It’s no secret that first impressions are an important part of making a lasting relationship. Whether you are meeting a new friend, interviewing for a new position, or being introduced to your future in-laws, your appearance could make or break how that new person sees you. Studies show that you only have seven seconds to make your first impression upon meeting someone new. So the way you dress and present yourself has a lot to do with how those new relationships could progress. And it may take some time to undo a bad first impression.
Beyond just the first impressions, consider how many people you interact with every day. Every detail about your presentation communicates something to the subconscious of those around you. If you are always dressed for a workout while at work, your coworkers might come to see you as fit and healthy or maybe even sweaty and smelly (especially if your gym clothes have been well-loved for many years). On the other hand, if you wear a watch, they might see you as punctual and reliable. You are always making an impression on those around with how you choose to present yourself. Even if the way you dress is out of habit, you are not immune to the way others perceive you. But the important thing is that the way you dress doesn’t need to be about other people at all.
Your look and your personal style do say a lot about you. Imagine what exactly you are communicating to those who look at you. The danger of being dressed for the gym is that you could look sloppy, even if you are clean. But what if you take pride in your gym style? You don’t need to lose your values or your personality to become your best self and make a good and lasting impression.
On the contrary, you should bring your values and personality to your style. Nowadays, there are many movements fostered to improve self-image and how to love yourself for who you are. What if you used the idea of self-love to enhance your appearance? That doesn’t mean you lose who you are to put an image of yourself into the world. It gives you the opportunity to improve your self-esteem by truly accepting your style and owning it.
In fact, taking the time to put on nice clothes that you love can improve your self-esteem. In this way, dressing to impress doesn’t become about other people at all. It becomes about how you want to feel that day. For example, research shows that dressing in a professional manner increases abstract thinking and gives you a broader perspective. Taking charge of how you dress is an intentional way of empowering yourself and boosting your confidence levels.
There are plenty of excuses not to dress for impression. Maybe you’re more comfortable in a certain type of clothing. Maybe high heels hurt your feet, or a skirt feels limiting. Maybe you don’t have time or money to make it to the mall to purchase a new wardrobe. Luckily for you, the internet is at your service. Finding a trendy online boutique that matches your style and budget can make shopping and perfecting your look more convenient than it was for your parents. You can have clothes shipped to your door, and, within a matter of days, you will be looking in the mirror at your new and improved self. There is no good reason not to give boosting your style a try. The reality is that our clothes are an outward expression of who we are. We rely on clothing as an economic and social indicator. But instead of allowing others to judge you negatively because you decided not to try this morning, give dressing for success a chance and notice how the world around you seems a little bit brighter.