By Yemisi Suleiman
How we look and how we dress affect how we are perceived by others. That is why, for every occasion, it is so important to project the right image through your fashion. There are a variety of occasions you would want to dress to impress; a job interview, a first date or that evening gala. Whatever the occasion is, here are ways to go about it.
The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing. That is why it’s always important to dress appropriately for a job interview.
- Study the company’s ‘dress code’.
It is important to do a research on what employees in the company wear before your job interview; it will show that you researched for the job. It will also make you appear as if you will fit into their work environment.
- Wear something conservative.
Even if the workplace tends towards jeans and t-shirts, you should dress up. You don’t have to wear a suit, but should go for something conservative, like a pantsuit or dress suit.
Wear something that makes you feel confident. Make sure that you strike a balance between something that makes you feel confident and what looks professional.
- Present yourself neatly
Make sure your clothes are clean and neatly ironed. Nothing gives away lack of attention to details more than wrinkled or dirty clothing. Select clothing that fits properly. Make sure that your shoes are neat. Note that the ideal shoes for an interview are power flats (something clean and professional looking; nothing sparkly); or low, comfortable heels. You don’t want heels that make you tower over everyone or that you might wear for a night out clubbing. It will make you look irresponsible.
- Be well groomed
Good grooming and hygiene are essential so make sure that you have clean hair, finger nails, fresh breath, deodorant etc. Hair should be styled in a neat but manageable style. Don’t wear too much make-up; the “natural” look is best. Remember, with make-up, less is more.
- Accessorise smartly
Accessories should be kept smart so if you are taking a bag with you, a smart satchel, briefcase or handbag would be a better option over a back pack.
Dress for the occasion. For women, a good casual date apparel would be your nicest pair of jeans and a nice shirt or a tank top. For a more formal date, you might wear a nice black dress with nice shoes and some jewellery.
- Wear something you feel comfortable in. What it means is that you wear things that you feel comfortable in because if you don’t, your ‘uncomfortableness’ will translate to your date.
- Highlight your best features.
You want to make sure that your date sees the best parts of you. Your clothes should hide and enhance. It’s a good idea to stick to one thing rather than trying to show off all your assets. For example: you might wear a skirt that shows off your lovely legs while wearing a good blouse on top to cover up your chest.
- Enhance your normal style.
It’s important that you don’t completely change your style when you’re going on a date and looking to impress. For example: if you are a typical jeans and t-shirt babe, you’re going to want to wear something along those lines.
- Be sexy but don’t give it all away.
Wear a pair of statement ear rings to add some interest to your outfit. Toe the line between sexy and boring in a slip dress but tone it down with casual accessories.
- When in doubt, wear your favourite things.
If you can’t decide what to pick, just wear your absolute favourite items. You’ll feel more confident in something you already know and love. Flirty dresses are the new go-to and your next first date frock.
Find out how formal the event is. There are lots of different terminologies for formal occasions and you’ll need to know where the event falls to know how to dress because, being over-dressed typically won’t impress people. Formal and semi-formal are quite different. For a more formal occasion, you would need to wear a tuxedo whereas semi-formal would allow a dark suit instead.
An event that is at night is going to be different from an event that happens in the day. For example: if it’s a semi-formal event during the day, cocktail dresses are ideal. You might like to step away from the norm and, instead of a skirt or gown, wear a beautifully tailored suit and a pair of killer heels to your formal event.
- Have the right footwear
You want your footwear to go with your outfit and to enhance your outfit. Fortunately, for formal occasions, unlike interviews, this is when you can break out the more exciting and fun types of shoes.
Heels are always appropriate for dress occasions as long as you can walk in them. Shoes that are sparkly can be a lot of fun and give you a bit of sparkle.
- Balance your accessories
Accessories were made to enliven and personalize your outfit. Make sure that you’re not overloading your outfit. The right balance is different for everyone and for different occasions but you’ll need to avoid too many accessories. Purses and jewellery can be great additions to your outfit. Make sure that they match what you’re wearing.