According to Forbes magazine, the average human being takes only 7 seconds to make major assumptions about people they meet for the first time.
These so called, "first impressions" are immediate and unavoidable. No matter how much we say things like, "Don't judge a book by its cover", in those first seconds of a meeting, we will. It all stems from our animal instincts and our need for survival. Does this person look threatening or approachable? Are they powerful or weaker than you? Do they look trustworthy, competent, like able, confident?
When you live in an era where time moves so quickly, a "first impression" may be all you get. Like a walking "visual profile" be sure the way you dress is how you want to be viewed.
1.) No Style vs. Style
The first question is do you have a Style? Not putting in any effort in your "look", also means you showcase none of your character. This makes you less noticeable, and more likely to blend with the crowd, and be forgotten. People will focus less on you, and what you have to say. Which means you will have to work twice as hard to be understood.
The next question going through your mind is maturity. How old is this person? Normally the thought process immediately categorizes into groups: kids, teens, college student, after college, middle age, and seniors. If you want immediate respect and to appear reliable and educated, then avoid anything childish. Leave the hearts, and happy faces for your pj's and, pull out your more muted colors and elegant lines. This is especially handy for business meetings or interviews.
3.) Classy Elegant vs. Sexy Seductress
Often times women can't understand why they seem to attract the wrong kind of guy. Sometimes, it can be as simple as what you are wearing. If you are dressed like a sexy seductress, you are oozing with sex appeal. It is the quickest way to get attention, but the hardest way to get people to hear what you say. Dressing classy or elegant gives an impression of femininity and sophistication. The people who approach you are most likely interested in getting to know who you are.
4.) Masculine vs. Feminine
Here you can clearly see how fashion can severely effect how powerful you may look. Wearing a man's suit, blocks out a woman's natural femininity and gives the effect of strength. Slicking one's hair back verses soft curls also enhances the entire effect.
5.) Good Student vs. Wild Child
There is something about a tweed blazer with a formal collar that gives off the impression of a reliable, trustable, student. A black leather jacket and sneakers gives off the opposite effect showcasing a bit of attitude and edge.
6.) Sporty Cool vs. High Maintenance Princess
It always amazes me how different the same girl can appear when they are just in a simple tank, jeans and some ray bans, They immediately appear, more down to earth, sportier, and approachable. Now dress her up in Chanel, trendy sunnies, curled hair, make up, and shopping bags, and instantly, they appear as a high maintenance princess, much less approachable, and no longer down to earth.
7.) Dark Poet vs. Girly Girl
Wearing all black with dark lips, will immediately make you less approachable than the girly girl in pastels. It gives off the impression of an introvert, not looking to make friends. You appear as a thinker and that can be quite intimidating. The girly girl, that looks like she popped out of a fashion magazine, will appear less intelligent, and superficial.
A girl in a black hat always appears mysterious. Perhaps, we have mental connotations connected to a witch, but there is something about a big black hat that is fearful and intriguing at the same time.
The point of this article is not to say that "Fashion" defines you, but that you should define yourself through fashion. Learning the power of fashion through perception determines the success of your goals. Of course, ability and knowledge is an obvious necessity but do not deny yourself the fact, looks do open or close those "initial" doors.