As much as we would like to avoid first impressions making a lasting imprint, the reality is, they do. We are human, and unfortunately, we automatically paint a picture in our heads of what we think the person is like before we get to know them personally. Although, sometimes this never lasts, it is certainty there for the time being, before you meet that person again, or get to know them. Essentially, no matter how much you try not to judge, or try not to assume, first impressions are a reality, and sometimes taken really seriously. They can be the reason you do not get a job, or the reason you get scammed. They can separate friendships or begin relationships. They are seriously important.
So, even if you have a winning personality and an exciting life, if your first impression says differently, the hash reality of it is, people will not treat you like they see you, and maybe it’s not necessarily how you are. Many things in our personality are hard to show through a first impression, but luckily, defining your personal style can help a lot. Here are 6 slip ups to avoid and how to fix them, so you can still own your personal style, and make a good impression while doing so.
1. Wrong Fitting Clothes
Have you ever seen someone walking down the street, looking like they’ve swapped clothes with their boyfriend or brother? Or even worse, remember those times where men would squeeze into women’s skinny jeans? Fortunately, we have now adapted a more “oversized” style now, rather than those tight 90’s low riders – thank god, right ladies??
Anyways, as styles change, from tight-fitting to loose and baggy, there is one thing that never changes, and that is a nicely made piece. If you break it down, clothes are pieces of material mending together with thread and the possible facets, such as zippers, ties, etc. There is a world a difference between well made, properly designed clothes, and cheap, “quickly made” clothes, considering the materials that are being used are generally similar (not accounting for quality here). So, how do you know if your clothes don’t fit? You’re fidgeting with them, pulling up your pants, your straps, and pulling down your shirt. Muffin top. Ugh.
The classic shoulder test, remember that from when you were a child? Your mother would match the seems of your t-shirt to the top of your shoulders and see if it covered the area? Or ladies, the classic bend tip – to see if your skirt or dress is long enough to cover everything when you bend down? There’s heaps of little tests and tricks to see if your clothes fit properly, but sometimes, things are just made cheap and they have no hope.
How to fix it?
When you’re buying your clothes, make sure there are no budges, stretches or uncomfortable pulls. Your buttons should button, your “imperfect” areas should be hidden and you should see a flat line from seem to seem. Nothing is worse than someone hiding in baggy clothes, or the opposite – pouring themselves into clothes that are obviously too small. You could be wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt, but they will look like totally different outfits if the cuts are wrong. Don’t be afraid to experiment about what is good for your body type, it’s a good idea to know your measurements. When you’re shopping for clothes, look for design and materials, instead of price and fad styles.
2. Dirty Shoes
The classic white kicks. Aren’t they great? Yes, until you wear them a couple of times and all of the sudden they’re not so white. Although, the “distressed” look is considered stylish by some, it doesn’t necessarily give off the whole “clean and polished” look. Not only does walking around with dirty shoes give off the image of “I don’t care” it also makes you look pretty scruffy. Having dirt from all these places on your shoes and taking the time to wash it off shows that you don’t take time for little things, which can imply a lot, when looking for a job or about your cleanliness.
How to fix it?
Opt in for a unique colour instead of white. It seems the “white sneakers” are a growing trend, so why not stand out a little bit? Colours such as olive green or grey can really hide dirt in the right way. If you still have dirty shoes, why not opt in for a pair that you can throw in the washing machine? Nearly all sneakers are made from new materials where this is doable. If you have leather shoes or botties, why not splurge once and a while on your lunch hour and get your shoes shined? Remember, investing in quality items means also investing in taking care of them.
3. Knock-Off Items
Everyone is entitled to their preference, and to be able to support the designers that they like, but buying knock-off is not the way to do so. When your heading into a job interview for a $30K job, and you’re sporting a $3000.00 Louis Vuitton bag, something just doesn’t add up. It’s clear, that when you’re incorporating brand names into your style, it’s important to be careful about the image you want to show. Yes, some of the designers, like Prada and Gucci offer amazing styles that are the definition of high fashion and unique, but what makes you think that a knock-off bag will also be made exactly the same? It wont be. The straps will come unravelled, the pockets will not be as nice and the zipper has a high probability of breaking, plus it looks like you’re trying to be something you’re not – not a nice factor in your first impression.
How to Fix this?
Instead of taking the time to head to your closest Tuesday market and search around bins and tables for the knock-off that looks the closest to the real thing, take the time and study your favourite designers that you’re interested in. Take a look at the colors that they are using this season, the shapes, the textures. Search for the style instead of the name. Owning well made, on trend items is much more appealing and interesting than the fad Gucci bag or Louis Vuitton bag.
4. Noticeably Old & Worn Clothes
There’s no doubt, we all have our favorites. The shorts from the 90’s your mother gave you, or that button down from your dad, that conveniently has come back into style. They’re pretty cool, and some clothes definitely hold a sentimental value. But, there is a line between actually wearing these clothes and deciding to keep them as memories, or trash them.
If you were to go to a second-hand shop, and dress head-to-toe in the items there, you’ll be looking pretty vintage (with the exception of some rare finds), so there’s not any incentive to strive for that look, unless you’re trying to be like Macklemore. Besides, nothing is polished or stylish about small holes, worn out cotton or disintegrated elastic. It just looks exactly how it sounds. Besides, clothes that are just a little too worn out give off the impression that you’re either living in the past, or are hitting some hard times financially. Neither is a good impression.
How to Fix it?
Make it a rule of thumb to only have 1 vintage item per outfit- why? Because this way you’ll be able to make it really shine. There is no doubt that clothes from 2-3 decades ago where made exceptionally better, so there is still ability to take advantage of this. Just remember, everything is okay in moderation, and that includes having “blasts from the past.”
5. Not Knowing How To Dress For The Occasion
What is worse for you? Being over dressed or underdress? Ideally, you’re not going to want to be either. Showing up to your best friends baby shower in an red evening gown can be pretty embarrassing, but so can showing up to a fancy dinner in sneakers. When you’re dressing down, you can actually come off as really disrespectful. If someone had invited you, and you do not have the decency to put in an effort to be there, looking and feeling good, then it can be offensive. But, the other side of the coin is the same. If you’re always dressing to the nines, it can get really unpractical, in addition to portraying the image that you’re better than everyone – a mindset no one should have.
How To Fix This?
How do you find that sweet-spot between functional, elegant and the absolute proper fit for the occasion? It can be hard at times! A good way to leverage functionality and style in the same outfit is to invest in quality pieces. You can never go wrong with a classic white button down and pants / jeans and a nice fresh pair of jeans. Never underestimate the power of a black dress that’s perfectly sewn to your curves and a statement necklace. Buying basics, and adding your flair to them with accessories, or undertones ( such as the lining of your button down shirt, or the gold chain you always wear, can really make you versatile for any occasion, and how convenient is that??
6. A Cheap (and Clunky) Phone Case
Have you ever seen a photo of a women in a beautiful evening gown, holding her smartphone with the plastic case with French fries, or an ice cream cone mold? It doesn’t really make much sense to be honest. Why completely kill your outfit with a phone case? For example, if you’re heading out for an important event, and dressed to the nines, having a childish phone case can really give the wrong impression about you. It makes it seem like you got all dressed up for this one occasion, but really, you’re not much of a serious person. Your phone case plays a pretty important part in your life. When you go out on a date, or with friends, you come into the resurtants, set your keys and phone down on the table, sit down and start talking. It’s pretty much the first thing people see, so why choose something that is nice to look at?
How To Fix This:
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