This article is the first in a series titled “Personal Branding”.
Throughout my childhood, my mother always made sure my brother and I were appropriately well dressed for every occasion, be it attending school, a wedding, or traveling on an airplane. To my mother, presentation was everything, and we always had to look nice though we could have cared less at the time. She always put her best foot forward with the way she dressed, radiating confidence and self-respect.
Although this perspective is something of a generational thing, it saddens me to see how lax we have become when we dress to interact with other people. While the casual workplace certainly makes an argument for jeans and a t-shirt, it does not say that we should give up entirely on looking good. When did yoga pants and rock climbing gear become suitable attire for anywhere but a mountainside or yoga studio? Casual is one thing, but comfortable lounge clothes are quite another. While it takes a bit more effort, consider bringing a change of clothes to match the activities in your day. Most people won’t tell you when you are dressed inappropriately (including your boss), so it’s up to you to make the right choice. On the flip side, I guarantee people will comment when you look good and notice you in a positive way.
As my mom understood so very well, looking good makes you feel good. When you feel good, your confidence grows and you shine. Basking in your own self-confidence, you perform better, stand taller, and move with a purpose. Chance meetings with someone important or influential will excite you rather than embarrass you because of how you look. You may find more opportunities come your way as a result of your glowing self-confidence, all just because you put some effort into looking your best.
If you think it shouldn’t matter how we look, you are right. However, as humans, we are social creatures that place a large value on the physical appearance of others. By looking your best, you are telling others that you respect yourself and are brimming with confidence, and they will be attracted to that. Even when you're not full of confidence, looking good can be an instant boost.
Marissa takes great care with the way she looks by dressing herself with powerful femininity and grooming herself impeccably. I strongly believe that dressing and grooming yourself well, no matter what your profession or office culture, is critical. Not only will others be drawn to you but putting effort into how you look will build your confidence and translate that confidence into your work and personal life. Allow your talents and personality to shine by presenting yourself in a thoughtful and confident way.
Do you look your best every day, or do you prefer yoga pants? What does looking good do for your confidence? Let me know in the comments below.