We live in a world of instant judgements where our appearance, clothes, grooming and body language create the visual clues from which others make judgements about our character, personality, status and ability.
Creating a good visual impression is essential in order to pass the ‘all important’ first impression and encourage others to ‘go beyond’ your packaging and pay attention to what you have to offer.
In a nutshell; if you present yourself as a capable, confident, reliable person, others will respond to you accordingly and give you time to prove it.
A word of warning though:
As mentioned in the first feature, you do not need to spend thousands of dollars to create a professional presentation however, it’s good practice to buy the best quality you can afford especially for the workhorse items such as pants and skirts. If you are at the beginning of your career, start out with a minimal mix and match wardrobe and build on it, one good quality piece at a time.
Shaped garments are more formal than those that are loose. Semi-fitted is by far the most appropriate and work for all occasions, while boxy garments tend to be perceived as more casual and very-fitted, short garments have the potential to undermine your professional efforts with a high-fashion or sexual overtone. Your aim at work should be to demonstrate professionalism with all appearance indicators demonstrating that your full attention is on your work.
Tailored garments are: fitted garments that have clean, simple lines, are minimally embellished, smart looking and fit well. They also commonly have vertical design aspects and hallmarks of a men’s suiting such as collars and sleeve cuffs etc. Tailored garments can be relied on to give you an image of authority especially when also in trustworthy or authoritarian colors such as medium to dark blues and greys, black and burgundy.
FACT: The more bare flesh you expose the less formal/professional you will be seen to be.
Taken to its full extent this would be: covered arms, high neck tops, hems at or below the knee, hosiery and closed toe shoes. When combined with a jacket this level is only the most formal of business settings. But don’t be fooled, covering up is still an effective tool when you need to impress with professionalism. Bare arms and legs are often accepted in workplaces, but the fact remains, when you add a sweater, a sleeved top, lower your hem, swap open toe shoes for a closed pump and/or add hosiery you will be seen as more professional and, treated accordingly.
Jackets Trump Cardigans
Straight from men’s wear a jacket instantly adds credibility and a level of professionalism that no other garment can match. For all occasions when you need to put your best foot forward or ensure you are seen as someone higher up the chain of command add a jacket.