Appearance – how much importance do you place on it?

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The well known saying “First impressions count” is absolutely true. We have only one opportunity of giving a good impression. After this, people will have already made up their minds of whether they wish to pursue an interest in our business or employ us.  

The way in which we dress and present ourselves speaks volumes. It tells others that we care about ourselves and mean business.  If we are a business owner or an employer, our dress code represents our company/the company.  I would naturally expect a Hair Stylist to have a good cut. Likewise, I expect a Sales Adviser on a beauty stand to be wearing well applied make up.  

I would be extremely reluctant to use either of these services if the persons selling them do not correctly represent. Clients need to be convinced that the product or service you are selling will add something significant to their life. You set the tone.

When watching the news, I never fail to notice how immaculate the News Readers look, from head to toe. The women wear well structured clothes and complimentary make up and the men wear sharp quality suits.  

One may argue that they are not “the type” to dress formally. This is perfectly fine if you are a stay at home mum or dad or you run a business from home where clients do not see you face-to-face. Even then, consideration to your appearance should still be given but perhaps you can adopt a more casual approach.

To end, while our outside appearance has absolutely no bearing on our character or ability to perform, we cannot disregard that it does influence the way in which we are perceived by others. 

How much value do you place on appearance? 

How important is it in your line of work or business?

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31 thoughts on “Appearance – how much importance do you place on it?”

  1. I work from Home as well Phoenicia. No pressure of thinking of what to wear to work like my sister every morning lol!
    I absolutely agree that people need to dress up appropriately for their job. For me, appearance is important. It’s the first impression! When you look good, you feel great inside and confidence is boosted as well

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  2. I’m happy that I work at home and don’t have to dress up every day. You are absolutely right that people need to dress appropriately for their job. Great hair for stylist, perfect makeup for someone selling it.

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  3. One of the reasons I love working from home is that the whole first impression thing scares me. When I was an Interior Designer, one of the hardest things for me was to make sure I was dressed well when meeting a client for the first time. I can decorate a whole house, but putting together an outfit is a different challenge!

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  4. I agree that apprearance is important. However I do notice that when I visit clients that have businesses that are more casual like pet and doula services, I am over dressed. So I usually wear slacks and a nice blouse or sweater. This way, it doesn’t make them feel bad. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Appearance does matter. Looking professional speaks volumes about a worker’s approach. I know that has changed somewhat given more casual dress codes in many top companies, but call me weird for not thinking flip-flops and bermuda shorts are work appropriate. Even though I freelance, I get ready every morning and I never sit around in my PJs while at my computer. It helps my mind get in work mode. When I was int the classroom, I made great pains to wear professional clothes because I would get mistaken for a student if I didn’t. That got a bit better once I looked a little older, but not much. Clothes do lend themselves to an authoritarian air as well. I always hated seeing teachers who wore wrinkly and stained clothes, and some of them always did.

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  6. I’ve always believed in good grooming, no matter where you are. Many years ago I moved my power suits to the back of the closet, where they continue to collect dust! I’d much rather wear casual clothes, leggings or jeans and a top, and be comfortable. So far – so good!

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  7. In some businesses things have changed in terms of dress and appearance. Especially in the technology business in the U.S. casual dress is expected in the same way that business attire may be expected in say the financial industry. Always found the whole thing confusing but went by the rule that it was better to overdress than to underdress.

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  8. I must admit my attitude toward appearance has changed quite a bit over the years. For most of my career it was business suits, briefcases and dress codes. Then I shifted from hotels to managing marketing for a regional aquarium. I continued to wear my suits until one evening a bunch of us went out for drinks after work and the other managers held what they jokingly referred to as an “intervention” about my dress code. They said I dressed too formally for an aquarium and should be wearing more casual clothes – if not shorts and polo shirts like everyone else at least slacks. And so began the gradual decline of my concern over attire. Now that I work at home and my communication with clients is limited to email and Skype well it’s pretty much t-shirts and shorts. At this point it definitely would be a challenge for me to move back to the mainland and have to deal with the real world! 🙂

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    1. Heraldmarty – I guess on starting in a new place of work, you get a feel of the ‘dress culture’.

