If you are not impressed with what you wear, don’t expect others to be. It is commonly said: “the way you dress is the way you’ll be addressed”. So, dress to sell! Self Image is everything and your appearance reflects ‘Who you are,’ ‘Where you’re coming from,’ and ‘Who you represent.
According to Ghanaweb.com, “the mental health of every human being can be determined to a large extent by the clothes that they wear, or better still, by their appearance or outlook.”
Remember, first impressions last a lifetime!
Fundamentals of Dressing
Looking neatly should not only be for outdoor purposes. You must look neat and properly dressed when indoors. Your dressing must be:
- Simple – (Not overdressed)
- Conservative – (Colourful)
- Styled (Current)
- Neat (Dry cleaned and Properly Ironed)
You can establish a professional presence and position for a great image through Visual, Vocals, and Verbal. Your Presence can be established through Visuals – Colour Combination.
Your dressing will mean nothing if you wear mismatched colours. Colour selection is one great skill in dressing.
Colour Theory, Colour Chord, and Colour Basics
- Hue: This is a formal term for ‘Colour’
- Value: These are the relative lightness or darkness of a colour
- Tints: These are Colours with ‘white’ added
- Shades: These are Colours with ‘black’ added
- Saturation: The intensity or brightness of colour
- Temperature: The Perceived warmth & coolness
Colour plays a major role in how you feel and envision yourself. Begin to design yourself by listing adjectives that define your personality such as:
- Happy, Bright & Cheerful
- Natural & Open
- Simple, Clean & Restful
- Sleek, Sophisticated & Stack (S-Type)
- Black & White
Colours are combined to form various schemes such as Monochromatic, Analogous, Complementary, Split, Complement, and Triad.
Clothes makes the Man. The quality of your clothes is the most important factor in non-verbal communication. Clothes comprise of Tailoring, Fitness choice & Fabric.
Category A: Shirt and Blouse
Rule #1: White or Blue dress shirts are business staples; Simple, Solid colour or pastel blouse for the ladies.
Rule #2: A white shirt with a dark suit is always the best choice
Rule #3: Poly/Cotton blend dress shirts hold their press well, but will fade over time.
Rule #4: Spend money & the effort to iron pure cotton shirts. You’ll look sharper & the shirt will hold that bright colour longer.
Rule #5: Own at least two dress shirts of different colours with French cuff.
Rule #6: Never wear an all flowery sequenced blouse
Category B: Suits
Rule #1: Solid coloured suits are the most formal. Navy Blue, Black & Gray
Rule #2: A dark charcoal pinstripe suit communicates the strongest power message
Rule #3: Two – Four-button suits are just perfect
Rule #4: Over dry-cleaning will make your suits shine & dry out the fabric
Rule #5: Spot clean or steam your suits to get rid of wrinkles
Rule #6: Use the illusionary dressing technique.
Category C: Neckties/Scarves
Rule #1: Neckties come in two lengths. The standard length of 56inches & the longer, 60inches.
Rule #2: Be sure to buy a standard 56inches tie unless you are over 6 feet tall or have a protruding belly.
Rule #3: The bottom of your tie should just cover your belt buckle
Rule #4: A properly tied necktie will have a dimple under the knot
Rule #5: Adjust the width of your tie’s knot to the width of your shirt collar. The wider the collar, the wider the knot.
Rule #6: Scarves should pick up colours from your suits/dress.
Rule #7: Silk scarves are the most formal.
Festive ties are not for the office, they are for the festive season.
Category D: Cuff links/Earrings & Rings (Accessories)
Rule #1: Use cuffs that are colour coordinated with your outfit.
Rule #2: Silver cufflinks go with anything.
Rule #3: Cuff links with precious stones are the most formal.
Rule #4: Avoid laced up pieces of jewelry on fingers/ankles – Less is better
Rule #5: All jewelry should be slim and plain. Avoid bogus and ostentatious ornaments that draw attention.
Category E: Shoes and Belts
Rule #1: Buy shoes late in the afternoon. Your feet are at their largest at the end of the day
Rule #2: Wear lace-up shoes with a suit, a boot will also look good.
Rule #3: Never loafers, extremely high heel shoes/boots.
Rule #4: Keep a good shine on leather shoes.
Rule #5: Don’t wear a pair of shoes two days in a row. They need a day to recover
Rule #6: Storing your shoes with trees inserted will keep them looking newer. Cedar shoe trees are the best.
Rule #7: The prong of a properly fitting belt will go through the straps third hole.
Rule #8: The belt & shoe colour most complement.
Category F: Fragrances
Rule #1: A woman’s sense of smell is generally sharper than that of a man.
Rule #2: Use mild cologne.
Rule #3: Your scent should depart with you when you leave a room.
Rule #4: Use fragrances that have limited distribution, this will help bring out the original you.
Do remember to leave behind a lasting impression of Styles!