Do you avoid face-to-face meetings, do you cringe at the thought of having to present in front of your team, much less a whole conference – because you don’t feel confident in your clothes?
Too short, too long, too tight, too much excess fabric, fits on the top but not the bottom, bulging at the bust, waist too short, jacket doesn't fit across the shoulders or arms… these are just some of the problems that businesswomen face worldwide every day getting dressed for work and trying to find clothes that fit properly. Oftentimes we buy something too wide to accommodate a need for extra length, or too narrow to try to find something shorter, but what does a properly fitting garment really feel like, do we really know, is it something most of us have ever really experienced, the confidence that a beautifully fitting garment brings?
What happens internally when we wear something that is uncomfortable or doesn't fit properly it makes us acutely aware of the parts of us that we feel insecure about, we start pulling and tugging to adjust and our internal voices start nagging...
It is accepted that people make an assumption about you and your competency within 5-7 seconds of meeting you and some experts claim is it even less. With first impressions being lasting impressions, it therefore makes sense that we need to do all that we can to present ourselves in the best possible light in the most ideally communicable way. Which is immediately - visual. I will discuss, not brand, not colour in this article but the fit or in some cases ill-fitting, of clothing and its effect on how we portray ourselves to others, and how this reflects back in on ourselves.
It hardly seems fair that assumptions are made about our character and competence based on what we physically present to the world. It can be referred to as the “Halo” effect – that we take someone’s appearance to be telling of their overall character and abilities - but the reality is, that is the world we live in. According to Business Insider, you are more likely to get hired if you are well groomed, and, that more attractive people earn about 12% more than their counterparts. (this applies to hiring as a vendor, contractor or employee).
The changes that people experience when they are comfortable and confident in well-fitted apparel resonates not just from the responses of others, but it filters through every communication, creating a ripple effect.
When we consider fitting of clothing items we firstly need to consider our body shape and size. And we have to accept that is the body we have been given and frankly, it is the only one we are going to get so we should obviously look after it and dress it so that we can feel confident within ourselves and project that to the world. There are styles that are ideal and enhance all body shapes it's about finding the optimum for you.
We have all had moments where we feel we own the moment, that we had the admiration and respect of others, where we felt that our work performance was perhaps judged higher than it was and you were afforded responses and reactions that were different. The changes that people experience when they are comfortable and confident in well-fitted apparel resonates not just from the responses of others, but it filters through every communication, creating a ripple effect. From your feeling of confidence to the impact on your performance and how people respond to you.
Remember, we are talking about the fit of your wardrobe here, not the expense of it, the fabric or anything other than fit. The most expensive item of the best quality thread will present poorly and represent its wearer as less than well constructed if the fit is not ideal.
Rowena Burley of The Elegant Executive Curve knows only too well how difficult it is to find the right fit and hence the emergence and growth of the made-to-measure market. Rowena says, “It doesn’t matter if it’s expensive material, the right colour or even the appropriateness for the season; if the fit is wrong on you it will look wrong and you will feel uncomfortable ~ and consequently less confident.”
“Without the proper fit, your presentation is going to lack confidence, and you will probably feel uncomfortable on the inside. You cannot perform at your best in that setting. And people will respond to you from that place. What happens internally when we wear something that is uncomfortable or doesn't fit properly it makes us acutely aware of the parts of us that we feel insecure about, we start pulling and tugging to adjust, thereby bringing up our lack of confidence, the little voices start telling your stories and Bam! your confidence is eroded and your performance follows suit.”
The confidence a well-fitting garment will give you will impact your career and business bottom-line.
So what does it take for the right fit? For different body shapes, it takes different things. And we could, and we will write further posts on that.
But whatever the right fit is for you, it will leave you feeling professional, competent, confident, proud of your achievements and comfortable in your own personal presentation - on top of that you'll look fabulous and know it! This, my friends, will impact your career and business bottom-line.
The Elegant Executive Curve is an international award-winning fashion label using the latest in pattern-making technology to produce made-to-fit and ready-to-wear business-class fashions for curvy women leaders. This world leading technology allows us to input your measurements and receive a pattern to fit your exact shape and size - you chose the style from our fabulous range and our artisans will handcraft your garment to fit. Creating garments to make you feel confident, comfortable and successful.