Have you ever thought about the type of image you want to project?
It’s easy to think that this would only be something professionals need to think about but that’s not true. No matter what your lifestyle, professional or age your appearance tells others about you before you even open your mouth. How you present yourself will either attract or repel others far before you’ve had a chance to say a word to them. While I don’t think you need to lose sleep over the issue if you have found that you are not getting the responses from other people you want, or the opportunities you know you deserve then maybe, just maybe, your personal presentation may need a little tweak.
Appropriate, Enhancing and Goal Effective
According to the fashion website Matalan, which polled 2,491 females, the average woman spends an average 16 minutes every weekday morning, 14 minutes on the weekend and up to 20 minutes pondering her wardrobe prior to a night out. That’s a heck of a lot of wasted time over a year!
A long time ago I discovered the power my clothes, accessories, and grooming had in controlling the way I felt each day as a result of how I behaved. This is exactly the same way that an actor only totally feels one with the character they are portraying during a full dress rehearsal. Our clothes help us perform the roles we need/want to play each day. They help us to ‘feel’ the part and can act like armor helping us to feel more confident and protected.
This is not a new phenomenon, it’s been happening since man first donned clothes. We covered our nakedness to for protection and confidence, and from that time onward adding and subtracting items became the way to inform others of our status, role, moods, and affiliations.
Being able to look in the mirror and say – go, girl, you rock is great. It fills us with confidence, hope and we stand a little straighter, more with more purpose and smile more frequently. Knowing we look the part releases us from our insecurities and allows us to get on with the job at hand. Of course, it’s not just ourselves that are affected by our appearance. Others too, respond to how we look, and the right appearance encourages others to give us more time to explain our ideas, opens doors and releases opportunities both socially and professionally. In fact, your presentation is a continual portrayal of you – it’s like a constant visual resume.
The Night Before
If you wait until the morning to decide what you’ll be wearing it only results in early morning stress and often a ‘this will have to do‘ outfit. I suggest you decide what you are going to wear each night before bed – it only takes a few minutes and you’ll be able to sleep in a little later.
To make the process as quick and easy as possible you’ll need to have an organized closet.
If your closet is unorganized set aside a day to organize everything in a way that it works for you. Some women prefer clothes of the same color hung together while others prefer the same type of garments together. I hang the same types of garments together and with like colors together. You may even like to separate your workwear from your casual wear – it doesn’t really matter, the aim is to create a wardrobe where all your options are easy to see.
If your wardrobe is crammed and you can barely move the clothes on the rack, the first thing you need to do is a closet cleanout. Not only to get rid of all the things that no longer fit you, are out of date or season, are no longer your style, etc, etc, but also to move all the clothes that are for another season to another location. You’ll be amazed at the difference this alone will make.
Next day Deliberations
When thinking about what you’ll wear the next day ask yourself the following questions.
- what work will I be doing?
- where will I be going?
- what level of dress should I wear – smart casual, business casual, formal business?
- what is the weather forecast?
- who will I be seeing?
- what do I want to achieve or what impression do I want to make?
By answering each of the above questions you’ll be able to easily sort out the available options and select the items you want to wear to create an outfit you’ll feel perfect in.I suggest you also gather up your lingerie, shoes, coordinating handbag, etc so everything is ready to go.
A Few More Tips
- Create clothing clusters: these are groups of items that work around each other (see image below).
- Document great outfits: anytime you put together a new winner of an outfit, make a note of all the garments and accessory pieces in a notebook – better still add a photo! It’s amazing how quickly we can love a look one day and a week later have totally forgotten what pieces we put together to create it (or is this just my 50 yr old brain?). Within a few months, PretaStyler members will be able to do this for themselves with our new Look book creation functionality.
- Rotate your outfits: Leave at least 7 days in between wears and be ever on the lookout for new items that will extend your cluster to create a few different outfits.
- Have at least one special outfit you can lay your hands on at a moment’s notice so you never get caught with nothing to wear at short notice.