Your clothes and appearance are part of the external image of your brand. It’s not only your logo that needs to look good as being representative of your brand – so do you!
And as accomplishing the brand image and style you want to project to the world requires some forward thought and planning, I’m sharing a few tips to help you from my book IMPRESSario.
I open my chapter on “Costumes” with an example of Hamlet, wearing his suits of “solemn black” and how this deliberate choice of costume says something about the character of the man.
Well let’s bring that up to date by noting the recent appearance of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame appearing in suits (rather than usual t-shirt and hoodie) before members of Congress to answer questions about the data scandal. It was a deliberate choice of costume to appear more authoritative and respectful.
You can plan your “costume” by understanding the personal brand qualities you want to project with the work you do, to create a look that is suitable, creative and stylish that will help you make your mark.
Right now while we’re still at the beginning of a new season it is the perfect time to sort out your wardrobe and plan your outfits for the next quarter.
My book includes a simple, three-week wardrobe planner to coordinate all your work and weekend outfits. It's a guide I formulated when I worked in TV as a newsreader and was lucky enough to be able to borrow clothes to wear on-air.
This mix and match guide advises you to rotate these three weeks’ worth of outfits, four times over. Following this wardrobe plan for twelve weeks will mean that you only wear that one outfit four times during the season. Therefore wearing only the outfits that reflect the best you and saving time and money on shopping.
Okay our seasons in Australia can really stretch. It has been one long endless summer here in Queensland but I'm sure you get the idea. It's good to have a plan!
Other styling tips included in IMPRESSario include:
Develop the framework of your brand identity by answering questions including: How would your character appear? Is it as a sophisticated, professional with a creative edge? Perhaps it’s a bright, modern-looking CEO or a casual, yet glamorous work-from-home entrepreneur.
Create a brand portfolio of ideas and visual examples by cutting out images from magazines and producing a scrapbook, or search online and make a Pinterest board of your favourite styles. Find looks and colours that appeal to you and that you believe are the visual expression you want for your self-brand.
Determine who your business style or fashion icons are. Is it glamorous Cate Blanchett, or the bohemian fashion look of Rachael Zoe? Or maybe you aspire to a rock star look. Collect images of these people and see what the common thread is. Is it the simplicity of style, the colour choices, the cut and fit of the garments? Add these to your file of the fashion looks that appeal to you.
What colours appeal to you? Your colour choices may say more about your style than you may realise.
What objects and things do you love? Are they treasured pieces of fine bone china or bold brass statues? Does a particular style of artwork stimulate you? Write down or collect images of objects that appeal to you.
Do you have a favourite or ideal holiday destination? How would you describe that and what does it look like? What does your ideal home look like? Once again, thinking about that visual representation will give you more insight into your style influences.
Once you have noted all these visual elements, you will see some common threads emerging and you can then start to determine your signature style. For instance, are your images, cool, white, Scandinavian and simple clothing styles. Or maybe they are colourful and tropical?
From this overall visual impression, you can start to break down into detail your personal image and style management plan.
To read further about how to manage your wardrobe and styling, purchase IMPRESSario – Present and Promote the Star Within You. Find out more here.
Learn more about your image by downloading my free video series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 steps to 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 professional development and profile building programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an influential professional brand.