Creating consistent personal style allows people to build positive long-lasting relationships with you. When your first impression matches your behavior in a positive way, trust ensues. When your continued impressions build upon that positive first impression, the reinforcement grows the “know, like and trust” factor.
• Whether your mood or the occasion changes, your personal style and actions can flow evenly to reinforce each other.
• Building a more nuanced understanding of who you are, what you bring to the table and how you can contribute your unique talents to the task at hand is easy when your first impression is coherent and easily understood. Your first impression continues to fuel every subsequent impression — even throughout a long-term relationship.
Mastering Your First Impression
When you look at the photo above, what do you think? Did you draw certain conclusions about the woman in the photo?
She’s not facing you. She’s not even speaking with you. You don’t know her at all!
However, the first impression she creates is clear. Isn’t it?
This exercise a great example of how quickly we make assumptions based on how someone looks. We’d like to think we don’t, but we do.
The question is: how can you create a first impression that tells your story correctly? Consistent Personal Style
Would you be surprised if you found out the woman walking her dogs is the same woman in the foreground of Picture 2 below ?
Her weekend wear is consistent with this look — a classic coat, brown leather tote and stacked bootie plus her wash & wear (but very expensively colored) hair.
What do you think? It’s totally possible, isn’t it?
If it is, we get a slightly different story from the photo of her walking her dogs.
What story do you tell about her now?
Do you see how your first impression changes a bit, but you don’t necessarily throw it away? You build upon the first impression to create an alternate story encompassing what you originally thought.
This is how first impressions work.
How can you be sure your first impression is working for you? How We Make It Happen:
Personal style is not taught in school (except mine). In fact, many people think of personal style as something you can only have intuitively. It definitely is not! It is a skill you can master and adopt to propel your purpose forward.
Here’s how to get started:
Imagine the Woman You Want to Become:
Create a vision board that illustrates how the woman you want to be shows up in the world. Try to create three concepts of cuts you can iterate with color, pattern or fabrication. I call these your Signature Looks.
Shop Your Closet.
Find looks within your existing wardrobe that match the woman you’ve imagined. Perhaps she does walk her dogs in a Barbour coat and Hunter wellies! I used to do so in the EU, where those brands were a little less charged with prestige. Now, I wear my Barbour coat as a counterpoint to my more dressed-up look for networking events to keep things relaxed. Understanding both the negative and positive connotations of the pieces you choose depending on the culture you’re in allows you to show up as your true self no matter where you are. Take mirror-selfies and post them in a wardrobe app.
Add Color to Amplify.
Whatever you want to call into your life, use those color meanings in your existing day-to-day wardrobe. For example, I’m building my business in my new home in the Washington, DC area, so I’m calling in abundance, growth grit and energy. I’m using more gold (abundance), green (growth), burgundy (strength) and red (energy) in my wardrobe than ever before. I’m keeping my trademarked pink, black and white as my neutrals, but varying the accents depending on what I need that day
Written byAllison Hamilton Rohe