You’ve heard the adage – ‘Dress for the job you want, not the job you have’? You see, I have been there! For too long I experienced the negative aspects of facing a wardrobe of business clothes that did not inspire and for a while, did not support my career. I hear it regularly from my clients too and as a result am a true advocate that the clothes we wear also influence the way we feel about ourselves. It begins however when we embrace our body positives and learn how to enhance them
Each of the days I spend with my clients is a privilege! Helping women identify clothes that flatter, providing a heightened level of confidence is something I am passionate about and is so relevant in either a social or business environment.
For those of you who need to inspire, encourage, influence, educate or challenge (that’s all of us, right?) it is so much easier to achieve from a position of confidence.
Let us consider that whatever the occasion for which we are dressing, the clothes we choose to wear speak volumes – they help to educate people about what we stand for and judgments are made in the blink of an eye.
Our image is an investment in our personal brand. Regardless if we are a business owner or member of a larger organisation, a positive image and our personal presentation becomes a vitally important communication tool, elevating our professional status opening doors and opportunities for us.
The impact of getting our image right in the first few seconds is that we appear more authentic, more comfortable and there is little doubt that this can provide the edge in a competitive environment.
Do how does one dress for the job we want and develop a coherent image that supports our goals – and in which we feel comfortable?
So many elements contribute to a positive image, it’s not simply the way we dress but our facial expressions, posture, attitude and actions. Let me share some of my guiding principles that may help to dress for the job you want, project a more congruent and authentic image AND achieve your full potential in the workplace.
Define your Image and what it says about you
Give yourself an audit on how you wish to be perceived and consider your business goals. Think about the clients you wish to attract. Does your image align with those clients or the role you aspire to? Once you have that clarity, it becomes easier to align with your personal brand.
Dress for Success
Understand what flatters you – the colours, shapes and styles. Develop a signature style that reflects who YOU are and what feels comfortable for YOU – not always what fashion dictates . Look into your wardrobe, learn how to dress your body. You may need to invest in some key pieces here ultimately forming the basis of a capsule wardrobe. Seek some external inspiration, spend wisely and your clothes will support you for some time.
Scrutinise your Grooming
..and the attention you pay to this. It’s always the small things people notice such as the chipped nail polish, the scuffed shoe or the creased clothing…but more importantly, so will YOU. The simple truth here is that when we care for the small things, we care for others, our clients, cohorts and the detail within our work.
When we make eye contact and smile, our expressions soften. A smile is associated with confidence and it’s a great way to engage. Similarly, a good firm handshake suggests we are dealing with a confident individual. Work on this if it is on the ‘limp’ side!
Posture can add real value to our personal brand and signifies that we are approachable, open to conversation and open to listening.
Of course, our body language also depends upon how comfortable we feel in our clothes. We can be wearing an expensive designer dress or a beautifully tailored suit but without the smile or appropriate grooming, we may not win the contract, get the job or get the guy!
Putting it together, when we invest in ourselves, a world of opportunities can open up. Whether we are selling products or services , you are your own boss or a member of a larger organisation, we are in a stronger position if we have first invested in ourselves.
If a ‘shot’ of dressing confidence could play a part in YOUR career or personal goal, visit my website and learn a little more about what I can do for you here.
Have a great day!
Independent Image Consultant
* Main Photo credit Olivia Brabbs