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How Personal Style Impacts Impressions

Written by Alyssa Gelbard, Founder & President, Point Road Group

Your style and how you dress directly impact the impressions you make. Numerous studies have proven the influence of visual cues on decision-making and first impressions; people make judgments about you based on how you present yourself before you even speak one word. Following, dressing appropriately for a variety of professional situations is critical, whether it’s an internal meeting, networking event, job interview or board meeting.

While business casual is an increasingly common standard in the workplace, there are many instances where it’s either inappropriate or not recommended. If you have a meeting during the day or event after work that calls for more formal attire, dress accordingly (or bring an appropriate outfit to change into beforehand). Standing out by underdressing is not a good way to differentiate yourself. Plus, you’re not just reflecting your personal brand; how you dress and the impression you make reflect your company brand as well. Dressing up a notch speaks to your professionalism, helps build others' trust and confidence in you -- and by extension, your firm.

Personal style goes beyond wearing a suit at the appropriate time; it’s about the small details too, like avoiding scuffed shoes, a wrinkled jacket, chipped nail polish or stained tie. A sloppy or unkempt presentation implies that you don’t care about how you present yourself, which translates into others concluding that you may not take as much care as you should in the work you do either. You also set an example for your team and company.

Much like your LinkedIn profile, bio and resume, your style should align with your personal brand and be forward-facing — positioning you optimally for the direction you want to go professionally.