Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dress for success

There is a reason why fashion brands are mushrooming around us. Everyone here is to make a statement. In a conversation with a editor of leading fashion magazine, she said, "With brands like Zara around us, the average Indian will finally get an opportunity to be stylish." Yes, with all these global brands, we are only spoil for choice. But, the question is do we really know the dos and don'ts of dressing? Or for that matter how to play up our positives?

Clothes speak a lot about your attitude and personality. It's not clothes, even your mannerisms, perfume, accessories highlights your positives and negatives.

Clothes play a key role

One must avoid ill-fitting clothes. Also, ladies – get rid of those loose dowdy shirts, which seem to signal laziness. The same goes for men, who must especially take the length of their trousers, shirt cuffs, tie and jacket into consideration.

Also scrutinize yourself before leaving the house. It isn't worth risking wearing that shirt with the ink stain on the side you think can be hidden with a jacket or briefcase.

Wrong colours to wear

The rules are flexible depending on the job in question, but in general, some colours to stay away from are reds, oranges and yellows. Red is a powerful colour and is associated with energy, passion, desire, power and aggression. Orange is similar to red in that it can stimulate strong emotions. Yellow promotes a wide range of emotions including cheer, goodwill, caution and even jealousy.

Shades of Purple and pink are both feminine colours and should be worn with discretion, especially in fields with a strong gender bias. Therefore, these colours can be used more as accent colours.

Black too is a colour that may show authority and power but may not give the right impression at an interview so use it as an accent or colour block it with another colour.

People notice shoes

Polish your shoes. Please avoid scruffy shoes or anything too obnoxious. Play it safe until you have the job and know what will fly in the work environment. Good taste is usually valued more than trendiness in corporate world.

Subtle is more

When it comes to accessories avoid anything that is overly attention grabbing or loud. It can distract others at work. Be frugal with jewellery. If your jewellery jingles, makes noise or can get caught on any of your clothes, leave it at home.

Avoid make-up bloopers

The most important thing to remember when wearing make up is that, it should highlight your assets and hide your flaws. Heavy eyeliner or dangerously wet and dark lipstick can often lead to disaster, especially during an interview. This may cause your witty and intelligent responses during the interview to fall on deaf/distracted ears.

But, some simple tricks can save you from such disasters. Use a matte lipstick, minimal and neat eyeliner, waterproof kohl and mascara, blush to highlight the cheekbones in a subtle shade that suits your skin. Remember that the concealer must look natural and stay on your face, not on your collar.

The right body language

In most situations, you have merely few seconds to make that first impression and once the interviewer has labelled you as submissive or confident, credible or uncertain, likable or arrogant, it is very difficult to change that opinion.

Follow some basic steps and ensure you make a great first impression. Adjust your posture before you walk through the door; stand tall with your head held up high and your shoulders pulled back. This will project competence and confidence.

Be conscious of your vocal pitch, as it tends to rise when people are anxious or nervous. Before the interview relax your voice into an "optimal pitch".

Smile at the appropriate moments. Do NOT cross your arms as it comes off as defensive or reserved. Maintain an open posture, which will again exude confidence. Men must not cross their legs.