By Angela Marshall, 12th Feb 2015
The world has become smaller as people travel more whether it is for pleasure or business. Businesses have to be more competitive therefore it is more important than ever to present yourself in a positive way and giving the right first impression can make the difference between being taken seriously or not. We all subconsciously make a judgement about one another within the first few seconds. 55% is on the way we look, 38% is on the way we sound and only 7% is on the words we say. It is, therefore, vitally important we “look and act the part”.
Looking the Part
When we consistently dress well and are well groomed we look the part, stand out from the crowd and command attention in a positive way. It has a doubly positive effect as it helps us to feel good as well as promoting a positive response from others.
Actors often say “When you put on the right clothes it helps you to become the part”. Always think about ‘your part’ where you are going, what type of business you are in, how you wish to come across and then decide which clothes you are going to wear. A successful dresser finds a distinctive way of dressing that is appropriate for what they do and is a true reflection of their personality.
Projecting a Professional Image:
Dealing with people as part of your job means you need to have good people skills as much as technical skills. People will assume that you know your job but what they are going to “buy” is you. To communicate well it is important to have the three “As.” To be approachable, accountable and accessible and to have five key qualities: competence, credibility, control, confidence and consistency.
- Ensure you are well groomed and well dressed.
- Look in the mirror and assess what you see. Be dispassionate and look as though you were looking at a stranger.
- Walk in with confidence and have positive body language.
- Be well mannered.
- Remember to smile. A genuine smile is a great asset: it’s friendly, disarming and confident.
- Inspire the belief in others that you can do the job.
- Deliver what you say you can.
By Angela Marshall, 22nd Jan 2015
Dressing well and looking stylish means wearing clothes that fit well, are clean, neat and tidy but also reflect our personality, so we feel comfortable and portray a confident and positive image. It is important to be well groomed whether in formal or informal situations. Looking scruffy doesn’t give a stylish appearance or show respect for yourself or the people you are with.
It is important to learn and adapt your style as you change whether by becoming older, developing your personality or changing your lifestyle. We all will go through various phases in our life – teenage, parenthood, new job to promotion to later life in retirement.
Here are some tips on looking stylish:-
Well Groomed – Be Clean Neat & Presentable
Ensure your clothes, shoes, hair and nails are clean neat and presentable.
A Style to Suit Your Personality
Understand what styles, fabrics and textures compliment you, reflect your personality and that you feel comfortable and confident in. Avoid others advice or wearing what others look good in if you do not feel great and enjoy wearing them. Add accessories which you enjoy which will bring out your own style and reflect your personality.
Dress appropriately for the occasion
There are such varieties of choice whether casual, informal, formal or eveningwear. Check out the dress code and ask for an example if they do not make it clear when attending events e.g. informal and no jeans, formal with tie or dress better than trousers for ladies.
Style rather than High Fashion
Transitional trends become less important as we get older and the way to look your best consistently will be through simplicity; consider style rather than high fashion.
Mix and Match
Learning to mix and match helps to avoid the need of too many clothes and gives variety to what you have.
Finally, remember to walk with confidence, a good posture and remember to smile!
Pics: ladies cape from Lacorin
By Angela Marshall, 15th Dec 2014
I enjoy attending Christmas Fairs and meeting unusual small individual companies. This year I attended the Mary Howard Fair at Sandown Racecourse and met a small company called Eve Victoria who sells great candles, diffusers and soaps and they happen to come from my home area in South Wales. It is ideal presents for me to give friends and family a little taste of something from my home.
However, my key and wonderful purchase was my Christmas present, from my husband, a beautiful alpaca cape from Lacorine. I love capes as they are so easy to wear for so many occasions. In cold weather they are ideal for shopping when going from the cold outside to inside shops, going to a football or rugby match and you need to keep warm, wonderful to look smart over a long dress and attending a wedding. They are so versatile. My sister in law looked fantastic in the Alpaca fur hat and ideal for her when she goes walking the dogs as well as shopping and everyday wear.
It is a family run business that specialises in bringing you beautiful and unique handmade Alpaca clothing direct from Peru. All the products are created from natural herd loss which happens during the harsh Peruvian winter.
