Dressing for success is not always understood and has many interpretations.

Looking smart at work or in business means being noticed and taken seriously.

How often do you feel it’s a lot of trouble so you settle for less only to wish you had taken more effort for the interview?

Or how many missed opportunities were there because you believed the only place to buy nice clothes is at expensive chain stores or boutiques?

Or are you waiting until you get that big promotion to dress the way you want to.

You never know when that executive position or a special opportunity is being discussed.

Talent alone will not get you what you want. Looking good and keeping a high profile and taking home the money go hand-in hand.

Dress the way you are going, not where you are today. Don’t ever get caught apologizing for the way you are dressed.

Here are seven steps to learn the skill of dressing for success and intentionally packaging yourself properly with an observation and test approach so you create influence where you need to.

polished professionalThe First Five Seconds

When you meet someone for the first time, become aware of how you felt about him or her at that first meeting for the first 5 seconds.

Was it their jewelry, their dress, facial expression, hairstyle, how he/she sounded, what eye contact was there?

Was it a positive or a negative impression or neither? Just take an observatory position as if you were watching a movie and notice your response to each question you ask yourself.

Pick Five People

Now select 5 people you know well and write down their names. Think of how you would change their appearance, or would you even change their appearance?

Look at them in detail and in every part of their attire, grooming, communication and behaviour. Do their shirts, shoes, trousers all work, and are the colours flattering? Do you think their glasses suit their face shape and enhance their appearance and level of professionalism?

Become consciously aware and write out their changes as if you were given permission to do so.

Now that you have done that, do the same for yourself.

Start from the top and work your way to your feet and take note of every detail that you would change. Be totally emotionally detached.

Also, be aware that no one will tell you voluntarily because, as you know appearance is one of the most personal and sensitive issues in communication between people so few people will really tell you what they think.

Choose a New Outfit

Before you got out shopping pick a new aspect of an outfit like shoes, jacket, and handbag and improve on it being sensitive to the congruence and relevance of it.

Have a different look every day and see how you can change it and improve on it. It will also make you more aware of how your friends and others feel the way you look and you will find out along the way how it all works.

Consult with an Accredited Image Consultant

Our appearance has a great impact on how others see us and it is great advice to invest in a professional consultation for BEST advice, especially strategic business dress advice for long- term results.

This is an area of image indefinables and you want to be sure your investment is well spent if you are looking for strategic dressing for the business and corporate world.

Research and increase your awareness

Do as much research in this area as you feel you can by internet search, reading books and studying what is going on out there and although the media is full of opinions, it will help increase your awareness.

By doing this you can develop your own personal style into the general parameters of style and impressive dressing. Treat fashion magazines with caution as they are laden with fads and trends and are generally targeted at the early 30-year olds on behalf of designers and retailers.

Some give great value where others look great, but not on you. Each of us is an individual and not everything is going to be applicable on a general scale. Business style and lifestyle fashion for the mature woman is often misinterpreted.

The key is to find evergreens and classics that better enhance your image and add flexibility with the addition of selected accessories to suit the occasion.

Ask for honest feedback

Take your time and increase your confidence with one change at a time and increase your dress awareness congruently with your personal and professional development.

Ask “How do I look?” from people who are not sensitive and insecure about the ‘new you’ and who will not feel unsure or covertly sabotage you.

Only ask people that you respect and admire as they will give you honest feedback to help you grow.  Then you will no longer need a second opinion.

One key question to ask yourself is ‘Would you do business with someone who dresses like you?’

For any professional or business owner wanting the edge on their competitors In competitive and challenging times, take control of your image and get the edge on your first impression management.  I’m here to help.

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