Step out in style: Tips from professional brand image consultants

Dress for the job that you want, not the one that you have.

While we’ve been educated on this theory many times over, only a handful ever put it into practice.

Let’s face it, as Malaysians, we’ve always had a bit of a slacker-ish attitude when it comes to dressing. Personally, I think it boils down to (pun not intended) our constantly scorching weather – it not only influences our fashion to keep us cool, but the heat renders our brains useless to be bothered about our choice of clothing, which some might perceive as trivial.

But this slacker sense of style has no place in the corporate world.

From the job interview, to the client meeting, to the dream promotion, one fact stands - first impressions count, and it is worthy that we take note of this sooner rather than later.

Wendy Lee, professional image consultant with the Malaysian Association of Brand and Image Consultants (MABIC) runs us through the facts on why this is so.

Q: In your opinion, why is grooming and style important in a career setting?

A study conducted in the past showed that HR personnel are indeed willing to pay those who are groomed up to 20% more. This makes sense as how you groom yourself says a whole lot about you as a person.

Wearing matching shirts and ties, for example, says you are someone that pays attention to detail. Putting on lipstick takes only a few seconds, but it gives one a polished look that says: ‘I’m healthy, alert and ready to take on the job’.

Also, from a boss’s point of view, you’d want someone who looks polished and professional, who is able to carry the brand and image of that company.

Q: Some people say that judging someone based on their looks is superficial, when their quality of work should speak for itself. What would you say to this?

While not everyone has to plaster on a thick layer of makeup, being well-groomed can make or break a deal. The perception is that if you can take good care of yourself, you can take good care of the job entrusted to you.

Think of about this - how does one end up being overweight, unkempt or sloppy in the first place? It certainly didn’t happen overnight. The very fact that you can accept being unkempt and sloppy shows others where your standards lie.

In the words of T Harv. Eker, “how you do anything is how you do everything”. How you take care of yourself will be equivalent to how you take care of your work.

Grooming Tips

According to Wendy, the most important rule of thumb is to look good and smell fresh. For those who do not have the luxury of time and money to splurge on style, Wendy suggests following these few basic grooming tips:

For the guys

Gel up your hair

If you spot a stubble, quickly fix it with an electric shaver

Dab a little cologne or perfume before important meetings

Pull your body straight, chin up and strut out in style!

For the ladies

Always have these in your purse:

-A lip gloss that you can double up as a blusher.

-A hair band - comes in handy to push your hair away from your face

-A compact powder to take off any oily shine

-A body midst to give you that instant fresh fragrance

Wear heels – it helps to give you that extra lift.

myStarjob.com and MABIC will be giving away passes to a half-day grooming makeover workshop to six lucky myStarjob.com readers to learn how to groom up and step out in style!

Yap Li Wei, professional make-up consultant (left) and Wendy Lee, professional brand image consultant (right). Yap Li Wei, professional make-up consultant (left) and Wendy Lee, professional brand image consultant (right).

The workshop, held on 29 October 2014, will be conducted by experienced professional brand image consultant Wendy Lee, and professional make-up consultant Yap Li Wei.

To win passes to the workshop, all you have to do is:

• Step 1: Fill up this form with your details

• Step 2: Answer one simple question (hint: the answer is in this article)

• Step 3: Complete the sentence “I want to step out in style because…” with your most creative catchphrase.

Contest ends on 5 October 2014, so hurry and get your entries in!

*Terms and conditions apply.