I cannot wait for Christmas when I can wear my new cape. I purchased the cinnamon colour to suit my warm muted colouring.
By Angela Marshall, 11th Dec 2014
Whether you are 25 or 50 it is important to look stylish and dress well. Every year, at your birthday, look at your wardrobe and check what needs tweaking to suit your personal style and age. As we get older we also change and develop and what may have suited us a few years ago may not look the same or suit our personality now.
What does dressing well and looking stylish mean?
Wearing clothes that fit well and that are clean, neat and tidy. Ensuring you are always well groomed whether in formal or casual attire. Understanding your own style which reflects your wardrobe personality and age group and dressing appropriately for every occasion. If in doubt it is better to be overdressed than under dressed. Learn and adapt your style by understanding and knowing what works for you and ensuring you feel as well as look good.
Everything must fit well.
- Find a good tailor. Most decent dry cleaning places will also do alterations, but preferably get to know one personally so that they can check the fit of your clothes personally.
- A jacket fits across the shoulders and the sleeves are the correct length. Your suit sleeves should end just above the hinges of your wrists, so a quarter to half inch of shirt cuff shows.
- Trousers are fitting correctly at the waist, should not be baggy or so skin tight that they will tear. Ensure the waist is comfortable and not so loose that you need the belt to hold them up and the length is correct with shoes on. Your pants should just clip the tops of your shoes, not bunch up over them.
- Shirts should be the correct sleeve length and not puff out at the waist.
- Suits should fit like a glove, a good suit should hug your shoulders, not slouch off them. A tailor can check for any alterations as most off the peg suits require some alterations.
- For women ensure the skirt or dress length compliments your legs.
Clean Neat & Tidy
Ensure you are always well groomed by ensuring your clothes, shoes, hair and nails are clean, neat and tidy.
Understand what styles, fabrics and textures compliment you and reflect your personality. You need to feel comfortable in your clothes to feel and look good which in turn gives you great confidence. Don’t wear what others look good in and yet you do not feel good when you wear them. Add accessories which you enjoy and bring out your own style.
Dress appropriately for the occasion
There are such varieties to chose from whether casual, informal, formal or evening wear. Check out the dress code and don’t be afraid to ask when attending events and ask for an example if they do not make it clear e.g.is informal jeans or no jeans, formal tie or no tie.
Dressing Our Age
As we get older it is wiser to introduce more and more of the classics into an outfit and add some new trends which will still be good to be implemented. Transitional trends become less important and the way to look your best consistently will be through simplicity; consider style rather than fashion. Buy a range of colours to add to your classics but check if your colouring is softer and needs lighter or more muted tones. Buy better quality and experiment with different neck lines, textures and cuts which will add a touch of youth to your outfit and keep things varied.
Accessories add style, are great to update your look and add colour plus they are a great way to express your personality. As we get older they help you to stay fashionable without being too trendy . Chose the best quality you can afford for business. Women always carry a spare pair of hosiery.
By Angela Marshall, 16th Oct 2014
The first impression you make on a potential employer can make or break your chance of obtaining the job. The first thing an interviewer notices is how you look (your appearance, mannerism and body language), then how you sound (pitch, accent and tone of voice) and finally the words you say. It is always important to look the part for a job interview and when you look the part it helps you to feel the part which in turn gives you confidence. It boosts your self-esteem to achieve a successful interview.
Within the first 3 – 5 seconds people form an opinion about you, so prepare – do your homework.
7 Pitfalls to avoid:
- Poor personal appearance
- Limp handshake
- Poor body language e.g. not smiling and avoiding eye contact
- Lack of confidence, showing you are nervous, too submissive
- Poor behaviour – arriving late, interrupting, impolite, dining etiquette
- Poor communication – unable to express your thoughts, poor grammar or speech
- Bad attitude – too aggressive, know-it-all attitude, overbearing or too authoritarian.
Whether you feel the interview has or hasn’t gone well do not let it be the last they hear from you. Follow up afterwards, it will help them to remember who you are. A thank you note is best as it will be noticed, otherwise if you have their email address then sends a short email.
