Outfits That Make A Strong First Impression

Outfits That Make A Strong First Impression

“PHEW! I’m so happy this is off my plate!” said my client after we put together new outfits for her upcoming event. She was recently booked as a guest teacher for a 3 day series. So between the curriculum planning and teaching points, the last thing she wanted to worry about was what to wear! And of course she wanted to make a strong first impression!

That’s why in our latest session we arranged outfits —from her closet — for the 3 day event. With the virtual lookbook of each outfit conveniently on her phone, all she had to do was pack the pieces in her suitcase, and get dressed for the day!

While putting together fresh looks for my clients feels fun and easy, there’s lots of thought that goes into the outfits. Because every item won’t work for the occasion!

So we must discern and be intentional with what we choose. The goal is for her to forget about her clothes so that she can focus solely on the job she’s there to do — TEACH!

If you’ve got an upcoming event that you want to make a strong first impression at, keep reading!

I share the exact process I use with my clients to help them feel fabulous at their appearances.

Step 1: Know Your Circumstances

When planning outfits for my clients, the first thing I must understand is what the event is and where it will be. These are the physical circumstances of the occasion, and greatly impact the clothing selection. My client who is leading a spiritual retreat on the beach will have different conditions than my other client who’s teaching high performance strategies in a conference room. One may opt for barefeet while the other leans towards closed toe pumps.

Also, I must regard her physicality. Will she stand on a stage? Circulate around a room? Sit on a beach? Each activity calls for a different type of look.

Step 2: Who’s Your Audience For The First Impression?

Next I ask who will be at the event. If the location creates the atmosphere, the audience sets the tone. Your outfit must acknowledge your attendees. But you also need to stand out based on what you’re there to achieve. This is how you make a strong first impression.

The spiritual retreat leader serves mostly women looking to connect to their souls while the high performance coach will teach healthcare workers — doctors and nurses — who struggle with burnout. 

Once you know who will be in the room, consider the dress code. Because healthcare is pretty conservative, my client wants to respect this policy. But at the same time, she needs to show people who she is and what she’s capable of! 

Step 3: Let Your Personality Come Through

Your clothes speak before you do. What do you want your outfit to say?

The final step in event outfit planning is to bring in personality. You will never see my clients blending into the background. Sure, they’re aware of what’s going on around them, but their clothes set them apart. The high performance coach wants to look sharp and professional and convey that she’s there to do business. But at the same time, she doesn’t want to be a bore. She wants to spark curiosity from her audience without coming across as too flashy which can be distracting.

Your Strong First Impression

When you want to make a strong first impression at an event, take these 3 steps when planning your outfit. You can’t control what people think, but you can take charge of what you wear. 

One of the reasons my clients feel so confident at their appearances is because their outfits are stylist approved. They love knowing that I’ve given them the thumbs up on their look because this puts their minds at ease, and allows them to be fully present at the event.

This is how it went for my client who recently led a retreat and had her biggest cash sales month of the year. By putting the time in upfront to outfit plan, she felt more confident at the event and this translated into sales.

text chat between me and my client after her retreat that we planned outfits for

If you’d like my eyes on your style to help you feel fabulous at your events, go here to book a call. We’ll discuss what you’ve got coming up and how I can take outfit planning off your plate.

Elysha Lenkin
Elysha Lenkin helps women express themselves through fashion so they look current, feel confident and stay true to themselves. For over 20 years, she's worked on commercial shoots styling women in all shapes, ages and sizes including Carrie Underwood, Tina Fey and Serena Williams. Now her focus is to make fashion fun and approachable for real women so they show up feeling like superstars in their lives.

4 Comments

  1. Vicky says:

    Great tips, thank you! I too look forward to the day someone else prepares my wardrobe! One additional idea to consider when creating outfits for speaking events is to ensure what you wear is comfortable so you are not continuously adjusting your wardrobe! Also, have jewelry that bobs or swings around and interfere’s with the mic is worth considering!

  2. Cathy Ogi says:

    I love how you used her own closet, instead of buying more pieces.

  3. I prefer to start with what they have!

  4. Yes! Being comfortable is key to being present. Thanks for your comment!

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