management one day, its probably not good practice to turn up on site wearing a full suit and carrying a brief case. Use your common sense and above all, present the best version of what is appropriate.