Every so often, particularly at the beginning of a new season, it pays to review your visual image and “look” through fresh eyes. You can seek advice from a trusted image advisor, friend or shop assistant or consider a do-it-yourself make-over.
I believe people can get a bit “stuck” with their visual image and style, particularly at a certain age, so in this blog I am sharing from my book IMPRESSario an extract on how you can reinvent your look and create a personal brand style.
Try these tips.
- Do some research to create your personal brand “look book” of clothes, hairstyles and shoes – inspirational looks and colours that appeal to you. Don’t think about the prices, what should be work outfits or play outfits, or where to buy these items. Just collect examples at this stage and soon a pattern will emerge. Keep them in a folder, on a cork board or a Pinterest board.
This is the foundation for your brand style.
- Review your own wardrobe first. The idea is to cull down to only what works for you and start to build on that foundation. Try everything on. If it doesn’t fit or is tatty, get rid of it. If the colour doesn’t work with your complexion, get rid of it. Using your inspiration board, look at what’s left. Are there outfits that you can compile straightaway?
Once you’ve sorted through your wardrobe, can you determine if you have a certain look, a set of colours, or a signature item that could set you apart?
There are well-known speakers who use colour as their trademark. Helen Macdonald from The Corporate Optimist always wears orange. Naomi Simson, CEO of online business Red Balloon always wears red.
- Put together a shopping list of several items that will work with what you have already and a wish list of a few items or outfits that will help make your “look” go from good to great.
You may only need a few quality signature pieces that you can mix and match, and that reflect your individual style. You don’t have to look different every day; you just need to look good, appropriate for the occasion and make an impression. I know a number of women who work in the fitness industry; these days, because activewear is so fashionable, you would never see them in the oversized T-shirt and daggy leggings of old. They mix and match their activewear outfits and impress wherever they go.
With the rise of online fashion bloggers, you will see so many examples of people who have crafted a brand identity around the way they look.
A speaker I know reflects her “Let’s Grow” philosophy by always wearing a flower on her lapel or floral skirts and outfits. Another person always wears sparkles. Customise your costume to ensure you stand out.
- When it’s time to hit the shops, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You can just add in a few new pieces to give your wardrobe some life and reflect your personality. Think of your wardrobe as a growing, evolving adjunct to your personal brand and not a static object without any life. If you shop wisely, and only buy the things that you love and that reflect who you are, you will develop an impressive wardrobe over time.
- Sort through your wardrobe each season. Replace any basics that are starting to need an update or smartening up. Then you may only need to buy one or two pieces; an accessory or a couple of really great outfits that have impact. Guys can follow this example also by regularly updating their shirts and trousers, and occasionally a new suit or jacket.
- Plan your outfits. I’ve done my own version of wardrobe planning for years so maybe you can adapt it for yourself.
When I worked as a television news presenter, I was lucky enough to be able to borrow clothes to wear on air. I’d write down in my diary what I wore each night and then the following week I’d borrow different things. I’d also note what each outfit looked like on camera, and if it didn’t look right, or the colour didn’t suit me, I wouldn’t repeat that outfit. I’d even take note of the comments other people made about my appearance. Rightly or wrongly, someone always had an opinion!
I have a complete wardrobe planning section in my book, IMPRESSario. And as a special deal for Australian readers, you can purchase until Christmas for the special price of only $20 including postage! Purchase now!
Learn more about building your personal brand by with my free video series: NOOK, LOOK, HOOK,3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her image management and profile building programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an influential professional brand.