Take Five with… Stacy London: Ways to make a killer first impression

Stacy London tells Hello! that even she was surprised by how What Not to Wear helped people tailor their lives, not just their wardrobes. “I was completely shocked at the reaction that people had to seeing themselves in a new light, how it motivated them,” says the style expert and author.

“It’s not just what happened on the show, it’s what happened after," she adds. "People would lose weight, leave bad marriages, have better relationships with their kids or get better jobs. It had this unbelievable domino effect.”

With that in mind, Stacy’s encouraging fans to feel their best again by partnering with Excel and their campaign to boost confidence. “What I love about this campaign is the idea that it’s about putting your best foot forward in whatever situation you find yourself in,” she says.

Whether you’ve got a first date or a job interview lined up, Stacy nails down the keys to making sure you’re remembered for all the right reasons:

Stacy with designer Zang Toi and Whoopi Goldberg © Getty

Preparation helps you create confidence and save a lot of energy. Take the time to put together an outfit that you know is going to make you look good and feel good from head to toe. That means also accepting your body for what it is. Highlighting what it is that you love about your body and camouflaging what you don’t love. Generally avoid anything that’s too big or too tight. That’s the first rule of thumb! I think we all have social anxieties in certain situations. Some have it worse than others, but I think that the idea is that you feel ready and prepared for any given situation.

Makeup is a tricky thing. Some people look great with a lot on [but] it really depends on what you're going for. If I were to choose one item that I would always wear, it’s lipstick. I think a bright lipstick changes the face. What do you want to highlight? Some people feel like highlighting their eyes is a stronger way to go, and for some people a bright lipstick becomes their signature.

Whether it’s gum, hairspray or lipstick in your bag, those tools are all meant to be confidence boosters. I always think having a mini-antiperspirant or deodorant is a good idea. If your hair gets oily, keep a little spray dry shampoo as well. Some of the things I think are best are travel-size bottles. They can fit in a small clutch and help you feel more confident because you know you have them if you need them.

Posture makes all the difference in the world. Wearing heels encourages you to pull your shoulders back and your tummy in, just don’t choose anything that will make it look like you're wobbling into a room. Also, if someone has their arms crossed, that says to me that they're nervous or self-conscious. Looking open to ideas and to new adventures has a lot to do with not covering yourself up with your arms or slouching. You want to look excited and enthusiastic. [Maintaining] eye contact is important. It says that you're not intimidated by whomever you're with. It shows that you’re respectful and are listening.

People have very different olfactory senses. First of all, when it comes to having fresh breath I don’t think you can go wrong with mint gum. In terms of perfume, never go with something too heavy unless you know that the person you're meeting with loves that scent. Stay in a lighter floral range that doesn’t last a long time, and don’t put too much on. Even if they like the scent, leave them wanting more.

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