In an office meeting or at a college seminar, a good presentation has the effect of leaving lasting impressions. While it is important to project confidence and competence, another aspect that leaves a great impression is the way we dress. The last few blogs have been dedicatedly discussing development of the former skills. This week, I’d like us to take is easy and discuss something fun and yet important.

Dressing sense is important

I believe dressing sense is a reflection of one’s personality. Every time you dress, you wear something that speaks about your mood, your style and so much more. If you speak to an image analyst then he/she will have a lot to say about the concept of dressing as per the occasion. Feel the room!

The definition of clothes has changed over the years. A documentary on Netflix talks about acceptance of wearing spandex in public. Spandex by the way as Google puts it is, “A lightweight, synthetic fiber that is used to make stretchable clothing such as sportswear”. There is no surprise if we come across anybody pulling it off comfortably while running daily errands. Athleisure as it is popularly called now.

The importance of a flawless dressing style was demonstrated by the ladies at the Inauguration Day event at White House where Joe Biden swore in as the new President of the United States. As a common men my eyes could not miss the coats that were donned by the ladies. The synchronized monochromatic looks of Jill Biden’s (first lady) who wore a blue Markarian jacket or the selection of color purple by Vice President Kamala Harris to depict power, could not be missed. Of course the former first lady Michelle Obama in her splendid maroon Sergio Hudson Coat was seen as a modern style icon.

So does this mean one has to burn a whole in their pocket to give a fine first impression? 

Your thrifty blogger disagrees! Let’s explore.

Internal conflict!

My personal take on dressing always begins with a mental conflict. There is no denying that heels, well fitted shirts and trousers or skirts are the most sheik chic way to present yourself. But my idea of dressing always tilts more in the favor of comfort styling. Involuntarily, my picks at apparel shopping outlets has always been free and easy flowing kurtas or tops where I don’t have to think too much. This is not to say that I flinch from fashionable clothing items but comfort over glamour is the impression I would want to give away in my first meeting.

What is the right way to dress up?

If somebody comes up to me and says, girls have to be more conscientious with their dressing style than men, well then I beg to differ. I will base my observations on the way my father would dress up. As a young kid and well before the emergence of social media my father always stood out for me with his impeccable dressing sense. He had favorites too with white cotton starched kurta pajamas and a separate coloured Nehru Jacket to go along with a white, cream kurta. On some occasions he even chose coloured kurta.

I remember I once stepped out of the house wearing osho slippers which were trending during my college years. As a day’s scholar, my father did not appreciate my casual footwear and advised me to dress appropriately. The young rebellious college going kid in me did not like the restriction. Once I started living in a hostel by myself, I made sure I bought any and every shoe and sandal that appealed to me. That rebellion however died down as soon as I joined a workplace as a lecturer. The advice my father gave me, hit me hard when at workplace I twisted my ankle wearing a fancy chappal with a not so firm sole to support my gait.

My dad always believed and said, “For a 9-5 job always wear comfortable footwear, your clothes should be properly ironed and should give out an impression of a serious person”.

I am listing out some tips that can help us navigate the challenges of how to look well put:

  • A white shirt, a dark blue jeans and a grey sweater for the guys is the best bet.
  • Make space for more solid and neutral colors like white, black, navy blue and khaki in your wardrobe guys.
  • Spend on some colorful pants and lowers to mix and match and enter an informal event with style.
  • Dressing well is all about the right fit. Take special care in buying and getting clothes stitched with correct size.
  • De-clutter, it is important to give away clothes that lie in your wardrobe untouched. Spend wisely, if you can buy those five pieces then you might as well select one in the same budget.
  • Do not go blind shopping for the outfits that look good on somebody else. More often than not, something that looks good on your favorite model will not look the same on you.
  • Create your own style. Stop running behind changing trends.
  • Respect the occasion. Make it a point to adjust your regular style according to the occasion. You might be a casual wear person but if you end up in the same wear to your workplace, it might not go down so well.

All said and done, remember it is not always just the clothes that define your personality. It is important to spend on grooming yourself as well.

And as Coco Chanel says, “Keep your heels, head and standards high.”

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