Seven little secrets to good grooming for busy professionals

Among the pearls of wisdom penned by basketball great John Wooden is this gem: “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” When it comes to image management, many folks naturally credit clothes, accessories and interpersonal skills for the parts they play in shaping a pleasing image. According to a 2006 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers however, much of the credit for a powerful image should go to good grooming.

In 2011, I interviewed human resource directors and managers of companies in Greenville for an article I was writing on what to wear to a job interview. They unanimously agreed that grooming ranked high on the list of data points they consider when interviewing candidates for employment. Little details like shined shoes, clean clothes, and manicured nails matter more than you think. Your good grooming habits may very well give you an added professional advantage over another less well groomed individual.

Wherever I go in my job as a wardrobe stylist and personal shopper, I always need to present a polished and attractive appearance. I rely on these seven tried and true grooming secrets to keep me looking my personal best:

Create fashions for five – Reserve 20 minutes each Sunday to create five entire outfits for the week. Hang all of your selections in one section of your closet. Always base your clothing and accessory choices on your work and after work commitments for each day. Make necessary edits as your schedule changes;

Always XYO “Examine Your Outfits” – Look for wrinkles, stains, lint, missing buttons, and loose threads, and take steps to restore your outfits to a grade of A+;

Discover steaming – Steaming garments saves time and is gentler on fabrics than ironing;

Plan for Emergencies – Keep a first aid apparel kit in your desk and in your car containing items such as these: Tide to Go pen or an equivalent stain remover, lint roller, extra pantyhose, sewing kit, small rag, spray on odor neutralizer for clothes, and shoe polish;

Have backup – Always keep an extra outfit at work in case your lunch lands in your lap;

Use a mirror – Check yourself out in a full length mirror before leaving the house each day. At the end of each bathroom break, glance at your clothes, hair and face in the mirror. Also look at your teeth for any telltale signs of the spinach salad you ate at lunch. Brush your teeth or use mouthwash after eating spicy or garlic infused food;

Be kind to your clothes – Follow recommended washing instructions. Wash your clothes inside out and on a cold, gentle cycle, with like colors and fabrics. Use the dryer sparingly, and always select a gentle setting. Remove clothes promptly from the dryer and place them on hangers.

What are your good grooming secrets?

Groom Yourself for Success

2 Responses to “Seven little secrets to good grooming for busy professionals”

  1. Renee Says:

    I have shopped and perused many reviews for personal steamers. Can you make a recommendation?

  2. Corey Says:

    Renee, There are so many steamers on the market. In my experience, the portable and travel size steamers do a good job of touching up garments, or getting wrinkles out of materials like silk, wool and polyester. When it comes to fabrics such as cotton and denim, commercial grade steamers usually do a better job. On the other hand, I have heard good things about the Conair Extreme Steam hand held steamer, now on sale at Target for $34.95. The Shark Garment Care Steamer also gets the highest reviews at Target. Here is the link: One of my clients just bought this item, which has a number of attachments, such as a lint remover device. I have a jiffy travel steamer and another upright that I snagged at a yard sale. I’ve heard that Jiffy, Pro-press and Best Steam put out good commercial grade steamers. If you and your family wear oxford shirts (non-iron variety) and lots of denim, perhaps it is worth investing in a heavy duty steamer. My advice is that you comparison shop and also look at U Tube for additional information. for what it’s worth, I hardly use an iron anymore. Steamers are the best invention since sliced bread! Good luck.