Does Your Dress and Appearance Measure Up?
Dress and appearance are important aspects of nonverbal communication that convey impressions related to assurance, competence, credibility and a concern and respect for other people. These first impressions, although not always fair, are usually made up within the first few seconds of meeting a person and are often lasting impressions. You seldom get a chance to make a second impression.
Projecting a positive image by dressing appropriately is critical to developing trust and building a positive rapport with others, especially in the business world. Negative first impressions can hamper effective communication and can impeded the relationship-building process. People make assumptions about others quickly based on their first impressions. These assumptions often include a person’s profession, educational background, trustworthiness, and social and economic status.
In social or professional settings, clothing acts as a communicator of ourselves, our company, and our position. You may not be aware that appearance constitutes 55 percent of the first impression we make on others. In addition to dress, impressions are conveyed by one’s overall appearance, which includes grooming, accessories and jewelry. Research has shown, for example, that women whose grooming includes hair that is shorter, styled simply and worn away from the face together with minimal facial cosmetics and simple jewelry are groomed consistent with a successful managerial style.
Research has also shown that people of both genders who wear glasses are perceived as more successful, intelligent and hardworking than those without glasses. Shoes are also scrutinized; wearing inexpensive shoes is the ultimate negative impression, along with men who wear socks that expose skin when they cross their legs. To be even more to the point, the image of one’s shoes remains in a person’s mind longer than anything else; dirty shoes are a sign of weakness, regardless of the person’s age, culture or profession.
To be a success, you need to look successful. You should wear clothes that look attractive on you, you are well groomed and your hold yourself with poise and confidence. Your intended message is that you feel confident about yourself and others will feel good about you.
If you feel uncertain about how to dress for success without having to spend a fortune, contact me for a 15 minute free coaching session, I can definitely help you.