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Your appearance matters, both for first impressions and your ongoing reputation. This is especially true when you run your own business. Looking more professional when you first meet someone can make them warmer toward you, which could lead you to more opportunities.
What’s more, looking more professional on a daily basis can have a number of positive effects, depending on your exact position. This could include closing more client deals, earning more respect from your employees and coworkers, or even lining yourself up for a promotion.
RELATED ARTICLE: IS YOUR APPEARANCE HONESTLY GOOD FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Improving your appearance can be tough, especially if you’re not used to making the attempt. However, there are some easy strategies that don’t take much time. What’s more, they could have a dramatic positive effect on your appearance.
How to Improve Your Professional Appearance
Try using these strategies to look more professional:
1. Invest in Custom Garments and Accessories
First, make the extra investment to ensure your clothes and accessories are custom-made for you. For instance, it’s often better to buy a cheap suit and have it tailored to your body than it is to buy an expensive one that doesn’t fit quite right. Everything you wear should fit you like a glove, even if it costs a little extra.
The same is true even for industries that don’t rely on conventional professional conduct. For example, according to 14K Gold Teeth, the difference between pre-made grillz and custom grillz is astonishing.
2. Find Your Own Personal Style
It’s okay to mimic the style of someone you saw in another professional environment, or something you saw in a magazine. However, it’s better to develop your own personal style. Choose flattering colors that match your personality and make you stand out, or invest in accessories that look distinctive on you. Looking professional doesn’t have to mean blending into the crowd.
3. Take Care of Your Clothes
It’s also in your best interest to take care of your clothes. Depending on your wardrobe, this could mean regularly dry cleaning your clothes to keep them in top order, pressing them before every workday, shining your shoes, and replacing items that have worn out over time.
If you know how to take proper care of your clothes and you’re willing to pay a bit more upfront, they have the potential to last you a lifetime. Just make sure to spend the extra time and effort to keep them in good condition.
4. Avoid Excess
Excess in almost any area can be a turnoff to other professionals. For example, going over-the-top with an expensive suit at an after-work event that was meant to be casual could lead people to think of you as overbearing. Similarly, wearing too much perfume or cologne can be revolting. Also, wearing too many accessories can make you look garish—even if it is your personal style. When in doubt, err on the side of dressing conservatively.
5. Perfect Your Posture
Posture can make a huge difference in how you’re perceived, and it’s something most of us never even think about. Standing tall with your shoulders back can make you seem more confident and add to your professional image. Sitting up straight in a meeting can make you seem like a more attentive and active participant.
It takes time to refine your posture. However, once you establish the habit, it will be practically unshakable. If you’re new to this process, start by filming yourself or looking at yourself in the mirror, and adjust your posture accordingly.
No, this isn’t a weight loss tip—though you might be happy to see some of the side effects. Instead, exercising regularly and staying in shape can help you in several different areas related to appearance. Stronger muscles will make it easier for you to maintain your good posture. And exercise boosts your mood and your confidence, which can help you seem more involved in conversations, or more professional overall.
7. Change Things up from Time to Time
Consider changing things up from time to time. Even if you’ve found a dress or suit that fits your personality perfectly, it’s a good idea to experiment with new styles on occasion. It will help you discover new pieces of clothing or accessories, while also introducing your coworkers and professional contacts to a different side of you.
Waiting for the Payoffs
It may be hard to notice the differences in your work environment or your performance, but be patient—they will come in time. As your coworkers, bosses, and clients notice you spending more attention on your personal grooming and fashion choices, they’ll start thinking of you differently. And the more new people you meet, the more chances you’ll have for your appearance to make a difference. Keep making adjustments as you learn more and grow more experienced in managing your appearance.