I’m sure you’ve heard the idea that it takes less than thirty seconds to form a first impression of a person, including assumptions about their career, education level, personality, sophistication and trustworthiness. That’s a lot to gather in thirty seconds, and often, we’re completely wrong. That does not stop us from making them, though, nor does it stop others from judging us in thirty seconds.
I believe that there is a lot that goes into making a first impression beyond visual cues. There’s a sense of energy that you get from someone, and I believe it plays a huge part in making a first impression. There’s also a lot of visual information you can do nothing about – your physical body is what it is in this moment, and you can’t change that. (Yes, of course, you can make some changes long term. But probably not today.)
The one thing you do get complete control over is your style. Taking the theme of Clear Sight for the month, let’s apply it to your sense of style. With me? Great – answer these questions:
If you stopped reading this now and opened your closet, what would it be saying about you?
On an average day when you leave the house, how does your style make you feel?
Do you feel like your wardrobe is an expression of your deepest self?
If not, who are you presenting to the world? (and why?)
I used to think this entire topic was frivolous. I thought people should judge me based on who I am inside – what I do, my character, my values. I still think that, but I’ve also discovered that playing with my style and intentionally dressing is a lot of fun and a form of creative expression.
What started me on this path years ago was the book Style Statement, Living by Your Own Design by Carrie McCarthy & Danielle Laporte. The concept is brilliant – they invite you to create your own personal style statement that encompasses your life.
It’s a simple two word statement – with the first word as your foundation, your inner spirit (about 80%of your style.) The second word is your Creative Edge – how you express who you are in the world. The book has a number of exercises to help you get there, and fantastic descriptions of foundation words and what style they represent.
I invite you to check out the book and play with the process. I’d love to hear your style statement – leave a comment and share it with us. (Mine is Sacred Luminous.)