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Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

The Look of Success

Dezsa C. Rubio - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Without the tens of thousands who have just finished school, the next call would be to land a job. The fresh graduate would be peddling herself or himself to prospective employers. To get hired, he or she must “put her best foot forward,” so to speak.

In a visual world, the visually appealing succeeds. Although clothes do not define the true value of a person, people practically judge a person by the way she looks and dresses.

Humans are visual creatures. A research by Harvard University shows that 55 percent of judgment is based on the clothes a person wears, 38 percent on the tone of voice and 7 percent of the content of words. Other people immediately make presumptions of a person’s career and character just by assessing the person’s outward looks and personal belongings.

Minette Sison, an image consultant of Association of Image Consultants International, shared tips on dressing smartly in a talk on Urbanity and Fashion at the Banilad Study Center recently. Sison stressed the importance of how dressing attractively and appropriately can affect a person’s success in his or her chosen profession. “Appearance comes before the calling card,” she said.

First impressions last, thus it is only wise to make a good one. Although a person’s speech style influences an observer’s judgment, a first impression is mostly based on nonverbal communication. In the first 30 seconds of an introduction, value judgments like economic status, education, level of success, moral character, etc. are made based on appearance.

Sison also talked about how appearance speaks much of a person’s individuality and personality. Individuality is internal and dominates a person’s ideas, attitudes, style and relations. Personality, on the other hand, is a medium of expression of thoughts, beliefs and individuality. At time, a person gets a comment from friends: “That is so not you!”?

Personality development experts agree that the way a person dresses is a manifestation of his or her individuality and personality. Therefore, both should match very well in order to create a pleasing personal aesthetic.

In developing a personal aesthetic, one shall take into consideration elegance and style. While it is easier to follow the trends in fashion, one shall remember that these are fleeting. What is “in” today might not look good five to ten years later, the experts point out. A sense of style that is timeless can be cultivated by purchasing classic pieces that never go out of style.

Looking good can simply be a matter of flaunting one’s strengths. Physical flaws shall be downplayed, and assets highlighted with accessories and makeup. A pop of color can also help in directing attention to the more attractive parts of the body.

Grooming is a big step towards improving one’s physical appearance. Any person looks good with a neatly trimmed hair on, even without the help of an expensive suit. Fingernails count too; these telegraph one’s level of personal care and attention to detail.

The face is the first thing anyone notices. The eyes, especially, shall be given attention because these are mainly where other people’s line of sight is directed at. A plucked eyebrow, a hint of eye shadow and a bit of mascara may charm the person one is speaking to.

Being attractive can boost careers and even help employees get promotions. Outward looks, though, can only take someone so far. At the end of the day, appearance is just the steam that hints of or the mist that covers up what is truly inside. (FREEMAN)

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