ObjectivesVerb patterns; cleft sentences using what
Dress to impress
Tara Luizzi is a personal stylist in Washington, D.C. She teaches her clients to find the clothing styles that work best for their bodies, careers, and lifestyles. Luizzi says that, like it or not, other people size us up by the way we look. In other words, they make a judgment about us before we even speak. And part of what they are considering is what we choose to wear.
She recommends looking “pulled-together” because you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Here, “pulled-together” means that someone’s appearance is well-thought-out. What’s essential to conveying professionalism is choosing what you wear and the way you dress.
Do nice clothes make your work better?
But choosing the right clothes is not just about impressing others. A recent study suggests that people who are dressed more formally may perform better at work tasks. The co-authors of the study are psychologists Michael Kraus of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Wendy Berry Mendes of the University of California, San Francisco. Kraus and Mendes compared more than 100 men from diverse economic and racial backgrounds. They asked some to dress in business suits, and others to wear sweatpants, t-shirts and flip-flops.
Then the researchers asked the participants to do several work tasks, such as making a business deal and solving a problem using big-picture thinking. Those wearing suits demanded more in their business deal, while those dressed more casually were more willing to concede, or give up. The men in suits were more able to think about the big picture, the way a boss would. Those in casual clothes focused more on smaller details of the problem, which is more typical of those in lower positions.
Clothes and feelings
Luizzi says, to her, the study makes sense. She compares clothing to armor, what a warrior puts on for protection in battle, saying that if you’re nervous about a big meeting, wearing something you love can make you feel more confident. She sees how easily the right outfit can change the way a person feels. When she chooses clothing for her clients that look great on them, they stand taller. And they start smiling. This is good because in some cases, they had a bad experience when they were younger. Maybe they were overweight and lost it. Or maybe they couldn’t afford nicer clothes when they were younger. What’s most important for Luizzi is how the client feels because, in general, people have a powerful emotional connection to their clothes.
Tips from Luizzi
For people going back to work or preparing for a job interview, Luizzi has some advice for them.
• Research the environment of the job. Is it a casual working environment or formal? Is it creative or conservative?
• When going on a job interview, wear something new or at least newer.
• Make sure your shoes are clean and polished.
• For women, don’t wear too much makeup, perfume or jewelry.
And for your general, everyday wardrobe, Luizzi advises to keep it simple. She helps her clients create what she calls a "capsule wardrobe." This is a small collection of well-made pieces of clothing that the client loves. She advises it’s better to have a smaller wardrobe made up of the things you love, that fit you correctly and that, you know, are higher quality.
Taken and adapted from (9 June 2019):