Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of a magic wand to help women feel pretty in order to make them feel strong. When I was 11 years old, there was no woman/girl, entering my house without going through my pampering treats from make-up, hair style, skin treatment to outfit relooking. And now, whenever I take the tube, I still enjoy looking at women trying to find out what would get the best out of them. And it is all about bringing life to people, putting colors and strengths on them.
Of course, I understand that talking about looks and ways to dress, can sound extremely superficial at first. And, this is the whole paradox!
What image do I want people to keep from me? If I consciously decide to go for such an outfit, what advantages and what risks to I take for people to really get it the way I want?
I already spoke about the fact that I don’t read Women Magazines ¡Adios a las revistas de chicas! anymore, because of the constant pressure it puts on me and the image of Women it tends to promote. But this does not mean that I don’t consider my/our looks important.
Why this post? Because I am a strong believer that:
– The way you dress reflects the way you feel -How much can our image reflect what we really feel inside? It is all about self-esteem and it is a virtuous circle. If you like yourself, you will dress well, if you don’t, you might start to forget about it.
– First impressions and looks count hugely – so, your wardrobe is a big part of your first impressions.
In a 2010 national poll conducted by the Center for Professional Excellence at York College of Pennsylvania, “appearance” ranked second only to “communication skills” when respondents named qualities most often associated with professionalism.
It is a personal choice to dress one way or the other. The main question is “how aware are we of the image we project? I believe we can all benefit from stepping away and really thinking about what is our personal brand and how to support it through the way we dress…whether we are a man or a woman…
– Deciding consciously about your image is one step further in being free. The first thing that stroke me when I started writing this article and doing some online research is that everything I found was related to dress code, rules and fashion trends. This, combined with our consumerism society can make it difficult to be or feel free in the way we dress. Let me also share with you one of my big doubts: how much more challenging can it be for Women in selecting the right image on a professional level?
So, yes! Basically, it is very much about image and packaging…What is YOUR packaging? And how sure are you that your individual dresses for work is a powerful extension of your personal brand?
Because the clothes, accessories and even footwear you decide to wear will either reinforce or diminish your skills and qualities in the eyes of employer, co-workers and clients. You need to be aware of it!
Here are 4 main principles to work on your packaging whilst dressing:
- 1. Dress to feel confident – I am sure we all have our “power outfit”, those clothes that are like confidence boosters. There’s even proof: In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, subjects who donned doctors’ lab coats scored higher on attention-related tasks than did those who did not.
- o Wear comfortable clothes – I admit I often smile at the look of women desperately walking as if on eggs in the street perched on high heels. But to be honest, it is not funny at all. What on earth make them go out like this?
- o Accentuate the positive – make the best out of you
- 2. Dress according to who you are and what you want people to take away from you
- o Know yourself – From body type to your personality
- o Dress with clothes that fit you – size wise
- o For Women, watch out the messages that can be interpreted from too sexy outfits for example
- o Successful workplace dressing is a subtle combination of ‘fitting in’ and ‘standing out’. So the trick is to adhere to the accepted dress code, but find tricks and twists that help you project your own personal image and identity
- 3. Adapt to the environment
- o Keep it modest – it is not about flashing, it is about connecting
- o Be aware of the impact of colors. I always remember one of my first meetings wearing a bright red jacket. My counterpart told me: “How aggressive are you, this morning!” Some studies have shown that yellow represents positivity, and blue, trustworthiness. Red is good when you want to appear assertive, but be cautious about wearing it.
- 4. Find a balance between good grooming and endless primping:
Make sure you show some personality or you’ll miss an opportunity to stand out. It is also interesting not to spend a lot of time keeping up with trends, because one possible interpretation is that you care more about clothes than about the job. No need to mention the danger of turning into fashion victims being obsessed about our outfits and buying clothes.
For those of us wanting to be recognized only for our” brilliant ideas”, it can be hard to accept that so much importance is drawn to outfits and images. But actually, I believe that being aware of it is the first step to recovering the control of our image and actually making sure, we are not misunderstood and convey the important message to our surroundings.
Let’s enjoy aligning our image with our true personality workingon our packaging! At the end, it is all about feeling good and making sure we are understood the way we are!