By Catherine Strawbridge, published in Cambridge News, May 25th 2017 edition
You’ll remember that last month I said I was going to answer some of the questions that come up time and time again with clients and other people interested in what I do. The question I answered was about how to feel body confident. I talked about asking yourself what you wanted from your body. The answer, whether it be health, fitness, strength, etc should give you the tools you need to make that happen and enable you to proud and confident about your body.
This month’s question is, “Why are clothes so important when I don’t even follow fashion trends?”. To answer this I want to talk about the power of wearing the right outfit. We get dressed every single day – well the odd Sunday in PJs is forgiven! Clothes, whether you buy into ‘fashion’ or not are integral to the image we portray, but even more important than what other people see and think, is how they make us feel. Wearing a great outfit versus just throwing something on really can make all the difference.
I often cover this subject in my workshops too. Here, I ask everyone to close their eyes. So go on, take a minute to yourself – do read to the end of the paragraph though! Imagine you are about to have a telephone interview. You are sitting in your pyjamas, fluffy slippers on, dressing gown loosely done up. Next, imagine the same phone interview but this time you have got yourself up, showered and put a dress/suit/appropriate interview wear on. Got that? Now you really can close those eyes for a minute.
Done? Let me ask you, where did you picture yourself sitting in each scenario? What was the difference in your body language? How did you come across? Relaxed, laid back, keen, competent, confident? How do you think you did in each interview? Did you get the job?
The response I often get is when in their pyjamas people are sitting on the sofa for their interview, legs up, cup of tea in hand – very “comfortable”. But, when dressed appropriately for their interview, they are sitting at a table or standing. They feel more professional, ready. I wonder if you had a similar reaction? Often they do better in the second interview!
In that scenario you were on the end of a phone, no one could see you but what you imagined wearing could still have had an impact on the result of the interview.
Face to face you don’t always get the chance to worry about how you sound and what you say. When you meet people it takes just seven seconds for them to form an opinion of you. That’s why your clothes, as part of your overall appearance, are so important.
I’m not talking about having a designer suit or bag. Rather, feeling comfortable, professional, appropriate and put together. If you feel you look good, you’re going to feel good – happier and confident in your own skin. That feeling is then going to be projected into your day, and will have an impact – not just on you but on the people you meet during your day too – whether you are trying for that new job, or simply doing your weekly shop!
If you have a question you would like answered email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or come and find me on Facebook.