Matching your image to your abilities and portraying the “something” that sets you apart from others is a “style-skill” that communicates competence, credibility and gives you the edge in today’s competitive business world.
You have the expertise, the passion and you are capable of doing a great job but what if you are not portraying all this in the way you present yourself? Like it or not it is our natural “fight or flight” instinct that influences our first impression and it can take a whole lot of effort to convert a negative into a positive if you don’t nail it the first time.
It’s about building a rapport. People connect easier with people they can relate to, people who make them feel comfortable and people they think they can trust. When it comes to employing someone, employers are not just looking for skills and qualifications they’re looking for people who will fit in with the company values and culture as well as people who come across as self-motivating with the capacity to use their initiative.
Very often it comes down to a gut feeling, so your APPEARANCE, how you BEHAVE and INTERACT will make the difference between success and failure through all walks of life.
Where to start?
Consider what messages you are currently transmitting and what messages you want or need to relay. Be honest with yourself. Think of 3 key words that would best describe what you need to reflect in your professional life.
When you have deciphered these key words, attempt to reflect them in your appearance. For example, meticulous and organised can be projected in a look that is classically neat with very little fuss, therefore avoid patterns or too much jewellery. Clean simple lines work best but avoid looking staid and dated. If you need help with this my Style Savvy Transformation will help as I will come up with appropriate ideas that you will be able to comfortably carry off.
More Style Savvy tips that work
Know your Dress Codes
Smart Casual or Business Casual is the one dress code that everyone interprets in their own way, but very few realise what it entails. Very often used as a dress code for office wear, for women it means replacing the jacket with knitwear, for men it’s losing the tie. To ensure a look of professionalism the outfit and accessories should be co-ordinated and appropriate. Jeans do not fit into ‘Smart Casual’, nor do maxi dresses, tunics and leggings they fall into a less formal category. Of course appropriate dress codes depend on the business requirements, its culture, and every business will have different rules on what’s required.
As a guide, consider what your managers, work colleagues, potential employer, customers and clients expect in terms of the industry or profession. I.e. a firm of solicitors will be more formal than a trendy, young media or advertising company.
Keep it Appropriate
Too much flesh is a distraction! Remember that short skirts ride up even higher when one sits down. If it clings, creases and is see-through – wrap your sandwiches in it! It’s a sure fire way to get noticed, but do you want to be noticed for all the wrong reasons? I am sure sexy and trashy were not among your key words for your business image.
Every shade of black, grey or beige equals dull, unimaginative and boring. Does this reflect the inner you? Of course not! When you wear the colours best suited to you, your eyes sparkle, you will miraculously loose the dark circles and lines and you will feel good about yourself. Colours are a fantastic mood enhancer, so avoid wearing black or grey on their own and inject a “splash” of colour to brighten your day.
You will also be surprised how a scarf or tie in the right colour can ensure you stand out from the rest. It will help to draw the focus to your mouth, therefore what you are saying and having that bit of subtle interest in your outfit ensures you stand out.
Get advice on your best colours as this will be invaluable in creating a professional capsule wardrobe that ticks all the boxes.
Enjoy your wardrobe and have fun
By fun I mean use your clothes to reflect your character, charm and spirit but keep within your instinct boundaries of knowing whether or not you can carry it off and whether or not it’s appropriate. It’s a fine line between playing it too safe and knowing exactly what suits you and your body shape. This is the key to confidence, feeling great in whatever you wear.
And finally…Be You!!
Reflecting your true self in your appearance and being more aware of the non-verbal messages you are transmitting helps you communicate more effectively.
Be authentic, whilst something may look good on your friend or work colleague, it may not be suitable for you. Go with your gut instinct otherwise it ends up an expensive mistake with lots of unworn items in your wardrobe.
Style is not about being good looking, having a fabulous figure or having lots of money, it is about confidently stepping forward and saying “This is me and I love being me!!”