First impressions are huge. We understand that a fancy suit doesn’t equal talent—entry-level Steve Jobs worked nights because co-workers couldn’t stand his body odor and he didn’t wear shoes—but making a great first impression is vital in social industries. Remember, first impressions affect how people view you even AFTER you’ve interacted with them.
Don’t get a complex, we all make bad first impressions from time-to-time—even Stephen Curry misses a free throw. With that said, here are some dress for success tips you can use to make your first-impressions easier.
Maybe you can rock Adidas with dress slacks when you’re a CEO or ESPN personality, but stick to dress shoes until you get there. You might think you can stand out, but it could give off a “rock star” arrogance. Unless your status doesn’t require you to introduce yourself, keep it professional.
ALWAYS match the belt and the shoes
A matching belt and shoe combo is not just a slick style idea, but necessary. It looks professional and gives peers the idea that you’re experienced in professional settings. Plus, a mismatched belt and shoes really stands out.
Pro-tip: Are you on a budget or lacking closet space? A reversible belt can fix this problem. A belt that is black on one side and brown on the other can go with pretty much anything. You will need to purchase a second pair of shoes but will save the cost of another belt.
Stand out, but not too much
It’s all about balance. If your hot pink tie is too much, choose salmon or matte instead. Additionally, job interviews and networking are about you or your company. Over-the-top clothing can distract people from the conversation,
Your main colors should be neutral, with colors of your choice as secondary
Your big three neutral-colored clothing options are black, grey, and blue. Any other brightly colored suit looks tacky or out of touch with the business world, so use those brighter colors secondary. Blue can be difficult to match secondary colors with, but black, grey, red, orange and pink tend to pair well.
Make sure your close are fitted with no wrinkles
Unfitted clothing and wrinkles can give off a lack of attention to detail or even a carelessness vibe, and will likely mean you are taken less seriously. This is not only necessary for specific events, but a daily basis, as it can reflect your daily work attitude as well.
Use secondary color to reflect your personality
Before this, we want to reemphasize that your color choices shouldn’t stand out too much, but more subdued versions of every color do exist, even pink. If you are slow to warm up to new people or struggle to give off your true personality initially, wearing colors that fit your personality can be a simple, yet effective, supplement.
- Pink: Pink is shown to influence a person’s kindness and calmness, so pink is a great color for people who fit that mold. Its feminine perception is considered romantic and comforting to others.
P.s. While this is mostly seen as a feminine color, men can use this color to break from traditions, while giving off the same kind and calm emotions.
- Yellow and Orange: These color radiate a sunny feel and makes you stand out from the crowd due to its brightness. People who choose yellow and orange tend to be social and extroverted.
- Red: The ultimate display of passion and power, red is the best color to impress. It’s frequently associated with brightness and excitement and can draw attention from a crowd full of black suits.
- Purple: Purple’s perception is sort of as a mix of blue, red, and pink. This color transmits emotion, creativity, and insight. People who identify with the color purple seemingly walk to the beat of their own drum and tend to think outside of the box and norms.
- Blue: If you’re calm, laid-back, or even shy, blue is a great pick for you. Not only will this help reflect your personality, but many people are calmed by the color blue. If you struggle with any form of social anxiety, you can rest assured knowing the people you meet will naturally feel at ease.
If you can, make sure you have different options
Many jobs require multiple interviews, or maybe your conference has multiple days, so investing in an additional suit is a great idea. If this is out of your budget, do not fret, as it’s not a requirement to have multiple suits. Consider purchasing outfits that can mix and match—for instance, two great purchases can turn into four suits.