June 27, 2016, Singapore – Mark Twain once said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. What you wear in the corporate world might be more important than what you think. You only have the first 30 seconds to create a first good impression. The better you are dressed, the more confident you will feel. Feeling good about how you look will help you exude confidence – whether it’s during a major presentation or during a job interview.”
Abraham Rutchick, a psychology professor at California State University, Northridge said, “When you look in the mirror and you are dressed well, you feel good about yourself, and you are investing in yourself. It’s not that clothes will make you smarter, but you might feel more creative or look at things on a wider scale based on what you are wearing”.
Joy Koh knows exactly what this means. Founder of one of Singapore’s leading image consulting firms Image Avenue, she summarizes four simple dressing tips that anyone can use right away to build confidence and influence.
“Even if the company has a casual dress code, you should not be wearing t-shirts, shorts, ripped jeans or flip-flops to work. Smart options include business shirts, dress pants, blouses, skirts and structured dresses. You may also want to opt for favoured business colours such as black, blue, or white. According to a survey carried out by CareerBuilder with about 2000 hiring managers, the managers associated blue with trustworthiness and confidence; black with leadership and white with efficiency. The worst colours to wear are orange, pink and yellow.”
“An expensive working wardrobe is not necessary. More importantly, outfits should be pressed, clean and well-fitted. Make sure that your hair is neatly styled. Nails must be well groomed and clean. Keep scent light – too much perfume or cologne is an instant image destroyer.”
Strike a Balance
“Put on something unique that helps you to stand out. For example, a man can wear tie with patterns and a woman can wear a pair of interesting but subtle earrings. However, prints and patterns must be not be too flashy or distracting. Wear no more than eight pieces of accessories, including belt and bag.”
Shoes Make an Outfit
“Invest in comfortable, polished and work-appropriate shoes. Scruffy shoes spoil your otherwise perfect outfit instantly. Women can wear comfortable heels about one to two inches high. Men should invest in a pair of leather dress shoes.”
As Joy added, “Maintaining a professional image doesn’t have to be time-consuming when you follow the simple guidelines. Dress your way to success.”
Joy Koh is a Certified Image Consultant and Etiquette Coach. She has an Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ATAC), a WDA qualification and a Pedagogical Certificate in Technical Education, thus enabling her to develop and deliver courses that are interactive and dynamic. She also has a Graduate Diploma in Solution Based Focus Brief Therapy and is a Master Solution Focused Practitioner. This enhances her coaching abilities and influencing skills.
With her passion to style and coach people to look their best, and together with her strong business and training background, Joy develops successful Professional Image Management Programmes for corporate organisations. These courses aim to highlight the importance of effective image management to gain an edge in the highly visual and competitive business world.
To find out more about Professional Image and Business Etiquette Programmes, visit http://www.image-avenue.com/.
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