By now we have all somewhat cultivated a personal sense of style or are at least transitioning towards it, so dressing for a first encounter with new colleagues, a prospective employer, a potential partner or even an introduction to a new circle of friends is an opportunity to communicate your style DNA ever so subtly. 

Some people prefer to make a quiet fashion statement for first impressions, while other peeps like to let you know that they're dynamite from the get-go. I like to oscillate in-between; attempting to neither overwhelm nor underwhelm those whose company I will be in for the first time. What this entails is usually just wearing one statement item as opposed to a full statement ensemble.

READ MORE: #MondayMotivation: Rethink the colours you mix - take unexpected combos for a spin 

Even so, I remember every outfit I've worn for interviews and subsequently, my first day at a new job (mostly because I overthought it). The point is, if you remember what you wore on your first date or first day of your internship three years ago, you want the audience you made an effort to impress to recall it just as vividly too.

If you're shy (like me), dressing for first impressions might not necessarily even be about trying to shake the table, but rather about hoping that something you're wearing will be an ice-breaker, a conversation starter to ease into the rest of the encounter:

"I like your dress."

"Thanks, it's got pockets!"

Of course, not every environment we step into is fashion oriented, but the reality is that our clothes often say something about us before we even say a word. So whether you're a 'play it safe' or an 'I did not come to play, I came to slay' kind of girl, you might want to keep the following pointers in mind to put together an ice-breaking outfit. 

Red lorry, Yellow lorry, you won't be sorry

... for wearing one of these two bold colours (red or yellow)for an introductory meet-up. The first time I met a (now) good friend of mine, I spotted her at a media event wearing a red suit - exuding confidence and gravitas from a distance. Some people might find red a bit daring, but it's the kind of colour that certainly has a gravitational pull. 

READ MORE: Here’s what women are really looking at in a first impression

Make a statement in red
One simple item in red is all it takes
The memorable red suit
One red item also does the trick.

Rumour has it that yellow makes you seem more approachable. It may not necessarily be your go-to for job interviews, but it's worth a go for a first date or a get-together with new people.

Be spotted from a mile away.

Because 'tis the season for dresses, shop two dresses in these bold colours:

The scarlet dress, Country Road

Country Road

Yellow midi-dress,  Superbalist

Superbalist, R324

These shoes were made for talking

A minimalist ensemble paired with a statement pair of stompers is just what the doctor prescribed for those who have shoe fever and would rather have their shoes do the talking. 

Stand out in eye-catching heels
Or just-off-the-ground mules

Get a conversation going in this pair of round-heel mules:

Zara, R999

Seal it with a kiss

Not literally (well, unless it's a first date), but I'm talking about your lip colour of choice. Beyonce's makeup artist Sir John, who regularly visits our shores, gave a sound piece of beauty advice the first time he spoke to W24, saying "liner and a bold lip [are] the quickest way to add va-va-voom." 

READ MORE: 10 beauty lessons we learnt from Beyoncé’s makeup artist

Make red lips your signature beauty look with this CLINIQUE Pop Lip Colour & Primer in fireball pop.

Woolworths, R300

Not a fan of red?

Try Urban Decay's Cream Vice lipstick in this shade of pink (Anarchy).

Urban Decay, R255

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