I hear a lot of jargon words thrown around the realm of female entrepreneurs.
Boss Chick, Girl Boss, Boss Mama and Mumpreneur - what images come to mind when you hear these titles?
Is there too much pressure to project a style that other people want to see when they encounter your brand. It too me a while to feel comfortable as a stylist who doesn't wear outlandishly wild and creative outfits whilst donning the edgiest of hair-do's. Either am I your typical Style Me Beautiful classic dresser who wears impeccably expensive threads and loves to swoon the latest Hermes or Chanel.
However I was challenged recently when I came across a business coach on Facebook. She looked sharp. She had edge and structure to her outfits which made her look strong and believable. But should every business coach be trying to look like that?
What makes us look "believable". Is that an identifiable style? Or was she just being intentional about how she was being perceived with her style choices based on things that have been said to her before? What's the rule?
As a stylist, new clients have often commented on my outfit at our first meting as an acknowledgement of my fashion knowledge - in other wards, I look like I know what I am talking about. And while I do..I intentionally wear a mixture of textures in my outfit to reflect the creativity in my personal style statement and make an impactful first impression.
Personal Style Statement? What's that?
Well, basically, It's a succinct articulation of the message about yourself and your brand that you want to project through your style.
This is a wonderful exercise that I take my clients through that really helps them shape define their signature style.
For me - it is my warmth ( at 5ft9 and amazonian in stature, I can often appear intimidating)
I have a creative style personality which a lot of my clients are looking to reflect in their own wardrobes, so I think about this with every outfit I create for a first meeting.
And thirdly, I want to look elegant. I'm 44. a wife, and a mother who believes strongly in the ordained beauty of women. Its our gift and handles correctly it's our glory.
So my personal style statement is simply that -
"I exude a style which is warm, creative and elegant"
This internal style compass ensure's that I wear trends when it suits ME, I buy sale items when I know it will bring longevity to my wardrobe not just an instant thrill fix. It keeps me reproducing stylish outfits that represent me and my brand time and time again.
So what if my style doesn't quite fit the industry I work in? Now, this is why I love the excerpt of Ru Paul.
"It's nothing to do with you...it has to do with the narrative that's already implanted in people's conciousness".
So yes, wear a suit in an industry that has that expectation but I would challenge you to get really creative with that suit. Perhpas with the colour - wear a bright burgundy instead of grey. Or wear a more interesting tie. And remember your make-up is an accessory too. Popping a strong lip is a confident option..
In strict dress code arena's I really do think its still possible to to exude some of your own personal style, because the aim is to look put together.
A two piece outfit (top and bottom) is not going to say anything. Its how you present it all together - make-up, coat, shoes, bag, and jewellery that makes all the difference.
So when you are next putting your work outfit together, consider some of the above. Are you putting together a complete outfit? Are you wearing textures and colours that reflect more of your personality? Making the strongest and most accurate first impression has never been more important so it's worth looking at your wardrobe as a marketing strategy not simply a necessary task or chore at the beginning of your day.
For more information on how to create your signature brand style visit the Style Library on www.thebrandimagestylist.com