When I read articles relating to colour and dress and style in general they usually focus on the impact of our dress in relation to how others perceive us, or how we perceive others. We are not going to argue that this isn’t relevant or inconsequential because I personally believe that it is just as relevant today as it has always been and that it will continue to be so.
However, in continuing to discuss the topic in this way we lose sight of the most valuable aspect of image; the impact it has on your own sense of self-esteem and self-worth, and ultimately the impact that this has on your life.
There is a great deal of data now linking the impact of physiology on your psychology and vice versa; Amy Cuddy in her renowned work “Presence” makes this case brilliantly, simply proving that those who have a more positive mindset do better; if we sit small we act small, and if we sit tall we act tall.
As employers, we now offer wellness packages which include gym memberships, nutritional advice, health checks etc; yet we offer no advice on how to look the way we wish to look and how to dress appropriately for the situations we find ourselves in. I don’t know many individuals who wouldn’t like some confidential advice about how they can look and present themselves in such a way that each day they go out feeling confident and happy; we know that when we look good we feel good, and in the same way that physical fitness gives us a sense of wellbeing, then feeling that your clothes express who you are and are appropriate for the occasion you are in would make most of us feel better about ourselves.
We stand taller, speak more confidently, make better eye contact and generally therefore make a better impression, it is not surprising that in doing so we get a better response back and the cycle continues.
If all that does not convince you that offering and getting advice on image is a good thing then perhaps a simple ROI might.
The average spend on clothes in March of this year for Brits was £1042 and whereas in the past women have been the main culprit’s men are now keeping pace and their market is set to grow faster in coming years. The reasons given for new purchases are invariably emotional rather than practical, further supporting the view that are image has a huge impact on our state of mind.
Surely it makes sense to ensure that you are helping your employees spend their money wisely.