Have you ever thought about the type of image you want to project?
It’s easy to think that this would only be something professionals need to think about but that’s not true. No matter what your lifestyle, professional or age your appearance tells others about you before you even open your mouth. How you present yourself will either attract or repel others far before you’ve had a chance to say a word to them. While I don’t think you need to lose sleep over the issue, if you have found that you are not getting the responses from other people you want, or the opportunities you know you deserve then maybe, just maybe, your personal presentation may need a little tweak.
Appropriate, Enhancing and Goal Effective
According to the fashion website Matalan, which polled 2,491 females, the average woman spends an average 16 minutes every weekday morning, 14 minutes on the weekend and up to 20 minutes pondering her wardrobe prior to a night out. That’s a heck of a lot of wasted time over a year!
A long time ago I discovered the power my clothes, accessories and grooming had in controlling the way I felt each day as a result how I behaved. This is exactly the same way that an actor only totally feels one with the character they are portraying during a full dress rehearsal. Our clothes help us perform the roles we need/want to play each day. They help us to ‘feel’ the part and can act like armour helping us to feel more confident and protected.
This is not a new phenomenon, it’s been happening since man first donned clothes. We covered our nakedness to for protection and confidence, and from that time onward adding and subtracting items became the way to inform others of our status, role, moods, and affiliations.
Being able to look in the mirror and say - go girl, you rock is great. It fills us with confidence, hope and we stand a little straighter, more with more purpose and smile more frequently. Knowing we look the part releases us from our insecurities and allows us to get on with the job at hand. Of course, it’s not just ourselves that are affected by our appearance. Others too, respond to how we look, and the right appearance encourages others to give us more time to explain our ideas, opens doors and releases opportunities both socially and professionally. In fact your presentation is a continual portrayal of you – it’s like a constant visual resume.
The night before.
If you wait until the morning to decide what you’ll be wearing it only results in early morning stress and often a ‘this will have to do‘ outfit. I suggest you decide what you are going to wear each night before bed – it only takes a few minutes and you’ll be able to sleep-in a little later.
To make the process as quick and easy as possible you’ll need to have an organized closet.
If your closet is unorganized set aside a day to organize everything in a way that it works for you. Some women prefer clothes of the same color hung together while others prefer the same type of garments together. I hang the same types of garments together and with like colors together. You may even like to separate your work wear from your casual wear – it doesn’t really matter, the aim is to create a wardrobe where all your options are easy to see.
If your wardrobe is crammed and you can barely move the clothes on the rack, the first thing you need to do is a closet cleanout. Not only to get rid of all the things that no longer fit you, are out of date or season, are no longer your style etc, etc, but also to move all the clothes that are for another season to another location. You’ll be amazed at the different this alone will make.
When thinking about your clothes for the next day consider:
- what work will I be doing?
- where will I be going?
- what level of dress should I wear – smart casual, business casual, formal business?
- what is the weather forecast?
- who will I be seeing?
- what do I want to achieve or what impression do I want to make?
By answering each of the above questions you’ll be able to easily sort out the available options and select the items you want to wear to create an outfit you’ll feel perfect in.I suggest you also gather up your lingerie, shoes, coordinating handbag etc so everything is ready to go.
A few more tips help:
- Create clothing clusters: these are groups of items that work around each other (see image below).
- Document great outfits: anytime you put together a new winner of an outfit, note all the garments and accessory pieces in a notebook - better still add a photo! It’s amazing how quickly we can love a look one day and a week later have totally forgotten what pieces we put together to create it (or is this just my 50 yr old brain?). Within a few months, PretaStyler members will be able to do this for themselves with our new Look book creation functionality.
- Rotate your outfits: Leave at least 7 days in between wears and be ever on the lookout for new items that will extend your cluster to create a few different outfits.
- Have at least one special outfit you can lay your hands on at a moment’s notice so you never get caught with nothing to wear at short notice.
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Ann Reinten AICI CIP
Hi Ann! Luv Luv Luv you and your website!! Can you give some advice for those of us (over 50) that no longer work and live mainly in jeans and t-shirts? I still would like to look stylish but don’t want to invest in cloths that I would never wear. Thanks for all you do.
That’s so great of you to take the time to say so Theresa – it means a lot to me.
Being almost 60 myself, I think many of my features hold at least one good tip for you.
I’ll think on writing a feature about how to dress smart casual at any age.
In the meantime, may I suggest you read my posts:
~ How to Glam Up Your Jeans
~ How to Create An Outfit
~ How to Rediscover Your Style After 50
Hi, Theresa! I work from home, and know exactly what you mean. Once I ve put on the basics (top and pants or skirt) anything else seems silly or even annoying. Bangles get in the way when I am working on the computer, anything but lace up shoes gets kicked off, long necklaces dangle over the stove and sink in an alarming way, scarves are too hot for South Florida summers…I’m brainstorming here… Fun earrings? A wardrobe of bright lipsticks?
Ann, it’s always fun reading your articles. I’m a little older than your average reader I would assume but I always find something new I can do with my wardrobe. Thanks!
Thank you Patricia, You are in good company and style knows not age – I turn 60 in a few weeks.