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Presentation Is Everything: A Look at First Impressions

Published on July 19, 2017, at 9:20 p.m.
by Katie McKinzey.

If you have seen the movie “The Devil Wears Prada,” you know who Miranda Priestly is. As the editor-in-chief of the fashion magazine Runway, Miranda Priestly knows the do’s and don’ts of what to wear. And, when Miranda first interviewed Andy, her new personal assistant, she made it clear that there was no question about her knowledge of fashion.

“29 Of The Most Iconic Lines From ‘The Devil Wears Prada'” by Buzzfeed.

Yes, it may sound absurd, but what you wear and how you present yourself matters daily, not just when it comes time for shopping or an interview. Of course when we are in front of a potential employer we want to look presentable and professional: teeth brushed (smelly breath is a ticket out of the door), hair combed, comfy shoes and appropriate attire. But what about after we get the job? Presentation still matters.

After going through my closet, I have often found that it needs updating. I find myself wearing the same ol’ trusty shoes and blouses week after week. But where do I go to find reasonably priced business attire? Because I definitely get it — clothes are expensive, especially business clothes, and dressing up requires a little more time and energy in the morning.

A BuzzFeed article shared “24 Secrets Every Bargain Shopper Needs to Know.” Here are three secrets that I find helpful when shopping for business attire:

1. “Always buy something on sale with Shaptagr.” This online extension allows you to “pin” items and be notified when the item goes on sale.

2. “If you’re a student, always ask if there’s a student discount.” Here is the list that BuzzFeed shared of stores that allow students to save money: 36 stores with student discounts. Who knew there were so many?

3. “Stay informed about upcoming sales and discounts from your favorite stores by joining their email lists.” Seeing an email pop up on my phone from one of my favorite stores is always exciting in case there is a sale going on.

Once you have found your perfectly (or reasonably) priced clothes, here are four “to-do’s” that will have your colleagues and customers loving your style even more:

1. Pick out your outfit the night before: If you are like me, mornings can be a bit of a rush, sometimes causing me to throw on something quickly. Picking out your outfit the night before can help you decide what pairs well with what. Go ahead and choose shoes and jewelry to go along with it, too.

2. Try it on: Whether you are buying from a store or picking out an outfit you already have the night before, try it on. Even if it is your size, make sure it fits you well. So many times I have bought a piece of clothing from a store in the same size I always wear and when I get home or get ready the next morning for work, it does not fit. This leaves me in a panic and rush. As Nike says, “Just do it,” and try it on.

3. Look in the mirror: This “to-do” is not meant to sound harsh. I know we have all heard someone unkindly say, “Did she take a look in the mirror before walking out of the door this morning?” To avoid these types of comments, take a hard look to see how your outfit comes together. Make sure buttons are buttoned and shoes are strapped. What looks good on a hanger may not piece together well once we put it on. Also, if you are unsure of what your style should be for work, take a look at what your boss wears and see how you can incorporate similar clothing into your wardrobe.

4. Be comfortable and confident: The phrase “look good, feel good” rings true. Be sure you are first of all comfortable in what you are wearing. The style, color and length will speak volumes about how things will fit and feel. Being comfy is key and one less worry you can have throughout your day. If I am comfortable in what I am wearing, I feel more confident while performing my job and daily duties.

As the old saying goes, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have,” or if you are already working your dream job — keep it up! Remember the main goal should be to project a professional image through the way we put ourselves together for work. I believe looking nice gives others a pleasant and instant impression of the company or business we work for.

As Miranda Priestly would say, “That’s all.”


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