What Do Your Clothes Say About You?

LET’S NOT STINK!

What Do Your Clothes Say About You?

Do you know how NOT to apply fragrance?

Have you ever smelled someone before you saw them? Whether the smell is pleasurable or not, we never want people to smell us before we have the chance to say hello. We want to captivate people with our ideas, not our fragrance!

Scent is extremely powerful! To help you successfully manage this influential tool we are sharing our Top Two Tips on Fragrance.

Tip 1: Don’t wear too much fragrance.

Scent is incredibly powerful – so much more powerful than we realize! Scent can evoke emotion and memory without our conscious awareness. It can overpower rational thought and influence us in ways we don’t realize. This is why professional athletes use scent to create specific moods and target behavior. It is why companies use scent marketing to get us to buy stuff (hello popcorn smell in movie theatres and freshly baked bread in supermarkets). One American hotel chain sprays the smell of apple pie in its lobbies to make guests feel at home! The same scent can remind one person of the grandmother they loved and another of the bully they feared, which is why less is always more with fragrance! You never know what memory your fragrance will trigger or who might have allergies to your chosen scent.

How do you know if you are wearing too much? Conduct a fragrance audit. We don’t realize how many different scents we wear or how strong they smell. Think beyond your perfume or cologne and consider your deodorant, soaps, lotions, essential oils, and hair products. Our body itself also produces a unique scent that is like a fingerprint. These scent layers combine to produce a fragrance that is much stronger than you realize. The problem is that you can’t really smell yourself!

ASK SOMEONE you trust to tell you if your fragrance is filling the room before you do. Your scent should be discovered, not broadcast.

Tip 2: Don’t put fragrance on the wrong place.

Ideally, fragrance should be applied to your bare chest before you get dressed. If you choose to put fragrance on your pulse points, be cautious of how much you apply. Whatever you do, don’t apply fragrance:

  • Directly on your clothes, especially those that must be dry cleaned. The chemicals used in dry cleaning can create a reaction with the residue from the fragrance that stains your clothes. I speak from experience; I had to toss a beautiful yellow jacket years ago!
  • On fine jewelry, especially pearls. Fragrance will damage them over time.
  • On your hair. The scent is particularly overwhelming and alcohol in the fragrance will dry out your hair.
  • On your hands. The scent will transfer with every handshake and touch.

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Read more “Did You Know?” topics below.

BEYOND THE MAGIC WORDS

Do you know how to respond to “Thank You”?
Saying “please” and “thank you” is drilled into us as kids. How many times have you heard someone ask a child, “what are the magic words?” Likely thousands! But do you know what to say after someone tells you “thank you”?

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Email Etiquette

Do you know how to address emails to unknown recipients?

Names matter, including in email salutations. How you address someone in an email is your electronic first impression, which sets the tone for your interaction. Learn how to address an email when you don’t know the recipient’s name in this month’s tip!

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Mask Etiquette

Do you know where to put your mask while dining?

Etiquette changes as society changes, and mask etiquette is something that should now be in your social skills toolbox (who would have ever guessed!). Let’s talk about dining. If you are able to grab a meal at your favorite restaurant, don’t forget your mask! Once you are seated and the food is served, where should you place your mask while eating?

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Curbside Tipping

Do you know how much to tip for curbside service?

Tipping is a part of American culture. It is one of the ways that we show gratitude to those who serve us and is a critical part of restaurant employees’ incomes. A standard tip when dining in a full-service restaurant is 20%, which is often split between your server, bartender, and other restaurant employees. What about curbside service? Learn how much to tip for curbside service in this month’s “Do You Know?”

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Gift Etiquette

Do you know how much to spend on gifts?

Gift giving can be tricky. Figuring out how much to spend on gifts is a major stressor that can suck the joy right out of giving. While some experts post detailed guides showing exactly how much to spend on certain people, we think that guidance really misses the mark. Instead, we suggest that you ask these two questions to make gift buying easy!

