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First Impression - Social Graces Tips

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LADIES

Madonna became famous because of her talent. In order to get noticed she made an effort to dress outrageously as she could by showing her underwear as part of her style. Unfortunately her wild style caught on and many young women emulated it. Bob, a friend of mine, once told me about an experience he had in the food court of a mall. He was seated next to three young girls and one of them was crying. She was asking her friends why boys always thought she was cheap and easy. “If they would just get to know me they would know I am not that way,” she complained to her friends. Bob said she was dressed in very tight cloths with her g-string and bra straps showing. She had too much make up on and here hairstyle was very radical.

It is so important to understand that the way you look is the way you tell people who you are and how you want to be treated before they even talk to you. (Lesson One from my book Universal Code of Conduct). Bob said she looked like a flashing neon sign screaming CHEAP & TRASHY. How could she expect that anyone would think of her in any other way?

For example, I notice a lot of women wearing tank tops with their bra straps showing on purpose. Tank tops are basically underwear. I know some of them come in colors or rhinestones and can be worn as a blouse but when worn as a blouse you are exposing too much of your body and would be considered as exhibitionism. All tank tops should be covered with a blouse or sweater and the tank top is exposed only in the front. Underwear such as bra straps and g-strings/panties are not to be exposed for the public to see. If you have a spaghetti strap blouse or dress you should wear a strapless bra or no bra. If you have a bra strap that keeps showing or falling from your shoulder either sew in a strap holder or use a medium size safety pin attached to your blouse and put your bra strap through the safety pin (For pictures see Wardrobe Chapter in Universal Code of Conduct).

What you don’t want is to make an obvious bid for public attention that is offensive. Clothes worn in public should be modest and reserved. It is better to get attention as a classy and elegant woman. There is a time and place for these exposed looks but not in public without a male escort. When you have a male escort who is your partner and protector it is fun sometimes to get out of your classy self and go wild but that should not be your everyday style.

MEN

There are three areas men should put their money and attention to. They are: their watch, belt, and shoes.

Watches: Classy and elegant men do not wear a lot of jewelry or anything too showy to bring attention to themselves but you should have at least 2 watches, a nice quality one for business and one for casual wear. Your business watch should be a quality dress watch. Your watch makes a statement about who and what you are. For example, Rolex watches are more of a status symbol than a watch. Many men who can afford a Rolex choose to be more understated but still classy in their choice of a dress. Just be sure your dress watch makes the statement you want to make and looks appropriate to the way you are dressed. By the way, there are lots of quality watches that are not Rolex. But remember, your choice of a quality watch is one of the ways you silently communicate your style and status to others.

Belts: Do not wear a belt that is showing age. Save up and buy a well-made belt and belt buckle. You should have a black belt that is of good quality to wear when you are dressed up. Your everyday belt isn’t your dress up belt. You can have lots of inexpensive belts if you cannot afford a quality belt but make sure you throw them out when they start to look worn or when the belt buckle starts peeling. If you can afford a $150-300 belt it’s worth the investment. The belt buckle will never get worn and if the leather ever starts to get old looking usually the manufacturer will replace the leather. 

Shoes: Shoes are also important for a man. Dress or business shoes should always be shined and the heals should not be worn down. Yes men, shoes do make a statement. That’s the second thing women look at after your first impression. Save your money and purchase good quality shoes. Then keep them looking nice by polishing when needed and using shoetrees to keep them in shape when you are not wearing them. Try not to wear rubber soles when dressed up. Buy a nice pair of leather soled shoes for dress. If they get worn, take them to the shoe repair shop and they can replace the sole or dye them to make them look brand new again. If you take good care of them, a good pair of shoes will last you a lifetime. For business stay with the classics they never go out of style. Keep it simple and elegant. Stay away from the fad look for business. Don’t buy the expensive fad looks because it will go out of style and you will be stuck with them. If you buy inexpensive shoes throw them out when they start to look worn. You shouldn’t wear the same shoes two days in a row. Make sure you air and dry them out at least one day before wearing them again.

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