We all know that first impressions count. But what you may not know is that your personal style can have a huge impact on your career.
According to Esquire magazine, taking care of your appearance can help you earn up to 20% more than your peers. Now that’s a significant difference!
Just imagine what that will equate to in 3-, 5-, or 10-years’ time! It’s astonishing and all from simply changing your style.
So, given the magnitude of this, let’s look at why you should be thinking about your personal style and presence, and some tips on how you can dress to be more influential in certain circumstances.
Why should you care about what you wear?
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it only takes 7-seconds for someone to form an opinion of you…clearly that’s no time at all!
It stands to reason then, that if you’re a highly ambitious woman, your style will be one of the easiest and quickest ways to influence others and give you a head start on building that all important know, like, and trust factor.
Now, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief because thankfully, nowadays, it isn’t about power dressing (a la the 90s). According to Forbes, it’s about dressing authentically and standing out.
There have been experimental studies which show that these days, being suited and booted doesn’t necessarily give the illusion of leadership. What actually came out of these studies was that people who aligned their attire to their personality were seen as leaders.
Let’s take for example a couple of famous leaders like Christine Lagarde and Anna Wintour. These women are power houses in their industries, but if you notice, they also take care of their appearance and are consistent with their style.
If I haven’t convinced you yet that your style has the power to impact and influence others, then think about how you feel when you wear certain clothes.
When you’re wearing something you like, you automatically exude confidence and are more likely to show competence and gravitas. This in turn will make your audience pay more attention to you.
I recently had a client who was always wearing black. She knew that to be influential and recognised in her industry she needed to do something about her outer appearance. So, we worked on putting a more professional and polished look together by adding more colour into her wardrobe. Recently she told me she was at a speaking event, and someone had approached her thinking she was one of the main speakers. By simply changing the way she dressed she impacted the way others perceive her.
The way you dress, carry yourself, and present yourself to the world sends a strong message about who you are and your personal brand. And in today’s business world, where first impressions are everything, it’s more important than ever to make sure your style is working for you and you’re expressing yourself in the best light, especially at work.
Let’s get influential
So, if you’re ready to show up and be more influential in any situation, here are my top five style tips…
TIP ONE: Stand out on Zoom
In today’s remote work environment, video conferencing has become the new norm. And while it’s great to be able to connect with colleagues and clients from anywhere in the world, it can be challenging to make a lasting impression when you’re just a small face on a screen.
One way to ensure that you’re being seen and heard is to pay attention to your wardrobe. Avoid wearing bland colours or what everyone else is wearing. Instead wear colours that suit you and make you radiate from the screen. Often black is quite a harsh colour to wear on camera, so try to avoid it.
TIP TWO: Appear as the expert in your industry
In any workplace, it’s important to dress for success, and if you’re in a management position, it’s especially important to look the part.
When wearing casual clothes has become the norm, make sure your style is more elevated and conveys confidence and authority. Invest in quality pieces that make you stand out and that your employees won’t necessarily be wearing.
TIP THREE: Be memorable…
In a good way! First impressions are everything, so take care to make sure yours is a good one!
Pay attention to your grooming habits and make sure you’re well-put together before meeting someone new. And choose clothing that flatters your figure and makes you feel comfortable and confident.
TIP FOUR: Know your audience
It’s important to dress appropriately for the situation at hand if you’re meeting with potential clients or customers, err, on the side of formality. But if you’re among friends or family, that’s the time to feel relaxed and be yourself!
Understanding who you’re meeting with and what their expectations are will help you choose the right style for the occasion and ensure that you show up looking your best.
TIP FIVE: Be Authentic
What you wear is an extension of you. It should strengthen and support you, at the same time, expressing your true self. Whether it’s a pantsuit, or a colourful dress, it should make you walk into your working day feeling poised and ready to take on anything that comes your way.
When you take care of your appearance, you’re sending a message that you are competent and credible for the job. This makes it a lot easier to influence and create an impact in your industry.
So, as you can see your personal style really can help you own the room and leave the right kind of lasting impression, so think carefully about your clothes and the statement you want to make.
I hope this has been an interesting and helpful read. And if you’d like to know more about up-levelling your personal style and creating a strong personal brand that differentiates you from the competition, CLICK HERE to download my free guide.