When you got dressed today you made many decisions to determine what you were going to wear. Maybe you checked the weather or you looked at your schedule or maybe you were feeling a certain way and wanted your clothing to match.
No matter what your rationale, the odds are pretty good you didn’t just grab the first thing that you touched without thinking it through. But how often are you considering your goals when getting dressed? Probably not frequently enough.
Can you imagine rolling out of bed and getting dressed with the thought, “what is my goal today?” How would that change your selection? Do you even know?
Let’s say your day involves being on a women’s panel as an expert in your industry, which happens to be real estate. Your goals might be to impress, to come across as confident and intelligent, to gain clients, and to have fun.
Figure out your category
Looking at your goals, the first one is to impress. That alone probably helps you narrow your selection. You are unlikely to wear your pajamas, sweatpants, or workout clothes. But why? Why aren’t those viable options?
We’ve all heard that first impressions matter, and they really do! You have on average 7 seconds for someone to decide about you. That’s not long enough to say much of anything.
The reality is they are judging you based on your appearance. And if you are going to be judged on your appearance and your goal is to impress, that eliminates categories of clothing. In fact it might even guide you in a specific direction. You want to impress…you want something that makes people pause and want to listen to you. You are likely to reach for something under the umbrella category of business attire.
Okay so we have a category, but we do not have an outfit. You think back on your goals. You want to feel confident. Well you might have a piece in your arsenal that makes you feel like a million bucks and that might be a great option! But what if you are unsure or what if you don’t have that piece?
Pay attention to fit
One of the best things you can do to improve confidence is to have clothing that fits you perfectly! Think about it. If you have clothing made just for you, you stop having to fidget with it or worry about how you look. You know how you look, AMAZING. This is where I’m going to suggest a custom made suit.
There is a reason the phrase “power suit” exists. I know it might seem stuffy or old fashioned, but a power suit does just that, helps you feel powerful (aka confident). And today you have so many options that they won’t feel stuffy at all. They will feel like you!
Now we are getting somewhere. You know that to impress and feel confident you want a custom made suit. Great! But what about your other goals? Let’s focus on intelligence. Obviously a lot of this will have to do with how you conduct yourself and what you have to share in the panel. But believe it or not clothing can also convey intelligence. How you ask? Through color!
Color is SO powerful and we automatically associate specific colors with certain moods or events. What color do you want to use to convey intelligence? Blue! Yes that’s right, the world’s favorite color, blue. As it so happens blue is also what’s going to help you with clients because blue is also associated with trustworthiness.
But this is when I’m going to suggest you pause for a moment and think about your specific clients because you are going to want to pair blue with a different color. Why? Well because too much blue comes off as cold and uninviting, which is the opposite of what you are looking for.
So think about specific characteristics of the clients you are trying to attract. In this case, you are on a women’s panel so going with a color that is pleasing to women is probably a good bet and that would be purple. It also happens to pair nicely with blue!
Accessories can be playful
We’ve made it to your last goal. To have fun! Am I really going to tell you your outfit can help you with this? Absolutely! This is a personal goal. You want to have fun.
You have two options. The first one is to get your custom made suit with a pattern. This is a way to express some of your personal style while also having fun, creating a talking point, and coming across as slightly more relatable than a plain suit.
Worried that the pattern won’t be professional enough? Get a fun lining! It will be only for you and it can be anything from cheetahs to skulls to plants.
Is the idea of dressing for your goals overwhelming? You can either simplify your goals by narrowing it down to 1 or 2, you can focus on a characteristic (such as only color), or you can put more priority on a goal. For example, let’s say feeling confident was the most important goal for you at the panel.
You go through each category, but focus solely on confidence. This might look like still picking an item from business attire that fits you very well, but you might change your outfit color to red and accessories to ones that compliment your selection. This is because red tends to be associated with confidence in public, which is perfect for a panel.
There you have it! How to get dressed with your goals in mind. I highly suggest you try this out. Remember you most likely do the category automatically! The next step is to look at a color wheel and decide what color you want to wear based on your goal for that day. Once that becomes habit, then you can move on to fit and accessories.