Your professional brand has to do with your marketing, your value, your image and your reputation. This post is all about how you can build a stronger brand by enhancing your image.
Image consulting has a negative connotation. Most people think of it as having to look perfect and wearing uncomfortable clothes that look appropriate for the office or meetings. In other words, old school. With more people working from home these days, as well as the trend toward business casual, it’s time to stop thinking of professional dress. Instead, it’s more about dressing appropriately.
The first key to improving your image is to know your audience and company dress code. You won’t find anyone wearing a coat and tie or a matching skirt and blazer in a start-up tech company. Dress to stand out, not to be distracting. For example, if you know the employees dress in jeans and polos, just adding a third piece like a jacket or sweater will help you own your presence.
The second key to getting the right image is to invest in select pieces of clothing that fit you well. Take the time to have your jackets and trousers or skirts altered. Having just the right fit will have you looking polished and professional which will translate into you having more confidence.
The third key to enhancing your image is to develop your signature look. Your image should be unique, just like your brand. The strongest way to stand in your personal power is by being you. It’s not about copying a look or following trends that don’t fit your style. Your signature look is about showing your authenticity.
Here are some tips for finding your personal style.
Do you prefer comfort over style? Then choose clothes that feel soft to the touch and have a draping quality. You’ll feel comfortable, relaxed and more like yourself.
Do you prefer practical and functional over stylish? Including elements of tailored menswear if you’re a woman will help you feel like yourself. Try wearing a collared blouse. Or add a stylish jacket over a fitted top.
Are you used to making sure everything matches? Matchy, matchy is out. Step out of the box by mixing jackets and pants in different colors and textures.
Are you one who likes to always try the latest trends? Experiment! Mix patterns while keeping a key color congruent in both. Add some fun accessories and notice how much more creative you feel.
Knowing how to wear the right colors and styles doesn’t come automatically for most of us. And that’s okay. So start with the tips I just gave you. Your signature style isn’t just about fashion and trends or top brands. It’s about being congruent with who you are.
Kay Miller Smith is a certified image consultant in Dallas, TX. Her StandInYourPersonalPower.com Image consulting specializes in personal and corporate image, offering advice on creating an authentic style and enhancing communication skills.