Let’s face it: people are superficial beings. While we like to think of ourselves as an evolved species, we’re still judging people based on appearances.
I could go on and on about why this is but it won’t make a difference. What WILL make a difference is the understanding that our personal image plays a crucial role in our professional and personal lives.
I want to make it simple for you. In fact, I’m going to make it bluntly simple. I’ve put together a series of simple steps that, if you follow them, will solve this aspect for good. That’s right – no need to buy expensive courses about style makeovers, no need to hire consultants with $200 per hour.
Just follow these steps and you’ll see for yourself the instant results that an image makeover can bring. Let’s start with…
Step 1: Assess where you are right now and where you want to be
Before knowing where you’re going, you need to know where you are. For this, you need to ask yourself a few simple questions:
- How well do I dress right now? Am I more attracted to casual clothing or to formal clothing?
- What’s my lifestyle? Who are my friends?
- What kind of job do I have?
- What kind of hobbies do I have? Where do I usually go out at night and in the weekends?
Now answer these questions about where you want to be in the near future. We all have our dreams and aspirations so the clearer you are about them, the clearer will your path be towards them. A word of advice: be as specific as possible.
- What kind of job/promotion do I want? Am I happy where I am? What do the people that are already in the job positions that I want dress like?
- What kind of friends do I want to have? What do the people that feel more in tune with dress like?
- What hobbies do I have that I always wanted to do but never got to?
Hopefully you’re crystal clear about this. If you think you need a pen and paper, by all means, use them.
Step 2: Define your activities
Ok, you made it to step two. By now you should have a very good idea of two things: where you are and where you want to be.
Now it’s time to figure out what kind of clothing you need to feel great living the lifestyle you defined. Pay attention here: if you wrote that you see yourself as Donald Trump, it’s not time you should start buying $5,000 suits.
Notice how I underlined in step one you should consider the near future. Why? Because you’re only looking for clothes you can wear starting right now and for up to one or two years. We’re thinking short and medium term here, because clothes have a lifespan of their own(usually up to 2 years).
After step 1, you figured out some of the activities you’d like to be doing, and some you’re already doing. Now it’s time to put them all in one big list, in order of priority.
Here’s the priority criteria: How important is my image during each activity?
Activities you feel are very important to you and you decide you should be dressed great, come at the top. Leave at the end activities where your personal image is not that important (such as fishing or weekend rides to the countryside).
Step 3: Put up a list of clothes you must have to fulfill each activity
Now we’re finally getting into the juicy stuff: clothes! Take each activity one by one, in order of importance, and write for each, on a separate line, the clothes you’ll need to wear to look at your best.
Suppose you’re a guy and that your list of activities looks like this:
- Meeting clients to which I sell products
- Going to casual dinners to fancy restaurants
The list of clothes may look something like this (if you’re a guy):
- A slim tie, a fedora hat, a sports jacket, three t-shirts, a pair of loafers
- A wool suit, 4 dress shirts, a pair of brogue shoes
- A sports jacket, a pair of khakis, a pair of loafers
Notice how some items may appear two or more times. It’s ok, you’ll surely be wearing the same items of clothing to different activities.
The resulting list of clothes you need to buy or have looks like this:
- A slim tie
- A fedora hat
- A sports jacket
- Three t-shirts
- A pair of loafers
- A wool suit
Remember, the fedora hat should be bought before the wool suit because you marked the clubbing activity higher than your job as a salesperson. This may not be your case, this was just for example’s sake.
Step 4: Start buying
Now that you know what you need, it’s a piece of cake to know what to buy. Some items you may already have in your closet. If they still look good (no faded colors, no stains), go ahead and skip buying new ones.
Go through the list of clothing items one item at a time and don’t go to the next one until you make sure you have each of them in your closet.
Of course, you don’t have to buy them all at once. It all depends on your budget. Setting a budget is very important so you don’t end up buying clothes you don’t need.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1 through 5
I guess I over delivered my promise from the beginning of this article. Step 5 is not really a step so you have only 4 actual steps to do to get to your perfect personal image.
Once or twice a year, review your activities and notice if any of them changed. If they did, it’s time to update all your lists.
If they didn’t, all you have to recheck your clothing items list (the last one I told you to make) and see what’s the most important thing to buy is.