Archive for November, 2009

How To Wear Clothes… And Influence People

November 12th, 2009 No comments

In the single largest investment of his career, the “Oracle of Omaha”, Warren Buffet, has made an “all in” bet on the future of our economy with his 27 billion dollar acquisition of a railroad. The Dow Jones is flirting with 10,000. There is a consensus the economy is firming up and the worst of the recession is behind us.

With that said, according to the White House, the number of jobless Americans is likely to remain “severely elevated”. This creates a huge challenge for anyone trying to land a new job and a climate of paranoia for everyone hoping to retain their current position.

We cannot ignore the fact that the image we project and how others perceive us is a critical factor in our success. This is particularly the case in the corporate environment, but it holds true in every walk of life.

Imagine for a moment walking into any service business. You’re wearing an unironed shirt with frayed blue jeans and worn out sneakers. You’re blending in and no one is paying much attention. If the business is well managed, you’re attended to well enough and granted the same treatment as every customer that comes through the door.

Now let’s mix it up… You walk into the same business. You’re wearing a properly fitting suit. Do you believe you might receive a more enthusiastic response than your last visit? Yes, you will. You have effectively influenced how others around you perceive your status and you will reap the benefits.

Alternatively, if you’re walking into a room where you feel a suit could be overkill, the solution is simple…Wear nicer jeans with a well chosen pair of shoes and a crisp shirt, all topped off with a nicely tailored blazer. You’re achieving the same effect in a more casual manner, as dictated by your environment.

In the business world, these factors are magnified ten fold. The decisions you make can either be a detriment or a powerful tool – it’s up to you. Whether you are interviewing or determined to keep the job you have, presentation is important. Polo shirts and dockers just won’t cut it anymore. Neither will a suit or a slacks and shirt ensemble that does not offer a proper fit.

There’s no reason to be intimidated. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own, and you don’t need a monster budget to move forward. A good tailor or wardrobe consultant is worth his weight in gold and a savvy investment for anyone serious about success.

With all of the factors you can’t control, wouldn’t it be shrewd to do whatever it takes to stack the chips in your favor? If you absolutely have to make the best impression possible, capture the imagination and attention of everyone in the room upon entering it… that option is always on the table. You just need to make it happen. Your future might depend on it.

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