Present yourself well!

Although first impressions do not give you a complete overview of a person, we make judgement on what we physically see. It is an automatic reaction.

It is important that we give a good impression of ourselves, that we represent ourselves in the best way possible. Not only for the benefit of others but as a way of reaffirming that we matter. How others see us has some impact on our lives but how we see ourselves is what truly matters.  We have a duty to ensure we present well when leaving our home; clean body, clean and ironed clothes, polished shoes, groomed hair.

There is a well known saying;
“One should dress for the job they want, not for the job they have”.

This quote makes the assumption that everyone is striving to the next senior level in their organisation which is simply not the case. Some are happy in their roles and have no desire to move “up ranks” and some are already at senior leadership level.  Regardless of where one’s role sits, presentation is of importance.

On occasions I have taken this “appearing good at all times” lark a bit far such as applying foundation before visitors arrived to see me and my first born in hospital. I was in tremendous pain but still managed to reach over for my make-up bag much to the amusement of the midwife who gave me a “for goodness sake” look. I am sure I also saw some eyeball rolling!

I remember as a teen I rushed to my part-time job in a retail store and in a panic put on a pair of tights (hosiery) that had an unsuspected ladder at the back. I noticed after arriving in the back office and was mortified! I rushed to buy a packet of tights from the shop floor and changed. I learnt my lesson on that day, over 20 years ago that regardless of how much of a rush I am in, I must pay attention. I now allow a few minutes before leaving home to look in a full length mirror to ensure I am presentable.

I promised myself that whatever battle I faced,  I would not allow this to affect the way in which I looked.  I would put on a good front in order to face the outside world. As shallow as it may come across, it has helped my confidence. When you look good, you in turn feel better. I may, just may let the side down a little as I wear running shoes to and from the office. I walk as part of my commute and am much faster on my feet as a result. Also I walk heavily on my feet so my shoes would need reheeling far too often!

How much do you pay attention to your appearance?

How much do you judge others on their appearance, specifically in corporate environments?

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22 thoughts on “Present yourself well!”

  1. My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different page and thought I might check things
    out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to
    finding out about your web page yet again.

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  2. I love your maternity story. Now with people posting their entire lives on social media, I don’t think there are many others with stories like that.

    I’ve certainly never been a business suit type of person. I always feel like I look weird in a suit. But as a coach, it isn’t really necessary as I work from from and want my clients to see me as someone like them. Like, if I can do this, so can you. But it is definitely important to make yourself presentable. If you don’t take a measure of pride in yourself, who will?

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  3. I was raised to take care in what you look like in the world. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing a t-shirt and jeans or a suit–there is a way for either to look good and either to look sloppy. I’ve done corporate, where it was all dressy (but like you, comfy shoes for the walking parts) and now work from home. I still dress–working in my pjs has zero appeal–and put on makeup. I was just at a formal tea for a charity benefit and was not the only one wearing black nylons/tights. Styles must vary by country.

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  4. It’s so bad but I actually hardly put effort into my appearance. As long as I look presentable (passable if I am being honest), I am fine with it. I had one retail job where you had to look nice and stylish and it was a hassle for me trying to find clothes that suited the job every shift. My last two office jobs had a very casual dress code so I was really happy with that. If I could, I would wear gym clothes every day.

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  5. I have mixed feelings about this. I do agree we should be presentable, especially in the workplace or when attending meetings or other “important” functions. But as for every day, I just can’t. Being a working mom with kids in school and a ton of dance classes (and taking a class weekly myself) I often don’t get the laundry done and put away often enough to wear my “nice” clothes all the time. And I hate makeup, but that’s just my personal choice.
    All that being said I do agree that dressing well and “primping” does make me feel confident and optimistic. So you are right in saying that being presentable does help you go after whatever you may be doing at that time.
    ~Jess

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    1. Thanks for commenting Jessica.

      I do not dress up every day but always look presentable when leaving the house. I by no means look like a fashionista and would say my style is classic rather than “up to the minute”. I own “house clothes” and step into these the minute I arrive home – nothing like being comfortable whilst in your home.

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  6. I agree with you Phoenicia. I think that when we like how we dress and how we look, it translates into confidence, and we feel better about ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good all the time, although I have to admit that there are also days when I just can’t be bothered and opt for comfort rather than looks! Thanks for sharing =)

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  7. I always dressed professionally when teaching, in large part as a way to set myself off from students I always looked similar in age to. The history teacher across the hall always looked like he picked his clothes off the floor every morning. So wrinkly! Now that I work from home, I wear my usual T-shirt and jeans most days. I never work in my PJs and always put some make-up on as I would with a normal job. If I know I have a video call, I might wear a shirt that’s a bit more professional.

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    1. Jeri – looking more youthful does mean making a little more effort in order to be taken seriously. When working from home I too get bathed and dressed first thing otherwise I feel slobbish.

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  8. Appearance is vital. I know I come to work with a suit and tie, and I am not even required to. Might be from the days of my military when you were examined every day about how clean your uniform was. The higher rank I got, the more I was judged. This is because I had to judge others on theirs. If I could not wear a proper uniform, how could I expect them to.
    As much as we do not want to say it, A book is judged by its cover.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

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    1. We are judged by others and we too judge. Aside all of this, it is still important that we are dressed appropriately for the occasion – better to be over dressed than under dressed.

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  9. I’m in a different place in my life than some of the others here. For years I represented a “global” company and had to dress the part, was on 24/7 call, etc., etc. Today I could care less what the powers that be think or wear. I work in my home office and communicate with clients online (Skype, email, etc.) so I dress casually. I care about what I look like because it makes me feel good, not because I worry about what others think. I lived too many years with that ball and chain and I’m glad it’s behind me.

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  10. Absolutely. What brands we wear and small details about clothing are also essential. Every day I see girls and women wearing black tights. Doing so this time of the year is like saying you come from the lower classes. The top people are in charge in this world so it’s essential to know what to wear, when and how if you want to succeed. And don’t forget you have to know all the details about manners.

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    1. Do you mean women should wear flesh coloured tights as oppose to black tights in spring/summer? As a black woman, I do not have many options as the range is limited. Manners goes hand in hand with maintaining a good appearance.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Phoenicia – you’re right on with this post. Presenting yourself well actually makes you feel confident which others will recognize.

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  12. Hi Phoenicia. It is so true, that whether we want to or not, our subconscious mind does judge what we see (or hear!) It is therefore important to always put our best foot (or voice) forward when interacting with someone who is new to us, because we may never get a second chance.

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