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How to Dress for Success

Within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone, they are formulating an opinion about you. Not before you even get further than name introductions and pleasantries, you are being judged by your peers. Your image is constantly being evaluated so keep in mind you are being judged on hairstyle, grooming, clothing selection, accessories, shoes, hygiene and body language.  By nature, people gather enough information about you in a condensed amount of time that allows them make an assumption about you.  They will use your image to categorize you and search for something familiar about you all within the first 10 seconds of meeting you.  The other 20 seconds are use to processed the information in order to come to a quick conclusion about your character, capabilities, goals and lifestyle. What does your image say about you? An image consultant provides image management services that are customized to each individuals needs.  These services, once preformed and implemented, allow others to regard you more favorably. Image management is the ongoing evaluation of your appearance as it communicates to you and to others.

Your image can speak decimals or high volumes depending on how it is perceived by others. Your image is a direct individual representation of self perception and value.  It is intended to communicate for you before you have the opportunity to say anything.  The best part about your image is that you can generally control it, improve it or change it to meet your personal or professional goals. The way you dress determines how you feel about yourself.   In a competitive market place, you can't afford to think negatively about yourself.  If you are having a bad day, subconsciously your appearance will reflect your negative thoughts or frustrating nature. It could be the garments you choose to wear that day or the lack of color in your outfit, either way your emotions are worn on your sleeve for everyone to see.  When having a good day, maybe you wake up refreshed and vibrant.  You chose bright colors and decide to wear something that has been sitting in your closet untouched for months.  You overcome your doubt and decide to be adventurous by experimenting with a new outfit combination.  Your confidence is gleaming and people will quickly pick up on your energy and regard you more favorably.  

What you show the world is what will be given back to you.  Putting effort into your appearance will redeem itself in your life both personally and professionally. It is amazing how the power of a professional appearance can affect your career. The most important thing to remember when dressing for a job or interview is to look organized and act professional. Wake up early, take the time in the morning and show yourself that you care about how you are viewed. Realistically if you care about your image others will notice. If you don't invest time into your appearance, it will be difficult for employers to see that you are well organized and capable.  If you go to an interview looking wrinkled and messy, chances are the potential employer will view you as unorganized and scatter brained. Remember that you are your best representation and you are the only one who has control over how you show yourself to others. Be sure your image is communicating a positive reflection of your self-brand.

One thing you can generally control is your image.  In order to present a powerful image, one should know how to compliment their body structure and weight placement. Clothing should not only be a representation of personal style but should communicate for you.  When you pay attention to the details and dress for your individual body type, it says that you are consistent and capable.  Applying this format to a wardrobe is a little more complicated.  An image consultant can help you learn about brands and garments best suited for your body structure. When you have an interview it is crucial knowledge to gain as much information about the company beforehand. Make sure you understand the company philosophy and the position you are applying for. When you actually go to the interview, think of it as role playing. It is so important to dress for the role you want, NOT just the role you are applying for.  This format works for personal encounters and social setting as well.  Dress for who you aspire to be and always keep a positive outlook.

What not wear to an Interview or to work? Being in an interview is like swimming in a petri dish with a huge microscope on top of you! You are analyzed from head to toe, about image, personality, posture, manners, education and background. So when you are choosing an outfit make sure it not only speaks to your personality, but let it be a reflection of your organization and career goals.  Make sure you are prepared and edit yourself to not say anything that will discriminate or hurt you in anyway. In a professional environment keep political and religious views out of the conversation and out of your wardrobe.  Do not advertise or promote brands because you never know who you are going to offend. Let your interview, be about you, your capabilities and your strong suits. Avoid loud and distracting garments, colors, patterns and slogans.  Keep your outfit simple and sophisticated so it allows all the attention to be on your experience and goals. When selecting styles and colors, know what styles fit your body the best and what colors will help highlight your natural skin tones.  Wear garments that implicate your confidence and ability to take risks but be careful to not the garments wear you!  This will be a huge distraction and could sabotage your interview before you ever get a chance to introduce yourself.

When choosing your interview outfit pick one focal point that's memorable enough to leave a lasting impression. By choosing the right color or pattern or even special accessory can set you apart from the other applicants. An Image Consultant can teach you about your colors and how they affect you and help bring attention to your natural beauty or sophistication. When wearing certain colors, your eyes, hair, skin and teeth are affected. Your eyes and hair look richer while your skin will glow and teeth will appear whiter. The accent you choose for your interview can be a pattern, a color, a tie or even cuff-links on your suit. Keep your selection reasonable and subtle. By taking the time to pay attention to details, you are telling the employer that you care about the specifics, and also about the whole package. The small detail could be your advantage of recognition, that one guy with the really nice tie, or the woman with the beautiful blouse. It is always best to over dress just enough to show you will fit in and be a good representation of the company's image.  Before you leave home, remember to make sure you are dressed for the position you are applying for, but would be able to ease into a promotion effortlessly.  Employers think of you as an investment, and they want hope that one day their investment will pay off. Through your image give them the instant gratification that in hiring you, they are making the right decision.

When you are confident in your image it makes you confident in life. By understanding your body, controlling your image and dressing for success, it immediately gives you the upper hand.  It creates confidence and allows others to favor you.  Confidence is a great way to help you to get where you want to be. It can calm your nerves in an interview, it can show your boss that you are not just another body in the room, it can give you the power some people just do not have. It will help you both professionally and personally. So when preparing yourself for the professional world, take this time to seriously examine what your choices in appearance are saying about you currently and make the appropriate changes that will help you land that much needed first job.

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