This week we are taking a break from our Secret Handshake series to discuss style, personal branding and how you can use style and clothing to help propel you within your field.
People often say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; while that may partly be true, we are genetically programmed to form first impressions of others as soon as we lay eyes on them. In fact, it takes only 500 milliseconds (Willis and Todorov 2006) to form a first impression of someone based on their appearance alone. In addition, people typically spend time trying to validate their first impressions of others over time. This fact alone has very real implications: if others are programmed to form judgments of you as soon as you interact with them, does it not stand to reason that you should be putting your best face forward, every time? This is by no means saying that your skill set, personality and talents fall by the wayside; it simply means that because of our human nature, we are programmed to take appearance into account.
So, what should we “appear” like to others? Firstly, a proper appearance starts with context. Where are you going? Who will you be meeting there? What is the dress code? The more you can align your appearance and self-presentation with what is expected, the better. Secondly, remember that appearance is no about attractiveness, it simply involves doing what you can with what you have. The best way to do this is to pay attention to grooming. Grooming is considered one of the most important components of appearance, and it cannot be ignored! This includes everything from styling your hair to having manicured fingernails. Thirdly, it is imperative that your appearance is in line with your personal brand. What exactly does this mean? Your personal brand should reflect your personality and your core values, as well as being reflective of the stage you’re at in your career.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what your brand is or presenting yourself the way you would ultimately love to, we have good news for you! Corporate Class has recently launched a new image enhancement program. It is painless, fast and the most affordable way to have your style and color analyzed. Using highly specialized software, we input a specific set of criteria about you. This generates a comprehensive Style Guide with accurate recommendations of clothing best suited to you, based on your body type, age and lifestyle.
The custom-made Style Guide features photographs of actual garments currently available from established online retailers, with extensive recommendations across every clothing category: Jackets, tops, pants, coats and for women, skirts and dresses. Each personalized Style Guide covers every aspect of all the clothing and accessories that suit you, and why. Far more than tips, the highly detailed report clearly specifies the right garments.
Why not join us? We will be conducting a one-hour workshop where you will experience our unique service offering customized wardrobe solutions for professional men and women. Join us for an introduction to The Look of Success™ and discover the power of a professional appearance. For more information on the upcoming session, please refer to our website. We hope to see you there!
Willis, Janine and Alexander Todorov. “First Impressions: Making Up Your Mind After a 100-Ms Exposure to a Face.” Psychological Science 17.7 (2006): 592-598. 24 Sept. 2015.