By Angela Marshall, 9th Oct 2014
Dressing business formal is in some ways easier than in business casual, because it’s mainly a matching process. Smart casual is an ill-defined dress code that is generally a neat yet informal attire. There are a variety of interpretations to smart casual and a lot will depend on the type of company you work for and its environment.
Tips to consider:
- Wear neutral bottoms such as black, grey, navy, brown or taupe.
- Choose an assortment of tops to go with your neutral bottoms .
- Learn to mix and match your items so they change your look and you will appear you have more clothes than you do.
- Ensure your clothes fit you well.
- Wear pattern and colour for less formality.
- Always be well groomed – clean shoes, nails, hair, clothes and well pressed.
- Ensure your items co-ordinate e.g. shoes and belt, shoes and style of clothes, colours.
Even in a smart casual environment avoid displaying large tattoos or body piercings outside the ears, it may be necessary to slightly adjust your clothing to cover them.
By Angela Marshall, 2nd Oct 2014
Dressing professionally is crucial for success in a business environment. When you show up in sloppy clothes you are far less likely to get that promotion or raise that you’re hoping for! Although in today’s business environment what constitutes ”professional’ varies from company to company and department to department.
Whether you are new in the company, applying for a job or attending an important meeting you need to dress to match the setting. Some companies provide a dress code, but if they don’t then you’ll have to assess what is appropriate. Typically, the higher ranked/paying your job is, the more professional you should be dressing for it.
- Dress for the job you want and not the job you’ve got.
- Dress the part and you will think the part and act the part.
What to consider:
- Consider the Company, its brand and the departments environment.
- Pay attention to the people around you, ensure you look smart but fit in.
- Dress for the weather but avoid the amount of added skin you show. The more you show the less professional you are. Although this will be slightly different in a business casual setting.
- Colours – avoid distracting colours or loud patterns stick to neutral colours with some added colour.
- Be well groomed – neat clean tidy hair, nails, shoes and clothes well pressed.
- Have good personal hygiene.
- Wear the appropriate accessories – correct style shoes, colours and jewellery that is professional including a watch.
By Angela Marshall, 25th Sep 2014
It isn’t necessary to spend lots of money or go shopping to update your wardrobe. Sometimes all you need to do is amend the items you wear together. Think about your lifestyle: what items do you need for work and casual at home? Really, all you have to do is make minor adjustments to your own clothes and accessories. If you need to make some purchases, then have a plan on what you need and learn to shop smart.
Here are some tips on how to update your wardrobe without spending lots of money:
- Check out your existing wardrobe
- Mix and match your clothes, you can have less but appear as though you have more.
- Stick to 3/4 colours, for your basics, that work together.
- Decide what style of clothes, in the current season, compliments your body shape.
- Buy less and buy quality for your key items so they last.
- Buy accessories to change, update and smarten your outfits.
- A great pair of shoes together with a belt that tones in or even a hat can make all the difference when putting together an outfit for the season.
- Add a coloured scarf or belt to a plain outfit.
- Recreate your jewellery, double up a long necklace or add a coloured ribbon to lengthen a necklace.
- Don’t buy bargains and never wear them.
Remember CPW – cost per wear. When you purchase expensive items choose classic colours and shape so you can wear then a lot over several years. The more you wear an item the cheaper it becomes!
By Angela Marshall, 24th Jun 2014
Make the Most of the Sales
Buying Clothes in the Sales
It’s sale time and the time of year when lots of items are on offer. Don’t be tempted to buy something you will only wear once or will be left at the back of the wardrobe. It’s easy to be tempted by a low price tag and end up with clothes that you will probably never wear.It is an ideal time to purchase an item you loved prior to the sales but could not afford, however when reduced you can and will wear it a lot. It’s good to stock up on key items e.g. quality shoes, bags, neutral colour tops, skirts or trousers. It’s also ideal, in the sales, to purchase quality accessories particularly for business e.g. belt, shoes, jewellery or scarves.
Remember C.P.W. – cost per wear
It’s no good buying an item for £50 you only wear once – it will cost £50, whereas a jacket for £150 worn 100 times will cost £1.50 per wear.
