Updated: Dec 8, 2019
As humans, we process images 60,000 times faster than words. This means what we’re wearing is instant communication to those around us. From this, people make quick judgements about who you are, such as: Are you professional; are you credible; will I like you; and even how much you’re worth.
Not only do your clothes communicate to others what you're about, but your clothes also impact how you feel inside. Dressing in an outfit that doesn’t make you feel like your best self, can hinder your confidence, your self-expression and your success in a social situation.
How many times have you doubted what you are wearing to an important event? How much of your closet consists of clothes that help you blend in, rather than help you stand out?
Here are 5 reasons how dressing well will serve you:
1. Nailing it at networking
You don’t have to be the best dressed person or the fashionista in the room. But simple details like wearing something fun can make you memorable to people who are meeting you for the very first time. Being seen in a well-put outfit helps others value you for all the right reasons. You’d be surprised how many people will remember their interaction with you, no matter how brief, because of how well you came across. The opportunities that could come from making a great impression are priceless.
2. Putting yourself at ease during moments that matter
When have you questioned: What am I going to wear to an event that's important to you? Whether it’s a job interview or a meeting with a client, we all want to put our best foot forward. When you feel comfortable in your clothes, you don’t worry about how you’re coming across. You’re not fidgeting because your shirt is not sitting in the right way, and you’re not distracted by something that’s digging into your hips. Not worrying about what you're wearing has a freeing effect for you to focus on the client, the conversation, and the impact you’re making.
3. Helping people understand who you are
Clothes have an amazing ability to communicate with others who we are. Wearing bright colours can communicate that we are fun, or creative. Having our sleeves rolled up can say we have a can-do attitude. Wearing polished shoes can mean we tend to every last detail. These small but powerful details can make or break someone’s perception of you. Wearing the right things that help people see you the way you want to be seen is an invaluable tool (that you can control) to build your own personal brand.
4. Giving you the courage to pursue new opportunities
Clothes can make you feel drab, boring, happy, energised or powerful - the choice is yours! When you're wearing the right clothes that help you feel a certain way, you can’t help but take action consistent with how you feel. How many times have you chosen not to speak up or go to an event because you’re not comfortable with who you are? On the other hand, have you noticed those moments when you’re dressed in your best outfit, and as you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, you quietly say to yourself ‘Wow, I look great!”, and you don’t hesitate to head out the door? When you are inspired by your clothes, you’re inspired by who you are, and you’re inspired by the opportunities that are available to you. Look in your closet now and ask yourself: How do my clothes make me feel?
5. Giving you a competitive edge over others
Forbes published an article that talks about how your clothes determine how well you’ll do an interview. This is because having the right attire will create a halo effect that influences the interviewer to see you in a positive light and forgive any minor mistakes you may make.
In a study by Frank Bernieri, Ph.D., he says that given everything else equal, someone who is pulled together is more likely to be hired than others. "We would like to think that we'd make decisions based on rational evidence," says Bernieri. "The truth is, it's about how well they dress."
It doesn’t matter whether it is an interview, it can be a networking event, a client meeting, or even a date! Dressing well matters.
What you wear speaks loudly, so remember to speak visually. Take care of your communication to the world through your clothes.
How will you put your clothes to work?
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