Although most of us pull on sweatpants during our downtime, there are certain occasions in life where we want to dress a little smarter. Whether you’re attending a business meeting, an awards ceremony, an office party or a first date, what you wear helps others form their opinions of you, so you should never underestimate the power of your image—especially when it comes to first impressions.
Dressing well encourages others to take us seriously, whether professionally or romantically, and lets them know we value their opinion of us. We understand the psychology of fashion; yet wearing clothes that make us feel confident without undermining our comfort is harder than it sounds. To help you project the image you want people to see, here are some tips for dressing to impress.
Care for Your Clothes
You don’t need to have a closet bursting with expensive clothes to look great. Making sure your garments are clean, crisp and ironed is far more important than designer labels. The best way to care for your clothes is to set out the outfit you want to wear the night before and inspect it closely. Are there any loose threads or buttons missing? Could that shirt do with an extra press? Make sure your shoes are clean and your bag is well organized—you don’t want drinks or loose biscuit crumbs spilling out and ruining your outfit.
Dress for Your Shape
If you’ve never learned how to dress for your shape, now’s the time to embrace what you have and finally look your best. Consult a personal stylist or do some online research to find out what clothes will make you look and feel your best.
Pay Attention to Details
It’s not just about the clothes you wear; smaller details like your nails, hair, and make-up will all influence others’ perceptions of you. It may sound obvious, but paying attention to these areas of your appearance will send the message that you take care of your work, too.
The right accessories can immediately lift an outfit from dull to dressy, so take time to find pieces you can wear every day. Consider belts, hair bands and clips and anything else you wear on a daily basis, and whether they help to project the right image. Take care to find jewelry that complements your outfit, like the subtle yet glamorous earrings available from Blomdahl USA, and choose a practical and stylish handbag to accompany your outfit.
Keep Good Hygiene Habits
No matter what you wear, if you haven’t showered or brushed your teeth for two days, people will be able to tell. Of course, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but we live in a culture where bad personal hygiene is off-putting, and you are expected to show up looking presentable. If you’re lounging around at home then by all means, skip your daily shower, but if you want other people to take you seriously, then you need to care for your skin, hair, and body.
You might not think people pay attention to the small details of your outfit, but dressing to impress is about inner confidence as well as outer projection. If you’ve taken the time to get organized and present yourself well, you’re sending a message to yourself that you are worthy, which will encourage others to think the same.
Photo by Pete Bellis
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