We have all done it…. rolled out of bed, and hit the ground running with full intentions of returning to “get dressed.” Now, somehow it’s noon, and we still are not really put together for how we intended. Sure, you never anticipated having to go on three different errands, yet, it happens. Perhaps you had to dash to the school to drop off your child’s project, which was left behind. Or swing into the post office to mail an order to a client. And then of course, there is the practical added errand like getting milk to save a later trip. As luck would have it you run into three people you know along the way…
How do you feel when you engage with these people? Are you happy to see them? Are you comfortable? Do you feel prepared to answer a question about your business? Or, are you just hoping they don’t notice the toothpaste markings on your sweatshirt…?
I am not advocating for perfection. Perfection is not realistic, and it’s not genuine. I am a believer of feeling comfortable. That can mean many things to different people. I know for me when I feel disheveled or drab, I don’t feel my best. This in turn can influence how I interact with others.
How we present ourselves in every area of our lives sets the tone. Whether we are aware of this or not, we ARE our personal image; this influences how others perceive us. While it would be nice to think we are not so impressionable, we as humans simply are. What we wear is a huge piece of how we present ourselves to the world.
Everything we do affects our personal and professional brand. It is up to us to determine whether our brand is affected positively or negatively.
What exactly is Branding?
Simply put, branding is the process of influencing perception. Branding helps people perceive us and our company in the way WE CHOOSE.. notice the words “we choose”, because if we don’t shape our brand, other people will shape it for us… In their minds, they will make assumptions quickly based on what are their impressions of us. Attire is an instant language.
Branding is what helps you stand out in the marketplace. When you step into the glorious person you are and present your unique self that is the best kind of confidence and positive marketing. Why? Because it’s genuine and it’s relatable. With such a fast pace society today, people are craving personable relationships which are authentic. When you are being truly you this assists to ensure trust and supportive attention. This trust is just as valuable if you are forming relationships with other parents or meeting with a client. It’s all related for you’re always presenting yourself in every area of your life. From picking up your “to go” food to walking into a meeting.
Defining your personal or business brand is one of the most special gifts you give to yourself and the world. It is your time to shine! My wish as an image maven is that every woman shine in her own miraculous and unique way! There are many facets that go into a successful brand. Like any task it can be more manageable when taken in steps. Your attire is one piece but it’s also an important one. The beauty of exploring your style is also knowing that it will evolve and change over time. So be patient. Remember, this isn’t about being perfect. Everyone starts somewhere and like anything new it can feel awkward before it feels elegant. This is an invitation to hone in on your unique style which will compliment and attract more positive experiences.
Your clothing is a tool. It can work for you or against you. The key is knowing how to dress your body and honoring your style.
Where to begin?
Following are a few steps to get you started on the path of exploring your personal brand….
Be Unforgettable – Aside from your wisdom and sunny demeanor, what sets you apart? What do you want people to remember about you? Now this doesn’t mean you grab an over the top fluffy jacket fit for show tunes. It means there is something that you add which is noticeable. Perhaps it’s a savvy accent color, a necklace which is unique, or a flattering hat. Having a piece that draws the eye in can not only be a way to be memorable it also can be a great conversation starter.
Be Authentic – Do not try to mold yourself to what others think you should be. If you are not dressing in a style that is comfortable not only will you suffer but it can affect the integrity of the relationship as well. Be the best version of yourself.
Bring In The Troops – It is valuable to reach out to those trusted individuals for feedback who will be honest with you because they care. Choose wisely. Gathering some friends for a night in to sift through your clothes can be a blast! If you do not have the right type of support then you may want to consider retaining a professional. We all need a trusted confidant to provide honest feedback, be kind, loving and support our individuality.
Get Inspired And Excited! – When you look at your closet you should get excited by the items that fill them for they ideally make you feel beautiful and happy! If they do not then that is a place to start. Many times we can get in the habit of throwing on whatever and just getting by. Perhaps it’s because we don’t feel worthy, perhaps it’s we don’t want the attention. Or perhaps we have no idea how to dress our bodies. Remember, if you don’t feel truly magnificent and confident then you will send this message on some level. Whether you are working with a professional or making some changes on your own it does not need to be expensive or labor intensive. Phew! It really can be very easy… you just have to start!
If you are not sure what you like for a style then the best thing to do is to explore. Set aside some you time, pull up a chair and pick a place. It could be magazines, Pinterest etc. Pay attention and note what you are drawn to. Don’t think about the cost, where you’d wear it or if you could pull it off. Just notice what draws you in and how it makes you feel.
Be proactive – This is no time to be overly modest or shy. It’s important to move at your own pace but just make sure you keep moving forward. Refreshing and defining your style really takes very little effort and it can be so very fun! Women have gotten away from dressing up. Many of us didn’t think twice about it when we were younger – clomping around in our Mother’s shoes and pearls and loving it for we were supporting our imagination and self expression. We need to give to ourselves as we often are doing for others. For when we do, we shine both personally and professionally.
About the Author:
Image Maven of Moxie