Giving With Style

by Shai Thompson, House of Lily Koi –

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have no or little influence in society.” ~ Mark Twain

The naked truth of the matter is, what you wear influences how people respond to you. We only have one chance to make a first impression, and that impression can last for years. The imprint and impact takes only 30 seconds for the subconscious to emotionally give feedback to the conscious mind. Humans’ non-verbal communication is 93% and 7% is what we say. So what are you saying with the clothes you are wearing?

If I am in need of directions and I choose to listen to the opinion of a man in a suit versus a man wearing sweat pants and a stained T-shirt, does this make me judgemental? To some, the saying “clothes make the man” is shallow. Most people use their best judgment to reach a decision and this is based on our primal survival instinct.

If a woman wears clothes three sizes too large to cover up instead of finding a fit that works, she might be seen as lazy, possessing of a low IQ or unorganized, when in truth she could be bright, super-efficient and hard working. This scenario plays out constantly in job interviews, where the person who gets the job is the best dressed but has less experience.

Where does someone find answers for what looks best on their body? Wear 2 Start is a local non-profit organization that helps women prepare for a job interview. They work with donated clothing and educate individuals on everything they need to know about dressing for an interview. They take the worry away and replace it with confidence and self esteem that lasts a lifetime.

Beacon Services is another local organization that gives back to the community by offering training for youth on how to dress successfully for a job interview. House of Lily Koi’s style team has the pleasure of working with Beacon Services by presenting a workshop on creating a winning wardrobe. By the end of the process the participants are filled with newfound knowledge on how to get the perfect fit, tie a tie, polish their shoes and more.

The impact is brilliant to see as these teens try themselves on for size. Someone is taking the time to help, sometimes giving them the rite of passage they never received. We see so many youth without fathers taking an active role in their lives, so where is a boy going to learn how to put on a tie? Looking into the mirror, the metamorphosis reveals a respectful image.

What I hear all the time is: “I didn’t know I could look this good.”

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