What does your clothing style say about you?

June 11th, 2013 by Lauren Carbis

First Impressions Count

If a group of people you have never met were given a blank page, and they were to jot down notes for their first thoughts of you as you enter a room, what would their notes say?

We talk about first impressions in regards to intentional meetings like a job interview, a blind date, a business meeting, a corporate seminar, dinner with the future in-laws and a night out with the girls in the hopes of spotting a new special someone. However, it is just as important for you to be mindful of your first impression for people who aren’t even on your radar.

Why? Because some of the best things in life happen when you least expect them to and you need to be ready – starting with your first impression.

Carefree

Carefree = Sloppy

What some label as a carefree style of freedom, others will label as sloppy and assume you also don’t care about yourself, your career or your future aspirations.

The sloppy side of carefree happens when clothes are not washed and pressed, not tastefully mismatched, in a state of disrepair with safety pins holding on straps and buttons, as well as a misfit in regards to your body shape, size and style. Wearing exercise clothes, t-shirts and sweats occasionally for actual workouts is fine, but if you wear them constantly as a wardrobe staple, especially to the office, you will also get categorized as a sloppy dresser.

The biggest issue of being sloppy in your styling habits is that it can easily slip into other areas of life. Before you know it, you begin to indulge in destructive habits that begin affecting your relationships, your career and even your health.

Covered in Logos

Designer = Pretentious

I believe it is important to have a quality wardrobe with staples in it from designers who fit your form, style and personality. Although wearing designer clothes can enhance your confidence and be complementary to your first impression, you do not want to be covered in logos from head to toe. Your overall stylistic presentation should be polished and professional without looking like you are sponsored by a fashion empire. Your personality should always outshine your outfit.

A pretentious impression also happens when you place more value on the designer name you are wearing than on the name of the person sitting across from you at the table. If that should happen, your first impression will leave people thinking you are insecure and trying to validate yourself through fashion. This also makes people think you are trying too hard to fit in, or that to make yourself feel important, you have to use the integrity and credibility of your wardrobe’s designer, instead of just being yourself.

Skimpy

Skimpy = Insecure

If more than 20% of your wardrobe is spandex, miniskirts, see-through clothing and cleavage revealing tank tops, your first impression may not be as favorable as you would like. As trendy as those fashion statements are, there is a right time and a right place to wear them. If you are not strategic and mindful of where you appear in the ‘girls-night-out’ attire, the impression others will adapt is that you are insecure and want people to judge you for your body and physical appearance, instead of who you are as a whole person.

A touch of tasteful class is always appropriate no matter what you are wearing, but it is especially important to remember as your clothes become more revealing. The rule of thumb is that if you are worried about wardrobe malfunctions, choose another outfit.

 

When you open yourself up and make yourself available to the surprising joy of life, each day is filled with hopeful anticipation of abundant achievement and success. When your mind is open, and your polished presence communicates that you are ready to take on whatever the world has to offer you, you will find you attract not only people of a higher caliber in life, but also the opportunities that can take you beyond what you imagined possible.

No matter where you plan on going today, whether people are waiting to judge you or not, first impressions matter. Make your first impression the best it can be!