We can choose to dress and carry ourselves in a way that is consistent with our personal and professional goals, or we can continue wearing clothes that say we don’t care. You’re in control. If you choose to create an image that tells the real story about you, then follow my tips below and let me know your results. I’d love to hear from you!
Your first step is to figure out how you are being perceived. Ask a colleague or new acquaintance you recently met about their first impression of you when they initially met you. Once you know how you are being perceived, then you can determine what needs to change (if anything.)
Next, if you do need to make some changes, determine the words you want people to think about you when they meet you for the first time. What are the first three words you would want them to use to describe you?
Once you identify your key words, evaluate your current wardrobe. Do your clothes reflect these words and tell the story you intend? If not, make some modifications. Maybe you need to add more color to appear approachable or a stylish jacket to look current and credible. Maybe you just need to tailor your clothes to look more polished.
If you need to add color, make sure the color palette complements your complexion, hair and eye color. Believe it or not, colors can make you look younger and more vibrant or they can make you look sick, tired and old. Guys, get rid of the muddy grey, beige and green shirts. They drain the life out of you!
Finally, pay attention to the details. Are your clothes pressed and neat? Is your hair styled when you leave the house or do you leave with a wet head? Are your nails manicured? Focusing on the details not only says you care about yourself, it implies that you focus on other details in your life.
Remember, you only have a few seconds to make an impact. The choice is yours. Read my post "Are you telling the story you intend?" for insight on why telling the right story for your personal brand is so important.