In the fashion industry, people are their own brands. From designers like Coco Chanel to editors like Anna Wintour to the top international supermodels, to today’s most popular fashion bloggers, these people know that their iconic personas are actually a tool for building their careers, businesses and empires.
Italian fashion designer Miuccia Prada once said, “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world. Fashion is instant language.”
The same applies even if you’re not in fashion. Your personal style is a language unto itself. How you style your personal brand can be an effective tool for standing out in today’s competitive marketplace. Your presence and reputation will speak volumes before you can utter a word.
People generate impressions through visual cues.The impressions you form, and how people make decisions about you personally and professionally, are intricately tied to how you look. Studies have shown that your personal style can affect how you perform and negotiate at work.
Whether or not you’re hired for a role or considered for a promotion is directly correlated to how you visually represent your personal brand. How you present yourself sends a subtle message to those around you.
So how do you make the style work for you and use it to advance your career? The first thing to do is to review your personal brand. The styling tips below will enable you to style your career no matter your profession or goals.
1. Be authentic but with your best foot forward
Your personal brand should be an expression of your personality. Everyone has an authentic personal style; it’s just a matter of finding the right fit. If clothes make the man, then the first thing to do is to disregard any clothes that don’t fit your personal brand.
A “wardrobe analysis” will enable you to dispense with any article of clothing that no longer matches your personality. Dispensing of clothes that are no longer appropriate to your personal brand allows you to represent your genuine self.
2. Make substance the foundation of your style
It’s important to emphasize substance when it comes to personal branding. You should never compromise your integrity for potential rewards. At the end of the day, selling yourself out for glamorous opportunities will produce superficial results.
Creating an impactful and meaningful personal brand means being true to yourself. Taking a holistic approach to your personal brand means aligning your entire identity with who you are. Your talents, attitude and skills are part of your visual, emotional and verbal identity.
An important part of the complete package includes grooming. Being well-groomed is good business etiquette.If you don’t create the image of your personal brand that you want, other people will do it for you.
Taking stock of your image is an important element of creating a positive impact. Building and nurturing a unique personal brand requires attention to your physical appearance.A lack of effort to enhance your appearance comes across as inconsistent and unprofessional, both of which are unacceptable in today’s marketplace.
4. Use style to make yourself memorable and stand out in a positive way
Identifying and manipulating different articles of clothing that reflect your personal brand starts from the inside out.
Holding your threads in high self-esteem will translate to more than just what is in your closet. Clothes signify a certain power. The right clothes that match your personality will make you feel more confident and transform how others perceive you.
Wearing a specific statement piece that reflects your personal style, like antique jewelry or a unique watch, gives you the ability to communicate in a memorable and unique way. Your personal style is integral to your personal brand.
5. More fashion thoughts
When defining your personal brand, it’s important to know your landscape. Streetwear clothing, while always casually fashionable, may not always work in the office. Similarly, you would be hard pressed to wear sweatpants (except to the gym) in a fashion-forward city like London.
Your profession, your budget, the city you live in, and your day-to-day tasks will determine your signature style. A good rule of thumb when defining your personal style is to be consistent with your look. Creating a consistent expectation can have a positive, lasting effect. Never chase trends, even if your budget permits it.
Classic looks never go out of style no matter what your career aspirations may be.Taking color risks can be a bold decision, but with the right accessory, it can suit your personal brand. The key to finding your personal style is finding a look that you can own and wear in any occasion.
Kickstarting your personal brand
Supercharging your personal brand starts with a distinct look. Your appearance and what you wear will say a lot about you. Use your personal style to convey the right message. Remember, actions speak louder than words. Highlight what’s unique about you through your personal brand and you’ll grab the right attention and get noticed.
About Guest Contributor Jessica Chudasama
Jessica Chudasama co-founded the AgenC, one of the leading model/talent agencies in the Middle East, in 2014. After just three years in the market, the AgenC now works with most (if not all) of the heavy hitters in media and fashion, as well as represents over 1,000 talents ranging from international models through to cast, kids, creatives and photographers.