Your Personal Image Is Everything
PART 2/3: Appearance
This 3-part image consulting blog series inspects your personal image from 3 different angles: Your communication, appearance and digital presence. In this second part we look at your appearance as the most visible part of your image.
Fashion designer, stylist and editor-in-chief Rachel Zoe once said:
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”– Rachel Zoe
This quote resonated strongly with me as it captures perfectly the essence of the importance of your personal image.
People sum you up in seconds and sometimes they already have an opinion about you before you have even uttered a word. It doesn’t sound very fair, does it, but it’s important to remember that you have full control of your image.
I am not saying that you have to look like someone else, actually on the contrary, looking like yourself is always the best idea. Just look like the best possible version of yourself -and you’d be surprised how little it actually takes.
Your Style Is Your Visual Resume
Never underestimate the power of your personal image and start investing in it now. It doesn’t necessarily mean expensive as we well know that money doesn’t always bring you style nor authenticity.
Start with the items you already own and plan your purchases carefully. You’ll be surprised how little it actually takes to make a big impact. People will certainly notice and you’ll feel more confident looking your best.
The old saying goes that you should dress for the job you want. While I understand that in many ways it may sound a little naive, there’s also a lot of truth in it. Others perceive you through your style and you can express yourself strongly with your fashion choices. I like to say: Dress like you mean it.
5 Elements of Your Appearance
- Clothes. Clean, neat and pressed should be your key words here. Add items with more flair only when your basics are sorted. Learn to make small repairs yourself or get to know a good tailor in your area. Many high-street pieces will look better on you with small alterations.
- Hair. Get a haircut that flatters your features. A good hair stylist can take years off your look and make you look more contemporary in a flash. Balding can be done gracefully and it can actually increase your image of leadership.
- Makeup (if applicable). Use makeup to enhance your look but don’t go overboard. Get professional advice at beauty counters or follow vlogs and blogs online. What works for your favorite celebrity may not work for you. Save wild brush strokes for a night out.
- Perfume/Cologne (if applicable). Your scent should not arrive before you so use sparingly. Some offices have a no-scent policy that should be respected.
- Nails. You don’t need an expensive manicure to have good nails. Keep your nails shaped and clean. Short is always is fashion and a simple buffer and a hand cream can do miracles. I love my professional manicures but from your image point of view they are merely a luxury, rather than a necessity.
Don’t Overlook Your Personal Hygiene
I can’t stress enough the importance of personal hygiene! There is simply no excuse to neglect it in any possible situation.
- Shower daily but be mindful about your water consumption. I like my 2 minute military showers that wake me up.
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Visit your dentist/dental hygienist regularly and follow their professional advice. Your teeth health is directly linked to your overall health so don’t neglect them. Now that I am over 40 I go for a quick check up twice a year.
- Your clothes should smell either fresh or neutral. Air your coats and jackets regularly, especially if you have been to a spicy or greasy restaurant.
- Consider stopping or at least limiting your smoking habit.
5 Accessories That Tell a Lot About You
- Watch (if applicable). This is the statement piece that say the most about you, your wealth and your status. If you are going to invest, go for understated, classic and sophisticated pieces. Going watchless is also a statement towards the digital era and breaking archaic hierarchies.
- Jewelry (if applicable). These items are the most personal to you. May it be your wedding ring, an heirloom piece, a souvenir or special gift from a loved one. The stories of your jewelry are always fascinating and worth sharing -unless way too personal.
- Shoes. Keep them clean at all times. Keep a shoe sponge handy and polish your shoes regularly. Opt for styles that you feel comfortable in and that match your life style and job description.
- Bag (if applicable). This is another status item along your watch and your jewelry. Good quality leather is worth investing in. Polish regularly and keep it’s contents neat. READ ALSO: What does your bag tell about you?
- Accessories (if applicable). You can compliment your look with these seemingly insignificant items that still tell loads about you. Choose classic items or go for conversation starters.
What’s In It For You?
We would like to think that appearances don’t matter, but they really do. People will expect you to look the part and the higher you climb the higher the expectations. It’s not a fashion show but merely an opportunity to reveal your best self. Good style is an integral part of a strong personal image and personal brand.
Putting your best foot forward is not about being vain. It’s about investing in self-improvement -and allowing yourself to deserve it! With the help of a professional image consult you can explore these aspects without fear of being judged. I will always have your back and want you to be the best dressed person in the room.
Getting an image revamp can help you in many ways:
- It’s a HUGE boost to your confidence
- You will gain clearer self-image
- As a side product you will learn to appreciate your worth
- You will increase your executive presence for better job opportunities
- Most importantly, you will learn to send the right message with your style
How To Enhance Your Appearance?
- Create a personal style that reflects your authentic personal brand. Search inspiration from magazines, start an Instagram collection or make your own Pinterest style board.
- The real you needs to shine through in all it’s aspects. Imitations last only for so long so better be authentic. It will also help you enjoy your style more and to feel more confident.
- Take in consideration your unique body shape and the colors that suit you the best.
- Go through every single item in your wardrobe. Do you see certain styles and colors appear one after another?
- Ask for a second opinion. Invite a friend who has good style to go shopping with you or come and help you go through your wardrobe. Alternatively you can hire a professional personal stylist to help you improve your style.
- Buy only items that will complement the items that you already have. The size of your wardrobe doesn’t guarantee it’s functionality. Sometimes less really is more!
- Utilize free personal shopping services at department stores, malls and shops. Bear in mind though that their job is still to sell you items from their store. With my personal shopping service you can shop all brands from Primark to Prada. This service is also available online!
- Forget about the trends and concentrate on building a life-long style that tells your story.
Look The Part
Your appearance is the part of you that you can’t possibly hide. Do you look the part? Here at I on Image I help you discover the power of your personal style that flatters your best features. Learn more about my image consulting and personal styling services and make your appointment with me today.
Gain more confidence and enjoy being the best dressed person in the room!
READ ALSO other episodes in “Your Personal Image Is Everything” 3-part blog series by I on Image:
- 1/3: Communication – Learn to communicate better and more professionally
- 3/3: Digital Presence – Make your personal brand shine also online where everyone can see it
Get more professional style advice in I on Image’s blog:
- Powerful And Personal Job Interview Style Advice For You
- Back to Work Style Tips
- The Best Business Casual Fashion Brands For All Sizes
I am looking forward to help you improve your image!
This article was originally published on 3rd January 2018 and updated on 3rd November 2021