First Impressions Count!

first impressions style style tips Feb 11, 2024

No matter what the social event—whether it’s a date, a social gathering, an interview or business meeting—you’re meeting new people and forming a first impression in less than seven seconds. And they’re doing the same with you. Those first impressions can easily become lasting impressions. So what do you want those first few seconds to say about you?


First impressions can make or break your relationships both personal and professional. Thus it’s important to understand how you come across to others.


How you present yourself makes a statement about who you are. When you are in a position of leadership and are more visible in the world, your choices are even more critical. You’ve worked hard at attaining the mastery and expertise that qualifies you for your leadership position. You would like to look like the leader you are, wouldn’t you?


It is not enough to simply gain the academic and/or work experience required to be an expert or leader in your field. You must physically present yourself like a leader, as well. In other words, you must look the part of your role in the world if you want to be taken seriously. I am talking about how you present your self on all levels through your clothing, your level of confidence and your personal magnetism or charisma.


If your client or audience is distracted by any aspect of how you look, speak or act, your ability to be perceived as the savvy leader you are can be sabotaged—no matter how qualified you are or how valuable your information is. Your clothing, posture, body language, hairstyle, smile, and how you relate to others are all means of communication. 


It’s all about congruence!


Here’s the dictionary definition:


Congruence: noun


compatibility, consistency, conformity, match, balance, consonance, congruity; agreement, accord, consensus, harmony, unity; formal concord. ANTONYMS conflict.


Consider these factors to be equally as important, if not more so, than what you have to say! When you show up incongruent to who you say you are, it can be a distraction to others. 


It’s time to strive for congruence in how you present yourself. Take yourself to another level of leadership by mastering the three “C’s”: 


  • Clothing and style
  •   Your Confidence
  •   Your Charisma


Anne Hollander wrote in her book Seeing Through Clothes published by Viking Press in 1978:

“Despite all ideological attempts to transcend the mode in clothing, it is the lust of the eye for change, the power of the eye to make instant associations, and its need to demand and to create and combine images that hold clothing to significant and delicate shifts of dynamic visual form.”


Deliberate, discerning style choices can enhance your ability to look like the leader you are and can give you the confidence required to earn the respect of others.

Whenever you’re meeting people for the first time, whether you’re networking, attending a business meeting, or dating, it’s essential to look the part. In other words, dress for the specific occasion, even if it means doing a little research up front. Think of how you want to be perceived by the people you’re about to meet and dress accordingly.

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