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!
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.
“Solemn black” is well-suited to funerals and formal occasions but has become a go-to choice in the corporate world as it portrays power, authority and even elegance.
The tech world is renowned for a very casual look and hoodies. However, even Mark Zuckerberg appeared in suits (rather than usual t-shirt and hoodie) before members of Congress to answer questions about last year’s 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 is the perfect time to sort out your wardrobe and plan your outfits for the next season.
My book includes a simple, three-week wardrobe planner to coordinate all your work and weekend outfits. 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.
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.
NEW. Introducing my Style Saturday series, introductory offer to one-one style consultations.
Learn more about your image and look, 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 image management programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs present an influential brand image.