Dress to Impress- Is it worth it?
The bushy-tailed, bright-eyed undergraduate who has the willpower to change the world must make a good first impression. They may envision themselves as an employee or an employer, but whether they are facing an interview panel or pitching an idea to a client, they are conscious of how they look. Some of the most successful men wear simple clothing, whereas the biggest scammers carry the most luxurious appearance. How is our appearance judged? Is it worth the extra effort? Does it lead to success?
The general consensus is that we must be well-groomed and put together to make our first impression memorable. This is only part of the equation. Your appearance is only a supporting tool that compliments your personality, your etiquette and your confidence. You must aim for a winning combination that keeps your name relevant. Of course, humans are sensory creatures. When you make an effort to appeal to any one of the senses while being mindful of your appearance, your possibility of winning increases!
The Sense of Hearing
The polished black shoes that match your black leather belt will be meaningless during your presentation if you have not perfected proper diction. The manner in which you pronounce your words during a pitch, interview or conversation can make your appearance irrelevant. In a group of people, where you engage with everyone equally, tends to get that perfectly starched shirt or well ironed-dress noticed. The sweetest word that anyone can hear is their name. Remember it, and use it! It’s one of the greatest weapons you have that can go with your killer outfit.
The Sense of Sight
The big shirts, the baggy pants and the oversized top may not be the best selections in your wardrobe. We are aiming for a great fit that brings out your professional/social personality with balanced colours that can make others say WOW! The manner in which you use colours depending on the season, occasion or celebration can only be complemented by your knowledge of etiquette and protocol. You may look fantastic, but if you are in the middle of a dinner and not entirely sure if you exit your chair from the left or from the right if proceeding to the restroom, then your clothing may lose its magic.
The Sense of Touch
It is unfortunate that human interaction has been diminished by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sense of touch had such a powerful impact of trust, through a handshake or a gentle touch on the shoulder. It is a technique that compliments the first impression when meeting someone for the first time. Now we must nod with respect, knock elbows or lock eyes to express a greeting. With this sense of touch out of the equation, we must capitalize on all other senses, and ensure that we look our best when interacting or networking with others.
The Sense of Smell
Have you ever walked the street and saw a professional in his/her suit, well-groomed, exudes confidence and walks with their chin parallel to the floor? It is someone who you instantly admire. You dreamed of having that laptop strapped across your shoulder. You wanted to be that busy professional who had several calls per day, several clients and deadlines that you yourself were not sure you could meet. Then it happened... they walked past you. Time seems to stop as the air around you is engulfed with strong scents of decadence, command and power. Not only did that person impress you by how they were dressed, but they ensured that your sense of smell was left with a lasting impression.
The Sense of Taste
There is one thing that transcends all the barriers of the world. Food is a necessity of life used as a method of gaining nutrients for survival. It is also used as a social tool to meet others whether professionally or personally. We are not only occupied by how food is presented, but we are also seeking the validation of others before we try a meal. This is why your recommendation is important! What is your taste? What do you like? Can you recommend a meal based on the likes of others? Your opinion matters at the table. Increase your knowledge of food, pairings and drinks. This will increase the level of commonality with someone you just met across the table.
Dressing to impress matters! It is complemented by your sense of charisma, style and conversation. You must be able to motivate, inspire and inform others. You must have a full grasp on worldly knowledge so that you can provide a unique perspective or opinion. Do not regurgitate the news. Others want to hear something different, something unique. Anyone can wear a suit or a dress, the real question is can you wear it well. The image is one thing, but the meaning behind the image is what brings the most value to the table.
Check out these interactive resources that our team uses to command the attention of others! It has helped us grow, learn and develop into model professionals.
There are also a host of other great resources online that can push you to be the best professional possible. The above links are our two favourites! If you have any more resources that you would like to share with our Connective Pros, make sure to drop us a message and we will share them to our newsfeed!
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