Power Players

9 self-made millionaires share how they dress to make a good first impression

Credit: The Oracles

You have just 30 seconds or less before someone new forms a lasting opinion about you. It's your one chance to make a first impression, so you don't want to blow it.

We asked these fashion icons, business leaders, and Advisors in The Oracles for their tips on how to dress for success. Here's what they said:

1. 'Don't forget the little details.'

"Wear a sport coat whenever possible. It's easy to pair with jeans, and you'll always look sharp. You can remove your tie or jacket if you're overdressed — but if you're underdressed, you have no options.

It's all in the details, so accessorize with intention. Finish your look with cuff links, lapel pins, and pocket squares. Fit is also key. A tailored look makes you appear leaner, taller, and more confident; so have your tailor make minor adjustments, even to clothes off the rack.

And keep in mind that it's not just about the clothes, but it's also about the confidence you project."

—David August Heil, founder and CEO of David August, provider of beautifully hand-tailored wardrobes to the superstars of business, sports, and entertainment. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram

2. 'Groom yourself well.'

"My biggest tip is to be well groomed. Make sure you have clean hair and nails and don't look messy.

As for your outfit, it's essential to invest in a quality pair of shoes or handbag that you will have for a long time. Then you can pair these staple pieces with an affordable, yet great-looking outfit."

—Tamara Mellon, co-founder and chief creative officer of luxury footwear brand Tamara Mellon; co-founder of Jimmy Choo; equal pay and women's empowerment advocate

3. 'Find your superhero costume.'

"If you aren't memorable, you're forgotten. People buy into the presentation of you before they ever believe in, buy from or invest with you. If they respect you and feel you are the most excellent and logical choice for a desired relationship, product or service, then you will earn a place in their memory.

My suits are genuinely my superhero costumes. Yours may be different, it helps to ask yourself: Am I memorable? If you aren't inspiring curiosity so others want to know and hear more about you, then you aren't doing it right."

—Mike Calhoun, founder and CEO of Board of Advisors. Follow him on Facebook and LinkedIn

4. 'Take advantage of free personal stylists.'

"Take time to think about your personal style and the message you want to send.

If you don't know what that is, flip through fashion magazines to see what appeals to you. You can find a personal stylist at any department store, and their services are usually free, so you just pay for the clothes you buy.

Classic is always in. Invest in a good suit and basics you can jazz up. Color is a great way to stand out in a crowd and make a statement; so break away from black, gray, and brown on occasion. Know your power colors that flatter you — and those that don't.

If your workplace allows, have fun with bold choices; just be smart. I love fashion, but I don't spend frivolously on items I can't wear more than one season. Ultimately, you should always look polished, pulled together, and powerful."

Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman, a real estate brokerage empire with more than $27 billion in annual sales. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram

5. 'Know what colors, shapes and styles suit you best.'

"It's important to know what colors and shapes suit your body, and how to style your hair and makeup for a polished, professional look.

If you can afford to hire a consultant to tell you, amazing. If not, ask three or four friends to come over and give you some tough love. When I went through this process, I found out that red was not my color, and I should never wear it again. I was shocked; half of my closet was red!

I also had my makeup done and was told to stop wearing dark lipstick, which had been a 'bold' part of my signature look. I parted my hair on the side and was told that it made me look five years older. I resisted this feedback at first, but ultimately it was true.

Sometimes it helps to get a second opinion. Get the right advice to make an outstanding first impression."

—Keri Shull, founder of the Keri Shull Team, which has sold over $2 billion in properties; co-founder of real estate coaching business HyperFast Agent; named one of America's Best Real Estate Agents by REAL Trends. Follow her on Facebook

6. 'Get a blue blazer or black dress.'

"Like it or not, people will judge you before you say a word. Once you do speak and act, those judgments impact how your words and actions are received. How you dress also affects how you see yourself, and your self-confidence (or lack of it) impacts others' opinions of you. So take care of yourself.

You don't have to spend a lot of money to look good, but demonstrate that you care about your appearance. This doesn't mean you need a Gucci belt, but you do need a solid blue blazer or sleek black dress.

In the words of NFL player Deion Sanders, 'If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good.'"

Mark Bloom, president at NetWorth Realty, ranked by Glassdoor among the "Best Places to Work" for two consecutive years

7. 'Wear the same thing every day.'

"I own one T-shirt: it's black and from my favorite clothing company, Unbound Merino.

Some people love fashion, but I don't. I have two goals when choosing my clothing: I want to be comfortable and feel like I look good. Instead of having a wide-ranging wardrobe, I simplified mine to one item that meets those two goals. Anything else would be excess that adds another decision to my day.

Some call this minimalism, but I call it maximizing. By minimizing my wardrobe, I can maximize my creative and cognitive capacity, so that I have time and energy for more important things, like business decisions and family."

—Jonathan Goodman, founder of the Personal Trainer Development Center, a free resource for the fitness industry, covering personal trainer salary surveys and detailed instructions on how to become an online trainer. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram

8. 'Always dress for first class.'

"You never know when you could get upgraded or who you'll meet. While you don't want to be dreadfully out of place at the many offices that have a more relaxed vibe, business casual should still look professional.

How you dress communicates respect for those you're meeting with. It tells them that they were important enough to dress up for — and we all want to feel important.

Our subconscious is quick to judge, so we automatically give more merit to those in professional clothes — the doctor wearing the white jacket, the musician in a black suit, or the waiter with a bow tie. These clothes signal that the wearers are experts at the top of their field."

—Holly Parker, founder and CEO of The Holly Parker Team at Douglas Elliman; award-winning broker who has made over $8 billion in sales. Follow her on LinkedIn and Instagram

9. 'Wear knowledge, confidence, and transparency.'

"Old thinking about making a first impression has changed. Because everything is commoditized by the internet, wearing the right suit, watch, or sneakers doesn't impress people like it used to. Now billionaires wear T-shirts and jeans. In some places, wearing a suit may even make the wrong impression.

In Latin America, they prefer formality and suits to impress people. I wore a T-shirt and sneakers to presentations when I first expanded my business there, and as a result, my competition didn't believe I'd make a dent in the industry. But I was transparent and confident, and changed their view.

While it helps to know your audience, it's more important to wear knowledge, confidence, and transparency. Instead of worrying about your clothes, focus on providing value and being confident in your expertise. If you know what you're talking about, you'll feel on top of the world no matter what you wear."

—Marcello Arrambide, founder of Day Trading Academy and co-founder of SpeedUpTrader, a funding company for aspiring day traders. Follow him on Instagram and LinkedIn

Join The Oracles, a mastermind group of the world's leading entrepreneurs who share their success strategies to help others grow their businesses and build better lives. For more, follow The Oracles on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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