Is it possible to be seen exactly the way you want to be seen?
The short answer is YES. Did you know it takes one tenth of a second to form a first impression? We form our mental image of a person as soon as we come into contact with them. The unfair part of this equation is that we are a very image focused society and we make our assumptions based on what we see.
Now here’s the good news. It can work just as easily the other way around. We can be in control of our image and it starts with our clothing. When life transitions happen - returning to work after kids, changing careers or dating again in mid-life – we want to make that first impression strong and memorable.
The first step is in knowing what we are about, what we value and what resonates with us so we can move this into our personal style. I call these “style words”. Everything moves on a scale. Are you more classic? Romantic? Trendy? A little rock n’ roll? We could be classic and trendy in the same outfit but it would be confusing. Normally, we tend to fall to one end of the scale a little more than the other.
The second step is know your environment and the people in it. How will they be dressed? My golden rule is to always elevate your look. It’s OK to be the best dressed person in the room but it is NOT OK to be the most casual (or, ahem, worst dressed). You will end up feeling uncomfortable and you will miss opportunities to engage because you won’t be feeling as confident as you could feel. When you stand in your closet in the morning trying to decide what to wear, consider where you’ll be that day. Are you sitting in an office, traveling to meetings, presenting in front of people? Think ahead to how you want to feel while networking and work back to how you want to show up.
The third and final consideration is know your own body and what looks good on you. And notice, I didn’t say, “Go and change your body”. Your physical being is your vessel that deserves respect. It’s healthy and alive and carries you from A to B probably very efficiently. We all have body issues and areas we’d love to change and it's normal. However, we can dress in ways that make us look and most importantly FEEL beautiful – because we are ALL worthy of that and it IS possible. Trust me!
I challenge you ...
...to get serious about your personal style and then watch all the amazing first impressions that take place. It’s powerful stuff.