I was thrilled to be asked by Gemma at www.mayinspire.co.uk to put together a series of style tip guest blogs for her crafty followers. Gemma and her mum Sue, organise and run adult craft workshops in Southampton. Many of their classes are held at the Crafty Bug in Woolston. In the first post, I talk about my first impression style tips. Whether that’s to help with confidence when meeting new people for the first time of for a big meeting or interview. Read the full interview below.
First Impression Style Tips
Gem: Fantastic, that’s a lovely mission to have. We are all for building confidence so people can be happier! Right, it is time for the hard hitting questions. We get a lot of people to our groups who are anxious to meet new faces. Although our groups are non-judgemental and very welcoming, it can be daunting to meet new people.
Samantha: Meeting new people for the first time can be daunting. I still get those nervous butterflies when I meet a new client. But there are a few simple things that we can do to help us feel and look confident to make this initial experiences less scary.
1. Wear something you love
Clothes have enormous power over our self-confidence and mood. So if you are feeling a bit unsure about what to wear, start building your outfit around an item of clothing that you love. This might be something that you feel looks good on you, or has sentimental or positive memories attached to it. Wearing pieces that make us feel good can lift our mood and this helps us feel more confident in ourselves when meeting new people.
2. Get the fit right
Wear something that feels comfortable. After lockdown I know that there are a few things in my wardrobe that don’t quite fit the same way that they did before. If you are conscious that a top hugs your tummy, or the buttons aren’t quite closing properly on that shirt, then don’t wear it. You don’t want to be tugging at hemlines, pulling together buttons or crossing your arms disguise, hide and rectify these outfit problems. Not only will this create negative body language, but you’ll feel self-conscious.
3. Add some colour
When you meet new people, you want to not only look good, but also project an approachable and friendly image that will last in that persons head after the initial meeting. One great way of doing this is through wearing colour. Colours play an huge role in our lives, they influence our thinking, impact our mood and even inspire our decision making. All colours spark a psychological reaction when we see them. Red is said to activate your pituitary gland, increasing your heart rate and causing you to breath more rapidly. This instinctive response makes red seem aggressive, energetic, passionate and attention grabbing. Whilst green is considered a relaxing and revitalising colour for mind and body and this in turn implies freshness, serenity and health. Here are some other reactions to colours:
- Blue is perceived as trustworthy and dependable.
- Yellow communicates optimism, positivity and warmth.
- Purple evokes mystery, creativity, spirituality and sophistication.
- Pink conveys youthfulness, fun and excitement, with lighter pinks being seen as more romantic.
- Orange is seen as cheerful, evoking feelings of exuberance, fun and vitality.
- Brown conveys simplicity, durability and honesty.
- Black is seen as serious, bold, powerful and classic. It can also create a feeling of drama and sophistication.
- White implies simplicity, innocence and perfection.
With this in mind it is important to consider what impressions you want to convey through the colour you wear. Think about what reactions and meanings they communicate.
4. Be yourself
Wear something that is authentic to you and your own style. Being congruent to your natural style personality is a key part of the work I do with my clients. Too often we try to dress in a way that we think we should rather than in a way that we want.
How many times have you thought, ‘I’m too old’ or ‘ I’m too big’ to wear that (skirt or top) or ‘I’m a mum now, I can’t wear that’. These self-imposed rules leave us feeling restricted and suck our self-confidence, leaving us feeling frumpy and disconnected with who we are. Meeting new people is a great time to try something new, as they have no preconceived ideas of who you are and no knowledge of what you normally wear.
Now I’m not suggesting that you experiment with a head to toe boho look, when you are normally a quite classic dresser as this would leave you feeling vulnerable and self-conscious. But if you are looking to add a bit of edge, colour or femininity to your look, a new meeting is a great time to dip your toe in the water of change. Simple changes like swapping your jeans for a dress, adding a funky belt, or wearing a bright lip colour can really elevate an outfit, allow you to debut your look without ‘judgement’ and have a bit of fun with your style.
If you are a little nervous about trying something new, wear it around the house first. This will help you get used to it and allow you to feel more confident about wearing the new item, so that when the day for debuting it publicly comes you can wear that new look with her head held high.
5. Plan your outfit
My final tip is to think about what you are going to wear in advance. Planning your outfit ahead of the meeting will not only make getting ready a breeze, but also means that you can be sure that you are happy with your outfit, that it fits, that there are no marks or dropped hems and that you have the right shoes and accessories to finish the look. Knowing you look good, that you are well presented and being authentically you will allow you to stride into that meeting with confidence and positivity.
So there you have it. My top five first impression style tips for confidently dressing for new meetings.
Gem: That’s fantastic, thank you! I love the idea in tip 4 about trying new styles with a new group of people. I also can’t wait to go and check out the colours in my wardrobe to see what message I am giving off. Before you go, could you share how people can find out more about your services?
Of course, if you would like to find out more about discovering your style personality, or simply want to discover how to dress confidently, I offer both online and in person style consultations. These include wardrobe makeovers, personal shopping and body & colours analysis.
I pride myself on affordable pricing. Online services start at just £20 and are bookable via my website samathawoodburystyling.com.