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  • Writer's pictureLucy

How To Portray Your Personal Brand Through What You Wear

Updated: May 25, 2023

It’s no secret that the clothes you wear can make a powerful statement about your personal brand and how you present yourself. We live in an age where often, within seconds of meeting someone new, our image is created; taking into account what we say, do and most importantly - how we look.


​​As a female executive, your personal brand is an essential aspect of your professional identity. It's what sets you apart and helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace.


It’s therefore important to be aware of the subtle messages that your clothing sends out so as to ensure it accurately reflects how you want to be perceived.


In this article, I'm going to share some tips on why getting dressed for success should be at the centre of your personal brand strategy and how to make sure your brand effectively portrays who you are as an individual as well as your unique qualities and strengths.



How to identify your personal brand and style


As a female professional, one of the most essential components of your success is actually identifying your personal style and realising the value of your personal brand.


Building a unique and memorable identity involves taking account of your passions, personal preferences, character traits, values and goals.


First, consider the following questions:


  • Where do your talents and interests meet?


  • What colours or designs draw your attention and what aesthetics attract you?


  • What values matter most to you?

  • Where do you want to be 3 years from now?


Once you have clarity on who you are, it's time to understand how to showcase them through your visual presentation.



3 key steps to create an authentic style that sells your story


Establishing an authentic style is non-negotiable in today's business world. When your clothing seamlessly represents who you are and your attributes, it has the potential to build credibility and trust, as well as project high levels of confidence.


Now that you've got some clarity on what you want to achieve, the next step is to go a little deeper and work through the following steps:



Step 1: Define your brand

You cannot build an authentic style if you don't know what's important to you.


Review your values list and narrow it down to 4 core values that you would like to project (this could include professionalism, strength, competence, fun, assertiveness just to name a few.)


To help, you can also ask yourself 'What do I want people to think of when they see me'?


"It's incredibly important that there is congruence between what you say or communicate, and your visual image"

If, through your LinkedIn profile, cover letter, resume or any other online/offline platform you communicate that you are, for example, dynamic, energetic and powerful, it must be visually reflected for you to have credibility, authority and influence.


People will believe what they see more than what they hear. In short, make sure there is the same language spoken between what you say and what people see.


Keep reading for the next steps and how to do this.


Step 2: Be clear on who you are


The easiest way to differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd is by remaining true to your authentic self and understanding how to express that through your clothing (my Style Archetype quiz is a great place to start.)


Some key questions to consider to hone in on your individual style:


  • What do you really enjoy wearing? (think certain colours, fabrics, styles and silhouettes)


  • What outfit or item have you worn in the past that made you feel most confident? Perhaps it was a signature dress or a more minimalist outfit with a bold pop of colour. Consider all the details about what really felt good for you.


  • What doesn't feel good for you to wear?



Step 3: Choose clothing that aligns


To illustrate how to choose clothing that aligns, let's have a look at a client case study.


When I first met Francesca, she was in a risk and governance leadership position and was struggling with how to create a visual/brand image that would reflect her current role, as well as support her future aspirations.


As well as being unclear on her brand, she also lacked clarity about the styles, colours, hair, makeup and accessories that would reflect that image as well as suit her best.


Francesca wanted to be perceived as: credible, executive/polished, dynamic and stylish.


Together, we mapped our her Style Profile: her colour palette is deep and muted (Deep Autumn), she has an hourglass shape and her style archetypes are a mix of classic, relaxed and dramatic



Clothing choices:


  • Well fitted, sharp blazers work beautifully for her body shape. Selecting a deep tomato red from her palette is flattering while also confirming leadership status and dynamism. When paired with jeans, they connect to the relaxed part of her personality, and suit her more casual office days or meetings.


  • Stylized prints with attention grabbing details such as neck ties make a strong and stylish impact. Pairing back with a simple, tapered black pant ensures the look is memorable without being unapproachable.


  • To support her desire to be perceived as credible, we also ensured her clothes fitted perfectly, having items tailored to her body shape where required, as well as working on hair, makeup and grooming techniques.




Building a wardrobe that supports your brand


Your personal brand is all about you – something to be cultivated and celebrated - and you have the power to bring it to life through how you dress.


Taking the time to consciously create a wardrobe full of pieces that support your personal brand will not only help you stand out, but it will also make getting dressed everyday that much easier, meaningful and fun!


Take the steps outlined in this post – first, take a moment for some self-reflection then determine who you are and what is important to portray. Finally, choose clothing that compliments your own sense of style while telling a story about who you are.


It can take time, effort and exploration to get it right, so if you feel stuck or need further guidance, set up a time to chat with me. I'd love to hear more about your situation and see if I can help.



 

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