There are so many sayings that relate to the way you look, the way you present or the way that you may appear. Things like “First Impressions Count”, and “A picture is worth 1,000 words” are just two of the many. These sayings provide just a small insight into how you appearance can affect the way that you are perceived and treated by others.
An important part of portraying a good image to other people is to maintain a consistent appearance, in everything that you do. This appearance comes down to almost everything that you do. The clothes you wear, the way you wear the clothes, the accessories that you wear, the car you drive, the way you present your self, and many other things. Connecting these all together to provide a consistent appearance is one of the most important things you can do.
THE CLOTHES YOU WEAR – Everyone has to wear clothes and everyone has different taste in clothes. As such the actual clothes you wear are not the most important factor. However choosing clothes that go together and provide the appearance that you want to offer is important. This however can be literally a never ending list of what to wear and what not to wear together, which is not really the point i am trying to share here. Simply the clothes you wear should work together, and should match the situation you plan to wear them in.
MATCH THE CLOTHES TO THE MOMENT – While the specific clothes you wear may not be important, matching what you are wearing to the event is. Wearing shorts and T-shirt may be appropriate for a picnic at the beach where as a collar and tie may be more appropriate at a wedding. An additional note here is also looking to match the clothes to something appropriate for yourself in the moment. Again the list is potentially endless, and there is a lot about what to wear to what around.
MATCH THE ACCESSORIES – Often the things that are noticed are the little things. More often then not the things that are missing, or not aligned with the overall expectation of being consistent. Things like Cuff links on a shirt that needs them, a tie missing at a collar and tie event, shoes that are very worn when the other clothes are new. Keeping the accessories in line with the outfit can make you appearance better, and can make you look more consistent.
THE CAR YOU DRIVE – This is a very important one and possibly one of the area’s that is an issue. If you are looking to provide a highly professional appearance, and you are driving around in a absolute bomb, that is covered in rust or keeps breaking down meaning you are often late. This is causing major impacts to the consistency of your appearance.
TIMING – As mentioned in the previous point, if you are always on time or late, or such can be another important part of putting forward a consistent image. The consistent part here though needs to be more focused on consistently good such as being consistently on time, rather then consistently late. The idea is not to be consistent, but to be consistent on the positive side of the equation.
CONSISTENT PRESENTATION – If you have clients that you visit regularly or work in an environment that you are in contact with current or potential clients then presenting yourself in a consistent manner is important. For example if you are to mix your wearing of suits and t-shirts and shorts when visiting a client, this would not be overly consistent, and would potentially cause the client to question the consistency of your product or service. Like wise the way that you speak to your clients is also an area to maintain consistency. Interchanging the way you speak to a client with maybe their name and calling them buddy or mate, or some other nickname you come up with can harm the relationship.
These are just some of the ways that you may not always maintain a consistent appearance. However one thing that you really do need to keep in mind is that, your own personality needs to show through, while maintaining a consistency. Additionally not every situation calls for the same direct expected actions. You really do have to play every situation as you see it. For example dressing down for one client may be what you need to do to grab the deal, where as another may see it as not the correct path.
Really at the end of the day it is basically comes down to being consistent in your appreance, to match the way you see the situation. You will not always get it right, but if you pick up on something that works, in this respect, then stick with it and be consistent.