      I once worked in an office where officers wore jeans. I was not keen as I prefer formal clothes for work. I feel more professional and it is easier for me to separate my working and non-working wardrobe.

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  9. The first impression you make is crucial. However, how to dress and other aspects of it depends on where in the world you are. Having said that it’s frankly stupid to not try to make a fantastic first impression. If you don’t, life will be much harder for you.

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  10. I’m going to throw in a curveball and suggest that appearance does matter – but in multiple ways. I recently walked into a meeting, filled with new young female future academics. I couldn’t help but notice that everyone – including myself – looked exceedingly casual, jeans, jumpers, simple hairstyles, no makeup. I wondered at what other occasion would a group of women in their 20s go to make career-important first impressions with apparently no thought for looking fashionable, stylish or trendy. While they may simply have been fellow slobs, I suspect also at play was a conscious desire to be taken seriously as future academics which, in our day, unfortunately equals looking like you spend far too much time reading academic journals to have time to keep up with the fashion magazines. This was not my experience in the Caribbean, where women academics were still expected to look as attractive as other women, but in the British context, there is apparently an unwritten rule that says a woman cannot be stylish or well put-together and destined for greatness in academia. Or so young women with academic aspirations appeared to believe.

    We see this also at play with the Jeremy Corbyn and his ties debate, his scruffiness is thought to indicate a lack of ability to govern – it’s not serious not to be dressed to impress. But Mr Corbyn is as aware as the rest of us, that his lack of a shiny suit, his unfashionable beard, his less well put-together look was also a visual marker of his difference from the other leadership candidates, and continues to communicate his simplicity and ordinariness compare with Dave’s slick suits which suddenly make him look like an investment banker, whereas Corbyn has been consistenly labelled ‘criticised’ for looking like a geography teacher. Most people have never met an investment banker, but we’ve all had a geography teacher, and rarely do we think of an investment banker as benevolent, compared to the school teachers we often remember fondly, and as usually having our best interests at heart.

    So appearance does matter, but who you are communicating to complicates how we dress.

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    1. Interesting response and excellent example.

      I agree that in the Caribbean, looks factor highly in public facing jobs. Employers still favour those with a lighter skin complexion.

      I do not feel that looking well polished gives any indication of your lack of intellect. This is however, assuming the woman does not look sexually overt and divert the mens attention to her body.

      Jeremy Corbyn knows exactly what he is doing. Dressing in this manner sets him apart from his rivals, it shows the world that he is down to earth and just like the average person. Outcome – the average Joe Bloggs relates to Jeremy and thus votes for him.

      I love that you liken Jeremy’s style to that of a Geography Teacher. I can just picture the beige corduroys!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. While I don’t think we should become obsessive about our appearances, I do think image matters. it is hard to take a professional seriously if they look sloppy or grubby. The attire doesn’t have to be completely formal, but should look professional and neat. I also think how we dress affects how we feel with in turn influences our attitude and the image we project.

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  12. This is a subject that I personally struggle with. I help people with weight loss and I am thin and healthy. However, I’m not super muscular and I’m in a field with personal trainers who ae completely chiseled. Of course, I’m offering something completely different than what they offer but I’ve had to work on acceptance as far as that goes. Oh, and I am spending a couple extra hours in the gym these days!

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  13. Phoenicia I forget the exact number but our eyes are taking in tens of thousands of things when we meet someone. If that first impression is a good one, smooth sailing forward in the conversation. If our appearance is a poor one then that first impression means doing a long, difficult back stroke to get right with things. So indeed I know it’s importance!

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  14. This is so true and yet something that often gets overlooked today. Going into a bank or any business you used to see well dressed women (yes, women, you never saw the men, they had the offices) greeting customers. Now I have seen them in sweatshirts and torn jeans, the stuff they wear in their backyards. I often think sloppy look, sloppy mind.

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