You lock eyes. Smile. Maybe shake hands. In the six seconds it took to greet one another, you’ve both just formed a first impression of the other person. Do you know the things women first notice about you in order to make the best first impression?
Don’t worry; it’s not that hard. Really. There are even a few places women’s eyes (and other senses) graze when we first meet you. We’re letting you in on exactly what those are so you can make your best first impression, every time.
Read on to find out the 5 things women first notice about you:
1. We notice your signature scent
We don’t have to dig too deep into the science of scent to know that memories are linked more to smell than any other sense – for better or for worse. Just the other day I stood near a woman doused in a fragrance that immediately reminded me of my fifth grade teacher and a flood of nostalgia (read: nightmares) for her pop geography quizzes. Your scent – or lack there – of is going to be noticed, so let’s make sure it’s in a positive light.
You can quite literally spritz on a better first impression here, guys. Just remember, subtlety is key. Don’t wear cologne? Don’t underestimate the power of a fresh smelling body wash. Most new brands have created a formula that lasts well into the day, but won’t leave you worried about going overboard on fragrance.
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2. We notice your greeting
In my favorite sitcoms, the greetings between a character and his or new love interest are so charming and fluid: they bump into each other, make eye contact, and immediately dive into shared interests and future baby names. And don’t get me started on reality show hello’s. The courtesy laughs, elevator eyes, not-so-subtle elbow touches, and too-soon cheek kisses that still somehow lead to making out in a gazebo set a terrible example for how to make a good first impression.
Make eye contact, but don’t look through us or up and down our bod before meeting eyes. Speaking of bodies, reach out for a handshake that doesn’t crush bones or feel too limp – the middle ground is gold. Above all else, though, be confident and ask questions. It’ll show that you’re interested and engaged. Oh – and if you’re worried about having to feign a bit of confidence to overcome nerves, I’ll lend you the trick that my mom
offers enforces when I’m home: “head up, shoulders back, and smile genuinely.”
3. We notice your shoes
More than the watch you don for special occasions or even the car you pull up in, we’re looking down at your shoes. I can promise you that I’ve never discounted a guy for rocking a $50 weekender watch and more so, I’ve definitely never been starry-eyed over a d-bag because he’s flashing a Rolex.
So, what do women notice exactly? The state and style of your footwear. If your worn-down shoes are clinging for dear life, we’ll wonder why you don’t take pride in your appearance. And yes, we’re running if we see a square-toe. Conversely, thoughtful shoe selection is usually the first thing I throw compliments towards.
Account for the occasion when choosing footwear. Sneakers don’t belong at a candlelit restaurant just as much as square toed dress shoes don’t belong anywhere. Take a quick pause while getting ready to ask yourself if you’re accessorized for the occasion or better yet, shoot a tweet to Style Girlfriend. Polishing your dress shoes and boots will protect your investment and highlight their dapper design – what’s not to love about that?
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4. We notice your hands
Think about it: your hands are our first point of contact (please), so we’re definitely noticing what you’re working with. Rough and cracked hands are in no way appealing and that doubles for unkempt nails. This very tangible first impression is also a greater indicator of grooming in general, so keeping your hands soft and nails clean matters.
Make moisturizing and manicuring a must in your grooming routine. Keep hand cream in your gym bag or in your car for easy access and a higher probability that you’ll you know, actually use it. When it comes to manicuring, throw a scrub brush and nail clipper at the problem. If a shower doesn’t wash your nail beds clean, take a few seconds to scrub under and pay special attention so that your nail length isn’t too long.
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5. We notice your outfit
Yes, we’re looking at your clothes. No, we’re not brand checking or docking points for last season’s jacket. We’re simply noticing how well your whole vibe works together and spotting the small details that place an outfit anywhere on the spectrum from “oh yeah” to “yiiiikes.”
Of course, there are a few style flubs to absolutely avoid (looking at you Affliction tees and embellished jeans), but it’s usually a more cohesive overview that women are doing when they first meet you.
Glancing in the mirror or asking a second opinion works wonders. Do the buttons on your shirt look like they’re about to burst and possibly blind me during this handshake? Is it hard to focus on what you’re saying because your outfit has three plaids in four bright colors? Are oversized pleats detracting from the rest of your stylish look?
Not sure where to start? That’s okay! Start here. Bottom line: women aren’t looking for a supermodel (well, not all of us), but it is a good sign when we meet a man who’s thoughtful about his appearance. Respecting yourself enough to make an effort makes for a great first impression. Promise.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION?
This article was originally published March 2016