Mastering First Impressions: How to Look Your Best With What You’ve Got

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In the fast-paced world of today, it comes as no surprise that it only takes three to five seconds for someone to form a first impression about you. And it’s never been so important as it is today for that first impression to be a positive one.

Most people judge you by what they see first, combined with what you say or do after. Such is the way of the world and the human race. But you can enhance your chances of a positive impression by managing your image. Although managing your image does not include looks only, there’s nothing unmanly about wanting to look good. What’s more is that it can help you influence what others see, perceive and subsequently think of you.

Also: Understanding Body Language Key To Successful Connections

Not everyone has the looks of Brad Pitt or George Clooney, but each and every one of you can work miracles on your image just by following these simple tips on how to look your best with what you’ve got.

Your Looks

Gary Burchell/Getty Images

Gary Burchell/Getty Images

First and foremost, paying attention to healthy daily routines will help you look your best. These are the basics of how to make yourself look better, simple tips that most of you already know but never actually knew how important they are. Water is your friend! Kick out sodas and excess alcohol, drink water instead. It removes toxins from your blood resulting in clearer, glowing skin. While you’re at it, keep your skin moisturized for the same reasons. Also, exercise. It’s not just about building muscles, it’s about building confidence as well. Try it! Additionally, trim away your excess body hair and have your hair looking neat. You don’t have to be exactly on-trend; a simple haircut and a clean shave can get you a long way. Finally, getting a good night’s sleep is the key for the next morning’s fresh look. Aim for about 7 hours. Significantly more or less can lead to being over-rested (yes, there’s such a thing) or tired, and it’ll show in your face and demeanor throughout the day.

Your Clothes

ONOKY - Eric Audras/Getty Images

ONOKY – Eric Audras/Getty Images

Not every piece of clothing will look good on you, and not every outfit you like is good for every type of occasion. Understand that every occasion has an unspoken socially-accepted dress code you should follow. For example, you certainly won’t be seeing guys in flip-flops at a job interview. In general, your clothes project your personal image, and in a way your social status. You can make sure they project exactly what you want by going with the right choice of clothes. Make sure your clothes look neat and clean, and always iron your clothes before putting them on if they’re wrinkly or if it’s fancy outing time. Remember, it’s the visual appearance that dominates and attracts (or repels) from afar.

Attitude Tweaks

JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Much of the first impression one makes is based on non-verbal communication, i.e. body language. Stand straight with your shoulders rolled back (naturally straighten your back but don’t try to look like a Buckingham Palace guard), it will make you look more confident and stronger unlike slouching with your shoulders in or a bit down. Smile and focus your attention on the person you are meeting with, even if there is a crowd around you. By doing so, you are presenting yourself as a confident, approachable, and trustworthy person. A firm handshake and good eye contact work with your body posture to paint you as someone who knows his worth; people love and respect that in others, whether they know it or not (it’s hardwired into our biology to recognize this). Finally, make sure your verbal communication supports all of the above by speaking clearly and professionally. Don’t speed up, shout, or over-gesticulate (make crazy, exaggerated, or wild gestures).

Whatever you do, keep in mind that confidence is the ultimate turn-on for everyone, and it comes from accepting your body and mind and a belief in your own ability, skills, and experience.

Now it’s on you to apply these tips and get out there, making some good and lasting first impressions.