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IMAGE BUSTER

Do you know these 4 image hacks to keep you looking sharp?
We have all been living in our “comfy clothes” while we spend more time at home. When it is time to go back to work or attend an event, will you remember where your real pants are and how to get sharply dressed again? Here are 4 hacks to keep you looking your best when you need to wear real pants!

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ELEVATOR ETIQUETTE

Do you know where to stand on an elevator?

Elevators are awkward places. These small, enclosed spaces where strangers often stand only inches apart can make the most confident person feel a bit uncomfortable. Elevator etiquette is especially important now. Most buildings have posted new elevator guidelines including a limit on the number of passengers and mask requirements. You should follow posted guidelines and these 5 elevator etiquette tips to make your next elevator ride less awkward for everyone!

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COVID CRAZED

Do you know how to handle a stressful COVID-19 encounter?

Public encounters can be especially challenging right now. A routine trip to the grocery store can go sideways in a matter of moments, which is exactly what happened to me on my last trip to Costco. I share my experience along with a few ideas on how to make your next outing go more smoothly in this tip! How we treat people matters, especially now. This, too, shall pass. When it does, what relationships will be waiting for you on the other side of this pandemic?

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The Duchenne Smile

Do you know how to smile with your eyes?

How do you create connection from behind a mask? Social distancing and masked faces can make us feel isolated and awkward. These feelings can prompt us to avoid eye contact, making us feel even more isolated and more awkward. This vicious cycle can be easily broken with a powerful tool: a genuine smile from our eyes. Learn how to smile with your eyes in this tip!

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The Handshake Alternative

Do you know how to NOT shake hands?

COVID-19 radically changed how we interact with one another, and people will likely be opting out of personal touch for a while. While handshakes are on hold, how will you create connection when greeting people? How do you communicate a genuine happiness to see someone without touch? How do you graciously turn down a handshake or kindly respond when someone pulls back from your extended hand? Learn how to NOT shake hands—and what to do instead—in this tip!

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Phone Skills

Do you remember basic phone etiquette?

Making a phone call sounds simple, doesn’t it? But for those of us who haven’t used the call feature recently, it is easy to forget how to make a proper call. A phone call is not just about conveying information; it is a valuable opportunity to connect with another person. Make the most of these moments by brushing up on your basic phone etiquette. Sharpen your phone skills with these 5 etiquette tips!

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Distant Socializing

Do you know how to stay connected in a time of social distancing?

After weeks of social distancing, even the most introverted among us misses engaging with other people. Everything—or so it seems—is cancelled. But do you know what isn’t cancelled? Our biologically hardwired need to connect with other people. Staying connected is essential business. Learn 5 practical ways to keep being social in this tip!

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Giving Business Cards

Do you know how to present a business card?

Knowing how to smoothly exchange business cards is an easy way to boost your professional image and increase your confidence at networking events. Do you know how do you flawlessly handle the exchange? Learn how to present a business card in this tip!

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Soup Etiquette

Do you know how to eat soup? (hint: it’s eaten differently than cereal!)

Have you ever chosen not to order a delicious bowl of soup because you weren’t quite sure how to eat it or were worried that you would wear more than you ate? You aren’t alone! Soup can challenge even the most skilled diner. Thankfully, there is a handy rhyme that makes eating soup simple and keeps you drip-free! Learn how to eat soup (and how the process is different than cereal) in this tip!

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Dropped Calls

Do you know who should return a dropped call?

The dreaded dropped call. You are in the middle of a story or are sharing important information and eventually realize that no one is listening. “Hello? Are you there?” Silence. You wonder how long you have been talking to yourself while you quickly call the other person back and are directed to voicemail. You hang up and receive a missed call notification. Ugh! Welcome to the most annoying game of phone tag. Save time and frustration by following the simple rule in this tip!

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Water Glass: Left or Right?

Do you know which water glass is yours?

