What to Wear If… You Want to Make a Good Impression

Welcome to our new fashion series, What To Wear If…

Along with sharing her favourite new picks from new season collections and some of her favourite things, Kiwi fashion and interiors stylist Lulu Wilcox will be tackling some of our biggest fashion needs when we find ourselves needing that little something extra for all of life’s biggest (and smallest!) situations.

From what to wear when you’re meeting your future mother-in-law for the first time or what to wear for that very important third date, through to her picks for gym wear when you’ve just signed up to Les Mills and you didn’t realise it was also a lycra-led fashion show every time you turn up to Body Balance, she’s got you covered.

Up first, the always-important What To Wear If… You Need to Make a Good Impression. And if you have any particular scenario you’d like help with, feel free to email [email protected] with ‘Lulu’ in the subject line!

The old saying always goes, first impressions count! 

Making a good first impression has always been number one in my books, as sometimes you don’t get a second chance to change someone’s mind.

Whether you are going for a job interview or meeting your potential in-laws – good impressions are always something to be aware of. I’m a big believer in always putting your best foot forward so here are my tips for making an impact on those important first meetings! 

1. Navy or grey tones

You’ve got your CV sorted and you’ve prepared answers to all those tricky questions but what about that outfit?

A job interview is one of those times that it is essential to make a good first impression. The go-to for many is to put together a little black outfit. While it may be slimming, wearing too much black is also super boring!

Let’s be honest, rocking an all-black outfit does often give off “I-just-came-from-a-funeral vibes”. 

While not everyone wants to rush out to buy a tonne of fluro, introducing navy and grey tones into your wardrobe is a great way to bring something different to the table without losing the air of professionalism. 

2. Sensible shoes

Imagine putting your best foot forward, only to trip over and fall!

Yeah – not the most ideal first impression is it? Whatever the occasion, job interview, meeting the in-laws or even just walking down the street, make sure you have a solid foundation to keep you grounded.

For a more professional setting, I love a good pair of loafers or ballet flats. Black patent leather is a way to bring a bit of class to your outfit and will literally go with anything. Not to mention your feet will be planted firmly on the ground!

If you are needing something a bit more outdoor friendly, try a pair of (CLEAN!) slim-line, white, leather sneakers. While they are a bit more casual than loafers, they can still look super sleek in the right setting.

3. Accessories are key

You wouldn’t decorate a room and forget the soft furnishings would you? 

Accessories are so important in any context for taking something from boring to beautiful!

Jewellery is the obvious go-to here. Make sure that if you are going to go for a statement piece, keep it at one! A big pair of earrings don’t need to be matched with a chunky necklace so pick your big piece and keep the rest simple. 

As we move into the cooler months, don’t forget your scarves and hats. A nice patterned silk scarf or a colour-blocked cashmere scarf will make a nice addition with your coat and boots.

Additionally, a wool panama or classic french beret are bound to make an overwhelming impression. Having those little finishing touches makes you look really polished and shows that you are a details person.

4. Clothes that fit well

Your oversized t-shirt may be okay around the house or the gym but when it comes to making a good impression, clothes that are ill-fitting say you don’t care.

Something too big can look sloppy, while something too small can be too revealing and just looks uncomfortable.

This is particularly important when it comes to suiting. Think back to your high school ball and all those acne-faced teenage boys wearing dad’s old suit, two sizes too big. It’s a cringy thought right and really a bad fitting suit is just as bad on a woman. 

Know your sizes and if you feel like something might be not quite right, take it to your local seamstress and have them adjust it to your body – how sharp will you look then with a custom suit or dress! 

5. Always dress for first class

Fashion royalty Rachel Zoe once said, “In my mind, being overdressed is not a bad thing at all. What’s the worst case scenario? That you are the best-dressed person in the room?”

Never have I related to something more than this! Besides, who knows where the day may take you?

On a few occasions, I’ve been out to lunch with friends and we’ve bumped into someone they know. Everyone gets talking and it turns out this person is on the lookout for a stylist – and well that’s me! Imagine if i’d worn my athleisure or not bothered to put on that bit of lippy – not exactly a great first impression when I’m trying to sell my styling services. 

By constantly dressing my best, I know I’ll never have the awful sinking feeling in my stomach that I’m out of place! 

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