How to Make a Flawless First Impression

The #1 rule I abide by when I’m getting ready is this: it is always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. If I’m uncertain about how formal an event is, I know I’d rather look put together than ill-prepared and inappropriate. My mom engrained this philosophy into me, and it has saved me from embarrassing outfit mishaps on numerous occasions! The reason this philosophy is so important is because first impressions are essential to how we view each other personally and professionally.   

When the maid of honor is giving a speech at a wedding, when a boss is reflecting on an employee’s hard work, or even when friends simply want to reminisce on old times, the most referenced stories are their first impressions – what they thought of the other when they first met.

First impressions set the tone. They show others who you are through a multitude of nonverbal cues, and what you’re wearing is one of the biggest contributing factors. This can be both exhilarating and intimidating, thus I’ve compiled a few outfit rules and ideas to assist you in confidently making your professional mark.  

 

The Interview

Emily Blanco models a professional outfit perfect for a job interveiew. 

Do:

Choose an outfit that shows your personality.

Don’t:

Go too bold with the patterns or colors.

When choosing an outfit for an interview, it is important to research the company to find out as much about the workplace atmosphere as possible. You want to stand out to the company while showing that you can mesh with their vibe. For this look, I went with a business professional outfit that was tailored to my body and was in flattering colors. I felt confident because I was staying true to what I love about my style, as well as dressing appropriately.

 


Client Meetings

Emily Blanco displays a look styled by Raquel Greer Gordian that is appropriate for client meetings.

Do:

Make a statement.

Don’t:

Go too casual.

 

When you’re meeting with a client, you want to express to them exactly who you are and why you are trustworthy.  Expressing yourself through your outfit allows you to showcase your personality and professionalism while simultaneously allowing them to feel confident and secure in working with you.

 


Networking Event

Do:

Bring in a bold pattern or trendy piece.

Emily Blanco models a bold red blazer that is perfect for a networking event.

Don’t:

Take yourself too seriously.

Whether you’re looking for a job, new clients or new employees, make sure that you’re properly representing your company and the standards you keep. That being said, formality isn’t as necessary in these settings.

There is more freedom to bring in slightly trendier pieces at these events, so give it a try!

When choosing an outfit for my most recent networking event, I started with a tailored track pant and worked my way up from there. I’m obsessed with nudes right now, so I chose a simple silk, nude top and a bright coral (one of my best colors) blazer to maintain a level of professionalism. I finished the look with a springy open-toed heel.


First Day

Emily Blanco displays a look styled by Raquel Greer Gordian that is a good way to start off a first day at work.

Do:

Tailor your look.

Don’t:

Forget to maintain modesty

How your present yourself when meeting new co-workers is key to how they will treat you and work with you.

When you feel authentic and confident in an outfit, others will feel comfortable around you. In other words, maintain a level of professionalism that encourages productivity rather than gossip. If you can feel how cold the chair is when you sit, your skirt is may be short. If you have to hold your blouse up when you bend over, wear an under shirt.


Emily Blanco is a freelance writer based in San Antonio, TX. She has studied creative writing, journalism, and has a degree in English Lit. She loves to blend her snarky observations with helpful truths, encouraging people to love reading again! When she isn't being a complete book junkie, she loves to travel with her husband and pup, as well as explore local hidden gems.

Now I would love to know! Did this guide help you execute a flawless first impression? Any favorite looks? Leave a comment below and tell me about it!

Systematize. Stylize. Strategize.

Your favorite outfit in your closet should feel like your favorite food: a no brainer. When I see crab cakes on a menu, that's it. I'm ordering them. If I don't, it just feels wrong, because no matter how they come out of the kitchen, I'm going to love them. 

This is how your favorite piece of clothing should feel. It is the physical manifestation of love and it's glorious. When you're wearing it, nothing can touch you. 

Everything else in your wardrobe is a bit different. Other things should be something you love, yes, but you need a few more rules to make sure it's serving you in the way you need it to each and every time you wear it. 

Outfits get stale. And the outfit you've worn 15,30,40 times, is stale. The life has been sucked out of it, and when you put it on, you probably feel this too in the form of exhaustion, anxiety or a lack of excitement. 

So it's time you threw all those feelings away and started anew by looking at each component of each outfit. By looking at each component separately, you can create new looks that feels fresh, exciting and fashion-forward. 

There are 3 things you need to do to breathe life back into your wardrobe. 

1. Systematize. 

Creating a system of how to build an outfit is incredibly helpful, because it removes the stress, but leaves the creativity.

For instance, I NEVER choose my jewelry before I choose my clothing. I NEVER choose shoes before I choose my clothing. I NEVER choose a jacket before I choose my basics. I build around 1 of 3 things: a dress, a skirt, jeans. 

In other words, create a ritual. This will give you guidance and a route when creating an outfit. And then you get to play...

2. Stylize. 

One Dress, Four Ways

Raquel Greer Gordian displays an outfit that pairs the long sleeve gray dress with a red blazer, black booties, statement jewelry, a black belt, and a black handbag.
Raquel Greer Gordian exhibits an outfit that pairs the long sleeve gray dress with an army green cardigan, studded booties, gold jewelry, and a green handbag. 
Raquel Greer Gordian styles the same dress with a fur vest, neutral booties, coral accents, and a gray handbag.
Raquel Greer Gordian styles the same gray dress with a striped turtleneck pullover, burgundy heels, black tassel earrings, and statement handbag. 

Disregard what you paired your skirt with last time. Forget about what you put with it before. Get creative with you choice this time. Pull a shirt or sweater you've never put with it. 

And don't be scared. Most of us think there's some giant book of rules we need to follow. There isn't. The two things that you need to consider in your style arsenal are: 1) your intuition 2) your creativity 

Use both these elements to get excited about getting dressed again. 

3. Strategize. 

Each outfit must have a purpose. This goes for both your personal and professional life. And I'm not just talking about it being appropriate for a certain situation. Whether you want to be powerful, playful, dynamic...your intention must be clear. 

Ask yourself the tough questions to make sure there is a strategy behind each outfit: 

Exactly why are you wearing what you are wearing?

What do you want it to say about you?

How does it say what you want it to say about you? 

 

Now I would love to hear from you! Was this guide helpful for reviving that stale outfit we all have? Let me know in the comments below and tell me about the outfits you brought back to life!