Have you ever sat down to a beautiful table and not known which water glass was yours? No one wants to experience that awkward moment when they accidentally drink their table mate’s water! Learn our foolproof trick to identify your drink in this tip!

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Host Gifts

Do you send a thank you note for a host gift? (and what is a host gift?)

We often take our invitations to social events for granted but being included on someone’s guest list is an honor. Hosting events is a lot of work (especially when no one RSVPs!). A host gift is a gracious way to thank your host for including you in their celebration. Do you know when to give a host gift? What to bring? And whether to send a thank you note when you receive a host gift? Learn how to handle host gifts in this tip!

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HANDSHAKES: WHO GOES FIRST?

Do you know who should initiate a handshake?

We have all encountered that awkward moment when we meet someone and wonder if we should shake hands and—if so—who should extend their hand first? A handshake is the only appropriate form of touch in business and is an influential way to convey feelings of competence, warmth, strength, and connection. In the West, initiating a handshake signals confidence and leadership. It conveys that you are direct and in control. But who should shake hands first? Learn who shakes first in this tip!

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Wearing Name Tags

Do you know where to place your name tag?

According to Dale Carnegie, “A person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Our names matter. Unfortunately, learning and remembering a person’s name does not come easily to most people. A name tag lets people see your name in print, which increases the likelihood that they remember it. Did you know that there is a proper place to wear your name tag? Learn where to place your name tag (and why!) in this tip!

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Power Piece

Did you know that a third piece can boost your authority?

Outstanding presentations require thoughtful preparation including reliable content, compelling language, and powerful nonverbal skills. If you want to project authority, there is one other element you don’t want to overlook: a power piece. What is a power piece and how do you wear it? Learn more in this tip!

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Toasting Misstep

Do you know who should NOT drink during a toast?

A well-delivered toast can transform a simple meal into a memorable celebration and be the highlight of a wedding or special event. The modern toaster stands, delivers a brief, positive, heartfelt, and perhaps witty collection of words intended to honor the person being toasted. Everyone is asked to raise a glass in the recipient’s honor…and then what happens? Learn who should NOT drink during a toast—and what they should do instead— in this tip!

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Are You Civil?

Did you know that it pays to be kind?

We have all heard the saying, “you’ll never regret being kind,” but do you believe it? Just one look at our social media feeds often begs the question, does being civil really pay off? We have the answer and it may surprise you. Learn the power of civility and take our Civility Awareness Quiz in this tip!

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FLATTERING FIT

Do you know how to choose clothing that flatters your body?

Have you ever found yourself not being able to pinpoint why a certain top or pair of pants doesn’t look quite right? You love the color and style, but every time you put it on you don’t feel great. The right outfit has the power to fuel your confidence. Some people embrace all their curves and feel fabulous in everything, which is wonderful! Others feel more confident when their less loved features are not highlighted. If the latter is you, here is one tip to help you choose an outfit that flatters your body in a way you love!

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Miss, Mrs., or Ms.?

Did you know that “Miss” and “Mrs.” should not be used in business?

Addressing men in business is clear: John Smith is formally addressed as Mr. Smith. But how should you address women in business? Women were traditionally addressed based on marital status. However, as society changed, so did etiquette! Learn how to address women in business today in this tip!

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Is Your Outfit Boring, Distracting, or Brilliant?

Do you know the Rule of Ten?

Your clothing is your instant messaging system; it is the first thing people notice and it communicates volumes before you have a chance to speak. How do you know if your outfit is boring, distracting, or brilliant? The Rule of Ten is the answer! Learn the Rule of Ten in this tip!

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Better Late Than Never

Do you know how to write a belated thank you note?

Did you forget to say thank you for a holiday gift? Thank you notes should ideally be sent within 48 hours, but it is never too late to say thank you! Expressing gratitude is a powerful opportunity to be remembered well. Learn how to write a belated thank you note in this tip!

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Buffet Lines

Did you know that kids should not go first?