Some top tips to consider when shopping in the Sales:
- End of sales – you can pick up a great bargain at the end of the sale e.g. end of January/early February or end of July/early August in the UK and get a month or two’s worth of wear before it’s time to change your wardrobe.
- Dress appropriately – Wear sensible shoes and in cooler weather wear a light weight coat.
- Plan – think what you need in your wardrobe before you go, have some ideas.
- Shop early – avoid the rush; the internet is a great way to check items out early. Sign up to newsletters during sale time to get the latest offers.
- Mix and Match – think of at least three different occasions you can wear the item; how often and with what clothes you already have that it will go with.
- Price influenced – Do you really like it or are you tempted by the reduction in price? Love it madly, need it badly or do not buy it!
- Keep receipts – Carefully store the receipt when you purchase, you may need to return the item.
Ensure you feel comfortable in the item and are not influenced by a family or friend who is with you. The material may not be your personality e.g. your friend may like linen whereas you don’t like the feel and hate it creasing.
Ensure the item fits you well or if you need alterations allow for the extra cost, if you cannot do it yourself.
Happy Shopping! Have fun, get a great bargain and enjoy!
By Angela Marshall, 1st May 2014
Good Customer Care and Service
When a customer or client is dealt with by you they regard you as the company, whether you work for a large or small company. Too often people can forget this; by showing a lack of interest or respect to a client or customer you are letting the company’s brand and reputation down.
Price and product are important but it is service that gives you and your company the edge over your competitors.
The way to offer a great service is to ensure you understand your customer’s needs. When a customer has a great experience they remember the company and will feel good about the experience and want to return in the future. It is all about bringing customers back and creating a great company image and brand. It is also important for your personal image and brand. Not only will they feel good but talk about the experience to others, who may then try the product or service you offer and in turn become repeat customers.
The aim is to provide the best standard of customer care possible and to provide the service that people want by being courteous and helpful to your customers.
How well do you Manage Your Company’s Care and Service?
Here are some tips and reminders to help you:
- Treat people politely and with respect
- Be friendly and approachable
- Answer the phone correctly
Phone answering skills are critical for businesses. The phone is still most business’s primary point of contact with customers. And the way you answer your company’s phone will form your customer’s first impression of your business.
- Answer the phone quickly, at least within three rings.
- Be warm and enthusiastic. Your voice on the phone is sometimes the only impression of your company a caller will get.
- Identify yourself and your organization e.g. Hello, I am Jane from XYZ company.
- Speak slowly and clearly, keep your voice volume moderate, so your caller can understand you easily.
- Be conscious of your tone, be positive and ensure you leave them feeling positive when you finish.
- Be committed and create good habits that come naturally.
- Don’t make promises unless you will keep them.
Think before you give any promise – because nothing annoys customers more than a broken one.
- Listen to your customers.
Listen to what they want and what they say. Let your customer talk and show him that you are listening by making the appropriate responses.
People love to get more than they thought they were getting
Take the time to understand what the customer needs and wants and stay patient with a customer even if they are annoying.
A warm friendly smile goes a long way, whether face to face or on the telephone
You’re bound to receive a complaint at some time. In general, customers don’t usually complain; they just go elsewhere and tell lots of people. These days this is often done via social media. Others will not only complain, but expect action and possibly compensation. Dealing with complaints well can help your company stand out in a positive way as most businesses handle complaints badly.
First apologise, say sorry and then sort it out. Even if you think the customer is in the wrong, it pays to treat their concerns seriously. Key is to ensure the customer feels you have dealt with them correctly and valued them. It ensures you are upholding your company’s reputation.
Your Image is the Company’s Image
When I ran Personal Image workshops in companies I always made the comment “Your image is your company’s image, so make sure it is the right image”. This includes having the right appearance and dressing the part and very importantly you need to sound the part!
Welcome to Angela Marshall's Blog.
"I am in the third phase of my life and having been a successful image consultant for 18 years, I now enjoy the freedom of blogging about life in general, especially fashion, grooming, etiquette and manners."