You’ve got a big day ahead. Perhaps you have a presentation to make, a job interview, a leadership conference, or a meeting with the bank. You’ve worked hard to be prepared, you have your notes ready, you’ve rehearsed what you’ll say and how you’ll act dozens of time. But there’s one more vital step: what will you wear?

You’ll be dazzling them with your wisdom, isn’t that enough? Does how you dress really matter? Short answer: Yes, it does. Very much.

You want to feel powerful, influential, smart and persuasive. In short, you need to not only bring your A Game, but look the part.

Psychologists and career experts say it takes just three seconds to make a first impression. Within moments of meeting another person, we decide all sorts of things about that person, from status to intelligence. In the working world, within those three seconds we may determine whether or not we want to work with them.

When we are dressed for influence, and feel our best, we instantly make a positive impression with others. Conversely, when we aren’t feeling our best, others can sense that immediately, before we even open our mouths to speak. Those notes in your hand won’t do much good if someone is distracted by your overall image or if you are coming across in a negative way. Our moods affect our body language, how we speak, and as a result, how others receive the information.


The power of choosing the right clothing, and feeling good about our appearance, is not just a topic to be discussed between girlfriends. Some psychologists have introduced the term “enclothed recognition” to describe the influence that clothes have, not just the symbolic meanings behind the attire, but the physical experience the wearer has of wearing them. How we dress influences not only how others perceive us, but how we feel, what decisions we make, and how we interact with others.

All that said, finding the right style for positive influence is not difficult, nor does it need to be stressful. I have had the joy of working with many motivated women to help them feel empowered and beautiful for any occasion, and have taught them a few easy tips to head them in the right direction. For example:

* Survey your closet. What are your favorite things to wear? Which outfits feel the best, which do you like seeing in that reflection in the mirror? Try an experiment. Flip all of your hangers backwards. As you select something to wear each day, flip the hanger back to normal. By the end of the season you’ll easily be able to identify your go-to outfits, the things you love to wear.

* Make a list of the ways you want people to perceive you. Perhaps you are a manager, an entrepreneur, or have started a new position or job. What kind of three-second and longer impression do you want to make? What do you want people to think of you? Once you have that list together, its time to look back and think about how to make that happen, to get the people in your life to feel a certain way about you, and all you have to offer. You may be surprised to find out how easy it can be to make a few changes that make a big impact.

For more great tips and caring coaching, reach out to me and let’s schedule a Discovery Call.

Learn how to let style and leadership unite in your life. When it is your turn to step up to the plate, you’ll be ready, and look dynamic. You’re going to crush it.


“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” — Miuccia Prada




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Journal of Experimental Social Psychology


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