Stories of makeovers that transformed lives, have fascinate us for centuries. Be it, the story of a maid who got the magic makeover, that won over the prince in Cinderella or the story of the poor farmer’s son, who dressed like a prince and won over the King’s approval in Puss in Boots. A rendition of such makeover stories can be found in most of the feel good stories since then too. Going up in life and improving ones livelihood, is the most relevant ambition, if not the most ultimate goal. Those keen to reach the top, would be equally keen on finding out the reasons and factors that lead to reaching the top too. In this day and age, we all know it takes more than ‘being good at the job’.
“To change your life, change your image inside out!” Have you heard this before? Be it during a professional, personal or social occasion, Your Image is what stays on, when a meeting gets over. One of the most common challenge, clients come to me with is, “People don’t take me seriously!”. By people, I mean, it could be bosses, colleagues, subordinates, their spouse, children, friends, family etc. And I ask them, why? and they are unable to identify the reason. Between you and me, the root cause is that they are unaware of the message their image carries. It’s in finding that right balance between communicating approachability or authority through your image.
“Dress the way you want to be addressed”
Let me explain, we are always sending out messages to people around us and they respond to us accordingly. The guiding factors that make a difference to your Image are your behaviour, communication and appearance. Of the three, your appearance, which constitutes your clothing, grooming & etiquette, is one of the easiest to transform. Appearance, is also an important factor in the development of your self-confidence. Self-confidence increases when you know how to use your clothing to help develop, maintain, and modify your appearance according to your needs. The external is internalized.
For example, when you put a cricket team jersey on a young boy it boosts his self-image and strengthens his self-confidence. This piece of clothing is a statement of belonging. ‘I can play on the team’. This second skin empowers him mentally and physically to be part of the team.
Another example can be, the person who does adopt an actual glamour, gang, grunge, or gothic appearance is more likely to become that reality they seek or aspire to, regardless of whether it is consistent with their real self-concept or not. What you do on the external tends to become internalized.
You gradually internalize the traits communicated to you by your clothes. It is therefore important that you adopt only those clothes with traits you want to reflect, traits that will aid you in achieving your goals.
Relying on your appearance as a resource, a tool that you can control and use to aid you, is a strategy to adopt here. A resource is anything available to use to your advantage, as an aid to meet a need or achieve a goal. Time, money, property, energy, food, and clothing all qualify as resources. If still in doubt about whether clothes matter, ask yourself, “When was the last time you went out without your clothes on?” Since you must wear something, it only makes sense to wear something that makes a positive difference in your life. Few people are aware of the many ways clothing can be used to their advantage.
The reality check here is, that clothing can aid you in your pursuit of your goals. Clothing can’t, however, take the place of essential knowledge, skills, and effort needed for success. They must work together. But in the gateway of your communication of confidence, credibility and capability, if your clothing and grooming is the gap between your merit and success, you need to take the necessary actions to make it a resource. Remember the importance of sending out the right message through your image especially in situations, where the others person’s opinion is
This is the foundation of developing a program called “Clothes Power” in our workshop ‘Get Set Go’.
For more details about the program and registration click here.
About the Author:
Miriam Korula is an Internationally Certified Image Consultant trained under the curriculum of Judith Rasband, a world renowned Master Image Consultant and Director of Conselle Institute of Image Management, USA. She is also, an internationally certified trainer by T Harv Eker Train-the-Trainer Program.
Friendly and professional, Miriam will help you with all aspects of image and personal branding. She works with clients to help them look and feel confident and effortlessly stylish, every day. The main outcome of working with her on your executive presence is that you form a visual resume of yourself, which creates an impactful impression every time.