Here's how to use style to make sure you nail the first impression at work

Image: Instagram/ @shaunbirley

First impressions are unavoidable, so when starting a new job, meeting a new client or joining the networking circuit, it’s important to make a good one.

Studies have revealed people form impressions on your personality, work ethic, potential for success and trustworthiness within seconds of meeting you.

That said, there are a few simple ways to use your style to game the psychological system, and increase your chances of making a good first impression.

Glasses

Image: Specsavers UK, Supplied.

Not everyone will need glasses, but anyone who wears them stands to benefit on the first impression they make. (If you have not had an eye test in the last 2 years, book an eye test with Specsavers.)

While it’s important to make eye contact when first meeting someone, people who wear glasses (while making eye contact, obviously) are often perceived as more intelligent.

One study found that wearing glasses made people appear more honest, sophisticated, dependable, and industrious. Not a bad impression to leave your new boss with.

To make the best first impression, the shape of your frames and style of glasses should complement your outfit and complexion.

When choosing eye-wear, you should also be aware of your face shape and what styles will best suit you, so the glasses don’t distract from your body language or overwhelm your features. For example, people with square-shaped faces should consider oval or round frames to soften the jawline.

If you need help, Specsavers has a range of style suggestions based on the most common face shapes: oval, rectangular, round and square.

Image: Specsavers Diesel Range. Supplied.

Another study found that wearing glasses with logos made you seem more fashion conscious and impressive. If you want to give yourself an edge, Specsavers has a range of designer brands from Alex Perry to Timberland, to ensure your entire outfit is on point. Which brings us to the second thing…

Outfit

Image: Supplied

Your outfit is naturally going to be one of the first things people notice about you – and you don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons. Your outfit can influence everything from how your body language is interpreted to whether new colleagues think you’re the right fit for the role.

It can also affect your chances for future success. In the same way eye-wear can make you appear more intelligent, well-fitted clothes make you appear more successful.

In 2011, a study conducted by Canadian university students showed a test group images of a man in professional or casual dress, and asked how they thought he would perform at work. The man in professional dress was expected to make more money, and be promoted more rapidly.

The most important thing is to be dressed appropriately for the environment you’re entering. Joining a fintech? Sure, wear jeans. Joining a law firm? Maybe save the jeans for the weekend.

Etiquette coach Barbara Pachter puts it simply: “If your company has a dress code, follow it.”

Accessories

Image: Pexels.

Accessories in the workplace should be subtle but stylish – the last thing you want is to jangle with every stroke of the keyboard.

Jean Baur, a career coach and author of the book “The Essential Job Interview Handbook” says accessories should complement your outfit, not overpower it.

“Keep your jewellery subtle unless you’re an opera singer or nightclub entertainer,” said Baur.

The same can be said for eye-wear. While there are some incredibly stylish brands, not all frame shapes and patterns will be work-appropriate.

A leopard print frame with gold accents might be the height of fashion, but look strange at an accounting firm. Likewise, working at a tech start-up means you can probably get away with edgy designs.

Thankfully at Specsavers, you can get two pairs from $199, including your standard single vision lenses – so you can get your work-appropriate Diesel frames and a pair of Tommy Hilfigers for the weekend.

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