The suit is the single most important garment worn by men; not only because it is the most expensive and requires the greatest amount of time for selection and fitting, but because it is the garment on which most people judge the wearer’s status, character and abilities.
And since it covers the upper torso, which is the focal point of most people with whom we communicate, it is the central power garment, the one garment that establishes our position as inferior, equal or superior in any in-person business situation. In this case the equality policy just does not work. You are wearing a suit or you do not! And if you are against a person who is wearing a suit and you do not, guess who will win the case, the sale, the woman? (OK just kidding for the last one).
Suits are positive authority symbols, worn by the upper middle class, the people who make important decisions in our society. Parliament, White House, Elysee Palace…We are much more likely to believe, respect and obey the man who wears a suit than the man who does not. Men who do not wear suit may have important functions in our society, but we do not normally accord them such in our minds. In any level of society, suits are associated with authority, with position, with power.
Style Coach for Unique Image London
The subject of this blog came to me as I was preparing my workshop on Self esteem and Confidence.
It might sound a bit technical but bare with me.
You see, we all have a conscious and unconscious mind, the conscious mind for the thinking we do on a daily basis and that internal voice we identify to as “me” or “I”. But it is very limited in what it can handle and store at any given time. On the other hand, our unconscious mind is our memories, wisdom, creativity storage. And most importantly for my subject, it stores all of our habits.
Now tell me, when you wake up in the morning, do you spend half an hour wondering about what you are going to have for breakfast? On a daily basis, you just grab the same thing; it could be coffee or tea, home based or at your workplace. You will probably take the same route to work, grab the same news paper and listen to the same radio station.
We cook, eat, tie our shoelaces and ties, comb our hair pretty much in the same way and most importantly dress in the same manner everyday ( I am not saying wearing the same clothes though). Before you know it, repeating the same tasks on a daily basis develops habits which become unconscious and get stored in our unconscious mind so that when we do it, we do not even think about it anymore.
“There, a Style Rut is born”
Some of us do not even realise that we are in a style rut. It will take a friend, I mean a true friend, a family member or even hubby to tell us well ” honey, you need to do something” for us to realise it and become conscious a bout it. And I know it has some comfort to it and it feels safe because there is no risk taken.
The bad news is that a style rut can spread over the other areas of your life becoming slowly but surely a “Lifestyle rut”.
So my word of encouragement: take the risk to make your style unordinary by doing things differently every now and then. Cut your hair, change your lipstick colour, inject some colour in your wardrobe. Wear a skirt for a change!!!! Do not tell me you do not look good in a skirt; there is a skirt for every shape out there.
What needs to happen now is a deprogramming of the old habit in order to effectively replace it with a new one. You cannot install an antivirus if you have one already installed on your computer. It will ask you to get rid of the other one, well same here!!
If however, you not have clue how to do that, where to start… well, yours truly Style Coach Genevieve Muwana and Sandra Clothes (yes pun intended and there is a story behind this nickname but that is another blog) are here for you.
Together, we will built a program of change that will take you step by step and very gently towards creating your Unique Image!
Until then, be a living inspiration and live in the present
People who work from home can sometimes grab the first thing they see in the morning yes I know what you are thinking “let me lounge about in my pj’s or trakie bottoms no one will see me anyway ” well that’s a no no!!!!
Having an extensive wardrobe of all the latest fashions isn’t really necessary, particularly if you are working from home. Establishing your unique image and a strong sense of individual personality and style is the key. You may only need a few quality signature pieces that reflect your individual style that you can mix and match. You don’t have to look different every day, You just need to look good and professional.
So if you are working from home…”Get up and get dressed ditch the pj’s and trackie bottoms”. Put on something smart and comfortable.
I’ve often read that it helps to have a separate work place in your home, a dedicated office phone line – well it’s the same with your personal brand and professional image. Making calls, sending emails and acting in a professional way to run your business, means dressing in a professional way too.
Now I don’t mean you need a shirt and tie or a corporate outfit but choose clothes that make you feel like you’re working. You must look smart not only in the eyes of the people you’re around but your own eyes as well. It’s about creating positive energy.
