by Sandy Dumont, The Image Architect
The way you look and dress announces the outcome other people can expect from you. It also announces how you feel about yourself, and you’ll be treated accordingly.
Numerous university studies, including one at Harvard, have concluded that we make an in-depth and long-lasting “first impression” in a mere two seconds. We think we make decisions based on serious considerations, and after much thought and time. Wrong. We choose the professionals who serve us and even job candidates the same way we choose our significant other. It is “love at first sight.”
Job seekers would be advised to dress to impress, because the one who is hired is qualified, of course; but he or she is the one who makes the right impression in the first few seconds.
The way you look and dress determines many things, including the tone of your day. The way you look defines who you are to the person in the mirror when you leave the house each morning. Self esteem soars when you see a mover and shaker, but there’s not much motivation when the person in the mirror seems to say, “Aw, what does it matter how I look.”
You sell yourself short when you don’t look extraordinary every day. If you only “dress up” when the occasion arises, that person in the mirror may look like an imposter to you. If you feel good about who you are and what you do, you want to shout it to the world by looking like a million dollars.
Image doesn’t cost, it pays. When you look dynamic, you get deferential treatment and are accorded more respect. Just ask social psychologist Kevin Hogan, PhD. In his book, “The Science of Influence,” he asserts that when you meet people you put them in one of three categories: Yes, No or Maybe. Hogan says the vast majority are in the No category and they are dismissed entirely. He says it’s difficult to get out of the Maybe category, and that only a few are in the Yes category. He contends that those in the Yes category basically have a high-status look and are well-dressed and accessorized. You’ll find wonderful tips about how to dress in a professional manner in the white papers that are attached.
Color is the cornerstone of image, and color preferences are embedded in our DNA. Early cave men and women noticed that if they dressed to blend into their environment, the wild animals wouldn’t notice them. This “instinct” still lingers. In fact, it’s the secret to the success of the early books on color analysis. They were popular because they confirmed our “instincts” that dressing to match our superficial appearance was a good idea. All the blondes beamed when they read that baby pink and other pastels were for them; while the redheads nodded in enthusiastic agreement when they saw that redheads were shown in rust and burnt orange. It was so “logical” and so easy! Alas, it didn’t work. It kept the wolves away, but it also made everyone look invisible. Invisible people pass by unnoticed. They are dismissed. They are in the No category.
If you want to stand out in the crowd and turn heads when you enter a room, you don’t want to blend into your garments. Think contrast. Take the time to discover whether you look better in cool colors like royal blue and cherry red; or in warm colors like teal blue and tomato red. It will make the difference between looking ordinary or looking extraordinary.
Make certain that person in the mirror is dressed to impress!
You can listen to the audio from when Sandy was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here: https://www.audioacrobat.com/play/Wsd8KlZx