One thing we just can’t avoid, is how others perceive us by the the clothes we are wearing.
You do it too, don’t you! Have you ever thought, hey, she sure looks amazing! Or he could use a shave and a new coat, or what was she thinking wearing that!? You see, it’s human nature. We just can’t help it. However, we can certainly influence how others think about us by putting a little extra thought and care into what we put on. Especially when it comes to a job interview, meeting with potential clients, or getting introduced to your significant other’s family, you can’t escape the thoughts they form they first lay their eyes on you. Does your style say you are careful and confident or does it say you are stylish and sassy? Maybe your style is unconcerned and worn out, or too comfortable and mismatched. Whatever it is you are wearing, it says more than you might think it does.
Here is the thing. When you put in the effort to dress to impress the people you are meeting with, they will notice it and reward you with a favorable impression. But there is a trick. Be careful to only dress up one level. Dressing up too much can say you are trying just to hard and says that you are not very perceptive. People will think you are either arrogant or clueless. Not dressing up, or enough, and you will be considered to be thoughtless or even disrespectful. So, yep, there it is. That fine line to where you are putting on enough of a flair to look good and pull it off with grace, versus looking uncool.
So here are a few tips I have found to be helpful…
- Never wear jeans in new situations. Ever. It won’t do you any good to go casual for just about every situation I can think of. Instead, find a great pair of slacks you can be comfortable in. They always look so much nicer anyway.
- Be clean and crisp. Do a once (and a twice) over to make sure you don’t have any wrinkles, tears, stains, loose threads, and even tags and stickers if you just purchased a new pair. Check your nails too. Are they trimmed and clean? Overlooking things like these will make you look sloppy if someone else notices them and you don’t. How embarrassing!
- Get a second opinion from someone you trust and be open to their honesty. If they don’t agree with something you have on, take it as a helpful piece of advice and make the necessary adjustment. You will be grateful you did.
- Take out the extra piercings, cover up those tattoos, and use makeup to cover up any blemishes. Try to be picture perfect. You may feel you are hiding your true self, but for a first impression, you want to show your best self.
- Accessorize. Add a nice watch, a pretty necklace and matching earrings (for ladies), or cuff links and a tie pin (for the gentlemen). Put on a stylish belt and don’t forget to shine those shoes!
- Don’t forget to smile! It is your best attribute and helps people to feel relaxed and confident in you. People who smile often and smile easily can help others to like them and can overcome awkward moments when nothing else may seem to go right. Check your smile out in the mirror. Make sure you have a winner that puts others at ease by including your eyes. It makes your smile even more genuine.
Follow these quick tips, and truly, you will be on your way to make the best first impression. So back to step three. You know that honest second opinion I told you a moment ago to get? Well, that can be harder to get than you think. Finding someone who will be objective (probably, not your mom), can be tricky. But guess what? I am going to introduce you to someone who can help you out with just that. Her name is Lynette Jones from When Style Matters and she works exclusively to help people manage their style tastefully. For those of us who may be a bit more challenged in knowing which color shirt matches a perfect pair of pants, she provides the answers. If you would like to have Lynette help you adjust your style and get your ready for the next important first impression, you can reach her at the following:
Lynette Jones, When Style Matters