Some kick start their day with a run or walk. Why not choose to start work on the high of looking good?
This is it!! The day has come when we are going to run our second Dress Your Way to Success workshop!! Another amazing opportunity to inspire and motivate the younger generation.
The show will start at 11 O’clock. 10 AM Sandra and I are at the venue and we start preparing the room. If you have read our last blog from the first workshop, you will remember that we had an adventure going on that caused our (at least my) stress level to skyrocket! With that in mind, Sandra prompted me to try the computer and projector to make sure that everything was working.
10.45, the first three people enter the room (yeah they came, they are here!!!!). At this point, I realise that they came by choice, and feel truly blessed to have this opportunity to teach them. Our main concern is to give them tools that they can use straight away and motivate them to be the best they can be not only when going on interviews but on a daily basis as well.
As the presentation goes on, a few more people arrived. Sandra is bombarded with questions as she is trying to make her points which made the workshop really interactive and showed that they were interested.
We covered the following subjects:
ü How to dress for interviews
ü Body Language
ü The importance of Language
ü Purpose and Vision
It is always fulfilling to see their faces as they learn new things sometimes as if a light bulb switched on! One of our candidates took three pages of notes!!! At the beginning, the projector was a bit blurred and they could not see the presentation as clearly as it should have been but this did not stop her; because she was sitting next to me, she could see the PowerPoint from my computer screen and that is what she did! She was truly eager to learn.
Luckily for her (and us), Beth brought Roger in to fix the projector. Roger, you are our Hero! Beth and Roger are both part of Kaleidoscope, the recruitment agency who hired us and their help as been invaluable and much appreciated.
Our greatest reward is hearing their feedback at the end of the workshop. Here is a sample of what they said about it:
“For me, it was really helpful, made me more confident and more comfortable about an interview”
“It was incredibly helpful, I now know how to behave, look like and say during the interview. Really opened up my perspective to how to be when being interviewed.”
“I really Enjoyed the workshop. It was invaluable for those who struggle with self-esteem issues in all areas of life. Lovely ladies! Good work!”
As I was reflecting on this workshop, I realised how vulnerable these young people are and really unaware of some essential knowledge that will increase their chances at achieving success.
We feel truly blessed to be able to make a difference in our youths at this specific time when unemployment is such a crucial subject.
Special thank you to Paris Petgrave from Kaleidoscope for this amazing opportunity and for her incredible contribution in tackling youth unemployment. She makes sure that unemployed young people are given the best tools to help them nail that interview and get back on the market.
We look forward to our next workshop and to making our work available to as many young people as possible.
Be a living inspiration and live in the present,
Genevieve Muwana for Unique Image London
“Image is the way other people see us it influences whether people will agree to our request hire us, or pay us the salary we want.” (excerpt from our Dress Your Way to Success workshop)
The better your image the better the chance of your promotion!
Within 30 seconds you have been judged, your business has been judged and your potential client will determine whether they trust you and whether they want to do business with you. 30 seconds is a very short time to make a positive impression but let me tell you that it can be achieved!!
Knowing how to look is the first part of the challenge. The other half is how to act so you stand out for the right reasons.
Managing your appearance is an important part of who you are it tells people about your personality and your lifestyle.
First and lasting impressions are made up of the following:
- Physical appearance of you, your business, logo, staff uniform state of your office and your car.
- Business etiquette which is awareness for appropriate behaviour and with any awareness it’s important to look inward at ourselves and who we are, our personal traits and our brand.
Your personal brand is so important and you should be portraying an authentic consistent image in all business relationship.
Your future is in your own hands you have the power and the ability to get what you want.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Model your behaviour and image on a person who is successful in business and who you admire. Dress for success and for the job you want, not for the job you are in. These are just some of the topics we cover in our workshop.
Let me keep it real and give you a few tips; if you’re not sure what clothing suits you or if it’s appropriate for the position you want; invest in yourself, your education and future by booking an appointment with image and coach experts Sandra and Genevieve at Unique Image London who will give you a 2 hour free consultation and teach you what you need to known to get ahead.
“Styling people from the inside out”
Sandra Fearon for Unique Image London