Many of us enjoy buffets with family around the holidays, and we often let kids go through the line first. Making hungry kids wait is not the most enjoyable task, but did you know that kids who can balance a plate and serve themselves should NOT go first through a buffet line? Learn who should go first in this tip!

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Electronic Guilt Tipping

Did you know that you do not always have to tip when asked?

The clerk at your favorite bakery, food truck, or coffee shop swipes your credit card and spins an electronic screen around that asks whether you want to tip. Do you select 15%, 20%, or 25% for being handed a pre-made sandwich? Or do you select “no tip” under the awkward gaze of the clerk? Learn how to respond to electronic tip requests in this tip!

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Food Preferences

Did you know that there is a way to handle food requirements at an event?

If you have a dietary issue, the standard etiquette was to let your host know at the point of R.S.V.P. After all, no one wants to call 911 due to an unknown, life-threatening reaction to nuts. However, as food awareness in the U.S. has expanded this rule has changed. Learn how to navigate your dietary needs when dining with others in this tip!

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Are You a Space Invader?

Did you know that personal space extends from 1.5 to 4 feet away?

If you have had someone intrude on your personal space, you know how hard it is to think about anything other than regaining your comfort zone. In fact, the maintenance of personal space appears to be a very basic survival mechanism. Learn why we respond so strongly to space invaders and how to effectively navigate personal space in this tip!

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Sit or Stand?

Did you know that both men and women should rise when others join the table?

Under traditional social etiquette rules, a man was expected to rise for a woman when she approached or left a table. Learn how this rule has changed and what you should do in this tip!

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Airplane Middle Seat Rights

Did you know that airplane middle seats enjoy special rights?

What seat do you prefer when flying? Studies show that just over half of us opt for the window seat while the rest of us choose the aisle. Everyone’s last choice? The dreaded middle seat. No one enjoys being trapped in a tight space for hours between two strangers. The good news? Find out in this tip!

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Spitting Out Food

Did you know that there is a polite way to spit out food?

Everyone has faced that moment when you take a bite of food only to discover it contains something that you do not want to swallow. Once you have taken a bite, what do you do with pesky bones, pits, and meat gristle? Learn how to handle unwanted food in this tip.

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Tipping Housekeeping

Did you know that you should tip hotel housekeeping every day?

Travelers overwhelmingly forget to tip hotel housekeeping. In fact, 32% of hotel guests never tip these hardworking individuals who go about the overlooked work of cleaning our messes, scrubbing our toilets, making our beds, and tossing out our trash. Learn how much and how often to tip hotel housekeeping in this post.

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Dealing With Nosy People

Did you know that you do not have to answer every question you are asked?

“How much did that cost?” “Are you still single?” “How old are you?” “When do you plan to have children?” “Who did you vote for?” Handle cringeworthy questions like these with grace by following these three tips…

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Where To Take A Call

Did you know that there is a proper place to take a phone call?

Although phone booths have nearly disappeared from the landscape, the need to step away from others to take or place a call has not. Where should you take a phone call?…

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Who Pays on a First Date

Did you know that the rules for who should pay on a first date have changed?

Old dating etiquette required men to pick up the check on a first date because they were traditionally doing the inviting. Etiquette changes as society evolves…

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Gratitude Transforms Your Career

Did you know that saying thank you can transform your career?

A survey of 2,007 people for the John Templeton Foundation revealed that 81% of respondents would work harder for a more grateful boss, and 93% agree that a grateful boss is more likely to succeed…

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You Should Always RSVP

Did you know that everyone should RSVP, but only about 30% of people do?

RSVP comes from the French expression “répondez s’il vous plaît,” which means “please respond.” If you receive an invitation with RSVP on it…

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Screen Time is Changing Our Brains

Did you know that we touch our phones 2,617 times a day?

According to a study by the research firm dscout, a typical cellphone user touches their phone 2,617 times and spends 145 minutes on their phone every day.

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