What makes a person emulate the style of another person? Why is it that the person dressed in a tailored suit and tie is upgraded to first class, over the one in jeans and a t-shirt? What makes a person enter a room and command attention without uttering a word, while his colleague goes unnoticed? The answer to these questions, and many other, lie in the power of personal image.
A person’s image is tied to the perception others have on him/her. Therefore, the way one dresses is crucial in a quest to achieve success. In this occasion, the spotlight will be for young professional college students. As young professionals, these college students already start attracting attention in a business world where the millennials are the ones in charge right now. However, as the upcoming generation to take over control, college students are to work for their success, and because of the importance of personal image in achieving this, it is important to discuss some of the ways in which to get around dressing.
One of the most important ways to assess how to dress in different environments is very simple: Ask. In new settings, such as a new office job, the best way to get around the question of “what to wear?” is to simply ask the company what dress codes are in place. The question can even have a positive influence on the superior’s perspective on you, as you show interest and planning in your new job. Besides asking, it is always good to look around and see what people in the environment you’re new at are wearing. However, there is an “ultimate rule” that should be followed in every situation you may encounter: You can never be overdressed for an occasion.
As mentioned, one can never be overdressed for an occasion, or at least that is the mindset that everyone should follow in a professional setting. This leads us to another great rule to follow: Dress to impress. It is important to be able to convey a strong first impression, and the only way we can achieve this is by LOOKING good. The value and purpose of personal image is not to be underestimated. Therefore, in deciding what to wear, it is always important to think about the question: “What do I want others to think of me when they see me?”
On a more generalized note, there are some other rules that can, and should, be followed outside of a professional context. As college students, it is important to drop the “Highschooler appearance”. The “Logo Mania” that takes place in many wardrobes is something to be avoided by a young professional. Remember, you want to express who you ARE or aim TO BE, therefore you don’t want to be walking around showing others what brands you’re wearing. Besides this, it is also important to remember that hair is a part of your personal image. Although it is not a piece of clothing, it still affects the way others see you, and it is therefore a factor to take into consideration.
Overall, the whole purpose of dressing “correctly” as a young professional college student is not to follow a certain pattern on what is acceptable to wear, but rather to dress for success. The purpose of dressing appropriately for different occasions is to adapt the perceptions of others to what we want them to perceive. Just as by acting a certain way you make others link that behavior to their sense of who you are, dressing a certain way will also affect this perception.
How has your personal image affected your life? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.
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