Do appearances really matter?

The past few months have been a strange time to be in our business. FirstSeven was born from the concept of how you present yourself matters, first impressions matter, and frankly appearances do matter. It feels really provocative to make that statement, more so then it did two years ago when we first launched.  

In these past couple years, we’ve seen the powerful #metoo movement take hold, gain momentum and start really meaningful conversations. Earlier this spring social media couldn’t stop talking about what Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wore to his TED talk, and if that shined a spotlight on another form of double standard for women. A handful of school systems across the country have implemented dress codes for parents when on campus. All of these events have sparked intense debate, with the most vocal contributors to the debate coming from the camp of ‘what you wear shouldn’t matter’.

At first glance, this statement would seem to be the polar opposite of what I said in my opening paragraph. However, I said appearances do matter...not that they should matter. If we could change the world so that it was a complete meritocracy, where both men and women were rewarded based on their contributions, their work ethic, their collaboration, determination, intelligence, honesty, integrity... all the things that really do matter in life and in the workplace - we would.

Studies have proven time and time again that strangers (potential clients, potential bosses, etc) are subconsciously forming opinions of you before you’ve even had a chance to speak. Those opinions are based on visual observations.  Studies have also proved that when we feel confident we perform better.

When we work with clients to optimize their outward presentation, we’re doing it to empower them, to help them feel their best, their most confident, and to present themselves so their message speaks louder than their outfit. When we work with a client for a big presentation, our goal is not to have people talking about what they wore, but to have people talking about their ideas.

What do you think? We’d love to hear from you!