First impressions only take place once. That moment in which you introduce yourself to someone else is never re-lived, and the image we give to others becomes our personal brand. Clothes are a nonverbal code of communication as they can express how we feel about ourselves – how we want others to perceive who we are. This is the reason why public figures, from celebrities to politicians, spend high amounts of money to wear clothes tailored towards representing who they are or want to be perceived as. These phenomena can also be seen in marketing campaigns by big companies – these companies spend millions of dollars on spokespeople that can be analogous with their brand’s image. Establishing a personal image is, therefore, crucial, as much for personal affairs as it is for any type of business. Here are some steps to take in order to make sure you work towards your best image, one that reflects who you are and want to be.
Your wardrobe should fit your life. Dressing well is all about matching your personality with your external looks. Hence, every wardrobe has its own personality that matches its owner. In the business world, however, the concept of professionalism always pops up, and it may have different meanings for different people. In general the term “professionalism” is an extension of the promise of an organization’s brand, hence its relevance. In order to define your image, you need to assess your role, age, responsibility, levels of client contact, work locations and interactions, body type and personal preferences.
Learn the rules:
Knowing the rules of how to dress for the workplace can be critical to professional success, and you should always become familiarized with the rules that are in place. If you understand the rules on how to dress then you are well equipped to make choices that serve you in your professional scene. Knowing the expectations, you can then make a conscious decision to disregard them and are better prepared to deal with the consequences, in case you decide that the established rules can be omitted.
Have a purpose:
Body image issues, social pressure, compromised self-esteem, disinterest in fashion, etc. are all factors that affect the way we dress and can make us fall into a state in which we dress without an intention or purpose. Dressing should not be an unconscious choice that results from a pattern of questions (How should I look? What should I wear?), but rather an answer to the question: what are my clothes saying about me?
What image do you want to portray? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.
Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP
For more information visit http://www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com.